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Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Packing Struggle is Real

The WRONG way to pack
My greatest struggle when preparing for a trip is “what should I pack?” Are you with me? I either pack too much, too little, clothes that aren’t appropriate for unplanned events, and the list goes on. For the most part, I do pretty well, but continue to fall short in at least one department.

The process begins at least two weeks in advance, especially if my destination is a different climate than what I’m currently experiencing. I rarely bring luggage that isn’t a carry-on (hardside on wheels), because I want to be sure it arrives with me and I’m anxious to get the party started when I land. This preference requires careful packing, so here is what I take.

I start by choosing the same or similar wardrobe color scheme.
Leggings/Jeggings - They don’t wrinkle, go with everything, and take up little space in your luggage. I pack at least three pairs to mix and match with tops.
Longish polyester pullovers -  Pair well with leggings and don’t wrinkle.
White tees - Casual during the day and dressed up at night.
Cotton maxi dresses - I can’t live without them! They are comfy, effortless, and can be dressed up or down.
An ultra lightweight packable jacket.
Roll each item up to alleviate wrinkles and save space.

Ballet flats
One pair of sturdy walking shoes
One pair of sandals (not always a necessity for me)
One pair of flip flops for shared bathrooms
I can’t live without one pair of boots or booties. I wear them on the plane so they don’t need to be packed.

I’m very minimal with jewelry, because I don’t want to lose or keep track of it.
I tend to wear solid color clothing, so I bring at least two multi-colored, stacked bracelets for a little added “kick.”
Detachable collars - I like these for “dress up.”
Decorative scarves - They not only make or break an otherwise bland outfit, but give the same outfit a new look. Scarves can also be used as a shawl if it’s chilly at night.
Hats - I can’t live without them for sun protection and bad hair days. They are also great built-in umbrellas for rainy days.
Sunglasses - Two in case I lose or break a pair.

Glam and adorable, right?
Backpack - I use this to pack necessities for the plane ride.
Handbags - One largish messenger-style bag that lays flat in my suitcase, and one small cross-body swingpack to carry boarding essentials.
Pillowcases - One to sleep on (I like to know it’s scent-free and clean) and one for dirty clothes.
Electronics gadgets - Phone/camera charger, and travel adapters for international travel.
Snacks - I don’t eat any airline food unless I’m on an extended flight; therefore, I pack snacks like nutrition bars, trail mix, and Go Picnic.
Make-up - Only the basics including mascara, eyeliner, lip balm, concealer, and foundation/blush in mineral format (no liquids).
Toiletries - Sunscreen, lotion, face wipes (I like the Yes to brands), bar soap, hair essentials in 3 oz containers, and band-aids for unexpected boo-boos. I also try to acquire as many toiletry samples as I can whenever possible.

I like to think that practice makes perfect, and at some point, the struggle will no longer be real. Happy trails!

The perfect travel jacket

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