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Like most people I love to travel, seeing new places or even revisiting old favorites holds a special place in my heart. Packing for a trip however is no easy feat, especially if you’re like me and you try to fit the contents of your entire closet into a check bag! I swear that 50 lb limit haunts me in my sleep during the nights leading up to my flight. I have visions of being over the weight limit and having to rifle through the contents of my bag at the check in desk trying to cram a few items into my already full carry on. With each trip, I try to improve upon my packing and I’m excited to share a few of my tips while I’m packing for my upcoming trip to Hawaii with my husband, Pat. If you have any tips feel free to comment below, I’d love to hear them!
#1. I like to lay out the majority of the items I’m planning to pack on my bed so I get a good feel for each piece. If there are two similar items, I try to eliminate one, there’s no point in having duplicates. This is also a great way to plan outfits ensuring that certain pieces serve double duty.
#2. This is also a great time to go through your jewelry collection and choose pieces that work well with each outfit. I definitely have my fair share of jewelry but always seem to pack my favourites on trips. If you have difficulty choosing I recommend pieces that work well with the majority of your clothes, with a couple pieces that you plan on wearing with a special outfit for a particular day or evening out.
#3. If you’re headed to a sunny destination like myself, no doubt you’ll be packing a multitude of bikinis. My rule for packing bathing suits is to choose tops and bottoms that you can mix and match. I also have this in mind when shopping for bikinis, I’m constantly looking for complementary patterns or colours; this will allow the greatest variety of looks without packing a million bikinis.
#4. When it comes to packing oddly shaped items such as hats, my golden rule to prevent them from loosing shape is to fill the hat with a bikini. It serves double duty since it maintains the shape of the hat and also makes use of every inch of your suitcase.
#5. When it comes to beach bags or totes I fold and lay them flat at the bottom of my bag. This works well for my beach bag but if you find your tote is a little more structured then I suggest filling it with folding items to maintain the shape before placing it at the bottom of your bag.
#6. I’m really particular about storing my shoes and bags in their respective boxes and dust bags when I’m not using them at home so I take the same approach when I’m packing them. The dust bag protect shoes from being scuffed and shifted around during transport and also helps keep everything more organized in your bag so things are easier to find once you’ve reached your destination.
#7. When packing shoes and handbags place them around your hat as to add even more padding to ensure it maintains it’s shape.
#8. Longer items such as maxi dresses can be folded in half (to prevent further creases to the material) and placed in your bag. I often pack these items last so once I arrive at my destination and open my bag, they’re the first items I grab and I hang them up immediately.
Travel with a Carry On Bag: I always travel with one, not because I necessary need the extra space (although it is nice) but because it’s a place for me to carry valuable items that I would never put in a check bag. These items include my laptop, jewelry and curling iron; I’ve heard far too many horror stories from friends who’ve had jewelry stollen from their check bag or have arrived at their destination only to find their straightener or curling iron was damaged as a result of careless baggage handling at the airport. I also place special articles of clothing in my carry on if there’s a specific event I’m attending while on vacation and would be completely stuck if the airline lost my bag and I was without that outfit.
Don’t underestimate the power of Ziplock Bags: Something I didn’t include in the above section was placing all my personal products (shampoo, lotion etc) in Ziplock bags before packing them in my check bag. There is no worse feeling than opening your bag to find a gooey mess after a bottle leaked all over your clothes mid flight.