Oct 17, 2014

Travel Tips 101: Packing the Suitcase

VACATION! Seriously, I am so excited I can hardly stand myself. I've been on major vacation brain all week, and by the time you're reading this, I'll be on the tarmac at the Asheville airport for a week long stay in the mountains. I have been looking forward to boots and flannel shirts for months now and I'll finally have a chance to wear them—and not sweat while doing so.

You'd think this trip was all fun and good-times, which it absolutely is, well after the packing at least. You see, the airline that has a direct flight into Asheville also has a max weight limit of 40lbs. for checked bags. Do you know how hard it is to pack jackets, boots, scarves, makeup, a blowdryer and curling iron all into one suitcase and keep it under 40lbs? Let me shoot straight here, it's physically impossible as a female to keep it under the max weight, and this girl isn't paying the $50 overage fee. The struggle is real, people! So, I've gotten smarter as the years have gone on; I check one bag, I carry on a Vera Bradley duffel and a canvas tote.

We'll start with the smallest bag first; in the canvas tote, I keep:
  • My actual purse I'll carry around on vacation
  • iPad and charger
  • Earbuds
  • A magazine (because no electronic devices till the stewardess says)
  • Chapstick
  • Hand sanitizer
  • iPhone and charger
  • My camera and its charger
  • The jewelry I'm taking with me
  • Drink, snack and some chewing gum
  • Notepad and pen
  • Hair tie and bobby pins
The Vera Bradley duffel totes all the heavy stuff that would put my checked suitcase wayyy over the limit. So, that includes:
  • 3 pairs of boots
  • Heavier jacket
  • Rainjacket
  • Sneakers
  • 1 pair of flats
  • Camera tripod
  • Blowdryer
  • Curling Iron

Lastly, the only items left to actually pack in my checked luggage is clothes and liquid products because there's no way I can squeeze all my liquid products into one quart-size, clear bag. I've also got this packing thing down to a fine science. Here's my tips for packing a checked bag:
  • I start off by checking the weather forecast for the entire time I'm going to be somewhere.
  • Based on the forecast, I start to plan outfits including shoes.
  • My rule of thumb is one outfit per day, plus two extra tops.
  • If you know you'll be changing at some point during the day into a second outfit, pack utility players that are versatile enough to go with anything you pack.
  • If you are only going to wear a particular item once, re-think whether you really want to take it or not. No sense taking up prime real estate.
  • An 8 day vacation=3 pairs of jeans max, 8 complete outfits, 1 heavy jacket, I lighter jacket and 3 pair of pajamas.
  • Roll, roll, roll. If you roll all your clothes, you gain a lot more space, your clothes are less likely to wrinkle, and they slide around less when being jostled around by TSA.
My outfit "to-do" list

What packing/travel tips have you picked up along the way?

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