I’ll be honest, I live for the weekends, not just because I have time to sleep in, but because that’s when I plan most of my travels—especially in the summer. Throughout the years I’ve gotten better at packing quicker and efficiently. Here are some of the tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way.
Keep your minis handy
This has been such a gamechanger for me because all of the toiletries I need for a trip are always kept in a pouch in my bathroom, so all I really have to do is grab it to pack. I receive tons of samples from the countless purchases I’ve made from Sephora, but in general I also just buy travel-sized toiletries specifically to be stored in this pouch so I don’t have to worry. And if I run out of something after a trip, I make a mental note and buy it right when I get home so I don’t have to panic the next time I go on a trip.
Pack for one extra day
I always pack as though I’m staying for one extra day than my itinerary just in case. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve planned specific outfits and it didn’t pan out because of weather, temperature, or in the event that plans changed. My rule of thumb is to pack no more than two shoes in my suitcase, but if it’s a weekend trip and I’m bringing just a backpack, I only wear the shoes on my feet. Also, hoping this does not happen, if you get stranded somewhere, you’ll have an extra pair of everything, which is always a plus.
Plan out when you wash your hair
I wrote a post all about how I can get away with not washing my hair for a few days and I plan out when I wash my hair around a vacation. Most of my weekend trips are four days tops, so I’ll usually wash my hair the night before I leave and wash it when I get back, allowing me to avoid bringing hair products to make room for everything else. Just make sure to pack dry shampoo and hair ties!
Get your system down pat
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten important things while I’ve traveled. One of the standout times was when I forgot to bring my flat iron during my first trip to New Orleans at the end of July in peak humidity. Let’s just say my hair was a frizzy mess and I’ve never forgotten since. My routine now is to tackle clothes first, then throw in my makeup pouch and toiletries bag, and slowly add everything else as I’m done using them while getting ready to travel. Once you come up with your mental checklist, it becomes second nature.
Store everything close by
There are so many times when I’ve forgotten something either before I leave the house or at my destination, from my phone charger to a hoodie and deodorant. What I’ve found that works best is to always keep everything as close to your luggage as possible. When packing at home, keep everything you need in the same room. Don’t leave your phone charger in the living room when everything else you’ll need is in your bedroom. I never unpack my clothes into the hotel dresser, I basically live out of my suitcase during my stay anywhere to avoid leaving something behind. When you take something out of your bag, remember to put it back. The less you move away from your suitcase, the better.
Always prepare for the worst
There’s nothing worse than things going wrong when you’re on vacation, but hey, that’s part of life. I usually carry all of my life-saving essentials with me in my everyday bag and I make sure it goes with me when I travel. This usually contains a fully charged external battery; an antacid because I sometimes have a weak stomach and get travel anxiety; headache medicine; hand sanitizer; gum/mints; and an RXBAR in case I get hungry and because I love them so much. You never know what kind of situation you end up in, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.