If trying to stay fashionable while packing lightly, stick to the basics but add a pop, like the bright lipstick pictured.
If you’re like me, you have a hard time packing for vacations, weekend getaways and trips back home. However, since starting college, I’ve gained a lot of experience on how to pack effectively. Here are the biggest tips I have for your own packing success:
Stick to the basics. Pack pieces that can be combined and re-worn. T-shirts (especially in neutral colors like white and black), cardigans for layering and denim shorts and pants are staples that should be in any suitcase. You should also avoid packing multiples of anything. Do you really need two pairs of dark wash skinny jeans? Probably not, and you can use that room in your suitcase to pack more important things anyway. For most pieces, if you can only wear it once, you should not pack it. That chartreuse jacket is cute, but if you can only wear it with one dress then you should leave it at home. Instead, bring a black blazer that matches almost anything.
Know your destination. If you are heading to the Bahamas for spring break, you shouldn’t pack a heavy jacket. Do a little research before your trip and find out what the weather will be. When I went home this past week for spring break, the weather was tricky. It was 65 degrees for the first part of the week, 75 degrees at the end of the week and 45 degrees at night. While it’s harder to pack for situations like these, it is all the more important to not pack doubles of anything and to only pack the essentials.
Save space with toiletries. Shampoo and conditioner take up a lot of room. If you are going on a trip with a friend or a companion, share toiletries and use only half the amount of space you normally would. This is the hardest part of packing for me. I have a very complicated and multi-product skincare regimen and I can easily fill up a bag with facial products alone. It’s important to think of the length of your trip in this situation. If you’re only going somewhere for the weekend, you can probably afford to leave most of your skincare and haircare products at home (you should still pack the very basics, like cleanser and moisturizer). However, if your trip will be a week or longer, it’s worth it to bring some extra products.
Really evaluate what you will and will not use. This used to be my biggest problem. I used to pack nail polish for my trips home, telling myself I would paint my nails. Did I ever? No. And I had to bring those adorable nude pumps, just in case I went somewhere nice. I never did go anywhere that I would need them, but I always convinced myself that I could absolutely not go on a trip without them. Instead, bring things that will definitely get used. For example, flats are versatile, can go with many outfits and can be dressed up or down.
Still have fun with it! None of this means that you still can’t be fashionable on your vacation. It’s relatively easy to pack lightly and to fill your suitcase with cute and stylish outfits. Just don’t go overboard. Pack one handbag that will match all your outfits. I try to make sure all my outfits match the same neutral (black or brown), that way this is easier. This also makes it easier to pack shoes. I bring a black handbag and black ankle boots. I wore these booties at least five out of the nine days that I was back home for spring break. They’re ultra-stylish and comfortable, plus I got tons of compliments on them! Also, really play up makeup and accessories. You can still look amazingly chic wearing basics like a white v-neck and dark wash skinny jeans if you pair your outfit with cute accessories like bright lipstick or a colorful head scarf.
I hope these pieces of advice help you figure out what to pack on your next trip. Let me know how it goes!