How to Pack for Your Vacation
Updated: Nov 1, 2022
Tis the season for vacation packing! With all the holidays coming up, we just had MEA, and overall vacationing somewhere warm in order to escape the Midwest cold, it's primetime to pack those suitcases! But how many of you are guilty of over-packing? Under-packing? Or maybe packing the right amount, but the outfits aren't curated well enough? I'm personally guilty of overpacking! I always like to be overprepared, but then I'm always nervous they're going to check my bag because it's too heavy or too bulky. Then once I get back home and I'm unpacking, I realize I actually didn't wear a lot of the items I packed 🙄
As you know, I have another stylist on my team who is a contractor named Sarah. When I talked to her about how difficult it was to pack, how time consuming it was, and all the rest of the frustrations that come with packing, she said SHE LOVED PACKING! Say, what?! Who the hell loves packing? Well, apparently Sarah does! That's when we started chatting and we created the wardrobe package, Vacation Packing (you can read about it here). With the tips and tricks I learned from her, I then created a Reel on Instagram a couple of weeks ago about my own packing while preparing for my trip to Miami!
If you didn't see it, watch it here!
There are so many more tips than what's in that video so obviously I couldn't get it all in there. With that said, I thought I would write a blog post about it instead 😉 Some of these will be repeats from my Reel because I want them all in the same place for all of you, while some are new ones from the professional packer herself, Sarah! In no particular order, here we go:
1) Pack early! I personally pack about 1-2 weeks prior. I'm indecisive and change my mind a lot - More so when it comes to creating outfits (the joy of being a stylist haha!). The main reason though is so that I have less anxiety, otherwise I can't think straight. Now obviously if you're going somewhere that has the same weather as what you're having in your own hometown, you may want to pack a few days prior to or 1 week prior. However, I'm at least able to pack early because I'm always going somewhere warm so those outfits are readily available!
2) Think outside the box and utilize pieces multiple ways. Example outfit: T-shirt over a dress with flats for a day look. Wear that same dress at night without the t-shirt then throw on some heels with some jewelry for an evening look.
See actual outfit examples here
3) Bring outfits for different activities. Really think about what you're going to be doing and pack for it. Are you going on this trip to do more sight-seeing? Will you be going to a few nice restaurants? Or will you be going to the beach everyday? This will help for those of you that overpack like myself! Additionally, look at those outfits and see if you can wear any pieces again for a different outing.
4) Think about your footwear. If you're going to be doing more sight-seeing, you'll probably want a few different pairs of flats to change out over the course of your stay. Also, think about what you should wear when you're just hanging out at the hotel. Ex: flip flops, slipper shoes, etc. Which brings me into the next thing....
5) Make sure to pack items for just hanging out. When I really got into traveling, I would always pack pajamas to wear while at the hotel. However, there were times where I needed to go down to the front desk, grab breakfast, etc. but I felt so uncomfortable going down there in my pjs. So take it from Sarah and I, make sure you have a leisure outfit to wear around.
6) Don't forget to check the weather! Believe it or not, so many people don't check the weather before leaving! Before I started chatting with Sarah about packing, there was a time I went to Italy and packed more cold-ish clothes. Ummmmm, it was hot! I had to work with what I had and it worked out, but were the outfits something I 100% loved? Nope!
Side note: I always pack 1-2 fashion jackets when I travel. A denim jacket then something like my utility or leather jacket. I always wear these on the plane, too, to save space in my suitcase. It's a bonus as well because I get cold on the plane. Same goes for handbags; I pack a casual crossbody and then a nicer one for outings. If I have 1 bag that can do both, even better!
7) Don't forget those basics! You can never have enough basics on your trip. I personally pull all my basics out and build outfits around them. OR I pull my current go-to pieces that still work for where I'm going and build outfits around them.
8) Going somewhere warm? Save space by packing only dresses and rompers! This has been a lifesaver for me! Not only is it a space saver because you aren't packing pants, tanks, etc. it's just 1 piece, but it comes in handy because most dresses can be dressed down AND up! I'm sure you have looked at a dress that's more casual and thought to yourself, "This is too casual". It may be true on some, but most of the time I just change out the shoe, switch my crossbody handbag to a clutch, and then throw on some nice jewelry. Viola! You got 2 outfits in 1!
9) Look at the culture you're visiting. This is more of a safety thing than anything when you think about it - You don't want to stick out like a sore thumb so make sure to research what people typically wear in that location. Ex: When I go to Miami, it's a little more dressy and trendy than here in MN. I break out all my clothes that have that Miami look and bring it. Why? Because I'll look more like a local than a tourist which can be a major flag for pick-pocketers, etc. This is especially true for Europe! If you're visiting a country, definitely make sure to research their dress. It can be culturally disrespectful if you wear something you're used to wearing here in the States as well.
10) Lastly, roll up your clothes when packing, don't fold! Notice in my Reel (link above) that I was rolling my dresses and other clothes; such a space saver!
Well everyone, that's all we have for you! If you want Sarah to help you curate outfits for your trip and/or physically pack for you, reach out via my Contact box on my website: MHstyleconsultants.com
**excuse the mess on Pinterest, we're currently revamping it to help all of you 😉
And of course, don't forget to visit the rest of my blog posts!
Until next time,
-Melissa (& Sarah)