Packing …And Packing …. And Packing

Packing. For some, this is a great word that says an adventure is only a few hours or days away…… or it’s a dreaded word that just at the mention  of the “p” word you immediately start wanting to pull your hair out!


This was me about four years ago. I was a freshmen in high school, and my parents and I were going to take an extended trip that year around April, in the New England area for a whole month. Yes, a whole month. 

Being me, and always being an over-packer (with some to spare even then) I immediately wondered how I was ever going to pack for such an excursion.

Now for trips such as that I think its logical to pack a fair amount of clothing, but this post will deal with shorter trips, think weekend and week long trips for this post.

Begin with what you’ll travel out in. 

For some people this is anywhere from shorts, baggy sweats to a comfortable pair of slacks. I tend to dress somewhat nice even when traveling because I prefer to blend in with my surroundings and not look so much like a tourist.

For me, this includes bottoms such as black yoga capris, dark-washed slim jeans or a casual chic skort. I usually wear tops like a nice “dressy” tee with the jeans and skort and an active top with the yoga capris.

Looking polished while traveling also helps boost your mood, I’ve learned.

Normally I’m a sucker for the yoga capris and active top and some nice tennies, but for trips to places like Charleston, SC or NYC I’ll opt for the jeans with a smart top and some nice slides.

Stick With The Basics

I have a couple staples I’ve learned to always bring, whether I truly think they will be needed or not.

  1. Tank tops – I always bring one in black, white and brown and sometimes throw one in that has a pop of color to it, like mint. Even in the winter.
  2. Hoodies…Two Of Them – I’ve learned to bring a “dressy” hoodie and a chill hoodie. Weather summer or winter, they are always needed.
  3. At Least One Dress – Just because. Or date night. Or a restaurant that requires it. Or just because you feel good. And maybe you’re in Paris.
  4. Denim Jacket – A classic staple perfect for cool nights or hot days, great for dressing up or down.
  5. Neutral Flats – Flats go with anything. Anything. 
  6. A Hat (Straw/Fedora) – Perfect for any day and a quick chic way to add some pizzazz to any outfit. Depending on the time of year depicts weather you’ll need straw or something like a felted fedora.
  7. A Small Satchel – In a neutral (or subdued, or bright) a smaller bag is easier to carry around and less of a target.
  8. Some Chill Clothes – Always good to have, because you won’t always be out.
  9. A Complete Nice Outfit – I started this rule about a year back, because it never fails that for some reason I’m in need of a “nice” outfit for something such as a party or a restaurant where it is required.
  10. Some Walking Shoes – No, you may not like your tennies, but I can guarantee you will probably need them more than you would care to admit on a trip. Remember there are options such as Nike that put out more fashion-forward tennis shoes, as well as other brands that offer fashionable alternatives. Sometimes I will bring a pair of my favorite Sperry Top Sider slip-on’s, a classy and chic walking shoe that is oh so comfortable and a little more wearable with certain outfits than regular tennies.
  11. Rain Jacket – You can’t dictate the weather, but you can be ready for anything in a chic rain jacket or trench coat.

Remember You Can Wash Clothes 

A mistake I repeatedly made early on was over-packing because I didn’t take into account that I could wash clothes while away. This will help minimize the need to pack everything you own so you’ll have fresh clean clothes.

Sleepwear Is Important 

Another mistake I made was virtually packing everything but something to sleep in. This caused a lot of problems, such as tee shirts I intended to wear the next day getting all wrinkled and such.   I would suggest bringing two sleepwear assembles, you’ll feel fresher and more energized, especially on a week-long adventure!

The Real Point 

The point is don’t over-do it, and pack items that can do double-duty. Triple duty is even better. Keeping items mostly neutral with a few pops of color is good advice to go by, and keeps what you pack down to manageable numbers.

Dont mindlessly pack, either. Have a plan or at least a strong inclination that an item will be used hopefully more than once. If the weather isn’t too predictable, pack things where you can layer if need be.

Packing dosent have to be the evil thing that robs you of your joy when planning a vacation, and only does when you let it. So take these tips and get to packing!


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