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After somewhere around my 18th business trip, I decided to only fly with carry-ons. Not only is baggage claim obnoxious, but you’re at the airline’s mercy as to whether or not they feel like transporting your stuff efficiently. I won’t name names, Delta, but burn me three times, and I’m over your airline’s checked bag procedure. Hence, I’ve become quite skilled, if I do say so myself, at the art of jam-packing 5+ days of outfits, accessories, and products into approved carry-on luggage.
These packing tips don’t just apply to air travel either. Any efficient wanderer, whether it be by plane, car, train, or foot, can follow these easy and jetsetter-approved packing tips.
Undergarments really are everything. I will never, under any circumstances, leave town without my convertible Maddie Multi-Way pushup strapless nude bra from Aerie. It goes with everything, aside from garments which require a commando approach, and you can use the Aerie Bra Size and Fitting Guide to make sure you’re picking the absolute best style for you. The guide asks you a series of questions and leads you to one of four core categories with endless color and style possibilities. Just please don’t be that girl who wears an over-sized black push-up with a white sundress. Tack-y.
Also, please pack extra underwear and socks. Yes, typically laundry services are available, but I’ll never understand those people coughmybrotherscough who pack 2 pairs of underwear for a 14-day vacation. That’s just gross.
Wear your most cumbersome articles to the airport. This allows you to avoid having to cram them into a suitcase, and you can look fabulous while exploring your inner nomad. Especially since airports and train stations are typically cooler anyways, always wear your heaviest jacket to the airport. Particularly in the fall and winter months, I’ll travel in my peacoat and high knee boots, since they require a separate suitcase all on their own.
It’s just been proven from all sorts of fancy pants traveling studies: rolling clothes is more efficient and just better than folding them. Not only will you save and maximize your luggage space, but your clothes are less likely to wrinkle if you rolled tightly enough.
Always tote your makeup and toiletries in your purse. You never know when you’ll need them, and there is no more disgusting of a place to unload your suitcase than the airport bathroom. Plus, avoid those last minute grocery runs at all cost when your checked luggage inevitably gets lost in Delta’s shuffle.
Invest in travel-sized toiletries. Yes, I’ll admit I thought I was clever enough to allude the TSA and their silly size restrictions with my surreptitiously hidden full-sized products… at least up until half my toiletries were confiscated before my business trip to Denver.
The truth is that the size restrictions do have some validity, although whatever it is I’m not sure, and most products can be purchased in travel-sized containers for just around $1. They save space, and you can simply store for your next trip or throw them away when you’re done.
Always bring nonperishable snacks with you. From airport waiting to long flights to painful bus rides, you never know when you’ll have an opportunity to eat something that isn’t fast food. For me, deviating from my diet is out of the question right now, so I always carry nuts, organic fruit strips, and power bars like a mom boss.
Plus, if you’re hypoglycemic with a ton of stomach issues like me (yay us), this is just a general every day life tip, as well. Carrying snacks is great for curbing insatiable hunger and providing small kicks of energy throughout the day.
Pack the essentials: nude strapless bra, dark jeans, black pants, blazer, classic pearls, nude heels, sandals, swimsuit. Bringing multi-functional garments is imperative for diligent packers. A hot pink top with purple flowers may possibly look cute with jean shorts, although it’s doubtful, but odds are it’s not versatile enough to pair with any other article of clothing you brought. If you stick to the essentials, you can literally create new outfits on the spot, since all classic items work well together.
I included this tip from experience. Always pack an extra quasi-formal outfit, just in case. It doesn’t need to be black tie, but I always aim for an emergency business casual dress. Specifically for work trips, you never want to be the casual standout at a formal dinner. It’s not professional, and there’s little chance you’ll feel like networking when you’re rocking jeans and sandals and your cohorts are in stockings and heels. Yes, impromptu shopping is usually an option, but not when you’re on a tight agenda without available transportation.
Pack the night before. Make a checklist, stick to it, and remember to pack your early morning essentials, as well. I get made fun of all the time for my anal list making, but low and behold, I have yet to forget underwear or my toothbrush on a trip. Who’s laughing now?
Research your travel arrangement accommodations, and don’t pack what’s already in your room. Most of the time, hotels provide blow dryers, shower caps, ironing boards, robes, shampoo, conditioner lotion, etc. If you don’t have crazy processed hair like me, avoid the TSA bottle confiscation nightmare and just use the hotel’s.
What are some of your best packing tips? Please feel free to share in the comments! It’s been a busy few weeks, but I’m so glad to come back home to my favorite pastime… blogging! It’s good to be back 🙂