In the last few years I’m proud to say that I have become sort of a big deal when it comes to how to pack light.
I can go away for a week, include both business and pleasure, have cute clothing and shoes for every occasion, and not need to check a single bag.
I have perfected my overall wardrobe quite a bit –my style is more intentional and refined so I generally know what I will wear for most engagements. I don’t need to travel with a lot of “what if” items.
But mostly, it’s my cheapness. And my tennis elbow.
I hate the idea of wasting my earmarked-for-shoes money on checked baggage. And also, my arm hurts. Like always. And I can’t carry heavy things like I used to.
There was a time in my life though, when I could for real carry all of the groceries into the house by myself.
In one trip.
DudeDad would call me Popeye. I’d do the running man on my front walk and flex my lady guns for all of my neighbors to see. Maybe hit a few body builder poses.
The guns are still there (don’t get it twisted, I’m like Serena up in here), but the weakness in my elbow means that I am all looking like a tennis star and no action. Please don’t try to fight me, I will hurt myself trying to hurt you.
Anyway, it has combined with my overall cheapness and my ability to construct a more intentional outfit and led to a serious downsizing in my travel accoutrements.
Because I really can’t be this girl anymore…
I now completely bypass the checked luggage thing and rock one “personal item” and a roller bag small enough for the overhead compartments (that I smile nicely at a dude seated nearby to help me with. Because, my elbow!).
So, how do I fit it all in?
For starters, I keep my cosmetics bag close to packed all the time (I use different things at home) for ease and quickness (I also never spend more than 30 minutes prepping for a trip)…
Everything in the photo fits.
I’ve come a long way from my I-need-two-roller-bags-and-a-duffle-for-a-weekend lifestyle!
As we enter the holiday season and traveling ramps up for many, here are some easy how to pack light tips to save your back and your wallet.
How to Pack Light: Tips for the Stylish Traveler
1. Get good luggage.
I know it’s expensive, but it’s also worth it. A bag with strong wheels, good zippers, and an organized internal structure makes packing well easier. Plus, being the chick with the duct taped suitcase sliding down the bag return shoot is dramatically uncool.
2. Buy travel size.
You don’t have to waste money buying new products every time you travel, I get it frugal ladies, that’s a no go. But, i say buy them once, or at least some of those containers from the $1 section and then refill those bad boys as you go. That way, your Costco size lotion isn’t weighing you down or costing you cash when you have to check your bag.
3. Know the law.
Airlines restrict liquids. Everyone knows that. But, remembering how much is allowed is the problem. They allow 3.4oz per item and everything has to fit inside of a quart sized bag. That’s small guys. 3.4 ounces is not a lot of ounces. For reference, the one on the left is 4.6oz, the one on the right is 3. So, something in between is what’s right for travel…
Personally, I know that I need more shoes than pants when I travel. It is a fact of my life that I a comfortable with. I also need my laptop, my iPad, jewelry, and makeup. I have mix and match travel outfits to help me waste less space on clothing.
I am a pro at packing now so I can do it, start to finish, in under 30 minutes (provided everything is clean). I do still plan my outfits though. From undergarments to bracelet, I lay out everything I am going to wear in my mind and then in my bags. It helps me ensure that I don’t forget anything and that every day winds up fly with only the necessities. I never take more of anything than I need because I have styled each day in advance.
*Disclosure: Today’s post is sponsored by Clarisonic via my partnership with Type A Parent. All packing tips, sore elbows, and opinions are my own.