Life takes turns in directions you might not expect and that’s exactly what happened in my life. I had never ever even dreamed of the life I have been living for the past two years.
Since we – me and my husband – decided to get married, my traveling started… Of course, most of us travel, go on holidays and explore new places, but this was different.
My parents gave me the wings to fly; however, my husband extended those and we flew all over the globe.
My packing and unpacking “adventure” started with my wedding shopping: a few trips to India and one to the States. This was followed by our honeymoon trip and then the move to NYC. As if that wasn’t enough, we decided to travel within America every time we got the opportunity!
We used to travel back to the Netherlands quite often as well, and then our adventures in Asia, a year later, included traveling every month to new destinations 🙂
“Lucky couple,” you might think. Indeed, I feel super blessed and extremely grateful for the life we have been living! We love everything about it.
With all the good things, on the other hand, there are always the less appreciated aspects. For me, it definitely was packing.
I have always loved packing bags, until my life consisted of packing and unpacking so much that I started hating it – LOL!
But then again, if u want to go places, you need your stuff. Now, I have this love-hate relationship with packing. While I love dressing up and changing outfits multiple times a day, I hate spending hours to gather and pack everything…
Anyways! Due to a lot of practice, I have put together some excellent packing tips for you, which will make packing a piece of cake and a lot of FUN! 🙂
Start On Time!
This is the most important element when it comes to packing. If you want it to be fun and not stressful, start on time! Starting on time also gives you leeway for unexpected events: as you have plenty of time, you don’t have to get nervous if something comes in the way.
I think it’s very helpful if you do some research about the destination. Not only the weather, but also the activities you will be doing and the surroundings you will be in, such as: is it a colorful city, beaches, etc.
Your destination is, of course, the base of successful packing. Also, consider which restaurants/parties you might visit/attend as there might be a dress code.
Once you know the activities and surroundings, you can start making mood boards. Now, mood boards simply a day to day focus. Meaning, that you will decide, based on your activities, what you will be wearing and which colors will look best.
This is what I love doing. For example, if you are planning a beach holiday, then whites are something that will look stunning due to the beautiful clear blue sea-water! Pictures will be much more attractive 🙂
If you are doing a city trip, then comfi jeans and tops are a must, with nice cardigans to cover yourself when it perhaps becomes chilly in the evenings.
I know, most of us would love to buy new outfits for the holiday 🙂 But try to re-use some pieces for the more “regular” days, such as sightseeing days, when it’s all about comfort. However, you can buy accessories to give the outfit a different appearance.
I mostly by new pieces for days that are more special and/or I will take lots of pictures. For example, I bought a new dress for our wedding anniversary dinner at Peninsula Hong Kong.
Also, in Los Angeles when we visited all the beautiful land-marks, as I knew I would take many pictures. 🙂
New pieces to complete.
The easy way is of course to buy completely new outfits. You don’t have to unnecessarily spend, but spend it smartly! As said before, you can combine old with new.
Our Pacific Coast trip from LA to San Francisco was a long drive in which we would stop in cute villages and popular spots. I wore a new dress with an old hoody, both comfortable for the drive, however also appropriate for pictures and eating joints.
You can also buy new pieces, such as accessories, to make your outfit look fresh. I often do that, I re-use my outfit, but then add new accessories to make it fun and different 🙂
Lists, lists and more lists!
Personally, I prefer making a day to day plan for the holidays, so I know exactly when I will be where and then, I can decide what to wear when.
Therefore, it’s time to make a list. I make a list with all the things I need to carry with me, but also a list with the things I still have to buy. Once everything is complete, I put everything together.
For example, everything I need for day one, clothes, shoes, accessories etc. Sometimes, I also decide on how I want my hair & make-up.
If you write everything down, you will 1. Never forget something, 2. You know exactly what to wear and when – no confusion, 3. You won’t carry unnecessary stuff with you and 4. When packing for your return, you won’t miss out on stuff, as you exactly know what you came with.
It’s a win – win and win! 🙂
Less Space More Clothes!
Eventually, when you have everything sorted and all outfits ready to be packed, the next step is to actually pack it. Now, let’s be honest, our toilet-kit/ make-up kit can’t be compacter than that they probably already are. So first off all keep space free for that, and the remaining space is what has to be used wisely!
My trick is to roll all the clothes, instead of just folding them. One benefit of doing it this way is that you can pack more clothes, as rolling saves space. Also, your clothes will remain wrinkle-free, as rolling prevents harsh folding-lines in your clothes.
Miniatures Are My Besties!
Don’t bother to take a full-size shampoo and conditioner bottle. Get their miniatures, or make miniatures by buying smaller (plastic) containers. It will save you so much space and frustration. It’s easier, and on you way back you can just throw it away!
Moreover, try to avoid packaging as much as possible. For example, if you want to take with you medicines, take them out of their packaging.
These are little things, but really save you a lot of space at the end 🙂
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