I’ve done an insane amount of traveling in the last few years hat I feel like I’ve finally mastered how to not find yourself in the middle of a random city and find yourself saying “awe shit I wish I had (insert all those things you always forget)”. Recently with work, Europe and more work, I like to think I’ve finally figured this out.
Each trip I started making lists of things I found myself needing, or things that never got used and just took up space. Here are my go to lists for clothing, accessories and musts for when you arrive. These can all be easily adjusted based on the weather too, just try to use your brain, k? K.
Before you pack a thing…
Before you even get started with packing, be sure to check the weather and anticipate your schedule as best as possible. You can make a list of the days you’re traveling along with the temperatures and which outfits or situations you’ll be in each day. This will help outline what you need or don’t need.
Maybe you didn’t realize you need a dressier outfit for one night, and maybe a jacket for this day that is going to be freezing. From there, these are the basics I always stand by to pack with me.
- For bottoms, I like to opt for my favorite go to skinnies, but pack your most favorite jeans or bottoms you always love to wear.
- Tops are always neutral since they can go with anything and I don’t feel obligated wearing one a certain day with a particular jean. White goes with everything, so pack lots of white tops. A mix of basics and dressy tops will keep you covered for any situation.
- Pack one essential jacket or cozy knit cardigan. Keep this neutral as well and make sure it can go with all your looks. Usually, a great leather moto jacket works fine here too.
- Shoes are always at least two pairs. I always pack my go to white sneakers (Converse, or Vejas). Plus, one pair of something else depending on what your activities are. For summer trips, I like a good sandal that’s comfortable, for winter, a Chelsea boot.
- Jewelry should be kept simple. I usually wear any expensive pieces while traveling to make sure they don’t get lost and pack the costume jewelry separately. This is my favorite jewelry case to travel with. Plus, sunglasses that are inexpensive so you won’t be pissed if you lose them.
- And of course, the obvious sleepwear, lingerie and any work out clothing you may want to bring. I personally love to bring at least one workout outfit because you just never know when you may find yourself doing an outdoor activity, or wanting to get a workout in. Plus, it can double as an emergency outfit if you run out of clothing.
- Your travel outfits. I like to wear comfy leggings, tee and any jacket or layer I want to bring with me since it can take up a ton of space.
I like to split up my toiletries into two bags. One for makeup which I use on the daily already at home since it has all my basics in there. And the second, a larger one for all your other necessities. Below are a few unexpected things I have learned to always include in my bag. You’ll thank me later when you get a cut, find a stray hair on your chin or get the shits. Hey, it happens people.
- Tweezers – you never know when you’re going to need a quick pluck or even a splinter.
- First Aid items – Pepto or Immodium, Neosporin (they have tiny packets now, Alka Seltzer (to cure hangovers) and Advil. Bring any of your normal
dayto day vitamins, allergy meds and so on. Staying in your routine is important while traveling so you don’t throw your immune system off and get sick.
- Sunscreen – I wish I had this when I was on Mt. Hood at 16 and getting burnt to a crisp. Yes on a mountain, in a snowsuit, while snowboarding. You can get burnt anywhere.
- Kleenex – Because picking your nose on the plane and not having a tissue just sucks.
- Nail File and small nail clippers – You know you wish you thought of this one.
Outside of these always bring your usual suspects; shampoo/conditioner, body wash, face wash, makeup remover, lotion and hair products. Q-tips, cotton balls and whatever else you use every day. I like to go through my morning routine when I’m packing and make sure everything I’m using is getting thrown in this bag to
Once this bag is perfectly packed, I like to KEEP IT AS IS. A permanent toiletry bag will help keep your life in order. When it’s always ready to go (and replenished, don’t forget to do that when you return home!), you’ll never forget a thing again.
Other Essentials And Tips
A few other tips and essentials for when you’re traveling. From the things I always pack, to the duffle I swear by for lugging home all the goodies.
- Any weather-related items. Always check the weather right before you go and if it’s going to rain, bring the rainboots, an umbrella and a light rainjacket. Whatever the weather is, just make sure you have any essentails for it so you aren’t scrambling to purchase things when you arrive.
- A lightweight crossbody purse is ideal. Ditch your big Mary Poppins bag, your back will thank you.
- Trade-in your bulky heavy wallet for a little one of these to hold your essentials. You don’t need your coupons, coins, West Elm store card or any of those other things on your trip.
- A great book/kindle and headphones
- Chargers, cameras, etc.
- Snacks – I like to refrain from eating crap at the airport. It’s easy to get off track the second your trip starts by devouring a donut last minute before you board. But pack some granola bars, protein bars and whatever else you think may be delicious to have on hand. This has saved me from having a “Snickers” moment while on the road with friends or co-workers and definitely some calories.
- Water bottle – I like to try to drink as much water as possible when I travel. It helps to fight jet lag, bloat and keeps you feeling good. Bring a reusable water bottle if you can.
- A backpack for your small purse, snacks and anything that didn’t fit into your suitcase. It just makes traveling so much easier to rock a backpack. Handsfree and so convenient. This is my favorite backpack to travel with.
- A packable duffle if you’re traveling somewhere that you may want to bring home lots of goodies. I love this one!
- As soon as I get to my destination, I like to scope out the neighborhood and find the closest drug store or grocery store. Buying a big bottle of water helps me stay hydrated (especially if you didn’t have room for your bottle in your carryon) and keeps me from dying of thirst and grabbing the $5 Fiji water at the hotel minibar. I also may buy a few pieces of fruit to have on hand in the room as well.
All of these tips should help ensure you have a smooth trip and help make getting dressed and ready in the morning easier.
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