Pack It Like A Pro
As some of you know from my first post, I like to travel - usually short mini “escapes” from daily life to go adventure, clear my mind, or get in a quick visit with friends or family. Over the years, I’ve learned to travel without checking any bags. I’ve never had the misfortune of losing luggage, but I’ve definitely had last-minute plan changes which would’ve had my bags going somewhere I was not (yes, changes have been so last minute that I’ve shifted destinations). As a result of my knack for adventure and spontaneity in travel, I’ve learned to pack a week’s worth of clothes into the allotted one carry-on and one personal item, and here’s how I make that happen…
1. Think about what you REALLY need to take with you. For last week’s trip, I needed regular outfits for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I also needed hiking shoes and attire, something dressy for Saturday night dinner / Sunday travel home, and a swimsuit.
2. Think about what you really DON’T need to take with you. I knew I’d be staying with a girlfriend for last week’s adventure, so I was able to instantly eliminate my hair dryer, hair straightener, and curling iron. I also knew she would have the standard body wash, shampoo, and conditioner. Think about all of the space gained by eliminating those six items alone!
3. Lay it ALL out! Grab everything you plan to pack and lay it out on your bed. I organize everything by outfit and day. This gives me a way to mentally and visually check that I have outfits and undergarments for every day as well as PJs and the appropriate undergarments for each outfit. Think about the activities you’ll be doing and adjust or add to what you’ve laid out based on that. *If I hadn’t used this method, I would’ve 100% forgotten my swimsuit and PJs!
4. Roll. It. Up. Literally. I had people suggest this to me for YEARS and thought they were bonkers. How could clothes possibly take up less space rolled vs. folded?!?!?! I still don’t know the answer, but somehow, magically, clothes DEFINITELY take up less space when rolled! I packed two pairs of jeans, yoga pants, hiking capris, four tank tops, one short-sleeved shirt, five days worth of undergarments, socks, sandals, hiking shoes, swimsuit, a cardigan, and a dress - ALL in my carry-on. (Plus make-up and miscellaneous toiletries I knew I needed to bring myself.)
5. Use ALL of the space! My socks, sports bra, and the tank top I wore hiking all fit INSIDE my hiking shoes. I also carefully packed my undies at the top of my hiking shoes, just inside the tongue of each shoe.
6. Choose your “personal item” strategically. Since hiking was part of Saturday’s agenda, my personal item was the backpack I needed for the hike. The cross-body purse I wanted to take fit easily within the backpack so I didn’t have to carry around the backpack all weekend long. Since I was able to fit ALL of my clothes and toiletries in my carry-on, I had plenty of space in the backpack for a sweatshirt, a book, and a couple of snacks to have on-hand while in route to/from my destination.
The result of my packing strategy - I had everything I needed and didn’t have to check any bags. I tend to appreciate this most when I see everyone headed to baggage claim to wait for an hour, while I get to go start my adventure OR head home once all mischief has been managed.
Last week’s travels flew me into Denver, where our head Lady, Jazz, picked me up from the airport for a day at the Denver zoo. Friday night, I met up with a few dear friends I made while living in Chicago. The three of us stayed with another Chicago friend who recently moved to Boulder for work. Saturday, we hiked the Royal Arch. Sunday afternoon, I headed back to St. Louis, but not before running into my DAD at the airport while waiting to board. My step-dad is a pilot and had a two-hour layover between San Francisco and Chicago, so he was nice enough to come say hi to me at my gate and buy me dinner.
Here are a few pics from my three days of shenanigans. Hope the tips, tricks, and pics are helpful and bring a smile to your face!