Today I thought I’d share something a little different than my typical recipe of the day. As you know, I’m getting ready to travel to Europe this weekend (depending on when you read this post) and I thought you guys might be interested in some of my packing tips. You know what? Even though I’ve traveled a lot this year it’s been a few months now and I’ve realized I’m pretty rusty at packing. That’s why I made a packing checklist to print out and check off as I gather my stuff. I’m also sharing a FREE download PDF version down at the bottom so be sure to get it if you’re planning a trip anytime soon. Actually, I couldn’t decide which version to share so I have a black and white one that’s more printer friendly and a color one that’s just more eye-appealing!
Okay, but before we get to that I wanted to share some of my top tips when I’m packing. Also, I played model for some example photos to help demonstrate some of my tips!
1. Make Sure You Have Quality Luggage:
This is my first tip because after making so many different trips to and from South America over the last few years I can definitely tell you you’ll want to be positive your things are secure for handling. When luggage is being loaded and unloaded it’s not a good idea to put too much trust in your airline handlers. The truth is that most of them don’t get paid enough to care about your stuff.
2. MIX & MATCH CLOTHING (ESPECIALLY IF YOU’RE WANTING TO PACK LIGHT):
One of my favorite ways to pack is to take staple pieces that you can mix and match so that you don’t have to have so many pieces altogether. For example, on this trip I’m taking just a few basic camis, sweaters, jackets, and tops that I know will go well with each other. For dressing in the autumn I find it so much easier to put things together when I don’t have too many patterns and different colors going on. Of course, this is just part of my personal style anyway but I thought it a good tip to mention. Besides, for everyday occasions, once you’re layered in your favorite coats or jackets it won’t matter much what’s underneath as no one will be seeing it. (Oh, and how do you feel about purple pants? I thought I was a hater and then I somehow picked some out for my trip. Go figure.)
Now this one sort of goes with number 2 but, layers my friends, they’re a must in the Autumn! As a North Idaho girl of a few Winters I can personally vouch for how an extra layer of thermals can be a life-saver. While I’m probably not going to need a large amount of layers for this trip based on the locations I’m going to, I know there are many times I’ve wished I had them. Plus, they can double as active wear if you have some thin, but cute leggings.
4. CHECK WEATHER SO YOU CAN PLAN AHEAD:
Like I said, I’m not going to worry too much about low temps because I’ve looked up weather and know what to expect (even though we have all had occasions where we curse the horrible weather man for his lies!) But even so, I have some frame of reference and that helps to know what to wear. So yeah, be sure to find out what kind of temperatures and conditions you might need to expect. Take advantage of the wonderful modern day technology, guys.
5. COMFORTABLE SHOES:
I can’t stress enough how much I recommend comfy footwear. It doesn’t matter how amazing the scenery or how Instagram-worthy the views, if your feet are screaming at you from being pinched you won’t be able to care. I know it can be tempting to prioritize fashion above practicality (Trust me, I had to ask my sister to pry the “perfect” pair of 5-inch high heels out of my hands on our last shopping trip so I didn’t bring them home and try to pack them.) Stick to trustworthy shoes and you’ll thank me later.
6. DOWNLOAD THINGS AND BRING ENTERTAINMENT:
I have an 11-hour flight in a matter of hours from posting this post and it’s going to probably kill me (I hate sitting still for too long) so I for sure will be bringin’ it on the distractions. It can be anything from music, movies, books, games, even crochet hook and a skien of yarn. I used to crochet all the time by the way, did I ever tell you that? Haha, yep I’m pretty much an old lady in a 21-year-old’s body.
7. DON’T FORGET SNACKS!!!!:
Haha, um have you guys met me? Yeah, immma need some food to take. Now recently I’ve been focusing on getting enough protein and I find it’s probably one of the hardest things to balance when it comes to travel food. Airplane food is disgusting unless your a movie star on a private jet, in which case you probably don’t even pack your own clothes and wouldn’t be reading this so that doesn’t even apply.
8. GO EASY ON THE MAKE-UP:
So this one obviously only applies for the girls, but it’s something I try to keep in mind when packing. Make-up doesn’t need to be a major weight in your luggage, gals. Think, less is more. Now I’m not a beauty guru or anything so maybe you’re think that’s easy for me to say, but honestly, if you can keep your makeup bag to a minimum it not only helps keep packing light but makes your daily get-ready routine faster and easier.
9. CLEAN BEFORE YOU LEAVE:
this one has less to do with packing and more to do with planning but I think it’s important. No matter where you’re going or for how long, don’t forget about the house. I hate coming home to a mess, especially after a great trip. To have to not only return to daily life after all the hype, but also to have to start by changing your sheets or finding science project foods in the fridge. Ain’t nobody got time fo dat! So be sure to check the kitchen for perishables, make sure you’re not leaving laundry or dirty dishes, change your sheets, and just generally straighten things up. It’s a really good practice that will make coming back home so much more pleasant.
10. MAKE A CHECKLIST OR DOWNLOAD THIS FREE ONE:
I always like to have something to help me keep track of what I need to bring, plus I’m a list-o-holic. Writing it down somehow helps to mentally stay calm. I’ve made a PDF list of everything I could think of that you might need. There’s a black and white version and the color version so be sure to download it and print it out.
Use a plastic bag or two to pack shoes and stuff and then on you’re return trip you can use them for laundry: I’m kind of a germ freak when it comes to putting my shoes on my clean clothes so I almost always use a few grocery bags or even small trash bags to help keep them separate.