10 Packing and Traveling Tips Every Woman Should Know
Admittedly, I haven’t always been the best at packing light. Leaving my favorite jeans or my cute new shoes in the closet while I’m out having an adventure feels like abandoning a friend. But, over the years. I’ve realized that I value being able to zip through the airport and saving on baggage fees more that I value having that extra top or that fourth tube of lipstick. For making the most of your luggage, and maybe even getting it all into your carryon, these are the airplane travel tips every woman should know. Trust me, I’ve learned most of them the hard way.
1. Start with a list
Spontaneity when traveling can be magical, except when it comes to packing. Packing without a plan usually means throwing in way too many things (and forgetting some important ones.) Instead, start by jotting down a detailed list of everything you need. Keep your planned activities and the weather in mind to ensure you are dressed appropriately for your journey. Now, here’s the hard part… stick to the list and avoid tossing in loads of last-minute extras.
2. Stick to a color scheme
Rather than packing a rainbow of clothing that you’ll wear once, stick to a single color scheme for your trip. Select a neutral shade and one or two colors and create a capsule wardrobe of versatile items. Then, mix and match items to create more outfits from fewer pieces.
3. Love your LBD
Your go-to little black dress is a travel pro. If your itinerary includes several upscale dinners or other swanky events, skip packing the stack of skirts and dresses. Instead, grab an LBD that you can wear several times. Keep your look fresh by switching accessories and lightweight scarves.
4. Roll it up
Folding and stacking clothing takes up loads of room in your suitcase and can lead to rumpled looks. Tightly rolling clothing takes up less room and helps them arrive wrinkle-free.
5. Don’t buy new shoes
Wait… what? This is the one and only time I will ever advise against buying shoes. Exploring a new place is not the time to break in new footwear. Blisters and aches can spoil any trip, so stick to a tried-and-true pair. Packing your most comfortable shoes that you can walk comfortably in day after day means you can save space by packing fewer pairs.
6. Pack disposable bags
Slipping a few disposable bags into your luggage takes up no room, but can add plenty of convenience throughout your trip. Use them to separate dirty laundry from your clean clothes, hold wet swimsuits or towels, or stow muddy shoes,
7. Cushion your cosmetics
To ensure I look Instagram-worthy away from home, I travel with my favorite cosmetics. But, some of my messiest travel disasters have involved broken makeup. I hate opening my makeup bag to find cracked and crumbled eyeshadows, bronzers or powders. To cushion cosmetics and prevent breaking, place a cotton square between the product and the lid. Whether it’s in my handbag or my checked luggage, this easy travel hack keeps my cosmetic bag tidy saves me from spending time hunting down my favorite makeup in an unfamiliar city.
8. Plan for souvenirs
I’ve never come home from a trip without a little treat for myself. I know when I’m in Ireland I’ll want a new wool sweater and I always pick up a new sarong in the Caribbean. Since I know I’ll do a little shopping, I plan ahead and leave space for my purchases before I leave home. Knowing I’ll be bringing home something fun motivates me to pack light.
9. Master the backpack carry-on
While the rolling suitcase is the hands-down winner for a checked bag, you have lots of options for a carry-on bag. A durable backpack makes a practical carry-on bag that will see as much use during your trip as it does on travel days. A backpack lets you navigate the airport hands free and is perfect for stowing snacks while site seeing. Grab one in a unisex color and everyone in the party can take a turn hauling it.
10. Pack what you love
If you’ve done any research on travel hacks or read any other lists of packing light tips, you’ve probably seen advice to not pack heavy jeans or bulky sweaters. I’m going to tell you the opposite. If you love it, if it makes you feel fabulous and it’s appropriate for the trip, then take it. I live in jeans, and an oversized straw hat is a must for a summer getaway. They are bulky and difficult to pack, but they work for me. There are plenty of ways to pack light, so pick the strategies that work best for you without sacrificing something you love.