I’m a total over packer – always have been. It’s a family joke that bring everything I own when I travel (I don’t, I promise). As I’ve gotten older though, it’s gone from “NO I DO NOT!” to “Yes, I definitely do, please don’t comment about it.” LOL. At least I’ve come to realize that I over pack every. single. time.
I even tell myself before I start – “Suzanna, you probably don’t need 15 outfits and 4 pairs of shoes for 2 nights.” But it still happens somehow. I should give myself a little credit and say that since Cody and I started dating, I have gotten significantly better. The problem, is that I can pack a suitcase like nobody’s business, so it doesn’t seem like I have that much. But come time to lift it into the car, and I can barely wheel it down the hallway, or we get to the airport and I’m 12 lbs over the weight limit… well, that’s when it becomes obvious.
I’ve learned a few tricks over the past couple of years that have led to a serious compromise when packing for trips! Cody is happy with the amount of stuff I bring, and my over packing tendencies are still satisfied. I know I’m not the only one with this problem, so I knew I had to share!
Pick the right weekender bag – This may seem silly, but trust me, it works! Cody likes traveling light (he can pack a week’s worth of stuff in a Jansport backpack – that kind of light). Since that doesn’t really work for me, a weekend bag is the perfect compromise between a backpack and a small suitcase. (Even though they’re practically the same thing, just without wheels. Shhh!) There are different size weekender bags. I picked one that’s on the much larger side. That way, I still feel awesome for shoving all my stuff into one bag, but I have a bit more space.
Downsize everything – Shampoo? Get a travel size. Deodorant and toothpaste? Travel size. It doesn’t seem like it at first, but you would be surprised with how much room travel sized toiletries can save! You also don’t need to bring your entire cabinet of makeup. Pick your daily essentials (the minimum you can get away with for a weekend) and take them in a smaller travel sized makeup bag.
Soft cosmetics/toiletries bags – You definitely don’t need to take your cute structured makeup bag with you. Pick up a tiny toiletry/makeup bag that can be bent, squished, and smooshed in small places so you can save as much room as possible!
Mix and match clothes – This is my biggest and best tip. Bring clothing items that you can mix and match. If you’re going for two days, bring one pair of jeans (wear these the day of to save room) and one other versatile bottom, a light cardigan, a heavier jacket, and three tops – one tee, one blouse (in case you need to dress up a little), and one “I feel awesome in this always” kind of top. With those, you can make a good 5 or 6+ outfits, which means you’ll never have to worry about waking up and not wanting to wear the outfit you brought for that day. Because let’s be real, that happens to all of us. Make sure if you bring patterns, they can all mix and match, or this tactic won’t work very well. I also usually bring the shoes I’m wearing the day of travel (usually tennis shoes), one other pair in my bag (something a little less boring than tennis shoes), and yoga pants to double as pj’s or an “I woke up and hate everything so I’m not wearing real pants today” outfit!
There you have it! My tips and secrets to packing for a weekend getaway (or quick trip)!
I love a good weekend bag. I didn’t own one until a few weeks ago, but I had always wanted one. They’re so easy for a quick trip! With as much traveling as we’ve been doing in the past couple of months, I knew it was about time we picked one up! The bag above is from Urban Outfitters. I snagged it on major sale about a month ago before heading to Florida (and it’s actually HUGE). Sadly, they no longer have them, but I’ve linked a few others I’m loving below!
What are your best tips for packing light? I definitely need them!