Monday, July 8, 2013

How To: Pack for a Long Vacation


Hi there!  So, I'm headed on a long, five-week vacation to a very hot place.  But don't fret!  I will still be posting regularly (every week day, so 25 posts!) during my vacation.  Anyway, then, my parents told me something that left my jaw on the ground - according to the airlines, I could only bring one suitcase, which I had to share.  And then they told me that there was a weight limit.  What?!

That feeling of disbelief and panic pretty much inspired this post.  Today, I'm going to share with you my tips on how to pack light - without sacrificing your style - for a long vacation.  I'll also be doing a post on my summer vacation packing essentials soon, as well if you're interested.  Enjoy!
  • Make a checklist of things that you need.  It might sound kind of lame to make a checklist, but it will help to make sure that you bring all the things you need and don't overpack.
  • Roll your clothes.  This makes it so you have more room in your suitcase to put pack more things, which is always a plus.
  • Whatever you do, don't pack at the last minute.  Of course, if you booked your trip at the last minute, there really isn't anything you can do about it, but if you have a lot of time, it's good to start packing a week or two before your trip so that you have multiple days to pack, just in case you forgot something.
  • Know where you're going, what you're going to do there, and how long you're staying.  It's incredibly important to know your itinerary and the type of activities that you're going to be doing in order to pack properly for it because you wouldn't want to wear shorts and flip flops to a five-star restaurant.  At least I wouldn't.
  • Make a list of what you think you'll need.  Add to this list if you find that you forgot some of the things I will mention down below that you know that you'll need.
  • Keeping in my what you're going to be doing, pack versatile pieces.  Since you're heading on a long vacation and the point of this post is packing light and under a certain limit, I wouldn't suggest bringing along pieces that you can't wear in at least two or three ways unless they're for a special occasion.  Having a fancy sequined cocktail dress or whatever (that can be dressed down with a slouchy tee) is completely fine, but don't bring along clothing that you know just isn't practical or that wearable.
  • Plan your outfits.  I know that planning all your outfits for a long vacation is exhausting, but it's worth trying to plan at least half of them, or go through what items can be paired with which, etc.  This is so after you do your laundry (or while your clothes are still in the laundry and you need to go somewhere and put together a nice outfit asap), you know how to work with whatever you have.  It's also so you can be careful when picking your outfits so you don't end up with two things that cannot be worn together at all.
  • Don't forget your everyday accessories!  Something that I wear nearly everyday is my menswear-inspired Kenneth Cole watch, so going on vacation, I'll definitely be bringing that along with me.  So look through your jewellery and pack those pieces that you know will go with everything or something  that will brighten up an otherwise dull outfit.  Accessories can definitely make or break an outfit, so don't forget 'em!
  • Shoes, shoes, shoes!  Have you ever seen (or worn) those outfits that look great from head to ankles, but the shoes are just wrong?  A lot of the time when I'm on vacation, I don't pack enough shoes that will go well with my outfits, so I always end up looking a bit... off.  Avoid those awkward outfits by planning your outfits (like I said before) and packing the appropriate shoes to go with them.
  • Don't forget those electronics!  That means your camera, phone, iPod, and the optional laptop along with all the chargers because you wouldn't want to forget those!  It's also really important to keep them safe in their pouches, so once again, (I feel like you guys are going to get tired of hearing me say "don't forget"...) don't forget to bring those along as well.
  • Go through your checklist and see what you missed.  It's incredibly important to remember to pack everything that you'll need because it's not like you can just swing back home to get whatever you forgot once your miles away from home.  Sunscreen (for your body and face), a hairbrush, sunglasses to protect your eyes from the harsh sun rays, a pair of sneakers or comfortable sandals, flip flops for the beach, a tote bag, a handy crossbody bag, makeup, nail polish, your passport, and a good digital camera are amongst the many things that you should probably think about bringing along with you on vacation.
  • After you're "done" packing, don't forget to weigh your suitcase.  Whatever airline you're using probably has a maximum weight that your suitcase can weigh, so don't forget to get out that scale a weigh your suitcase.  There's no point in fitting everything that you need in a suitcase if you can't bring it along with you because it's too heavy.  If your suitcase is too heavy, it's time to prioritise what you have to bring and what's not as much of an essential.  If your suitcase is too light, great, but don't start stuffing whatever you can fit in your suitcase.  Use the space you have carefully.
  • If you're super paranoid, check your list again.  It's usually better to be safe than sorry, so it doesn't hurt to go through your list again to make sure you didn't forget anything.
Are you headed anywhere this summer?  Maybe for a long vacation?  Any other plans for the summer?  Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!
- J

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