Who doesn’t need a road trip every now and then? The hardest part for me isn’t planning the trip it’s packing for the trip. I’m just going to be upfront and say — Hi, my name is Shavonne and I’m an over packer. If they don’t have 12 steps for this they should.
I could lie and say I can’t help it, but that’s not entirely the truth. There was that one time I brought one bag on a trip. Mostly I always take more than I need. I hate that feeling of getting to my destination and wishing I had a certain pair of heels or a dress.
Over the years I’ve traveled to Bermuda, the Bahamas, St. Kitts, Puerto Rico, Honduras and on may other day trips and family vacations to almost have it down pat. Along the way I’ve tried to streamline the process and pack smart.
Here are my go-to tips for packing smart:
- Fun-sized. I get as many mini items as I can, which include travel sized toothpaste, lotion, shower gel, mouthwash, etc. Travel products take up less space and less space means an extra pair of shoes.
- Skincare. I try to scale down my routine while on a trip by placing cleansers, lotions and other items in travel sized bottles or not taking every single product. If I can get away with facial wipes or a toner instead of my cleanser then I pack those instead.
- Dual products. If I pack makeup then I only pack the essentials and sometimes those are items that serve a dual purpose. You’d be surprised how well a neutral brick-colored blush can be used as eyeshadow in a pinch. While on my honeymoon I forgot to pack my eye shadows and all I had was blush. I wore it like a rock star and it looked fine.
- Color scheme. On longer trips like cruises I plan my outfits and choose clothes that mix and match well, or are usually in the same color family. I also wear jeans and sneakers or boots, which are heavier and take up more space, to my destination so I don’t have to pack them. I also roll up my clothes instead of folding them because it reduces wrinkles and is a space saver. I learned the rolling trick from my 7th grade science teacher while on a trip to Bermuda to study coral reef.
- Reading. While on a trip I’ll either take my current favorite magazine, book or my tablet so I can visit my favorite blogs, watch Youtube videos or watch Netflix.
- Dirty bag. No matter how short or long my trip, I always have a dirty bag. It can be a laundry bag or a grocery bag, but once I’ve worn the clothes then the dirty items go inside, separate of the clean clothes.
- Accessories. I stick to a single necklace or two that can be worn with most of my outfits and a pair of studs, pearls or hoop earrings. If I pack bracelets then the stretchy kind are the easiest to pack and take up less space.
- Hair care. I don’t use a curling iron and actually haven’t in years. I may occasionally travel with a flat iron, but mostly it’s hair oil, brush, comb and a head scarf for bedtime. On longer trips I’ll travel with sample packs of shampoo and conditioner or travel sized.
These items are always in my suitcase — cotton rounds, Q-tips, facial wipes or baby wipes, nail clippers, nail file, brown sandals, T-shirt and pajama bottoms, toothbrush, toothpaste, sweater or hoodie.