How To Efficiently Pack for a Week
I love to get away and I prefer to pack light when I do. My family actually teases me that I pack in such small suitcases or backpacks for our trips. I’ll let you in on a few of my tips and secrets so you can pack light, have less to worry about, and get more out of your vacation!
1. Edit your outfits
I pull out all of my favorite tops (blouses, sweaters, tees, tanks), bottoms (skirts, shorts, pants or jeans), cardigans and/or jackets that I think I’d like to wear. Once I see it all out before me, then I start to edit. I start with the bottoms first and determine how many I should bring for the length of my trip. Since we’re packing for a week, for a warm destination I will bring 3 shorts/skirts/dresses, one pair of jeans/pants, and a pair of leggings for the airplane ride and sleepwear. For a cooler destination, I will bring a combination of 3 jeans/pants, maybe a skirt (depending on the destination) and a and a pair of leggings for the airplane ride and sleepwear. I plan to wear the same tunic/dress and leggings outfit on both days on the airplane. I keep all my bottoms more neutral and only bring a few tops so I can wear them with more than one bottom. One cardigan and one jacket complete the list!
2. Roll, don't fold
I tightly roll my my clothing to take up less space than folded ones. This also helps limit creases and wrinkles. When packing for a cold destinations and I have bulkier items, I lay them in layers as flat as possible into my suitcase and limit their folding. You can also use compression sacks for those bulkier items.
3. Fill up empty pockets
I use up all extra space, so roll your tanks, socks and underwear and put them within shoes. No shoe should go empty. This also helps them keep their shape too!
4. Limit your footwear
Two to three pairs of shoes/boots/flip flops are plenty for most trips. You can pack one for dress, one casual (flip flops) and one comfort/athletic pair, which usually should be worn on the flight.
5. Group your items for packing
Since everything is laid out in front of you, group similar items based upon size and weight and then pack your bag. Shoes go at the bottom of your luggage so when it is standing, they don't crush everything else. Then layer your outfits together so they are easy to grab and know what goes together, but with heaviest items (bottom layers) or jacket/sweater on the bottom.
6. Layer what you wear
Wear comfortable but layered clothing on the airplane so that you can adjust for varying temperatures and not have to pack as much. Bringing a cardigan or jacket? Wear it (or both of them) instead of packing it.
7. Organize your accessories
Gather your similar accessories, toiletries, and other small items (charging cords, etc) and group them into separate pouches or small bags. I like using ones that are clear for my make-up. This not only keeps it organized and safe, but can also get your through security more quickly.
8. Keep essential items with you
All of the above items fit in my carry-on suitcase for a week long trip. But even though they are in a carry-on bag, sometimes you have to plane-side check your bag if it’s a full flight. So always keep your essentials in your personal bag, including your id, credit cards, phone, other electronics, jewelry and even makeup if you don’t want to spend time replacing it. I also include snacks, an empty water-bottle (to fill up once past security) and a journal/notebook.
And there you have it! A week of outfits in a carry-on bag means less stress, less to carry, and you can get more quickly to the business of relaxing and exploring a new destination!