Are you guys over-packers? I am! When I pack for a trip, I tend to get caught up in the “what if” game. Ya know, “What if we decide to go on an airboat ride? What if we take surfing lessons? What if someone invites us to go for a hayride at their ranch?” Of course, nothing even close to these scenarios ever happens, but we can all rest assured that I am prepared just in case! Next week I am heading to Florida to visit my precious parents (which always results in fun photo ops – follow me on Instagram or Facebook to catch the behind-the-scenes action!). Also, Bob and I are starting to talk about where to go this spring on an empty nester getaway, so there’s that. (Blog post coming!) It’s time. I am determined to reform as a chronic over-packer and learn to pack more efficiently. True to form, I’ve done some research, and today I am sharing what I’ve learned. Together we can learn to pack lighter! Yes!!! (Maybe our husbands will take us more places!)
The Right Luggage
I’ve shared before that I am a firm believer in loving your luggage. When our nest emptied and we prepared to set out on some travel adventures, we surveyed our attic full of ripped and broken down cheap luggage and decided it was time for an upgrade. We bit the bullet, tossed out the pitiful suitcases, and made the decision to make the commitment to quality luggage. The durable but lightweight Briggs & Riley TORQ luggage we selected was just named best luggage by Consumer Reports in their Best Luggage Buying Guide. (This link goes to a very helpful article about what to look for in good luggage, but to progress and see the ratings requires paying a fee to become a member. You can trust me on this one. I subscribe to the magazine. Stop rolling your eyes. OF COURSE, I do.) Ratings are great, and all, but the most important thing for us was that the company offers a lifetime repair guarantee on their luggage. If a Briggs & Riley bag is ever broken or damaged, even if it was caused by an airline, they will fix it free of charge. I think that’s remarkable. It’s like we married our luggage. For better or worse. We made a lifetime commitment! We purchased our luggage from eBags, which had the best prices I could find, and even offers 20% off on your first order if you sign up for their email list, a 5% rebate program, and free shipping with a purchase over $49. Score!
Now, lots of people swear that you can pack for any trip in a carry-on suitcase. As a member of Over-Packers Anonymous, I am just not there yet, okay? If you are, please leave me a comment down below and let me know how you have achieved this awe-inspiring feat of self-control. That said, I am committed to reducing. Um, somewhat.
Cut Back The Clothing
Experts advise that you should only pack things that you can wear more than once. (Exclusive of underwear and socks, of course.) Pack things that can be mixed and matched and worn a few times in a few different ways. If you can select a color palette and build around that, more power to ya. Warning! Choose carefully. The last time I tried this, I decided on black and caught grief from my family the entire trip about why in the world I was running all over Florida – the unofficial capital of the Lilly Pulitzer universe – in “that depressing color.” Also, you should only pack the things you love to wear at home. If you don’t love it at home, you won’t love it on vacay either. Retweet.
Another good tip is to pack more tops than bottoms. The thought behind this is that no one will notice if you wear the same jeans a couple of days if you have something different up top. I’ll be honest; this one will be challenging for me because the thought of not washing my jeans after wearing them kind of curls my toes. Yikes! I’ll let you know how it goes. BTW, the experts have no patience for my “just in case” scenarios. They say that if you are presented with a situation (like an extreme change in weather conditions, for instance), you can just take it as a sign directly from the Lord above that you need to go shopping. (Actually, that’s my interpretation of what they said.)
You are supposed to limit yourselves to three pairs of shoes. (Please pause one moment while I pick myself up off the floor where I am lying because I am hysterically laughing.) I have been known to take an entire suitcase full of shoes to go with my other suitcase full of clothes. I said I had a problem, okay? The experts advise taking one pair for walking/hiking/active stuff, one pair for dressing up, and one pair that is weather-specific (like boots if you’re going to a colder climate or flip flops if you’re going somewhere tropical). I am seriously going to attempt this feat of extreme self-control. Pray for me.
Bring Double-Duty Toiletries
Think a face lotion that doubles as a sunscreen, like this 50 SPF one from Avene that I love. It’s oil-free, fragrance-free, and oxybenzone-free. Also, a 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner can help. I like this one from Pantene for color-treated hair. (Because we all have that, am I right?) As for makeup, at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale last July, I bought an all-in-one makeup kit from Charlotte Tilbury that I have used on all our trips since. Mine is no longer available, but her Quick ‘N’ Easy Daytime Chic Look or Quick ‘N’ Easy Natural Glowing Look kits would be just the thing.
Do you think I can follow these tips? I’m not sure, but I’m going to try! I will let you know! As you probably already know, I have a whole list of travel must-haves that I am going to have to seriously think about here. The best thing of all? I’m going to see my parents. They know all about my membership in Over-Packers Anonymous, and they love me anyway.
Shop My Travel Look
Photo by Megan Weaver.