I’ve got a little less than a week before I’ll be in California for the first time and I am excited without a doubt. However my absolute least favorite part about vacationing is the packing. I’ve contemplated so many times getting other people to pack for me if I could get over the anxiety that all the wrong things would be packed. So what exactly is it about the process that I hate so much?  Well its the frantic panic of not being able to figure out exactly what it is that I’m going to do on vacation that makes me nervous that I’ll leave behind something I need. So with much research and planning ( I followed my own advice this time) I’ve stumbled onto some helpful tidbits on making it easier when deciding what to pack for vacation.

Deciding What To Pack For Vacation

1. First pack the essentials: Some people disagree with this step because there are two trains of thought. You can purchase the essentials depending on your budget and where you going when you land at your destination. If not you should grab the essentials first (deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, lotion, razors…etc) and pack them neatly in one bag. Make sure if you are taking a carry on that you grab travel size products and have packed them the correct way according to TSA regulations.

2. Double Check your itinerary & plans: My biggest issue with packing is sometimes plans change and I feel like I wont have a proper outfit to fit the outing. That is simply not the case. In all of my 27 years of over packing no matter how crazy plans can get on a vacation chances are you have an outfit to fit that outing. So check your itinerary (especially if you are going on an international trip that has been planned out for you) and check your plans that you have previously made. See what you’ll need where you go and pack accordingly

3. Pack Two Outfits for each day: You can even get away with just packing one outfit for a particular day depending on what it is you have planned to do and where you are going. You aren’t going to change clothing as much as you think so 2 outfits should be the maximum amount of clothing you bring for a particular day. Ladies… maxi dresses count as an out fit and they take up very little room in the suitcase and very little thinking when it comes to putting together a look.

4. Underwear: My mother has made me extremely cautious when packing underwear for vacation. My (her) general rule of thumb is to bring twice the amount of underwear for the days you will be on vacation. So a three day vacation requires 6 pairs of underwear. IF you are comfortable washing/doing laundry while on vacation you can bring even less.

5. 1 formal outfit/ one athletic outfit: I for some reason always forget that I do workout pretty frequently and find myself short of sneakers or workout clothes. And I complain the whole way through. If you are not big on working out frequently or know for a fact you wont be working out on vacation than skip the athletic outfit and just worry/focus on the one formal outfit. Bring it just incase your other outfits don’t fit the criteria for a special evening or dinner. Besides that you’d be surprised how you can make a regular outfit look more formal with the right accessories and hairstyle.

6. Shoes ( 2 Casual 1 formal): Shoes take up so much freaking space in your luggage. They are quite the bother to travel with. My experience has been that most of the time I will wear flip flops or sandals while on vacation. So pack two casual pairs of shoes and one formal pair for your formal outfit/evening. If you are going to be working out make your one casual pair a pair of sneakers.

7. Towels, pillowcases, pillows…: This depends on where you are going. If I am staying at a fancy hotel or a friends house I don’t bring any of these (sometimes a towel .. but usually not). If I’m going to a place where I’m not too keen on their accommodations I bring my own towel, pillowcases and travel pillow for my own sanity. Towels just like shoes can be really annoying to pack so it is crucial to only bring one if it is necessary.

8. Check weather: Check the weather a day or two before you leave for vacation to see what the weather is going to be like where you are going. Why? Because that will help you decide whether you need to bring a sweater/coat/blanket…etc. You don’t want to pack a sweater in 80 degree weather and you don’t want to freeze to death due to random cold weather. Take the extra step to make your packing alot easier.

If you’ve still got questions or need some visual help in packing here is a cool video I found to be extremely helpful when packing luggage to go away. What steps do you take when preparing to pack your luggage for vacation ? Share them with us in the comment box below!

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