Travel: Tips to avoid over-packing

Hi All!

I recently came back from Las Vegas all happy, not quite tanned (i hide from the sun lol) and relaxed.  I am particularly proud of the fact that I didn’t have to buy anything because I needed it and forgot it at home, though full disclosure, i did buy two pairs of ball of foot cushions because i thought i had lost the one pair I brought (that lesson is a story for another day).  I will also be honest, my having everything on this trip wasn’t due to my organizational skills either, which sadly hasn’t improved.  It’s a combination of learning to take only what I need and to learn from my past trips, which I want to pass on to share with everyone!

First off, you should know that I’m a classic over-packer; I still have my moments so it’s a work in progress for me.  I always think to bring for what may happen and that leads to over-packing.  One way to tackle this is to be realistic about what the plan is while on the trip.  Talk about with with those you are travelling with–for instance, I discussed with my husband what our plans would be before we pack so that I can weed out what we don’t need to bring.  Of course we don’t plan to the letter, but having some kind of idea what we may want to do helps to know what to bring.  For example for our Vegas trip, we asked ourselves:

  • Do we plan on being poolside? how many days out of the trip do we plan on doing so?
  • Will there be any fine dining or just casual dining during the trip?
  • Will we be visiting clubs, and if so, how many of the nights we are there?

When you have an idea what you may end up doing during the trip, then the real work begins, pulling the outfits! I have to admit that this is still somewhat of a hit or miss because a part of me likes knowing i’ve brought as little as i can while the other part of me likes outfit contigencies so clothing overpacking will forever be a constant enemy!  I’ve learned to compromise in other ways i think and it’s worked out.  Here are some tips and tricks that i’ve used that have worked for me:

Tip #1: Repackage with dollar store packaging

My big trip to Baltimore and NYC was the breakthrough for me when it came to figuring out how to pack my toiletries without the huge weight to add on to my luggage nor forget anything.  Don’t get me wrong, I still forgot some things during that trip, but I came home from that trip with some important lessons.  This first one was a bit of an accident browsing through the dollar store for travel containers.  I meant to buy just travel containers but while passing through the crafting aisle, found these containers that interested me.

The small round containers work for powders and creams like concealers and eyeshadow pigments.  I’ve found that storing foundation in it has been enough to last for short trips.  There are cons to this container (it is a dollar store container so it’s not perfect!); i’ve found that you need to cover it with plastic wrap to ensure that liquids like foundation, won’t leak.  Also, i found that if you go beyond 3-4 days, storing eyeliner (i use MAC blacktrack fluid liner) and the ABH dipbrow it can last, but any longer of a trip than that it may dry up.

I’ve recently found these droppers which i’ve found to be ingenius since i’ve started using the Farsali Beauty oils and Josie Maran argan oil.  I’ve brought these oils in past travels and have needed a way to bring them without bringing the whole big, heavy glass bottles.

Both can be found in the dollar store.

Tip #2: Vacuum bags

I am a big fan of these vacuum bags! I love being able to pack my clothes into these bags and just deflate them! lol.  It also helps to have my clothes in bags according to tops, bottms, sometimes blazers (which i don’t squeeze all the air out of, just maybe some to flatten) and even underwear at times.  It’s not as trendy as the packing cubes but i feel like it saves abit more space, though that could be just in my head lol.  I can’t say i’ve tried packing cubes and maybe i’ll try it for my next trip, but for now, having these handy bags work great!

Tip #3: Shoe Bags

If you’ve perused my blog then you’d know that once in awhile i like a good diy.  I’ve actually made some shoe bags in the past but the ones I’ve had for awhile are from Daiso.  I decorated one with shoe silhouette in vinyl thanks to my cricut! It’s great to be able to put my (maybe dirty) shoes into these bags and prevent the rest of the stuff i’ve packed from getting dirty.  Sometimes I even bring extras to pack shoes I may buy during the trip, so as not to ruin them.

Tip #4: Zipper pouches

I’ve used the same ones from awhile back and have continued to use them for pretty much every trip.  Zipper pouches are handy to organize carry-on bags to be able to pass through customs with ease.  I’ve used my pouch for documents relating to the trip, electronics such as battery packs, camera, phone and various cables, jewelry and even medication and sanitary items.  It helps that when they pass through the screening, everything is neatly in place and in bags so it’s easy to pull in and out during and after.

Tip #5: Soapdish case

It’s a weird thing but the  (cheap) soapdish cases are ideal when storing little things such as cotton pads, qtips and even makeup sponges while keeping them clean.  I also use them for small items such as manicure sets and again, jewelry.  You never know when these little cases can come in handy!

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