Mindfully Pack Your Travel Bags

Packing for a short trip should be quick and stress-free— it’s so easy to throw things in a bag when you plan out your trip ahead of time and pack mindfully!

After many, many, many work & leisure trips, both short and long, I have mastered the art of packing everything I need on a trip, not packing too much (or making my bag weigh more than 50 lbs), and feeling ready to go in a jiffy! Below, I’ve collected a few tips for how I pack, how I avoid over-packing, and the items I must travel with.

How I pack:

• Before attacking at my closet, I think of the clothing items I want to bring on my trip (hence the ~mindfulness~). This gives you a quick starting point, making it less likely to procrastinate or get stuck staring into the abyss of your closet.

• After seeing how Helen Owen rolls her clothes and displays them in her suitcase, I have been packing my luggage this way (shown below) ever since. This technique allows you to easily see all clothing items that you’ve brought on your trip at once. It makes SO much more sense for short trips.

How to avoid over-packing:

• I always create a trip schedule in my head and plan out my outfits accordingly. Pick an outfit to travel there/back, sleepwear for each night, necessary workout attire (be realistic here), and the appropriate amount of work/leisure outfits. One extra outfit MAX.

• Check the weather of your destination before you travel— you don’t have to pack for all possibilities when we have reliable sources (i.e. weather app on your phone, google, etc.) to tell you exactly what to prepare for. This is big for jackets & shoes.

• A tip I learned on UCA college staff (traveling for a month and a half straight with only a suitcase and a backpack), is to bring articles of clothing that match multiple items. 2 shirts and 2 bottoms can create 4 days of outfits on the road. Same with varying shoes.

What I always have with me when I travel:

• I always have a reusable water bottle with me. This is probably since I became a crazy hydrated water-drinker from Colorado?? But it saves me money and reminds me to drink more water away from home.

• An “essentials” bag or list that I always travel with. I have a specific travel bag (given to me by my friend, Jade) that I never open when I’m at home. It has half-full toothpaste, a travel-sized pack of make up wipes, bobby pins/hairties, cotton swabs, back-up jewelry, an extra contact lens case, and a few more ideal travel items specifically for me being away. My favorite additional travel item in here is my mini-straightener… perfect if you’re lucky enough to have low-maintenance hair.

• I always bring a sweatshirt, even if it’s the middle of summer or I’m heading to the Caribbean. I always prefer having another layer to wear in hotel air-conditioning!

• If you’re heading on a work trip or a trip where you’ll be in photos, my BEST ADVICE is to bring a steamer. It’s inevitable that your clothes will wrinkle in your luggage— a steamer is easily portable, releases wrinkles in moments, and makes a huge difference in the way you present yourself!

• A plastic bag or spare pocket in your luggage, specifically for dirty clothes. This helps keep your luggage organized throughout the duration your trip.

• Lastly, double check for your phone/electronic device chargers. Nothing is worse than paying top dollar for something you forgot but desperately need. This might go in your essentials bag if you’re ballin’ enough to have multiple charging cords.

These pictures were from my recent, 2-night trip to San Antonio. I know I’m a little OCD with the shoe placement, but feeling organized helps keep me motivated!

These were A LOT of travel packing tips all together, but I had too many good ones to share!!!!

Traveling often requires me to be constantly mindful, but packing this way eliminates so much stress from my trips. I hope this blog helps even the most beginner travelers feel prepared and ready to take on the world (with a super light bag)!!!


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