With the ever-increasing airline baggage prices – not to mention that many airlines now charge for carry on bags – it’s more important than ever to pack for your vacation wisely. You don’t want to be dipping into your vacation funds just so you can check a gazillion bags on the plane. I know downsizing can seem scary, but trust me on this: if there’s one thing I’ve become a pro at over the years, it’s packing!
So what makes packing so frustrating? In my experience, we ladies seem to get caught up with shoes, blow driers/irons, various bottles of lotions and potions, and too many clothes. Try the following tips, and you’re sure to pack lighter & smarter!
Footloose and Fancy Free
I can’t say that I came up with the Switchflop concept solely for the convenience of vacations & packing, but boy have they really come in handy when it comes to traveling! Think about how many times you’ve shoved 4-plus pairs of clunky heels, sandals, and sneakers into your suitcase, anticipating which pair you’ll need with each outfit. To carry twenty pounds of shoes with you on your winter vacation is total madness. Focus on packing one or two pairs only. Wear your sneakers or Liz ballet flats on the plane (since flying tends to be chilly), and pack a great pair of cozy flip flops that you can literally walk around in all day, such as Lulu or Kelli. For some of you, a core pair of flip flops with an assortment snaps or straps is all you’ll need. If you plan on spending more time at events that require a little more “dressed up” look, consider taking Gwen along with you as well. A neutral Gwen with a different pairs of elegant snaps are perfect (and comfortable) for an evening out on the town. One or two pairs of versatile shoes in your luggage will make a huge space and weight difference. I always take my snap/strap organizer with me as well, so I don’t worry about losing any of my shoe bling. Many of you have asked when we will have more of these available, and I’m so happy to tell you that they’ll be here in early March!
No Extra Baggage
Many of us can’t live without our various lotions, creams, body butters, toners, scrubs, exfoliators, cleansers, and deep conditioners. And I won’t even list all of the makeup items we use! But even skin needs a little vacation sometimes. If the beach is your destination, ask yourself what the likelihood of really needing all of your “usuals” really is. Why not keep these items at home, use the sand to exfoliate, and buy a few small products when you land? As a Florida girl, the beach is a huge part of my life, and when you’re sunning, pretty much anything goes, except makeup – it just gets greasy and sticky in the hot sun. What’s truly essential is sunscreen, after-sun lotion, chapstick, and maybe a tinted moisturizer if you’re self-conscious about imperfections. The same goes for your hair… Embrace the beach hair! It’s fun, your significant other probably loves it, and it’s so easy! Even better, no blow driers or irons required. So leave the beauty products at home. Trust me – your hair and skin will thank you!
This is probably the hardest part of packing for a woman. But if you’re anything like me, you most likely end up wearing about half of what you pack. It’s so much smarter to downsize. Think about it – a good pair of jeans, black pants, capris, or shorts can last 2 or 3 days, and you can change your look by just switching tops! It’s best to decide what you truly need on your trip by making a list of what you expect to be doing each day. If you’re going to be sightseeing in a chilly, windy city, chances are you won’t be needing (or wanting) to get dolled up every day. And don’t forget to check the weather forecast and pack accordingly. You may need that extra sweater! I always bring a sweater with me no matter where I’m going since I tend to get cold easily – something to consider :)
If you’re heading to a tropical getaway, there’s a HIGH likelihood you’re going to live in your swimsuit and cover-ups. And that’s great because these items are lightweight and take up minimal space! I live in cover-ups down here because you can practically wear them everywhere, and with a great pair of shoes or other accessory, this is a really chic vacay look! As for my other outfits, I lay all the clothes on the ground and see where I can mix and match to save space.This is also how I choose which snaps & straps to take with me for my shoes. And don’t worry so much having a gazillion accessories with you – bring a basic set that will work with all outfits, like a great gold necklace and big gold hoops.
A Trip Down Memory Lane
Have you ever bought too much and then wondered how you were going to get it home? One thing I’m learning to focus on is using vacation funds for things that truly matter – Memories. We tend to buy a lot of touristy stuff on vacation, convincing ourselves that’s how we’ll forever treasure the trip in our minds. But these trinkets often end up taking a lot of unnecessary space (if not in the trash). By all means, treat yourself to something really special – maybe an outfit that you know you’ll wear a lot back home, or a blown glass bauble that you’ll add to your treasured glass collection. But just remember to focus on creating memories too. Bring a camera along, or learn the features of your cellphone camera. Take that sunset sail with your hubby or go on that afternoon snorkeling expedition. Those are the things you’ll remember – and they only take up space in your memory :) xoxo