Packing usually is the worst part of traveling. What should I bring? What should I leave home? Why I can’t just take everything with me? Those are the most frequent questions when it comes to packing. There are two types of travelers when it comes to packing: those who leave everything for the last minute and those who prefer to organize everything in advanced. Lately in my efforts to become a better writer when it comes to these topics, I have read many blogs from people who know a lot more than me. I recently discovered that there is a profession that I would really love to do: travel consultant, and not that kind of consulting that consists on repeating what I am writing here (even though all of you know that I would love to this for the rest of my life) but being a consultant when it comes to prepare your luggage before traveling, or how it is really called, a travel stylist. Since I am pretty sure that many of the people I know wouldn’t pay for my packing consulting services, I decided to give you the most effective tips.
I decided that I will speak especially to women since men dominate this art since medieval times, but us women have a serious problem when it comes to pack. First of all, think about how much time you will spend in your destination. This should help you clear your mind when it comes to picking your bag size. There are people that for a month backpacking travel in Europe can take a huge backpack and they are just fine with that, but there are others that feel that should carry their homes with them. Ok, lets leave the hair dryer, hair iron, and hair and skin products out for a while; lets talk first about shoes and outfits. You should consider what is the weather on your destination, this will help you pack more efficiently. If you do that you won’t commit mistakes such as taking a bikini to go somewhere where the weather will be lower than 55F (13C). You will know like this if you should take more winter outfits and establish matches among them (maybe is just me who thinks that the only interesting thing you can do in winter is wearing a scarf in many different ways) or if you should take your shorts, short dresses or sandals.
Another rule that should help is taking 3 pairs of shoes with you. Lets be honest: nothing takes more space than shoes. That is the reason why you should be conscious when it comes to pick which ones are you taking. In a warm weather you can bring your sandals, sport shoes in case you are willing to walk a lot and another ones that could look good while going out in the night. These all should look good with almost all the outfits you’re bringing with you. In the case you’re traveling somewhere with cold weather, you know you don’t have any better options than boots and a lot of socks. Trust me, you know that there are not so many socks when it comes to cold weather.
For outfits, I recommend to plan in advanced what styles you would like to use. Don’t bring six pairs of jeans in your bag, two already are just way too much. I would recommend bringing just one pair of jeans, one pair of shorts, a skirt (if you like them) and a pair of leggins. In the case of choosing with what combine them you can use different tank tops, t-shirts and one long blouse. Never forget this magic number when it comes to tops: 6. There are not that much or not enough. You will always find something to wear. You should also bring one or two dresses to go out at nights, or who knows if they also could work for daytime. I think with thi you have enough to choose and play with styles.
If we were talking about winter, 3 or 4 coats would be more than perfect, 6 long sweaters or jackets, 2 pairs of jeans and 3 to 4 pair of leggins. With that should be enough, and remember, scarfs always play a huge role when it comes to change your look. Never forget that gloves could be useful since you can find them in many colors to play with your style. Another trick that should work when it comes to saving space is rolling your closes instead of folding. Lets be honest once again: this will not work with winter clothing. You won’t be able to roll a huge coat but well, roll everything that is possible.
Jewelry: Try to bring the most generic jewelry as possible. Pick earrings that could match with most of the clothes you’re bringing so you should not have to carry your big jewelry box. Another trick is to use those pills packs (that are divided by the days on which you should be taking your pills) to avoid them to tangle up. Now, with all that extra space you can think about you hair dryer, hair iron, shower gels, facial creams, etc. Never forget while packing that Ziploc bags are your best friends. Put all those creams, gels and liquids (remember, no more than 3oz if you’re traveling with just a carry-on, TSA!) inside the ziplocs to avoid disasters in your bag.
Normally I follow these steps as if they were a religion. In my last trips I have not felt I need more clothes because everywhere I go I try to find a laundry. This would be my last advice: Always take with you travel-size clothing detergent. This could be pretty useful and you will never feel like you are lacking of clothes.
And now, what do you think? Would you hire me to become your “travel stylist”?