(digi painted journaler by katie pertiet)

Here’s the big mistake: waiting until it’s TIME to pack to think about, or otherwise plan what you’re wearing and bringing on a trip. The key is to evaluate your clothing options the moment you know a trip is happening. By keeping your travel plans in the back of your mind when you’re out and about, you may also find much needed pieces for your trip as well.

Why is this important?

Well, think about all the millions of things that magically pop up when you’re about to go someplace. From laundry to cleaning to things that just have to be taken care of… if what you’re bringing and wearing has been taken care of, travel is that much easier.

Also? If you’re going someplace special, or there are events that perhaps you don’t have adequate wardrobe for, wouldn’t it be better to find something awesome that you love to wear? I will never ever forget the wedding I went to where I ended up wearing the “least bad” outfit I found to buy. FASHION DISASTER!!! All because I waited until the days before I left, vs planning ahead and shopping when I had time and energy to give to the chore.

(pictured above: adorable dress I knew would be perfect for my trip to South Carolina, purchased more than a month before I go)

Another key to the art of packing? Packing enough stuff to get you through, but not so much that you’re wallowing in too many choices. I chose the jacket and pairs of shoes I wanted to take, and then filled outfits in from there. This prevents me from needing a different pair of shoes for every outfit. When traveling without the kids, I estimate I can get 2 wears out of a pair of pants, and I pack one spare outfit – no more. (with kids? I pack more. they tend to get me dirty!)

I actually lay out each outfit (head to toe) and pick any accessories before packing it away. Then I know it’s complete and I’m all set. Oh, and I pack a week or so in advance with the exception of last minute items such as toiletries that I can’t pack in advance. Why pack so far in advance? Two reasons:

1. It’s done. One less thing to stress over.

2. I know what I’m missing and/or I can just add in the last minute stuff I remember as needed.

Thanks to my methods, I’m packed (well except nylons + a slip that I need for 2 of my dresses and must go buy) and ready for my trip to South Carolina next week. In fact – yesterday when I went to pack it only took me a few minutes because I already had plenty of suitable outfits for the trip (purchased and/or figured out LONG before I ever got sick). Not just that – but I’ll be traveling with just a carry-on suitcase.

Now when it comes for what I bring on an airplane… it’s not so streamlined. I insist on enough novels to last me 2x the length of flight/travel + enough food & drink for that amount of time too. I do NOT want to be trapped in an airplane for extended time and be hungry, thirsty, or bored.


12 responses »

  1. Those are some great tips May, I’ll have to remember them next time I’m travelling. That dress is adorable!

  2. I love your cute little dress, so sweet. It is wonderful that you have trip packing down to a science. That would have been one more thing with which to be concerned while recuperating. When I travel, I like to take with sample or trial size products. These do not have to be packed at the last minute, take up less room, and can be used and then throw out the packaging. Many cosmetic companies offer their skin care lines in a travel size that is perfect for air regulations. If you travel a lot, it is nice to have a toiletry/cosmetic set just for travel. You never have to worry about forgetting your deodorant or favorite mascara, and you will not be packing these at the last minute. Just be sure to rotate out certain products which have exp. dates. I have learned from experience not to take with expensive jewelry when staying in a hotel. Yes, there was a safe, and I had insurance, and everyone was very accommodating, but that particular pin is gone.

    May, I did not mean to blog on your blog. I am sorry, but I am still leaving my 2 cents up.

    I hope you are feeling quite ducky by now. Well, at least a quack better.
    Keep smiling.

  3. I was just thinking, “I wonder how May is today?” and so I hoped over to check your blog. How fun to read such timely thoughts…as I begin to think about a trip one week from today! It sounds like you may be feeling better and for this I’m glad. Take care and thanks for your trip packing tips!

  4. I enjoyed reading your blog on packing. I know if I have a special event and I need to purchase an new outfit. I go shopping a least a month before the event. It is amzaing how time seems to speed up leading up to the event.
    I hope that you a feeling alot better.

  5. Hi May! So excited for your trip. I, too, am a pack-ahead person. 2 comments to add. 1. I’m so thrilled to read that someone besides me wears a slip! I’m often embarrassed for women who aren’t wearing one…2. a traveling tip: I always wear my “biggest” clothes on the plane: bulky shoes, extra sweater…and so on. More room in the bag and I’m not cold!

    • Well mostly I don’t wear slips, but if needed you bet I do!! Often times some ‘scary fat holding in’ undergarments will do. 🙂

      Oh and I do too!! I’ve got a sweater + jacket for plane, bulkiest pair of pants, etc. Shoes though, actually wearing the smallest because I want walking-friendly shoes and not heels. 🙂

      Have a great weekend!


    • I too was happy to see the slip slipped in. If I am wearing something that the light will shine on through and outline my bulging thighs, I shall wear a slip. Not long ago I mentioned something about a slip to my teenage granddaughters, and they did not even know what a slip was. So I looked at the world around me and saw that young women do not wear slips even with very sheer dresses. I guess I wear a slip because I am old and no one needs to be traumatized by seeing more of me than is necessary. I have read that slips are making a comeback.

  6. That dress is so cute!! I always keep a toiletry bag totally packed with spares of all my essentials – one less thing to worry about leaving behind!

  7. Great tips May; but, as someone who has travelled often, I recommend you have a bag of toiletries ready to take on your trip. Soap, shampoo, etc. are not too expensive to have duplicates. I mean, my toiletries case with everything in it from toothbrush to nail clppers is just ready to pop in the suitcase. It’s also great to have as backup at home in case you forgot something on your last supermarket trip – just be sure to replace the item. I go through this case after each trip to be sure it is ready. At home, I keep my most often used cosmetics in a case, (well, ones I would use if I commonly used makeup other than on vacation), and that can pop into my suitcase, too. Medications that I use daily are always in those individual day containers so those can be thrown in my carry on. My emergency meds like my inhaler and my headache meds are normally in my purse. What this means is that my purse is the only thing I have to arrange in my travel belly bag before I leave for a trip. Seriously stress relieving. I always use a check list from the internet just to be sure I have everything but find I am mostly checking things off, not collecting them.

  8. P.S. I have never had any problems with my meds but just to be sure I print out my med list from Kaiser from my computer to carry with me. I’m sure other pharmacies have this on-line, too. In general, meds of controlled substances, like narcotics, ought to be carried in their individual prescription bottles with all the details just to be sure.

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