From determining the perfect vacation spot to booking your flights and hotel, planning a summer vacation can be a lengthy and frustrating process. Even after your travel reservations are completed, there’s still the daunting task of packing. We want to help make your summer travel plans easier this year, so we’ve put together a guide to help you streamline the packing process and prevent you from paying pesky fees for overweight suitcases. Follow our simple tips, and you can pack for a weeklong vacation using only one carry-on suitcase!
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1. Find the right suitcase
If you’re using a carry-on bag as your sole piece of luggage, you’ll want to make sure you choose a bag that will work perfectly for your trip. If you’re flying to your destination, look up your airline’s carry-on luggage policies and choose a bag that will fit neatly into the plane’s overhead compartments. Once you determine the perfect size for your bag, you’ll want to narrow down your selections by searching for a bag with a sturdy build, ample storage pockets, and rolling functionality.
2. Create a master packing list
After you’ve booked your travel plans and found your ideal suitcase, it’s time to think about what you’ll actually need to pack for your trip. You’ll want to consider the climate of your travel destination, your lodging during the trip, and the types of activities you’ll be involved in throughout the vacation. Take the time to create a rough outline of your activities for each day of the vacation and use this itinerary to create a list of items you’ll need to pack. Once you’ve created your master planning list, it’s time to move onto the next stage of packing: outfit planning!
3. Plan your outfits in advance
Sources: 1. H&M Fine-knit Cardigan; 2. H&M Crepe Blouse; 3. H&M Sandals with Flowers; 4. H&M Short Denim Shorts; 5. H&M Sleeveless Dress; 6. H&M Lace Caftan; 7. H&M Straw Hat; 8. H&M Handbag; 9. H&M Short Skirt; 10. H&M Bikini Top; 11. H&M Bikini Bottoms; 12. H&M Jersey Tank Top; 13. H&M Bikini Top; 14. H&M Bikini Bottoms; 15. H&M Sandals
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Planning your outfits in advance may seem like a frivolous task, but this step is arguably the most important part of the packing process. It’s easy to overpack when you simply add items one at a time, but planning entire outfits helps you eliminate overlapping items and keep your bag organized. To create each outfit, go through your master packing list and write down the type of clothes you’d wear to each activity. Once that list is completed, choose a color scheme for your vacation. By packing clothes that are all within the same color palette, it’s easy to mix and match items to create multiple looks with the same items.
While every person’s wardrobe needs are different for each trip, consider packing 1 handbag, 1 dress, 2 pairs of shoes (casual and dressy options), 2 tops, 2 bottoms, and a few statement accessories such as hat, necklace, or bracelet. If you’re planning a beach vacation, you’ll also need 1-2 swimsuits and a cover-up. This packing plan may seem like a small amount of clothing for a 7-day trip, but the items can be combined with all of the other pieces to create a variety of looks. You’ll also have the outfit that you’re wearing while you’re traveling to your destination to supplement this wardrobe. When in doubt, always pack fewer items than you think you’ll need!
4. Maximize your bag’s storage space
Begin the packing process by adding your shoes to the bottom of the suitcase. Stuff your undergarments, socks, and small accessories into the shoes to utilize every inch of storage space. Next, you’ll want to fold or roll all of your clothing items. While the traditional method of packing includes neatly folding each item into a flat square, rolling your items is actually a far more space-efficient way to pack your clothing. Rolling your clothes will allow you to fit more items into your suitcase, and it helps to prevent your clothes from wrinkling during travel! If you’re unsure of the best technique, check out this simple YouTube tutorial from Von Malegowski for a quick and easy rolling method. Rolling works best for lightweight materials, so you may want to stick to folding thick items like pants or jackets.
5. Stay organized with packing cubes
Source: Her Packing List
Once all of your items are neatly folded or rolled, it’s time to add one extra level of organization: packing cubes. Packing cubes are simply a flexible container with a zippered edge that are extraordinarily useful for keeping your clothing organized while traveling. Since your clothes are already folded or rolled, it’s easy to pack each outfit into a packing cube. Once all of your packing cubes are finished, simply add them on top of your shoes. After you arrive at your travel destination, you won’t even need to unpack. Simply pull out that day’s packing cube, and you’re ready to go!