Taking a much-needed vacation can be exhilarating, rejuvenating and inspiring…. packing for that vacation, however? Not so much.
If you are like many of my style-coaching clients, packing can be quite a headache — to the point where you procrastinate until late the night before you leave for your trip. You toss in way too much to avoid not having what you need while on your vacation and realize upon returning home that you over-packed.
Create a List Based on Your Itinerary
When I meet with my style-coaching clients to plan their wardrobe for the new season ahead, we often discuss their upcoming travel plans. Whether that be a week on 30A, a trip to Europe or a holiday in the Caribbean, I want to make sure my clients first and foremost have the items needed for that trip in their closet long before they start thinking about packing.
And I encourage you to do yourself a favor and ask yourself the same question long before pulling your suitcase out of the closet. By simply reviewing your itinerary to see what types of outfits you’ll need once there, you will eliminate stress down the road. After thinking through the general vacation outfits you’ll need, make yourself a shopping list. An example would be if you have tours booked for your European vacation, you obviously know that means you’ll be doing a ton of walking, and need comfy — but cute, of course! — walking shoes. Then add stylish yet comfortable sneakers to your shopping list.
Now it’s time to shop! When purchasing any needed items for your upcoming trip, really think about it from a practical standpoint. If you’re traveling somewhere that requires minimal luggage (this is especially important if you know you’re taking smaller planes to get to your destination) or maybe you’re just tired of over-packing, then focus on items that can be dressed up or down and worn multiple ways.
An item I always pack, and encourage my clients to pack as well, is a lightweight wrap that can be used as a blanket on the plane or car, as well as a wrap when going out to dinner. Another versatile item to pack for your next vacation is a pair of dark wash or white jeans with no fading or distressing in a flattering cut. They can be worn during the day with a casual top and sneakers or sandals, and in the evening with a silk blouse and heels. These multipurpose items allow you to pack less and to have options when you arrive.
Pack Your Bags
Once you have what you need in your closet, it’s time to pack! This does not have to be done weeks in advance, but do try to pack a day or two before you leave in case you need something at the last minute. Hopefully, with some planning, this won’t happen, but it’s best to give yourself ample time just in case.
When packing for my own trips, or for my style-coaching clients’ getaways, I first review the itinerary and the weather, and then I start to plan out the outfits needed based on these two factors. I go day by day to ensure I don’t forget an outfit or item. I lay out the outfits on the floor and complete them with jewelry, a purse and a coat if needed.
The most important thing to remember while visualizing your outfits before packing is to reuse those versatile items. Re-wear that pair of black pants, that denim jacket, that white tee. This is especially vital when it comes to shoes, as packing too many pairs of shoes is the easiest way to over-pack.
Snap Pictures for Reference
Once your outfits are complete and on display on your floor, snap pictures on your phone! I find if I don’t snap pictures on my phone of each outfit, it’s hard to remember the exact outfits when I get to my destination. Plus the pictures keep me from having to think too hard while on vacay.
I use these simple yet powerful packing tips every time I pack for myself, whether it be a two-day trip to visit out-of-town clients or a week-long trip to some faraway place. These tips have also helped countless style-coaching clients enjoy their vacations long before they even get to their destinations!
Wishing you safe and stylish travels!
To learn more about Megan LaRussa, visit meganlarussa.com.
For more of Megan’s style tips, videos and guides on packing like a pro; creating flattering outfits for travel; or even how to mix and match your wardrobe to make more outfits with less, join Megan’s Style Yourself Chic Society membership site HERE.