[I totally meant to publish this like 2 weeks ago, but I figured better late than never, especially with all the Summer traveling I’m sure y’all are doing! So here we go!]
I’m packing up and heading to the beach tomorrow, so I thought it would be fun to do a quick little post sharing some of my favorite travel must haves and packing tips with y’all. I’ve shared about my tips for packing well on the blog before, but I wanted to focus on a few specific packing tips and products that I think are game-changers. I’ve learned a lot about traveling and there are a few travel must haves that I think you need to know about!
Hopefully, you were able to catch my IG stories where I explained all of this, but if not, I’ll do my best to recap everything in this post.
Travel Must Haves & Packing Tips
I’m sure you’ve heard some of these before, but hopefully there are some that are new to you! Or maybe you’ll discover a product you think might work well for your travels. Whatever the case, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below! Let’s get into it!
Make a Checklist
I always do this when traveling. I usually spend some time before I start packing to think about what all I’ll need. How many nights will I be traveling? Are there any activities I know I’ll need to consider? (e.g., cocktail party, swimming, working out, etc.).
I map out each day I’ll be there and do my best to anticipate what I’ll need. This really helps me to get my wheels spinning when it comes to pulling things to pack. Also, after making a checklist, I’ve got a better idea if I’ll need to check or carry-on my suitcase.
Note: be sure to check the weather ahead of time to anticipate what you’ll need!
Set Aside Your Clothing Essentials Before Pulling Outfits
We’re not talking about your “outfits” yet.
These are the things you know you’ll always need – regardless of what you’re doing on the trip. Think about how many days you’ll be there and the brainstorming you did in step one, and then set aside your clothing “essentials” to meet those needs. For me, I consider essentials to be the following items:
- leggings and an oversized t-shirt for lounging and/or getting ready
- sweatshirt or sweater since I tend to get cold easily
- pajamas or something to sleep in
- underwear and other undergarments
- workout wear if I know I’ll have time to hit the gym
- socks for booties, sneakers, or the flight if it’s a longer one
I always set these things aside first since I know I won’t have to think about it too much. And I’ll be able to gain some momentum with getting my packing started.
TIP: I usually grab a dryer sheet and pack it in there with these items to keep my suitcase smelling fresh!
Plan Your Outfits & Take Photos
I say this very loosely. I know travel experts say to plan everything down to your accessories and shoes, but I don’t like to do this. Instead, I like to pick a color scheme or general “vibe” for my outfits and leave some room for creativity. Something about having every single outfit planned gives me anxiety and makes me feel suffocated. There’s something about having the creative freedom to create new outfits out of similar, versatile items that excites me. I like to bring a few key pieces that I know I’ll be able to rotate and mix and match.
But whenever I do happen to plan an entire outfit out, I take a photo so I don’t forget! I also just like having a few outfits planned out ahead of time. But I also take a photo of everything laid out before putting it in my suitcase too!
Keep A Separate Set Of Travel Toiletries
I started doing this last year and it has made packing so much less stressful. I keep a separate set of toiletries (with everything I need) already in my suitcase. That way, I don’t even have to think about getting my toiletries together while packing – except for grabbing my toothbrush and any hair hot tools I need. I even have a separate, additional set of hairspray and hair products that I keep ready-to-go in my suitcase as well. Literally, everything is already ready to go for me and it’s amazing! You’ll see further down in the post, but I do the same for my makeup. I’m telling you, it’s amazing!
Tiny Travel Containers
These guys are the best on the market as far as tiny travel containers come. You can put your liquids, pastes, powders, and etc. in them without having to worry about it spilling or making a mess. I’m a big coconut oil junkie and sometimes put that in these containers, but I’ve also used it for fancy night creams too if I don’t want to bring the entire bottle.
I thought it might be helpful to share with you what I always have in my second set of travel toiletries if you wanted to create one for yourself.
My Second Set of Toiletries List:
I keep it in my suitcase so it’s already ready-to-go! In my experience, this is a pretty great list of travel must haves to keep separate from your everyday things.
- shampoo & conditioner
- body wash
- body lotion
- hairspray & texturizing spray
- hair product for styling (the stuff I put in while my hair is wet)
- round brush
- razor (I have one just for travel)
- face moisturizer & under eye cream
- sheet masks (I always bring these when I travel)
- floss & toothpaste
- face oil
- makeup remover pads
- coconut oil packets (I get mine from Trader Joe’s)
- rose spray toner
- advil + other common meds
- bandaids & Neosporin
I use these plastic bags for organizing my toiletries and for keeping things neat in my personal carry-on item!
Pack by Category
Even if I’ve picked out my outfits beforehand, I’ll still pack by category. Like, I’ll put all my jeans, pants and bottoms in one pile and then have all my tops in another pile. I’ll keep all my workout clothes together and separate from my dresses and/or shoes etc. This is what has worked best for me!
I also take photos of outfits I’ve put together in advance, so I can remember what I packed!
Organize Jewelry & Accessories So You Can See Them
I’ve tried a lot of different organization techniques when it comes to packing my accessories – especially jewelry. I’ve found that statement earrings and necklaces are the hardest to keep organized. For the longest time, I would just throw everything in a cute little bag and figure it out when I got there. But that started to drive me crazy. And I wanted to be able to SEE everything I bought. I’ve recently started using a hanging organizer and it’s been a game-changer!
Hanging Jewelry Organizer
I don’t think this is meant for traveling, but this thing has solved many-a-travel situations. I’ve tried all the gadgets and nifty jewelry cases, but this has been the best solution yet! Mine doesn’t have zippers, but I think I need this one because my stuff sometime slides out while in my suitcase. I love how I can see everything individually and things don’t get tangled up. It easily folds and can lay on top of your clothes in your suitcase!
When it comes to bags, I try to only bring two on any trip. I bring one that’s larger and usually put this in my carry-on bag and a smaller crossbody that will match just about everything!
Keep A Separate Set Of Makeup For Travel
This has been my favorite tip I’ve tried recently. It’s definitely an investment and might only make sense for someone who’s on the go a lot, but it has been awesome for me. I’m usually putting my makeup on in the car anyway, so I like having a grab-and-go bag that has all my makeup essentials ready to go in it! That way, I have one set I keep in my bathroom (always) and another set I set aside from when I’m running late and for traveling.
Travel Makeup Case
After reading all the Amazon reviews on this little makeup case, I figured it was worth a shot. And now I get it. I love how this case keeps everything neat and tidy. I also like that I can just about see everything I’ve got and can easily find it – as opposed to digging around in my usual cosmetics bag.
Oh, and on a slightly random but important note, I always bring Q-tips in my makeup bag. They always seem to come in handy!
Travel Must Haves: An Empty Bag For Dirty Clothes
I think most people do this, but I figured it was worth mentioning. It’s so great to have one while traveling in order to keep clean separate from dirty. Plus, it’s necessary for when I’m working out while traveling!
I’ve got more packing tips in my “Tips For Packing Well Post” if you’re looking for more inspiration! I just wanted to hone in on some of the new items I’d purchased and been using lately in this post!
What did you think? Anything I need to know about?
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