Travel Thursday Vol. 4: Packing

When I first started traveling I always assumed that I needed a 50 lb suitcase to get me through a vacation. If the vacation was more than a few days, I would feel unprepared if I didn’t have an outfit for every possible occasion and weather situation. This thought process caused me to waste lots of money and time. Then one day I had an epiphany. It was probably at the exact moment that I almost fell down the escalator at the airport trying to pull my overstuffed extremely heavy checked bag that I realized how ridiculous it was for me to try to fit my life into a suitcase. Ever since that day, I try my best not to pack a checked bag. Besides who wants to spend $100 on luggage (RT) when you can put that money into something worthwhile during the vacation? I certainly don’t anymore. I did some research and took some tips from expert travelers to change my slightly obsessive compulsive ways. For the past few vacations I have gotten away with taking a carryon suitcase and an oversized purse for trips up to a week.

Here are some tips I found very useful for packing for a getaway.

  1. Check the weather at your destination. This will allow you to determine what types of clothing to pack for your vacation. Seems pretty obvious, right? Well you would be surprised how many people just throw items into a bag.
  2. Once you figure out what types of clothing you want to wear, pick a favorite item and create a color story based around that item. Your color scheme will help you mix and match items in your closet. It will also help you minimize the amount of clothing and shoes you need to carry.
Pack like a Pro
The color story in this example is blue and brown. All other colors & accessories can be used as an accent. Some travelers have suggested the 4-3-2-1 rule as a good guideline to stick to when packing. This includes 4 tops, 3 bottoms, 2 outerwear pieces and 1 dress. Shoes should be kept to a minimum. It is recommended to have 1 pair of very comfortable shoes for sightseeing and one dressy pair of shoes for nice dinners, shows, etc. I am a shoe fanatic so I usually sneak in an extra pair.  Also try to choose accessories that can be paired with every outfit. This will limit the amount of bulk in your suitcase. It may not look like much but in actuality you can make 16 outfits or more from this example. You can even pair the shirts over the dress to create a skirt and shirt look.
There are also various ways to get these items into your carryon. Some people prefer to use packing cubes to neatly organize the clothing and maximize space. Other avid travelers suggest using the rolling or bundling methods to fit all of their desired pieces into their carryon.
There is really no right or wrong way to pack as long as you don’t sacrifice comfort, style, and most importantly your hard earned money!
How do you pack for a vacation? Are you a chronic over packer or are you a minimalist? Let me know in the comments below! Also if you have any tips for packing, feel free to share.
Until next post,


  1. ladylighttravel

    I really like the cute capsule. Other things I would add: decant your toiletries and bring “just enough”. Try to go with solids as much as possible. Minimize electronics. Layer for warmth.

    1. brittany

      Good advice! Thanks for reading 🙂

  2. C25K and another vacation to plan | Lazy Girl

    […] Travel Thursday Vol. 4: Packing (creativityarise.com) […]

  3. mlevel06

    Yes I l will be using this method next month, were traveling to several cities so I think this will work for me.

    1. brittany

      That sounds like fun! I used packing cubes on my last vacation to pack for 9 days in a carryon. Worked like a charm! Have a great time.


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