Since I started my career in merchandising over 8 years ago, I have been on many work trips that have ranged from overnight stays to week long market trips. At my most recent job, I traveled to New York one week and then to LA the next every. single. month. So needless to say, I’ve gone through many trials and tribulations when it comes to packing and through it all acquired some very handy packing tips that I use every time I pull out my suitcase. And since I’m heading on a fun getaway to Niagara Falls this weekend, I wanted share them with you today!
1 ⇒ Keep a bag packed with toiletries
Often, my works trips would come rather spontaneously which means I had to pack my bag that night for a 6am flight the next morning😖. So I found it very useful to keep a travel case packed with all my products ready to go. I’m not particularly attached to the products that I use at home so any travel size version works just as well. I’ve acquired quite a lot of them from my various subscription box services. But if you’re not a product junkie like me then I would definitely recommend either purchasing travel size containers to fill up with your favorite products or shopping the travel section of Target or BB&B for your needed toiletries. Even if you don’t travel as often, just having that bag ready to go will just help put your mind at ease knowing you have everything you need. You can also grab it if your just staying overnight at a friends or BF’s house so you don’t need to use your finger as a toothbrush😜.
2 ⇒ Use a pencil case for makeup
Specially, this Kipling pencil case. As you can see, I use the section that is meant for pens to store my brushes and eyeliners and the inside compartment for the rest of my makeup. Seriously, this is the best non-makeup, makeup bag! One: it keeps your brushes organized and easily accessible. Two: the hard case protects your makeup from any kind of roughness your travel bag may go through. And third: you can see all your makeup and therefore find what you need a lot quicker then if you had to rummage through a bag. Ok, I’ll just say it again – I love this case! This one is the 100 pen case size but they also have a smaller 50 pen case size if you have less makeup.
Also, following tip #1, I keep travel sized makeup products in here too that I may have gotten from my subscription boxes (currently using Sephora and it’s my favorite so far). To go even further if you do travel a lot, you can buy doubles (or cheaper alternatives) of your essential makeup and keep the extras in your travel makeup case too!
This is another great option that’s smaller and cheaper
3 ⇒ Pack neutrals with 1 (or 2) pops of color
Tip #3 is extremely useful for a long trip (1 week or more) but I end up using it for all my trips. So the general guideline for this tip is to pick 1 pop color (or 2) while keeping the rest of your clothes within a neutral color palette (black, grey, white, brown). By doing this you can pack much more efficiently and lighter! I personally hate checking bags so I have really mastered the art of packing everything I need in a carry-on, even if I’m gone for a week or more. By keeping most of your clothes neutral and committing to 1 (or 2) colors, you will be able to easily mix and match the items to create many different outfits. You also won’t need to pack as many shoes, bags and accessories. No need to lug around 5 different heels because 1 really great black pair will look great with everything you brought! Same goes with your bag or coat.
For this trip I know I will need a bring my yellow rain boots and brown knee high boots (since it will be rainy and cold) so my one pop of color is yellow or mustard. I even bring a mustard hat with me 😁.
4 ⇒ Plan outfits and take photos of them
After picking my pop of color, I then plan out my looks for each day so I don’t pack clothes I never end up wearing. I also like having the piece of mind that I’ll be happy with my outfits and not run into the situation when I have nothing to wear but lots of stuff in my suitcase! I also take pictures of the outfits with the accessories and shoes so I can remember the day of. Now, if this seems too extreme and you live that laissez-faire kind of life, then just follow my previous tip and you’ll be golden. But doing this for every trip has helped me keep my suitcase small while still looking stylish and headache free 👌.
5 ⇒ Pack an extra black & white top
Did I fool you into thinking I’m a minimalist with that last tip? On the contrary! I want to bring as much stuff with me as possible. After I have planned my outfits and packed everything in my suitcase, I always stuff into the corners an extra black and white shirt. They don’t have to be t-shirts – for this weekend I’m bringing a white turtleneck and black t-shirt. Having these two extra tops also gives me peace of mind in the rare instance I don’t want to wear the outfit I planned or if I end needing an outfit I didn’t plan for. And I say white and black because they will go with any bottom that you would have packed. But you can also bring an extra shirt in your pop color of choice! I have also found that your bag or suitcase will always have room for 2 more shirts – so why not use all the space???
6 ⇒ Packing cubes!
On one of my week long LA work trips, I packed everything I needed in a small carry-on suitcase (shown below). Or as my colleagues called it – a briefcase. Yes, its small and yes, I fit everything (and more) into it. How? You may ask – I’m not a magician, I just use packing cubes and space bags! There are many packing methods out there that utilize the space in your bag efficiently but my method is just to eliminate as much air as possible. I mainly use space bags for longer trips or bulky items but I use my packing cubes on every single trip! They don’t take out as much air but they still fit a lot of clothes. I also love how you can keep you stuff very organized by packing clothes in one, PJs in another and undergarments in the third. I love the ones I use because it came in 3 different sizes – it like playing tetris with your suitcase 😜.
7 ⇒ Wear your bulkiest pieces on travel day
So my final tip is to try to wear your biggest or bulkiest pieces on travel day. For this trip, I will most definitely be wearing my boots because they pretty much take up all the space in my suitcase. I also tend to wear my heaviest sweaters or jackets on travel day. This way, I have as much space as possible so I can bring as much stuff as possible! Like I said, I like stuff, I just don’t like to carry it all 😁.
Let me know if you have any tips for packing. I love learning more ways on packing as much stuff as possible more efficiently!