Vacation Packing… Made Easy??

So, I am a dance teacher and my dancers will be going to many competitions and performances that are out of town. Plus, spring break is right around the corner. I always find myself packing half of my closet with me and not even being able to carry my own suitcase. It suddenly clicked, why not pack light and still bring everything I need? How is this possible you ask? Here are some great tips for packing light and looking cute while going out of town.

1. Mix and match. I always bring mix and match items for me and my daughter. If something gets spilled on her skirt, I don’t have to change her whole outfit. Just her bottoms or vice versa. I love to shop at The Children’s Place because they have such cute mix and match items and at a great price too! For adults, mix and match is a little different. I bring pieces that can be layered over, under, and worn different ways. My list includes:

  • A Cardigan- Go for black or white because it will go with virtually any outfit.
  • A Chambray Shirt- You can wear it with shorts, over a tank top, over a dress, you name it.
  • A Sundress- You can wear it as a skirt, under a cardigan, or all by itself.
  • A Maxi Dress- Once again, wear it a million different ways.
  • Jeans- They can be rolled up into capris, tucked into boots, etc…
  • Shorts- It may be too hot to wear jeans.
  • A Solid T-Shirt- I may bring several of these because of their versatility!
  • A Tank Top- Once again, I may bring several!
  • 4 pair of shoes- A pair of flip flops or sandals, a pair of heels, a pair of flats, and a pair of tennis shoes.

Check out my post about versatility.

2. Remember to pack light. It is hard not to pack every little thing you own to go on a trip. I stick to the basics and versatile pieces. You don’t need to pack a formal dress just in case you get invited to a mansion party. If that happens, why not go shopping for a dress instead of lugging one around that you don’t know if you will wear. Also pack lighter fabrics. They can easily be rolled up. I also limit myself to 2 pair of shoes per day that we will be gone, but no more than 5 pair. I always pack a pair of flip flops or sandals, a pair of heels, a pair of flats, and a pair of tennis shoes. These same rules apply when packing for our children too!

3. Pack in the smallest suitcase you can. The less room you have to “fill up” the less you will pack. I only pack 1 outfit per day that we will be gone and maybe 2 extra outfits just in case.

4. Know your destination and your activities. You won’t need that winter parka if you are going to the beach in the summer. You may want to pack 1 light hoodie or sweater to wear in the evenings. If you are going horseback riding, make sure you have pants instead of a skirt or dress and closed toed shoes. Make sure you check the weather a few days before you go!

5. Pack SMARTER not HARDER. Pack everything you need into one teeny tiny little bag by rolling items as small as you can get them. Put your shoes in the bottom and put socks and underwear inside your shoes. Put bulkier items towards the bottom and lighter items at the top!

6. Travel Size. Always buy travel size or buy the empty travel bottles. Never ever pack full size shampoos or body soaps. You won’t use nearly that much, so why take it? It is a waste of space.

Ok, so there are a few tips! Now, here is my general vacation packing list. This is what I go by and I stick to it. This is my list for a 2 night 3 day trip. Double this list for every 3 days you will be gone.

    • 1 Cardigan
    • 1 Skirt
    • 1 Sundress or Maxi Dress
    • 1 Pair of Shorts
    • 1 Pair of Jeans
    • 4-5 pair of underwear
    • 1 pair of leggings
    • 4 shirts
    • 2 swimsuits
    • 1-2 bras
    • 4 pair of shoes
    • 1 Hoodie or Jacket
    • Accessories
    • 1-2 pair of socks
    • 1 Hoodie or Jacket
    • 5-6 Mix & Match Bottoms
    • 6-7 Mix & Match Tops
    • 6-8 Pair of Underwear
    • 1 Dress
    • 3 pair of shoes
    • 1-2 pair of socks
    • Toy or Activity
    • 2 swimsuits
    • Shampoo & Conditioner
    • Deodorant
    • Body Wash
    • Toothbrush & Toothpaste
    • Razor
    • Face Wash
    • Moisturizer
    • Make Up
    • Hair brush, hair ties, bobby pins, etc…
    • Allergy Medication
    • Prescription Medications/ Birth Control
    • First Aid Kit
    • Motion Sickness Medication
    • Lip Balm (with spf)
    • Sunscreen
    • Bug Spray
    • Sun Hat
    • Aloe Vera
    • Feminine Hygiene Products
    • Tablet or Laptop
    • Cell Phone
    • Ipod
    • Camera
    • Chargers for EVERYTHING

That is my list. Anything else can be bought when we get there. I also have the whole family share shampoo, conditioner, soap, face wash, and sunscreen. That saves on a lot of room!