I’m revealing my most effective packing secrets! Ready to get serious about packing light? You can pack like a real pro with a few strategic pieces and a positive attitude! You can make it through a trip of any length with fewer clothes than you think, especially when your clothes can pull their own weight with double duty–sometimes triple! Most of these are for ladies, but read on, gentlemen–you might learn a thing or two, too! More of my packing strategies will be coming out soon! Don’t forget to subscribe so you never miss a helpful post!
Choose one scarf (perhaps two if you are going to a cold area) that will go with absolutely everything else you plan to wear on your trip so you can wear it with all your possible outfits. You can use it as a scarf, a wrap around your shoulders, bathing suit cover-up if it’s large enough, or to totally change up the look of your outfit to go from day to night!
Sometimes you just want to feel unrestricted! I love leggings for long flights, and fleece-lined leggings are the perfect thing for staying comfortable or layering up in cold destinations. I always choose black leggings for travel instead of crazy patterns because they go with just about anything, don’t show stains as much as other colors or patterns, and are not going to call as much attention to your posterior as wild and crazy leggings would.
Sometimes you just want pockets! It’s nice to have your phone, passport, train tickets, etc., all within easy reach and not “somewhere” in your bag. Jeans are also durable, spot clean easily, and basically go with anything else you might need to wear with them.
4. The Right Dress
Ladies, the right dress can take you from the beach to a nice restaurant with just a few accessory changes. I love this dress so much, I got it in 4 colors! Find one that’s flattering for your body, comfortable, and machine washable–then make sure you get one in black! the right scarf or jewelry and a nice pair of sandals take this dress to the next level–even after using it as a bathing suit cover-up at the pool!
5. Built-in Bras
This also includes things like the dress above that do not require a bra. Not every woman can go sans-brassiere, and not every woman will be comfortable with this, but if you can do it, I recommend it. That’s less to pack, less to wash, and less discomfort! I have several workout tops with built-in support, and several dresses with either a built-in bra or enough support that I don’t need one.
6. Worn-out Clothes
No, really! I almost always pack clothes that can be worn once more, then left behind. Clothes with holes, stains, or that are just plain worn out are perfect candidates. I use them for pajamas, workout clothes, or around town–even if they are clearly on the worn side, who cares? You’ll never see these people again!
7. Moisture-wicking Materials
Moisture-wicking materials have changed the travel game! You can now wash, dry, and wear your clothes again in a short time. This is why “athleisure” is so popular with travelers. You’ll find moisture-wicking materials making up fitness gear, but also dresses, pants, polos, etc., and you should utilize them! They are often also wrinkle-resistant, which is another bonus!
8. Bathing Suits
Ladies, this is one of my most favorite tricks! Now, I would not go traipsing around Paris or New York City wearing a tankini top as my actual top, but I have indeed done just that in Bali, Hawaii, the Galapagos, and other tropical destinations! Especially if you’re hiking and planning to take a dip under a waterfall or in the ocean, why not wear your bathing suit bottoms instead of underwear under your shorts? Why not wear your tankini top as your actual top? I do!
First of all, do NOT take your expensive jewelry with you if you will be hiking, swimming, rock climbing, or if it will look unusual, which may put a target on you for thieves. Use your own discretion, but after I broke my engagement ring a few months after we got married and Steve lost his wedding ring swimming on Kauai on our second anniversary trip, we are very careful!
However, the right jewelry can totally change your outfit! Take one statement piece that will go with the very versatile dress you’re packing, and you can change the whole look!
10. An All Black Outfit
I personally like to pack my little black dress in addition to a pair of black leggings and a black top to go with them. I do this because it’s easy to switch things up when you can pair one element of that outfit with something more colorful that you also want to pack. Black also covers a multitude of stains!
I hope these tips and ideas give you confidence to pack light and pack smart! Was this helpful for you? Do you have another clothing article you think should be added to this list? Comment below to let me know!
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