weekend getaway packing tips29/11/2016
It’s the holiday season. The season of arrivals, departures, fun times, cozy times, crazy times but if I’m being honest – mostly packing times. After years of traveling back and fourth between two countries that are on opposite side of Europe from each other, I feel like it’s safe to claim I’ve reached a certain level of expertise when it comes to optimized packing. There is an artistic process involved when trying to cram all the “essentials” in your one main bag or suitcase and an even more creative one when you’re limited to a single carry on. Here are some tips I found to be incredibly helpful when packing specifically for weekend getaways, but could also be invaluable for longer trips too!
// Get a good weekend bag – A decently sized, sturdy and well-made bag is the first step to take towards making your travel stress free! I can recall quite a few times when my bag straps snapped off, when I managed to rip through the lining, when some contents of my bag were missing after picking it up from the baggage belt due to a zipper malfunction. Those experiences are something I don’t look forward to when trying to have a good time on my trip! So unlike me – be smart and invest in a quality bag that will be your trusty companion through every adventure! For this year’s travels, I picked out this weekend bag from Cuyana*, which is not only made to last but also very chic looking. I also got it personalized with my initial, which could also make it a great gift for that special traveler in your life!
// Pick out a neutral color scheme – I might be partial to this one, but it works. There’s nothing worse than having to over pack just because each and every item you want to bring has to be paired with a specific shirt, pants or pair of shoes. Even if you’re a lover of all things sparkly, patterned and bright-colored on the daily, traveling in neutral tones will save your time, effort and sanity for all the other things you’ll be doing during your trip. I tend to stick to the usual – black, gray, white, beige and blue/ navy.
// Plan out outfits in advance – Even though you’re bringing your neutrals, make sure you don’t end up with 5 pairs of pants but only one shirt! Just like you plan out where you’ll go and what you’ll visit before embarking on your adventure, why not apply that same logic and plan out what you’ll wear too? Again, this will save you a lot of time and banish that “what should I wear today” question. How many outfits you’ll pack depends greatly on the length of your trip (and the possibility of washing/drying your clothes). For a weekend trip, 3 to 4 outfits will do just fine. It’s also a good idea to mix and match, so that every item you pack finds its way into an outfit at least twice. That way you maximize your options, but actually pack less stuff.
// Wear your bulkiest pieces – This one saved me so much suitcase space and quite a few euros not paying for extra check-in baggage countless times! Traveling during winter in cold climate can be especially annoying since you’re forced to bring jackets, coats and boots with you. If I have to take my faux fur coat with me, I always wear it on the day of the trip. So make the most of your bag space by layering your clothes and wearing your big items while traveling (within reason, of course)!
// Always bring a jacket – One time I landed in Amsterdam in a typical mid-July outfit: denim shorts, a tank top and open toe sandals. Once I got out of the airport I was kindly greeted with cool wind, a drizzle and a temperature of 11 degrees! Since then, I’ve learned my lesson (check out my typical Amsterdam summer outfit). Summertime in a hot climate doesn’t exactly equal summertime in a cooler climate, so look up the forecast for your destination and be prepared. Always pack a jacket and a warmer pair of shoes just in case for those possible rainy days. Even during hot summers it can get chilly when the sun goes down, so keep that in mind.
// Make good use of your bag’s pockets – I’m sure we’re all guilty of constantly carrying a hundred and one small thing in our bags. While on a trip, it’s incredibly important to have quick access to things like your phone, keys, ID, passport, coins, paper tissues. Don’t be that person keeping a line behind you just because you can’t reach something small from the bottom of your bag. Store all small essentials in a separate pouch or just simply separate them from the rest by putting them in the bag’s side pockets for easy access.