You can try and pack everything and the kitchen sink, but be realistic, only pack what you really need. With the new baggage regulations and fees on most airlines, it's in your best interest to pack less. And if you can manage to get away with only a carry-on, you may even avoid all baggage fees. Luckily, since I'm flying overseas, I get one free checked bag, but check with your airline to see what their fees and regulations are.
Clothes: Be selective with what clothes you pack and only pack what you're gonna actually use. There's no need for an evening gown (that is unless you have an event where you really need one), so leave all the extras at home. I'm going to really see Paris, so no heels for me, I just wouldn't use them. But that doesn't mean I won't be fashionable. I'm packing lots of cardis and scarves that will really change up any outfit and get me more bang for my buck with what I bring. And jeans can be the basis for more than one outfit. Don't be afraid to repeat items of clothing, your accessories can really give you a whole new look. And did you notice the two bags above? They are both holding the same amount of clothes. The one on the left has the clothes rolled and the one on the right has it all folded. Rolling is the way to go to maximize space in your suitcase and make sure you can get everything you need to fit in your bag.
|picture from The Container Store|
Toiletries: The TSA regulations allow each passenger to carry on liquids in containers of 3 ounces or less, in a 1 quart zip top bag, 1 per passenger. There are tons of trial size toiletries that are now TSA-sized for your convenience. You can also buy small containers and fill them with your products too. I have to take 2 regular sized things with me (saline solution for my contacts--I need a specific brand and it doesn't come in travel size) and my mousse, which I'm just picky about. But everything else will be in my zip top bag in my carry-on.
Makeup: You want to look good while you're traveling, so you want to take your makeup with you. But this isn't the time to lug every bit you own with you. Just take the essentials, the things you use everyday. This is what I'll be taking with me: mineral foundation, shadow palette, eye primer, mascara, eyeliner, blush and lipstick. I'll also be taking a few brushes (cause those travel brushes always suck), and I might add a red lipstick for the evenings. And remember any liquids have to be in that quart bag with the rest of your liquids.
Technology: I don't think you need to bring every gadget you own on vacation unless you plan on really working while you're there. I'm gonna be bringing my iPhone, my iPod, my Kindle and my camera. The MacBook will stay at home (and I'll update the blog once I'm back). Bringing all these devices means you'll also have to bring the chargers for each, so being selective will save you from having to lug around all that extra stuff. And pack all of your chargers in your carry-on, so if your luggage is lost, you won't be without power for your devices.
And lastly, and I think most importantly, make a list. Start making a list of what you plan on taking, so when it comes time to pack you won't leave anything behind. Put even the smallest things on that list and cross them off as you pack them. And that way you'll be sure you have it all with you.
Is there anything you always pack when you go on vacation? What are your must haves? Do you have any packing tricks and tips?