Best Packing Tips and Tricks

No matter if I’m leaving for a quick weekend trip or my (long overdue!) two-week long honeymoon, I’m a carry-on girl through and through. Not only do I like the convenience of avoiding baggage claim I also feel better always having my luggage with me so that I can easily grab items on the plane and quickly retrieve it when I reach my final destination. And as an added bonus, only bringing a carry-on forces me to get creative about packing and planning out my outfits… yes, it really does!

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of traveling to the Hamptons and had the honor of being the organizing expert at an event hosted by Carrie Underwood for her Calia activewear and swimsuit line. I was able to share my favorite packing tips and tricks and couldn’t not pass on the helpful information to my favorite audience, you guys!

Packing Tips + Tricks

1. Select luggage you can keep up with. Travel days can be long (sometimes very long!) and regardless of whether you’re traveling by plane or car space is probably limited. I tend to choose travel bags that are a good shape, square with a sturdy bottom, and a size that I can easily carry (and that fits the carry-on requirements). This travel weekend bag checks all the boxes for me: it’s lightweight yet sturdy (and comfortable) enough to schlep everything I need, and it has compartments for shoes and zippered compartments to keep essentials separated.

2. Create a packing list. Create a list of each day you will be gone and a tentative list of activities. This is the base for your packing list and essential for every trip you go on. Once you create this list you can come up with your ‘must haves’ and then adapt as needed depending on the climate at your location. My ‘This Week’ and ‘Things To Do’ notepads are great for creating a fail safe packing list!

3. Mix and match. Try on your full outfits (yes, even the shoes and accessories) so that you aren’t over-packing and to reduce the guesswork (or failed outfit attempts) during your travels. And remember: you don’t need nearly as many options as you may think! Pack exactly the amount of items that you need then throw in a versatile extra (like a simple dress) on the off chance that something goes awry with your planned choices. Want to make the most out of your options? Choose one color family (black, brown, grey) and pack versatile pieces that you can mix and match. The same goes for your handbag, I love this versatile bag from Lo + Sons since it can be worn 4 different ways—making it easy to switch up the style depending on what’s appropriate for what I am doing or wearing.

4. Keep your necessities at hand. Create a necessities pouch in your carry on bag to hold the items that you reach for often, like headphones, chapstick, hand sanitizer, and gum. Have more necessities? Use a pouch for each category (i.e. beauty, tech, food) so that you just have to grab the desired punch instead of pulling your entire bag up on your lap. Check out these pouches they are see through (so cool!) and TSA approved!

5. Be realistic. Those “what if” impulse items that get stuffed into you bag (you know, just in case the weather changes last minute) will just weigh down your bag and take up room that could be used to hold something you actually need. And keep in mind you can always go shopping no matter where you are!

Do you have any travel plans for the rest of the summer? If so where and how do you plan on packing? Comment below!