Essential Packing Tips for Easy Breezy Summer Travel

Written by Jacquie Heil - June 13, 2018

Summer is officially a week away and many of us will be hitting the road or taking off for a summer adventure or two.  Travel can be the best of times and quite frankly the worst of times.  The upside, of course, includes exploring new places and cultures, creating treasured family memories, and having rousing adventures.  The downside includes flight delays, lost luggage, bad weather, cranky kids (teenagers and adults included), and missed expectations.  Making the most of your travel begins well before you leave on your adventure.  With some simple planning and organization, you can be prepared for anything that life throws your way.

I've rounded up a few essential packing tips I have mastered while working with some of my executive clients who travel frequently.  I have applied these tips to my personal and business travel to simplify and enhance my travel experiences and to lighten the load.

  1. Don't overpack - (Each of us has heard it a thousand times).  The main reasons to minimize your travel to a capsule wardrobe and one carry-on suitcase;  
    • the extra expense of baggage fees
    • big suitcases and stairs don't complement one another
    • being able to carry your own weight (kids included)
    • less time packing, unpacking, washing clothes, etc.
    • less time making decisions on what to wear means more time for exploring
  2. Pack in advance (avoid the night if possible)
    • there are wonderful packing blogs, websites, and social media tools like Pinterest and Instagram that can provide examples of specific items to pack for your destination.  Do a little research in advance.
    • Keep a set of travel toiletries packed and ready to go for travel.  I always refill my toiletries when I unpack from a trip or during the weekend after if I am short on time.  If you aren't a frequent traveler, check expiration dates on your products.
    • pack a capsule wardrobe.  (Example here ).  You can google the heck out of this topic but make sure your wardrobe is age, weather, and destination appropriate.
    • Add essential items you use every day (phone chargers, flat iron, snacks, umbrella, sunglasses, etc.) the night before travel.
    • Everything you may need during the trip plus valuables should go in a roomy tote that will most likely go under the seat in front of you if you are traveling by plane.  Do not bring expensive jewelry or a computer if you are not working.  Cyber attacks are on the rise, and prevalent in other countries.
    • If you are traveling by car or other transportation, you may indulge in some extra luxuries, but simplifying is still the goal here.
  3. Travel in Comfortable Luxury
    • Your clothing should be comfortable and consist of layers to moderate temperature variations.  
    • however, don't dress like you are planning to do a 48 hour Netflix marathon
    • clothing with stretch and breathability are good options  (Ponte leggings or stretchy jeans, cotton tank, long sleeved T or cashmere pullover or cardigan, and a scarf)
    • if circulation is a concern, wear compression socks
  4. Accessorize thoughtfully
    • live by the three pairs of shoes rule (including athletic shoes or boots)
    • break in new shoes before you travel
    • bring a tote and a small bag (crossbody or evening).  I pack my makeup in a clutch that I use for evening events.
    • One to two scarfs - endless uses (make sure they complement your capsule wardrobe color palette)
    • sunglasses
    • hat for outdoor adventures
    • belt
    • optional (umbrella, rain gear or other weather specific)
  5. What goes in your tote (or backpack)?
    • there are a lot of options here (business vs personal travel) but focus on what is essential for your personal needs
    • IPAD, Kindle or reading device (use a lightweight sleeve or case)
    • Phone (charger)
    • boarding pass and identification (passport, id, travel wallet, money)
    • small snacks in ziplock or sealed bags
    • empty refillable leakproof water bottle (I once found my IPAD submerged at the bottom of my tote from a leaky water bottle.  

There are many wonderful resources online for packing.  A great book I keep with my travel gear is HOW TO PACK, Travel Smart for Any Trip by Hitha Palepu.  This little gem includes packing lists for different types of travel and a myriad of smart suggestions for keeping things streamlined, simple and efficient.

Make Room For Life and Happy Travels!  

xo, Jacquie