Pack It Up

I recently returned from a family vacation that was truly restful and relaxing. I really enjoy traveling – I mean, who doesn’t, right? But I mean, I really enjoy the whole process. I love the planning, scoping out the great deals, finding the restaurants and above all – I LOVE packing for the upcoming experience. Whether it’s a few days in a big city or a week at a beach there are a couple of packing rules that I try to live by. Trust me, I’ve come to embrace these rules the hard way – yes, I was that women that you wanted to murder in the airport line. I was hovered over my suitcase trying to catch runaway bras as I tried to lighten my load. Yes, the 50 lbs. luggage weight limit got me again. 50 lbs? Please, my shoes and handbags weighed in at just about that! Over the years my packing abilities have really blossomed and my focus has narrowed in scope. Here’s a little of my play-by-play before the big day:

  1. Where am I going? I think about my destination thoroughly (and research it if necessary). Canadian excursion? Beach trip? European tour? Cruise? Big city visit? After my decision is made I try to visualize myself there!
  2. When am I going? What season will it be at my destination? This will decide if I’m bringing a light sweater for the evenings or a head-to-toe down jacket to keep warm.
  3. What will I be doing? This probably takes up the majority of my thinking when planning for my trip. Packing for a hiking trip is obviously different from packing for a week at the beach.
  4. Who am I going with? Is this a work trip or a vacation with family? My wardrobe will vary accordingly
  5. How am I getting there? What type of transportation? Train, plane, car or boat? Comfort is key here.

Ok, let’s go with the family beach trip theme. Hmm, lets raise the stakes and stay at the Ritz Carlton in Kapalua, Hawaii for the week. Hey, this is a blog – we can stay wherever we want to! 🙂 I know that I will be at the beach (hopefully) every day of the vacation, probably with casual buffet breakfasts in the morning, poolside lunches and a few nice dinners. Ok! Ready? Now, I need to pack a fantastic wardrobe, stay under my 50 lbs. limit while still being practical with my clothing choices. Here we go:

–         Underwear, undergarments and light sleepwear

–          4 or 5 bathing suits, because I will be in them all day, every day

–          3 or 4 cover ups, same as above

–          2 casual dresses, but ones that I can dress up or down…ones that I could wear to breakfast or dinner (tons from Anthropologie that I adore)

–          1 pair of linen trousers

–          1 light sweater to pair over tops or dresses

–          1 pair of neutral shorts

–          4 or 5 tops and 1 tank, ones that will match with both my pants and shorts, my tank should work with all my tops

–          Flip flops, silver sandals, gold sandals, lightweight sneakers and 1 pair of heels

–          1 metallic handbag (I know, I know, but you can do it!)

–          A few light accessories – scarves, belts, sunnies or pins

That’s it! Now, I try to really strategize at the airport…I wear a comfortable outfit made up of some pieces that I will be wearing on vacation. I wear slip on shoes too so that the security process is quick and painless. I remember sitting down after a security check and literally spending about 10 minutes trying to get my strappy shoes back on (multiple buckles and zippers! Nightmare!) I pack on the jewelry – that is, the jewelry that I am going to wear with all my vaca-outfits. I love costume jewelry so my pieces tend to be heavy – so instead of packing them, I wear some of them. I also figure out what the heaviest things are that I’m bringing and get them into my carry-on so that my checked bags will not go over the dreaded weight limit. Jewelry case, makeup case, shoes and books usually come with me in my carry on. Well, at this point we’re practically oceanside at the Ritz! Remember, pack light, let there be a theme to your wardrobe so that your choices go with one another; then you can mix and match. Pick out some great jewelry pieces that with kick your outfits up to the next level. Above all, don’t get stressed over packing – remember, big picture, you will be relaxing with the people you love, that’s most important! See ya poolside! 🙂

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