Traveling is not one of my favorite things about traveling. I mean, the actual traveling part — the getting there — is not my idea of fun.
The rushing, the waiting, the feeling that I’m always forgetting something, the lugging around of luggage, and that strap from my carry-on bag that digs into my shoulder, the airport security checkpoint, the man who keeps sneezing next to me without covering his mouth (come on, sir!), and oh, they don’t serve food on this flight? No problem, I’ll just eat the kid behind me on the plane who KEEPS KICKING MY CHAIR, GAH!
At least it’s only a five-hour flight…
But one thing I do like about traveling is picking up new travel tricks to make future trips easier.
Over the past few years, I think I’ve gotten pretty good at a few aspects of air travel, like remembering where I parked my car after the return flight (TIP: snap a picture of your parking space with a camera phone) and zipping through the security checkpoint (TIP: wear shoes without buckles or laces that you can easily slip on and off), but packing? — packing is still not one of my strong points.
I over-pack. That’s all there is to it. I’m the girl who brings 15 pairs of underwear for a five-day getaway because you just never know if you’ll need the extra drawers. Like, what if I work out, and I want to change my underwear after? Right? I’d rather have more pairs than less.
But I am getting better at streamlining. I think. And I even learned a few new packing lessons on my recent trip to Kauai…
1. Pack in twos
It seemed counter-intuitive to me at first, but by doubling up on certain pieces of clothing, I had enough to cover my needs.
For example, on this trip I planned/hoped to exercise every day, but instead of packing five sports bras — which was my inclination — I only brought two. I’d work out in the first one, wash it in the hotel room sink, and hang it up on the balcony to dry.
If it was still damp the next day, I’d wear my second bra, and alternate between the two of them like that.
Saved a lot of room in my suitcase.
2. Work those workout clothes
Even if you don’t plan to hit the gym on your trip, bring that workout wear anyway. It’s usually lightweight, comfortable, easy to clean (even in the sink or bath), quick drying, suitable for spontaneous outdoor activities (like hiking, sightseeing, etc.), and wrinkle resistant. Plus, it doesn’t take up much room in your luggage or add a lot of bulk to your bag.
Gray tank top by Zella
I brought a few pieces from Zella on this trip, the in-house Nordstrom brand that’s basically like Lululemon but a little cheaper. I think their stuff is pretty stylish and definitely comfy. Perfect to wear on hikes.
3. Pack a camp shirt
Wish I’d started doing this years ago, but I’ve had this long-sleeve J. Crew camp shirt in my closet forever, and I decided to bring it on this trip.
Wore this J. Crew shirt almost every day!
The sleeves roll up, transforming it from a long- to a short-sleeve shirt, and I wore it many, many times during the trip, both as a shirt, and as a lightweight jacket/cover-up over tank tops and swimsuits.
This one happens to be 100 percent cotton, so it dries quickly in warm weather. I’d wash it in the sink, leave it out to dry, and it would be ready to wear again the next morning.
The hot pink color also appeals to the practical but paranoid part of me (the part that watches Survivorman and I Shouldn’t Be Alive). If I ever have to flag down a rescue plane, it’s a very eye-catching color.
I couldn’t find this exact shirt at J. Crew right now, but here’s a similar style at JC Penny for $16.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,
P.S. For more travel and packing tips, check out…