When polling my community about what the biggest concerns are when packing for a trip, there were two that took the top spots:
Not packing the RIGHT things
I feel you my friends - both of these are real issues. I have experienced both and am here to tell you with a little knowledge and effort you can eliminate these outcomes and experience your travels in new way.
In 2011, I was getting ready to travel to Palm Dessert. As I was packing (last minute, of course), I did not have the capacity to think about what I needed to bring or make the decisions on what to pack and what to leave. I ended packing a large chunk of my closet (I’m serious...almost everything).
When I unpacked at my destination, I found I had about 25 tops for a 7 day trip! I knew I would be shopping on this trip, so I realized I was not efficient. I also found I actually only wore less than 30% of the items I'd brought.
I started to question myself on why I was allowing those odds. Why was my suitcase filled with clothes that were not being worn? I was basically delaying the decision making – instead of making it before my trip, I was delaying it to be made on the trip.
A couple of years later, I booked a 2.5 week trip to London and Italy with my sister. A few months before we went I started to think about the fact that we would be travelling around and taking trains. I didn’t want to have a large suitcase overstuffed with clothing I wouldn’t be wearing.
I started poring over blog posts and articles to glean tips on packing effectively. None of them were exactly what I was looking for in one, but I was able to eventually piece together enough to make a plan. This was the first time I created a travel capsule, or base wardrobe. I ended up with a medium size suitcase and I wore everything I brought!
Since then I have been on numerous trips from cottage vacations to a resort to European adventures and even long weekend trips to a different city. Each time, I use the same steps to plan out what to pack. This allows me to make the decisions before I go, leaving me space to be present and fully experience my trip. Sounds dreamy doesn’t it?
Here are three tips for packing efficiently:
Plan - List out what you are doing on your trip – all the activities, temperatures, even your vision and goals
Build - Start with a capsule wardrobe that aligns with your trip goals and activities [use this base wardrobe blog post as an example]
Refine - add and remove pieces as needed to round out what you need – the earlier you do this you can identify gaps and give yourself time to purchase the right items – not wasting money, time, and stress on items you don’t actually like
Following these three steps before you go on vacation will greatly help your vacation experience. Want even more guidance?
I have recently created an online course that will guide you through the entire process, including instruction and worksheets. The course, Packing Essentials, is designed to support you with any trip. It’s not a one trip and done, you will have lifetime access. You can come back to the tools again and again.
Intrigued? Check it out here.
To your travel success,
p.s. Share this with anyone you know who is heading out on a trip!