Top 5 Summer Packing Tips

Monday, June 01, 2015

One of my favorite parts of summer is the travelling. Whether you're backpacking across Europe, (or dreaming about it like I am!) visiting the beach for a handful of calm days, or touring a city and soaking up the sun and the culture, the last thing you want to worry about is whether or not your equipped to face each day's adventure.

I won't say I'm a packing expert, but I have done it a few times, and there are certain methods I have found to work better than others.

1. The key is to not overpack, because not only does a large amount of luggage often cost more to put on a plane (if you're travelling by air) but also becomes quite a burden to keep a handle on. It also doesn't leave much allowance for anything you might want to bring back with you, whether you've gone shopping or have a few souvenirs. Pack light & leave a small allowance for the return trip.

2. Pick out your outfits ahead of time. If at all possible, get a list of the activities you'll be doing each day, and plan your clothing accordingly. This saves so much time on the days you're actually wearing the clothing, keeping you from having to rumple through your bag and piece together an outfit and also keeps you from overpacking "essentials" that you may or may not actually wear. Be sure to also check the weather an make sure you're choosing clothing appropriate for the climate.

3. Shoes on the bottom, roll your clothes. These are the two most important things about packing that my dad has taught me, and it's the difference between a suitcase that looks nice before you close it (but not when you reopen it at your destination) and one that stays put and organised. Plus, rolling your clothes neatly saves a lot of space.

4. Keep it lightweight; dresses, slender sandals, shorts, t-shirts. One pair of pants is usually all you'll need in that department in the summertime. Use a few standout accessories to mix it up, or to elevate the elegance, but don't go overboard on the jewelry; I find that I almost always overpack jewelry, and in the end I probably wear the same watch and rings the whole trip, maybe swapping in a necklace and earrings here and there. Unless you're going to a fancier event, keep it simple, delineated.

5. Pick a good, sturdy bag...because you'll probably be using it the whole trip. If I'm travelling by plane, I like to have something big and structured enough to support a good few books, and also have room for my essentials (a few small makeup essentials, pens, my phone, earbuds, wallet, travel journal). But I don't carry all of this around with me during the rest of the trip, so I make sure I have room in my suitcase for a small crossbody (flatpack or slide it down the side of the suitcase). This way I don't have to carry everything in my pockets, nor am I lugging a large handbag around sightseeing. A crossbody is handsfree, lightweight and easy to keep track of.

What are your best packing methods?


  1. Awesome tips! I'll be sure to use them on my next trip.

    Micaela // Note + Rain

  2. I am so horrible about over packing. Recently I've been making myself weed through a few times AFTER packing until I have the bare minimum. But it is SO liberating to not be weighed down by too much stuff!

    1. I love the idea of culling through even after you think you've got the final product! I'll have to give that a go when our summer trip comes around. ;)

      Thanks, dear!

  3. This is great! My family is going to the beach later this summer for a little over a week.

    I usually over pack jewelry too. Since I'll wear the same one or two necklaces ranging from a week's time to a whole semester, taking a lot of jewelry with me on a trip just doesn't make sense. I never wear half of it. I'll remember to keep it slim this time. It's easier to keep track of that way too.

    That tip about rolling your clothes is a good idea! I've never thought of it, but I'll definitely give it a try.

    Usually when I'm packing, I give myself at least three go-rounds before trying to stuff it in the bag. I throw everything on my bed that I want to take with me, just for kicks. Then I shave it off and get rid of the ridiculous stuff that I know I'm not going to need at all. Third time around is crunch time and I tell myself I'll end up wearing only one pair of shoes because it's easier, how much make-up am I really going to wear if I'm going to be swimming half the time, and two books is almost luxurious for a week trip (especially if there happens to be a secondhand bookshop there.).

    1. I love to toss all my stuff on my bed too, but as I said to Brianna, hadn't really thought to weed through for specific catch-me's - thanks for the idea! I'll definitely be putting it into practice.

      Ah, makeup. The one other thing I invariably overpack with (what if I want to do a red lip for dinner? What if I decide to do some dramatic winged liner?) I have to make my response to those questions "what if you want to swim?" And that usually keeps things down. ;)


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