Back to the Basics aims to teach you all the little things you're "supposed" to know how to do. How to mix a martini, how to cook a steak to the right temp (medium rare, please!), and in this installment - we're tackling packing the weekend getaway (or longer?) suitcase.
Tomorrow is Friday (TGIF, y'all!) and to sweeten the deal, this week is giving us a little long weekend loving - meaning that for those lucky enough to have Labor Day off, you can take a little weekend getaway to wherever your heart desires.
This weekend, my poison of choice for weekend frolicking happens to be Martha's Vineyard. Instead of my usual take-three-bags-don't-look-back approach (one for shoes, one for accessories that aren't shoes, and one for clothes that I just happen to like, but have no idea if I'm actually going to wear), I'm pairing things down a bit. Lugging three large suitcases through the airport usually draws stares from those who have been savvy enough to pack everything they need for a getaway into one tiny carry on. The look of mixed pity, confusion, and slight disgust I got from the Air France check-in man when I was returning from my study abroad program with the aforementioned three suitcases (PLUS everything I bought while I'd been there. I mean, how could you not?) is enough to make you want to change your ways. Believe that.
Here are five quick tips for packing light this holiday weekend, so you can get on to more important things like, "How many lobster rolls can I fit into my mouth at once?" and "How many hot dogs will fit on this grill?" You know, the serious stuff.
1. Plan outfits ahead of time
How many days are you traveling? Pick out outfits for each day. I like to make a list of everything I'm bringing and what's going together before I even start pulling things from my closet. If you've planned out activities, you'll have a pretty good idea of what you'll be doing and what you should be wearing (e.g. cocktail dress and heels might not work for the day you're going zip lining).
2. Pick out your accessories ahead of time.
Pick out what you're going to wear and lay it out with your outfits that you just pulled out. Bring things that can do double duty, like a statement necklace that works with a dress or a t-shirt. Believe me, you still probably won't wear everything you bring (if you're like me).
Roll your clothes so you can fit everything in snugly. I like to fold my outfits and then roll up my accessories I'm wearing with them so that I can just pull them out of my suitcase and go. It's like packing a little daily set. Rolling keeps things pretty wrinkle free and creates more space than just folding everything. I packed for a month long trip through Asia in a carry-on using this method once. It wasn't by choice (I really wanted my three suitcases) but it worked out with the help of laundry services everywhere we went.
4. Pair down your toiletries
Do you really need glittery fuchsia eye shadow for one weekend away? Bring your make up essentials, your toothbrush, skin care/showering stuffs (in travel size if you can!), and deodorant. You don't need much more than that.
5. Carry a larger "Personal Bag"
Bigger bag = you get to bring more stuff. Pack a larger handbag, backpack, or cross body bag with other smaller handbags and purses to have a little variety while you're away. I like to pack a leather back pack stuffed with a small cross body bag for night time festivities. I also pack my electronics, cords, and valuables (any real jewelry goes in here) in this bag as well, since it'll be closest to me throughout my journey to vacationland.
And that's it! These packing tips can work for a few days away or even a month (if you can wash your clothes somewhere). It saves you from having to pay ever-higher baggage fees, you don't have to wait for your bags to come out after you land, and your can finally buy cute luggage without despairing over the fact that it probably won't be so cute after those luggage handlers/concierge/taxi drivers start tossing it into the plane/train/automobiles. Obviously, I sometimes break down and bring way too much stuff. But hey, rules were meant to be broken.
This weekend, however, I'll be traveling light. Bon voyage.