I recently landed a new job that has me travelling almost once a month to Montreal. Besides the work-related travel, I spent 12 weeks last year on various trips and vacations outside of the country as part of my travel blogging.
So what’s a girl to do between doing laundry and packing up that suitcase again? Travelling and planning is stressful enough. Throw in having to think about what you’re going to wear for a full week and my mind goes into overdrive.
Here are a couple dos and don’ts to help take the stress out of packing:
DO keep a stocked toiletries case.
Last-minute getaway? Travelling again for work? Keep a fully stocked toiletries case that is ready to go. It takes the stress out of packing down a notch. This means keeping a set of travel-sized essentials that are dedicated to this case. I pack basics like conditioner (hotel conditioner is usually terrible, but the shampoo is always ok – so I never pack it), toothbrush, dental floss, a mini deodorant, face wipes and some argan oil. Anything else is bonus or you can buy it at your destination if you really need it.
DON’T be a princess and pack every single hair, skin and body product that you own.
It’s just more stuff you have to load back into your bag later. Plus, you’re on vacation – so just take it easy on the make-up and hair and enjoy your time exploring your destination instead of spending it in the bathroom, staring in the mirror.
DO pick your shoes wisely
Shoes take up valuable and precious suitcase space. I break it down to a pair of sandals or flip-flops, comfortable walking flats, and one pair of black heels for going out.
DON’T pack a different pair of shoes for every outfit.
You probably won’t wear them if they’re uncomfortable and bringing them just means less suitcase space for when you (inevitably) go shopping.
DO pack comfortable travel clothes.
Have a comfortable maxi dress or cute dri-fit workout shorts and tank that you can sit for hours in. Sure, I love to look glamorous on a flight – for the first 30 minutes! But when you’re going transatlantic for more than seven hours, you just want to be comfortable. Have something picked out for your travel days there and back.
DON’T bother wearing your skinny jeans or anything super tight.
You’ll be happier and less cranky when you’re comfortable – trust me. If you’re worried about looking frumpy, pack a different top into your carry-on that you can change into before you land or arrive at your destination.
DO think ahead.
What types of events will you be attending? Will you need a fancy dress, office attire, beachwear or any sort of special clothing? Sort this stuff out first and include at least one or two outfits that you can wear to a nice dinner or night out.
DON’T panic if you forget anything or if the weather is different from what you expected.
Most hotels will lend you an umbrella, rain ponchos can usually be purchased for under $5 and you can always get to a store and buy pants or a jacket if you really need to. It’s better to under pack than it is to over pack.
So what are your packing secrets? Share with us in our comments!
Lisa Ng is the Editor-in-Chief of The Hip + Urban Girl’s Guide, a lifestyle website that blogs daily about food, travel, fashion and events. When she’s not chasing after the best taco or donut somewhere around the world, you can find her in Toronto sharing her finds online.