I think a good 40% of my stress around traveling revolves around packing. (Another 50% is usually from having to leave my pups behind!) I am, for sure, a homebody by nature. I like to be in my space with all of my things. A mantra I repeat to myself over and over again is that I can buy whatever I need when I get to wherever I’m going if I need to. A forgotten toothbrush, set of pajamas, or even underwear really isn’t that big of a deal. I either buy while I’m there (like underwear) or make do without (like the pajamas). Even with all of my lists and preparations, sometimes things get left behind.
With that said, I have my traveling system down pat! With so much travel coming up this summer (yay!), I thought I’d share my essentials for packing. Depending on where I’m going, how long I’ll be there, and what I’m bringing, I bring a combination of these things!
SUITCASE // I currently use this monogrammed roller suitcase as a checked item. I get a thousand questions (not an exaggeration) about it whenever I post a photo on IG stories. It’s not the ~best~ quality suitcase, but it gets the job done and I haven’t had issues with it since I purchased. (I’d recommend Bric or TUMI for the very best quality.) The reason why I wouldn’t get a bigger suitcase is that this size ensures that I always stay under the 50 pound limit for airlines. I’d rather check two bags (because I think it’s easier to manage two smaller bags versus one giant one) if I really needed to travel with more.
I have the suitcase in white and I absolutely love the way it looks. Unfortunately, it does get a little dirty and banged up whenever I check it, but a little scrub with Mr. Clean Magic Eraser does the trick.
I currently don’t own a roller carry-on bag, but with some of my shorter trips, I’ve been contemplating investing in one. Top of my list is the smaller checked bag version of the one I already have and I’ve also been eyeing this Steamline-lookalike bag from Amazon. (I’m so nervous about “getting what you pay for” though, so if anyone has it, let me know what you think!)
WEEKENDER // I either bring a weekender alone, as the main bag, or carry it on the plane with me for extra packing. If I’m going on a weekend trip, this is the bag I bring 99% of the time. It fits everything you could possibly need for two-three days, even if you’re an over-packer like I am! I fully believe that everyone needs at least one great weekender in their arsenal. I use this more than anything else and absolutely LOVE it; they’re just so functional and practical.
(I also have/love this faux leather weekender.)
TIP: Look for one with handles and a long strap for easy carrying. Weekenders can get heavy (especially if you pack a few pairs of shoes!) so a long strap makes it easy to throw over your shoulder and distribute the weight better.
TOTE // I have too many tote bags to count, but the ones I reach for over and over again are my LL Bean Boat and Totes. (Here’s my reference guide for what size to get!) You can’t go wrong. I have the large and x-large and bring one or the two on just about every trip I take. I might use one as my carry-on (x-large!) or “personal item” (large). If I’m going down to the beach or even the gym, I definitely bring one as well.
TIP: they’re priced perfectly for gifts too! I buy these ALL the time for gifts. The personalization takes it to the next level.
COSMETIC BAGS // I have an older set of cosmetic bags that I bring everywhere I go. I get tons of questions about it but unfortunately, they are no longer available. Sometimes I’m tempted to donate or give away something that isn’t available anymore because I get so many questions about it, the cosmetic bags and my quilt are two examples; BUT I love them too much to give up on them. GOOD NEWS THOUGH! I found the bags from another brand and they look identical (just a different print). I cannot recommend these enough. At first glance, they don’t seem like cosmetic bags, but the pouches seriously do a great job at keeping things organized. I use the big one for all my big toiletries, including my hairbrushes! The medium one is perfect for makeup and the small one can be used for jewelry. GET THESE, you won’t regret it!
TIP: Keep your cosmetic bag packed at all times with travel sized products. If you’re a frequent traveler like I am, it saves SO much time and I never worry that I’ve left without something I need. I bring: a razor, mini toothpaste, q-tips, makeup wipes, cleanser, dry shampoo, shampoo/conditioner, shower oil, shower cap, face sunscreen, etc. I try to get mini sizes of my favorite products at Sephora and the drug store. It’s so nice having everything packed so I can just throw in my toothbrush and hit the road!