The excitement of traveling can be overwhelming and especially overwhelming when it comes to packing. And let me assume that before you escape on your journey somewhere, you typically plan out your outfits, possibly go buy new outfits, then procrastinate packing until the last minute. You then are left in despair and distraught that you don’t have enough room for your new coat that only matches one outfit. With the rockin’ and rollin’ of Vegas for the National Finals Rodeo, the holiday festivities and family reunions, you may become a traveling gypsy living in and out of your suitcase. Although it’s super fun, the frustrations of not having enough outfits or not packing the right things, could make or break the enjoyment of being a self-proclaimed wanderer. So, in no particular order, I have compiled a few tips for you to avoid packing pitfalls and incorporate on your next cowgirl adventure.
- Make a list: Although we constantly take mental notes, when the time comes and you’re under packing pressure, your mental packing list seems to diminish. Ask yourself, what will you be doing and where; walking vs. dancing, day vs. night, dressing to impress or hiking and adventuring. When you think of something, write it down. Or even better, create a list of necessities and work from there.
- Roll your clothes: When packing, always roll your clothes oppose to folding. In doing so, you save space and makes your clothes less wrinkled.
- Pack for compatibility: You know you have to wear a different outfit each day, so the key is selecting versatile and interchangeable pieces. Pack a lot of basic colors first and then add variety with colorful or patterned pieces.
Fashionista and avid traveler of over 20 different countries, Roxy Arreloa (@roxy.celia) suggests, “As an avid traveler, I have learned a few tricks of the trade when it comes to packing light and stylish. Would you believe me if I told you I spent a month in Europe and only brought a carry-on suitcase and a backpack? The keys to my success are basic; no literally, basic tees, colors, prints. Another great idea is actually trying these outfits on to see if you like them before packing!”
- Think accessories: Spice up any outfit with accessories such as belts, jewelry and scarves. Not only are they essentials, they save space and add instant color to your outfit. You can virtually take one outfit from day to night.
- Scale back on shoes: Although this is extremely hard, it’s the easiest way to save space, giving you more room to add more clothes. When packing, place shoes heel-to-toe in the bottom of your luggage along the edge or laying on their side. You can also fill your shoes with items wrapped in a sock.
- Space-saving compression: If you absolutely need an abundance of outfits (like myself), space saving compression bags like Space Bag let you double your wardrobe. They work well for sweaters, coats and jackets.
- Buy travel size: Remember if you carry on liquids, aerosols or gels, they have to be in containers under 3.4 ounces. Stores like Target and Sephora offer airplane approved containers.
- Carry-ons are your friend: Literally, carry-ons can be your best friend. Travel with an approved carryon suitcase in addition to your check baggage. In this suitcase you can store more outfits or your liquids and leave more room and less weight in your checked baggage. And if your checked luggage gets misplaced, you will have a back-up plan.
- Backpack: Grab a backpack and use it as your personal item. You can stuff your purse in your backpack or put it in your checked baggage. Regardless, your backpack will be very beneficial on your trip.
Additionally, don’t sweat the small stuff. Slow down, get off your phone and enjoy your journey. By slowing down, you are able to notice more about your surroundings than you might have missed by rushing or scrolling through your phone. Have some patience and don’t freak about the small stuff, because there are many things we can’t control while traveling and sometimes they work out for the best. One more thing, talk to people. By talking to people, not only can you learn but it can only enhance the experience. Most importantly, be safe and live it up! Cheers.