1.23.2020

My Top 10 Packing Tips + How I Packed for My Honeymoon


I used to hate packing! It's just daunting and time-consuming and things would never fit and it came to be the bain of my existence! But over the years, I've traveled more and gotten older and accepted some things (like packing) and now I don't really mind it. I don't think I would go as far as to say I love it, but I definitely hate it less now than I did in the past.


One thing that has helped and hindered my packing journey is my mom. She is an expert packer. Like she can make anything fit anywhere and that was great because she used to (and still does from time to time) help me pack. Because I would rely on her, it definitely hindered me from learning it on my own but at the same time, I've learned most of my major tricks from her so now I'm kind of a pro. 

Quite possibly the greatest feat of my packing career was my honeymoon. I was able to pack a month's worth of clothing, shoes, accessories -- spanning close to four seasons worth of variety -- into a large checked bag. It was something of genius, that they will be writing about for futures to come... probably lol.

And I'm here to not only share my best packing tips and tricks with you but also walk you through how I packed for my honeymoon in the form of a video unpacking! So let's hop right into it...


Tip #1: Know Exactly What You're Packing
Half the headache of packing is getting all your things together. I usually start by making a mental list of each day of the trip, what we're doing, and how many outfits I need. Then I go into planning outfits -- from head to toe with accessories -- and laying them out in piles on the bed. At the end, I look and see what I can get rid of/reduce (like cutting from 3 pairs of jeans to 1 or 2) and folding the final looks into piles ready to go in the suitcase.

Then there are other items like toiletry, undergarments, makeup, electronics, skin/hair care, and so on. I try to do my best to grab all of these and put them on the bed before I actually start to pack. Obviously, there are always last-minute items you forget about and just throw in, but the general idea is to have everything out and ready to go before you put a single item in your suitcase. 

Once you have everything laid out, you can take inventory on what you have and need to pack so you can break items into categories and sizes. I like to sort by bulky, medium and small items. Bulky is your fleeces, jackets, boots, makeup bags -- things that aren't easily stuffable and take up the most room in your suitcase. Medium-sized items are things that aren't bulky nor small -- jeans, t-shirts, dresses, sandals -- all mostly foldable and moveable. Then the small things like bras, swimsuits, electronics, jewelry are saved for last or condensed together. I'm a big fan of stuffing these in shoes, hats, bags and leaving out to fill any extra space. 

Tip #2: Use Packing Cubes
I didn't really buy into this craze until Andrew started using them religiously and now I don't think I'll ever turn back. I cannot explain how they work but they do. I think being able to fit things into smaller cubes just helps the overall packing experience. For the honeymoon, I stuffed like 90% of my clothes into this cube and sat on it so it would close and it worked!

I mainly just use my packing cube for clothes and the clothes I do put into it are usually medium-sized items (see above) first. You can't really maximize the space if you just pack bulky items right away since it will take up all the room! I find it works best (at least for me) to do medium and then fill in any extra spaces with smaller items.

These are the ones Andrew has, mine are way old but these are a good set!

Tip #3: Bring a Steamer
Don't fear wrinkles! I personally hate ironing my clothes so I always pack a travel steamer with me. There are a ton of options, I use this one from Amazon -- it's cheap and has lasted me 5+ years so far (here's a newer one with better reviews). You're going to get wrinkles, especially if you're packing a lot into your suitcase or packing cube. This will just help alleviate any worry you may have from doing so.

Tip #4: Properly Folding Can Make a Difference
When it doubt, Marie Kondo it out! Her folding tips are really really helpful -- especially when packing bulkier items like jackets or fleeces. You'd be surprised how folding with purpose can help save you room in the long run. There are a ton of tutorials on YouTube and via her show on Netflix.

Tip #5: Pack Heavy Items at the Bottom
Your bag is going to travel the sun and be flipped all around after it leaves your hands BUT you should still think about the position it will be in the most: upright and rolling. And because of #gravity, you should pack your heaviest things at the bottom. These for me are usually my makeup bag, my packing cubes, shoes and bags (that I fill with other items). It will help with your weigh-in but also help things not move as much on the voyage.

Tip #6: Pack Shoes Around the Spine of Your Luggage
The spine of the luggage is THE most annoying part of any suitcase, right?? Please tell me I am not alone in this lol. Packing shoes, in general, is an annoyance so I usually just invert them on each other and stuff/stick them between the spines so they stay in place. Having them stay put and in line with the spine makes it easier (I think) when packing.

Tip #7: Pack Your Sun Hats Upside Down
Some people love to bring these in hand but I always seem to leave them behind if I do that. Plus, the bigger the hat the better for me so I'm a fan of packing it away and leaving it there until we arrive. If you pack your hats upside down, it actually helps keep their shape in the suitcase. I normally put the top of the hat between the spine, fill the inside with smaller items and pack around the head (with shoes and bags) and leave the brim to rest on top of it all. 

I packed a pretty large hat for the honeymoon and it was totally fine for the entire trip! If you have multiple hats, stacking them inside each other also really helps. This is definitely easier seen than explained so I suggest checking out how it's packed away in the video below!

Tip #8: Leave Smaller Items for Last + Filler Space
The smaller items are the true MVP of your suitcase. They can fit into any space and crevasse -- in hats, between your shoes, in your smaller bags, etc! I like to leave these for last because you'd be surprised at how much you can fit into these small places.

Tip #9: Fill Your Purses
Just like packing cubes, putting stuff into bags can help the overall organization of packing. If you're packing your purses, put stuff in them. I personally love to pack my bags with jewelry, contacts, cords, sunglasses, and things of the sort. You're going to be packing your purses anyway, you might as well make good use of them!

Tip #10: Properly Pack Your Carry On
I like to save this step for last! It's best to try and always have extra room in your carry on in case your luggage is over, you need to end up buying anything or if you realize you forgot something and can add it in last minute! I also always pack a full change of clothes, extra underwear, any essential toiletry items and contacts -- things that cannot easily be replaced within the day if your baggage gets lost or delayed.

I also always pack the super essential items that can never be replaced like my nice jewelry, my designer bags, and my computer. It's always best to have those on you at all times. In this same idea, I try to always bring on a tote bag so if my carry on does get checked, I can throw these items in my purse and bring it on the plane with me. I've thankfully never had to deal with any lost luggage but it's definitely more about the piece of mind!

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SO with that, I now want to share my YouTube video about how I packed for my honeymoon. If you guys saw this post linking everything I wore during our trip, you know I really packed a punch (no pun intended) with my packing skills on this trip. It's hard to do a "pack with me" video because of my routine and how messy it all is but I hope this "un-pack" with me is somewhat helpful.

You can see how it finished, how I got there and can show you real-life how it looks. I always laugh and the beautifully curated photos of people's packed luggage. They are just not being efficient!! Anyway, I digress. Here is a fun video for all my visual people out there:


And that's everything (I think lol). I hope this was somewhat informative and/or helpful. If you guys want to see more posts like this, just give me a holler on IG or email!
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