Truth be told, I am not the greatest packer.
My initial travels consisted of HUGE suitcases, 90% of my wardrobe (with the popular excuse “but I may need this!”), and a lot of frantic repacking at airports to avoid overweight charges. This last point still happens (case in point – my last work trip, however most of the weight was work stuff, not shoes, so I’ll overlook that slip-up).
Over time, my ability to pack light has improved substantially. For four months of backpacking last year I packed:
- three pairs of pants (jeans, sweats and the nerdiest yet most comfortable UV pants)
- 1 skirt
- 2 sweaters (1 pullover, 1 cardigan)
- 3 t-shirts
- 1 rain coat
- 1 pair hiking shoes
- 1 pair Birks
- 1 pair flip flops
- 1 shawl, which I wore with EVERYTHING
- SmartWool socks. I can’t recommend these enough. Hat tip to Victoria for the recommendation!
I also initially had a pair of fast flats, which faded fast.
The important thing to remember when packing is to pick items that carry extra mileage. My shawl dressed up my plain skirt and t-shirt combos for nights out, kept me warm when temperatures plummeted, worked as a blanket on long flights, and kept me appropriately dressed during temple visits. My general rule of thumb now is – if I can’t wear it at least three ways, it ain’t coming with me. Also remember – unless you’re travelling with extremely judgemental people (which hopefully you are not!), no one is going to notice if you wear the same outfit a few times. Just remember to pack some washing soap!
My packing initially consisted of neatly rolling up my items into my backpack, but quickly devolved to shoving everything in the shoes I wasn’t wearing and creasing things to bits. I am going to NYC at the end of April for a few days and am excited to try packing using the helpful tips in this video from PackingLight!
How do you like to pack? Leave a comment below!