It’s that time of the year again when most of us pack our bags and leave for the well deserved vacation somewhere far to relax, read a good book or two, not care about anything else but enjoying on the beach and cool off in the sea.
A lot of posts have been going up about packing in the blogosphere, some giving advice on what to pack in general, others listing items they’ve packed to get you inspired on taking that awesome SPF cream with you. Most of them have something in common – nobody loves to pack. Some are excited to pack but seem to always forget something important, others just can’t get the hang of it and tend to overpack.
With this post I’m going to help you get in the right frame of mind to be able to pack efficiently, no matter where you’re going.
When I prepare to write down what to pack, I write down several key information about the destination to help me break down what do I actually need.
- Where and when (what time of the year) am I going? (these two give the guideline on whether I need warm or light clothing)
- How long and with whom/where am I staying? (this help with the amount of underwear and other clothing)
- Luggage restrictions (if I’m flying I need to be extra careful on the amount of clothing I take)
- Activities and locations (I write down all possible activities and locations I might do or see)
When you write down the locations you might be at, I want you to write down every thing that you expect to do. For example I’m going to island Hvar, specifically to one small village next to the sea where I’ll stay in an apartment. Which means that when I’m there (so location will be apartment/beach) I will probably go to the store as well (another location/outfit) and I will visit closer towns (another location/outfit) as well. So when you write down locations, think about the outfits you need for them. I encourage you to think about simple outfits, that don’t look too overdone, unless it’s expected of you to look on point even when you go grab your morning coffee. It’s your vacation after all, you want to chill, not worry about looking perfect all the time. If you’re going out, go for simple LBD or any other summer dress. If you’re doing sightseeing in hot weather, consider white shirts, light skirts/shorts, etc. Write these possible outfits down next to your locations.
Depending on the time of the year and location where you’re going, you might need to consider unpredictable weather as well. In this case you do the same as I wrote above but also consider worst case scenario. For example if you’re going to Berlin in spring, the weather might be great most of the time but what if there are unexpected few days of rain right in the middle of your trip? Now, it’s obvious you can’t pack double outfits just for that reason, but keep in mind that packing a pair of Converse shoes might be all you need to be rainy day appropriate. Nobody wants to go around city in flip flops when it rains. So try to incorporate items that might work in any weather (jeans) instead of just warm sunny days (white pants).
In my case, if there’s a rainy day (which is hardly possible, Hvar is not called sunniest island in Croatia just because), chances are I’ll throw myself in the sea because it gets really warm in the rain. But IF there is rain, I won’t leave the apartment so a pair of leggings and a long sleeved shirt will do.
It’s probably a no-brainer to mention that you should take items that could be worn for different outfits if you have luggage restrictions.
It’s much easier to pack if you specifically write down all activities and locations you might do, because you can actually focus on what you really need instead of just thinking what you might need. That way you end up throwing things in the suitcase, over pack and have no spare space to bring home any goodies you got there. ;)
How do you pack? Do you try to write down all the things you might need or just throw things in as you go? Comment below! :)