Packing 101

Maybe I'm the only one but being a quick and effecient packer is not my forte. I mean, just check out this picture of when I hopped on a plane for Korea. Did I really need two 50lb bags, two carry ons and a large white comfy pillow? Why, yes! Yes, I did. 

I know! I'm not in the picture but I took it. (To my roomate Alisha - I didn't have a picture of just me with all that baggage so I put yours up, your welcome). However, all that baggage on the left is mine. How Alisha and I managed to haul that much across a big ocean I'll never really know. It's funny now but was some serious work then. You know what else is funny? I came home for Christmas and still managed to come back with 2 full suitcases and a large carry on. However, this time around it was items for the kids so it stayed in Korea. People had to help me haul luggage though because for some reason I thought getting a latte with two big purple suitcases was a brilliant idea ... FAIL =). 

Now, I don't travel across a blue ocean as much but Dave and I travel just about every weekend. We either go home to Wichita (a 3 hour drive), go camping in a near by area or take a trip to a different state. It almost feels like we live two separate lives. One during the week in Woodward and one during the weekends where we travel. 

My packing goes somewhat like this - I'll think and think about what to pack. While I'm still thinking about what clothes I'm going to wear so I can pack them my husband will say "I'm done packing". Grrr! (I secretly want to dump his bags out so he will have to re-pack and know how it feels to be a girl packer. I know, that's really what a mature 28 should not say) Anyways! After I decide what to take I put it all in my bag and then realize I have too much and have to take stuff out. I then remember TOILETRIES! Oh man! I gotta pack those too. EEEEk! My husband saw my routine once and then sat me down and taught me how to be a packer. Some of these ideas are his,  some are mine and some are lessons from experience. =) 

Packing Tips 101

1. Get Good Gear 
Instead of hauling a suitcase I purchased a Gregory Pack. It has tons of room (which I surprisingly don't fill) and has great back support. It also has lots of compartments so you can organize your toiletries, store your electronics, etc. Packs like this come in different sizes by the liter. You can go all the way up to a 70 Liter pack. While that might give you extra room I don't recommend that because guess who gets to carry that pack? You! I believe mine is a 35L or 40L. I opted for a smaller one so I would be forced to pack light and it works great. This pack is practical for weekend trips or can be used for camping. It has attachments where I can hook on my tent and sleeping bag. It's also small enough to be a carry-on for airplane rides. win. win. I'm going to pack for a whole week using this pack for Christmas and I know it will work great. 

2. Wear it Twice
I don't pack a brand new outfit for every day. I often times wear the same pair of jeans / leggings 2 or 3 times but I'll bring different shirts. I also try to color coordinate my outfits. If I'm gone for 3 days I'll pick a scarf and boots that match my outfits for 3 days. That way I can wear the boots all three days and wear the scarf for 2 of those 3 days. That way I don't have to pack as much. 

3. Double Up
This tip is definitely from Dave and has been a life saver. I always packed my make-up and toiletries every time we traveled. Well, if you travel every weekend that is a lot of unpacking and packing. Dave told me to buy two of all my toiletries including makeup! I was hesitant to do this at first because makeup is expensive. I still have one or two items to purchase but I can tell you that this method saves time. All my toiletries, makeup, brushes, etc. are in my bag and I don't have to worry about packing them or worry about forgetting something. If you can't afford to buy two of everything I'd recommend getting travel size bottles and putting some of your shampoo / conditioner in there. I also wear less makeup when I travel which means less packing. 

4. Pack Chronologically
Here is how this one works for me. Lets say I'm traveling Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Well, I don't need my Sunday clothes until the last day so they go on the bottom of my pack, followed by Saturday, followed by Friday. Friday's clothes are on top and are easy to grab. I also will tuck my underwear, scarf and any other clothing accessory into that days clothing pile. It keeps me from digging everything out from my bag. My pack has a zipper on the side and I usually put my pj's right there as well as any other toiletries that didn't fit into the compartments. 

5. Borrow
This might not always work but if I'm traveling to see one of my sisters or my Mom I know they have a hair dryer and a nice flat iron which saves me from packing and hauling more things. I haven't done this yet but if you are going on a girls trip coordinate and each person could bring a major item (hair dryer, lotion, brush, etc.). 

6. Less is More
I know. No one wants to hear this one but it's true. Sometimes when I travel I let my hair air dry and be free. I wear less makeup and I am more casual. It's ok and good for me =) When I went to Taiwan I took a small backpack. I had two tank tops, one pair of capris, one pair of shorts, a swim suit and that's it! Oh yeah, underwear too. I washed my clothes several times on that trip. While I don't recommend packing that light all the time it did work great for that trip. 

Those are my tips. What are yours? Do you have any suggestions to help me pack better? Are you traveling for the holidays? I hope these tips were helpful. 


  1. I actually have been postponing my packing because it's dreadful (I am flying off tomorrow) -- I never think to pack chronologically. Hmm.. maybe this time I will.

  2. It saves me tons of time!!! Thanks again for hosting =)

  3. Oh the memories!!
    I don't know about you, but I don't think packing will ever be fun, but these are helpful tips!

  4. I've never thought about buying twice the toiletries. That's. to a bad idea!

  5. I hadn't either until Dave made me do it! It saves lots of packing time.