June 29, 2011

Vacation Packing Evaluation

Last week I had the awesome opportunity to travel to Florida and spend a few days with my best friends, basking in sunshine and beach-ness.  It was gorgeous and such a fun time.

Of course, with every trip comes the step of packing for that trip.  And I hate packing.  Make me decide on only a few articles of clothing to bring with me out of my wardrobe? You might as well tell me to put individual grains of sand into a bucket.  It's just not how I get dressed.  But because of my experience participating in last fall's 30 for 30, I have learned how to work a limited and disciplined wardrobe.  So packing has lately turned into a sort of hybrid disciplined yet free-for-all combination of getting dressed.

I thought I would decide to evaluate how I did for this particular trip for this post.

The suitcase - Carry-On size.  It also has those awesome kind of wheels that go in any direction, which makes it perfect for constantly moving while making your way through the airport - which I love :)

Going to the Beach Baby!  2 One Pieces and 1 Bikini.  I could have left the bikini at home - it just wasn't happenin'.

Two cover-ups.  I could have left the cardi at home because it as well just wasn't happenin' in the Florida heat!

3 Bottoms - 2 shorts and 1 pair of jeans.  The jeans were thrown in there because I wasn't sure if I was going to want to have a pair of pants.  Turns out, I didn't need them!

4 t-shirts - 3 short-sleeve, 1 long-sleeve. 2 bold colors and 2 stripes.  The long-sleeve stripe t-shirt could have been left at home, as it wasn't worn.  But the 2 colored short sleeve shirts were well used! :)

2 Blouses - 1 worn, 1 not.  Should have left the coral pink one home.

2 Cardis - Got this one right! Both were used for layering.

1 dress.  I had to fight myself to not bring 2 dresses, but I made the right call! 1 was all I needed!

2 scarves, 4 belts.  Scarves ended up not being needed, but were good to use to help keep some things separated from each other in the suitcase.  And 3 of the 4 belts were used, so I feel like I did well on that front!

7 Necklaces, 8 earrings, 2 fun rings, 3 everyday rings, 2 everyday bracelets, and 1 watch.  A tip to keep your accessories, especially necklaces from getting tangled? Package them by ones or twos in tiny, snack-sized baggies.  It will save you TONS of time de-tangling chains! (I totally owe my friend, a professional organizer, Kristin Long, for that tip!)

3 Pairs of Sandals and 1 pair of flip-flops.  2 pairs of sandals were used (the pink and brown ones) and the black ones stayed in my suitcase.  The flip-flops were used every day :).  I had thought of bringing my pair of sandal wedges, but a) they didn't fit in my suitcase and b) I realized that I wasn't going to wear them :).

This was my outfit for the plane.  Silk blouse (aka, Taco Shirt), J.Crew shorts, Cardigan, and Jacket (which I should have left home, but you just don't ever know when you might need a jacket!), pink sandals, chunky necklace and belt.  It was a great outfit to travel in - comfy, casual, and yet still just a little bit dressy.

And there we have it!  In every category, I over-packed by one item.  Honestly, that is a small victory for this girl, as I always have a propensity to grossly over-pack.  However, I tried to be realistic AND creative with my choices, while also knowing that I had to fit everything into my carry-on.  There were a bunch of items that I probably would have shoved into there if I wasn't working with size limitations though!  But I am glad that I was able to pack everything up (A DAY before I left for vacay - I don't know what was up with me!) and carry it on the plane.

I am lucky because I'll have another opportunity to go on another vacation later on this summer!  I think it'll be interesting to see if I've learned anything (probably not :)) from this packing experience when I go to pack for that.

Tell me about your packing experience! Are you a chronic over-packer, or are you able to travel to Europe for three weeks with only a carry-on (like one of my best friends did recently?)?
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