Every year, traveling for the holidays can be so stressful. Taking time off from work, getting all your bills and other obligations in order, making sure presents are packed — or sent ahead of time — and knowing what to wear for the occasions can be mind-numbing.
If you are planning on traveling for the holidays, or any time for that matter, knowing how to pack effectively and look great while doing it isn’t as hard as you think. Our guide to packing lightly and still traveling in style will help you have a great time, be dressed for almost any occasion, and have room to bring gifts and souvenirs home with you.
Pack For the Right Type of Trip
When you pack, there are two schools of thought, one for when you are flying and the other for when you’re taking a road trip. In general, the concept is to pack lightly and take less than you need so that you have room to bring things home with you while also being able to look good while you’re away.
Packing When You Fly
When flying for the holidays, keep in mind the luggage requirements and baggage allowances for the airlines you’ll be taking. Some allow a complimentary bag, but others don’t have a free allowance. And all airlines will charge you for multiple bags and if you’re over a specific weight (usually over fifty pounds).
That said, packing for a flight shouldn’t be stressful! First, make a plan on what you expect to do, what the weather may be like, and outfits you may need before you start to pack. Next, pack your outfits in coordinating colors that you can mix and match to have a variety of outfits without too many clothes.
Pack neutral colors to maximize your options between outfits. For example, have a comfortable pair of slacks or jeans with three different tops that you can mix and match. If you happen to bring along one jacket or top with you, then you can have a whole trip’s worth of options!
You’ll also want to keep your shoes to a minimum. A pair of running shoes for the flight and one pair of comfortable loafers and boots should be about all you plan to pack. That’s three pairs maximum.
Another great idea is to keep your accessories to a minimum. A few well-thought accessories can change the tone and tenor of the entire outfit, so plan the coordination with your shoes and outfits and pack your accessories lightly.
For toiletries, you can get a travel bag to hold your brush or hair pick, makeup kits, and whatever else you need. Consider packing these in your carry-on bag to save room in your check-in luggage.
Finally, dress comfortably for your flight. Wearing comfortable clothes for your flight will make you more relaxed and comfortable for your trip, and depending on your destination, your travel outfit can double as your workout gear. This can save quite a bit of space in your bags.
Packing For A Road Trip
While airlines will charge you a premium for your baggage, the one thing that is the most important for a road trip is space. Unfortunately, your car only has so much room for your bags and other things — including yourself and loved ones — so keep that in mind while packing.
The problem most people make with a road trip is not considering how much they bring on a road trip and making the actual space in the car cramped and uncomfortable. To pack smartly, there are a few essential pointers to keep in mind:
- Pack for what you expect to do on your trip.
- Layout your clothing.
- Pack your bag as if you’re planning on flying.
- Pack into your bag(s).
- Unpack and eliminate at least 10% of your clothes.
- Repack your bag and your car.
The benefit that comes to driving is you can control the itinerary and make stops as wanted and needed, and you have more flexibility in the number of items to bring. That said, the common mistake is to overpack, so packing with the same ideas as if you were packing to fly will help you save space and still look great at the same time.
Enjoying the holidays can be difficult, especially if you stress what to bring. However, packing smartly will save you time, space, and in some cases, money. So with that in mind, learning to pack efficiently to fly is an excellent suggestion, regardless of whether you’re flying or driving to your destination.