My trip to San Francisco is T-minus two weeks away! EEK! Cannot wait. We booked this trip literally six months ago, so it has seemed like a long time in the making. Over the weekend we were trying to decide exactly how much room we will need, how many bags we should pack, what we expect to bring back with us and what the essentials are. It was familiar territory. I've been there before, we all have. And more often then not, we get to our destination and kick ourselves for making the SAME old mistakes we make every time (WHY do we never listen to ourselves?). So in honor of all these packing mistakes, I decided to put a list together to remind myself (AND you) to avoid them this time around.
1.) The "treat-yo-self" mentality that whispers "It's okay to go on a shopping spree right before vacation" - DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT pack an entirely new wardrobe. Sure, if you've had your eye on a certain shirt or the perfect pair of earrings, go ahead and make the purchase but to pack an entire suitcase of things you just bought is a mistake and most likely, you'll find that you didn't need it, don't wear it or don't like it and you'll be missing the go-to wardrobe you left lying on the bedroom floor. This leads into my next point...
2.) Packing clothes you NEVER wear - we all have those statement pieces we bought because we thought we'd be brave enough to rock them in public. But the image in our heads and the reality once we got home and put them back on, well, it wasn't quite the same. Packing things like this for vacation is rarely a good idea. Check your dirty clothes hamper and the clothes laying on your floor, wash them and pack them, those are the ones you'll be wishing you had.
3.) Not consulting the local weather before deciding what to pack - Check the daytime temperatures and also the nighttime, there could be a vast difference and you don't want to be caught in the in-between. Layers, think layers.
4.) Not leaving room for momentos, trinkets and souvenirs - Overpacking. I. AM. YOUR. QUEEN. Yes. The old 50 lb suitcase, it gets me every time. I cram every square inch full of shoes, jewelry, hair curlers, straighteners and whatever else I can find lying around. But the key is really to leave room. No one wants to tote around an overstuffed bag and it's always easier to get it in there at first then it is to re-pack and get it all back in the second time around. So learn from me, just don't do it.
5.) Waiting until the last minute - Guilty of this also, it's tempting to wait until the last minute because I don't know about you (I hate packing) but I'd rather do literally anything else BUT pack. But don't do this. Procrastinating will only make the decision making process worse, the things you'll want to bring wont be clean, you won't be able to find that one shirt you wore that one time, where did it go again? Just don't do it.
6.) Not considering multi-purpose shoes - Focus on comfort, then focus on style. It's hard because sometimes the most Instagram worthy shoes are not the ones you can also romp around a city for hours in. Don't let your shoes ruin your day. And also, consider the functionality. Bring a pair of tennis shoes (if you actually WILL wear them for exercise or hiking or walking), a pair of sandals and a pair of dress shoes and call it a day.
7.) Not properly containing your liquids and toiletries - You know that bag you used on your last trip and never cleaned out? Clean it out before use. Don't be the person stuck in the security line because you forgot to take out the 16 oz. can of bug spray still hiding in the recesses of your bag. You also don't want to be digging around, trying to locate your mini shampoo, mini conditioner and mini toothpaste each individually. Avoid the hassle.
8.) Not consulting your hotel for things you're bringing that they may already have - The old hairdryer trick. It takes up SO much space and if you're traveling internationally it would probably definitely blow the fuse in your room. SO book a hotel that includes a hairdryer (a small detail but potentially an important one).
9.) Not maximizing space - Roll your clothes instead of folding them, it's the oldest trick in the book but it works! And consolidate, make use of all your suitcase compartments and get organized.
10.) Forgetting a smaller day pack - Sure, you have your suitcase and your carry on, but don't forget a small bag, purse or backpack to help you out once you get where you're going.
That's it! I hope you don't fall victim to these same mistakes like I do!
And most of all, I hope you have an amazing trip and pack everything you need and nothing that you don't ;)