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10 Tips for Packing Light and Looking Good

Tips on how to make the most of your luggage space and look good doing it

10 Tips for Packing Light and Looking Good

Words used to describe me when traveling include “high maintenance,” “clothes horse” and “product queen.” Yet I have gotten so good at traveling light I now pack about half as much as my husband (and look twice as good, ha ha).

I’m not going to lie, my idea of roughing it is staying at a hotel that doesn’t have Wi-Fi. But I’ve survived everything from five-star hotels, to staying in a leaky tent, to spending a whole week at sea on a small boat with five other people.

You’ll get more out of your Global Vacation Network trip if you feel comfortable. And you won’t feel comfortable if you don’t feel like you look good, too (ladies, you know I speak truth). Here are 10 tips for doing both and still keeping the packing light and less complicated.

Pack in Sections…
I like to plan out my clothes and put the outfits together, then pack them in the order I expect to wear them (like, dinner that night, then jammies, then beachwear for the next day, etc.). I recently discovered packing cubes, which will make this brilliant practice (which I’m sure I invented all by myself) even easier.

Reduce Bottle Bulk
Ration out any medication, vitamins, supplements, etc. you might need and put them in a little bag you keep either with you or in a safe place you can access when you reach your destination.

Speaking of bottles, I put everything that could make a mess in separate Ziploc bags (shampoo, face wash, makeup remover), especially when flying, so I don’t end up with goo all over my clean clothes. Don’t assume that stuff won’t explode – the minute you think that, the liquids have won.

Slow Your Roll
Lay out all the clothes you intend to take…like, your dream wardrobe. Then put half of them back in the closet. Bring clothes that can be mixed and matched together to get more looks with less clothes. Also, now you have room for all the new stuff you know you’re going to buy on vacation.

Roll Your Clothes 
Rolling them instead of folding in a suitcase or bag will help reduce wrinkles and takes up less room. If you’re going where it’s very humid or rainy, or things might get wet, try to take a tightly packed plastic bag or vacuum sealable bag for a small reserve of clothes that will be dry if you run out of dry things.

The Ultimate Accessory
The ever versatile scarf should go into every suitcase (not the North Pole heavy knit kind, the lighter weight, stylish kind). These guys can go from head cover to outfit-improver in seconds. Bring a couple – they don’t take up much room. 

Know Your Climate (and What It Will Do to Your Face and Hair)
Before I go anywhere, I study the Weather Channel like it’s my second full-time job. I try to have a small purse or bag with me at all times with the travel-size items I know I’m going to need to feel more comfortable as I run around catching flights, taxis, waiting in lobbies or baking in the sun.

I always have Chapstick and moisturizer for both dry and extra sunny climates. I take tissues, a small brush, refreshing wet wipes and maybe a hair tie or clip for hot sticky conditions.

A light shimmer powder can make your skin look dewy fresh even if you feel anything but.

While this isn’t actually a picture of my hair, it could be.

Hairy Situations
If you have hair like mine that goes from perfectly behaved to gigantic angry frizzball in the humidity, using a silkening serum on it before you go out helps a lot. If you have the opposite problem and fear the flat, a root dusting powder works wonders (also good if you have to wear a hat for awhile, say, skiing, and you want to be able to re-fluff afterward). 

Always have dry shampoo on hand if you think you may not be able to get a wash in for a day or two (or more, blech).

The Ubiquitous Hoodie
Temps change. Even if you’re going tropical, evenings can be very cool. Have your favorite sweater, jacket or hoodie ready to go as you head out the door to dinner, shopping or a walk around the area. Rain happens when we least expect it, too. Small travel umbrellas that have tiny size but tough durability can save the day.

Shoe Conservation
This one kills me. But I’ve learned I really can survive with just two or three pair, even on a long trip. One pair (the pair you may want to wear while traveling) should be comfortable and nice looking. One pair (the pair you may schlep around your room or hotel in) can be casual, like plain flats or flip flops. One pair should be a dressy or formal pair (if you think you’ll need them).

Just…bring them.

There are about a million more packing and travel beauty tips out there, but I promise, these will afford you more space, more comfort and more style leaving you free to pursue even fonder memories during your Global Vacation Network experience.

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