I choose quality over quantity, moments over stuff, mental health over appearance, mindful over mindless, simplicity over complicated and patience over frustration.
Traveling should be a fun adventure, not a stressful experience. I immediately feel my anxiety levels rise when trying to decide what to pack and not to pack for a trip away from home whether it's a day trip or an overnight one. My thinking was that I need to be prepared for anything.
I was wrong.
I thought by packing everything that it would make me feel comforted and at ease because I had so many options and all the things for "just in case." But instead I felt the complete opposite.
The thing about packing everything means you're carrying and transporting everything both mentally and physically. It means you will have to take some valuable time out of your trip to make decisions regarding all of those options you brought with you.
Packing everything ultimately consumed my energy (carrying it all), my sanity (packing it all up), and my time (decision making).
Having everything is both boring and stressful, because if I don't have everything I am able to think creatively, problem solve, meet new people, work together, and grow into a stronger person than I was the day before. Now that's an ADVENTURE!
Clothing, shoes and toiletries always took up the most space in my travel bag. So much so that I had bought a larger travel bag just to store all of the stuff I thought I needed.
It turns out that I didn't need 7 pairs of pants and shirts and multiple pairs of shoes for a 7-day trip.
The following tips have been extremely helpful for me when simplifying packing. It has made traveling a whole lot lighter, both physically and mentally. :)
7 SIMPLIFIED TRAVEL PACKING TIPS:
1. Bring universal tops and bottoms to make the appropriate number of outfits for your trip. *see Simplified Outfits chart below
I packed 1 pair of denim shorts and 2 tops for my weekend beach trip. I easily made 2 different outfits using the same bottoms and just changing the top.
2. Pack 1 clothing item or accessory for those WANT TO FEEL EXTRA SPECIAL emergencies.
I packed a dress.
3. Pack dry shampoo, a hat, and/or a headband to help your hair last longer without washing and still look super cute.
4. You can never have enough underwear.
We all know why :) and they don't take up much space.
5. Choose a small bag to limit your make-up + toiletries.
I use a small leather clutch (it's great for weddings too - haha) to pack the basic make-up + body essentials that make me feel confident:
6. Pack 1 pair of UNIVERSAL shoes that are both comfortable for walking + are stylish with any outfit.
I wear my tan BOBS with everything, even dresses.
7. Don't pack jewelry. Wear the jewelry you want to have every day for your trip.
Packing excess jewelry increases your likelihood of losing it while traveling.
The common theme I noticed when simplifying how I pack was to choose items that are universal and can be used in more than one way (like clothing + shoes). Also to change my mindset that I don't have to be prepared for everything. Doing so leaves room for creativity and some true adventure!
Always craving happiness + health,