HELP ME. I’M AN OVER-PACKER.

by
LAURYN

The Skinny Confidential talks excess.
( Quick note before we begin: I’m not one of those bloggers that’s overly organized & plans 20 blog posts before I travel ( jealous of them, but so not me. LOL ). I’m a spur-of-the-moment kind of blogger. I like to blog as I go. One day is different than the next. So, on that note this post was not pre-planned. This is me blogging here & now…showcasing exactly how I’m feeling today. Not two weeks ago!! Just wanted you guys to know!! x ).

OK.

I, Lauryn Evarts, am a dreadful over-packer.

If there was a disease for over-packing, hi! Hello! It’s spread throughout my whole body!!

Is it absolutely necessary that when traveling I bring two iPhone chargers plus two Mophies? Three face scrubs? Ten pairs of socks? Four hats? Eer, 6 red lipsticks?

Thought process goes a little something like this: ohhhh, I have to bring my toner! And my moisturizer. What about the one with SPF? OMG, I need my rose face spray too! Eye cream is a must when traveling! Who WOULDN’T bring their pink Clarisonic? Ooooh I’ve always loved this lip exfoliant. AND YES, THIS WRINKLE SERUM, it’s life. I need a good serum while I’m traveling. Should I buy more raw coconut oil?

At this point, I’ve fully found a whole separate suitcase for face product.

Here’s the thing though guys: I only use like a tenth of it. I mean, tell me who really uses wrinkle serum on vacation? I try to be good but let’s face it: I’m chilling with a little coconut oil, some aloe rose face spray, & maybe a dab of lavender eye cream ( if I’m lucky ).

When we traveled to Phuket the airport security guard took coconut oil out of my carry-on ( I forgot to stow it in my check-in ) & looked at me like I was a million head monster with long claws.

First off, I was sad I didn’t catch the moment on Snapchat & secondly, I was a bit embarrassed because of the excess of products I packed.

WHAT IS WRONG ME?

Why can’t I go on vacation & pack light?? There’s something liberating about NOT bringing your whole, entire F-ing house with you while traveling. Why can’t I be like an effortless jet-setter?

SO. I’ve been thinking about this: & I’m breaking the cycle. I’m going to pack less. Live with less. And buy less in general.

If you’ve traveled to Asia ( & tell me if I’m wrong ): it seems that everyone doesn’t engage in excess. Everything, including food portions, coffee mugs, even champagne glasses, etc. is so much smaller. It almost seems like people savor more & really appreciate the little things. In America, it feels you always have have to have the latest & greatest gadget. Or the skin exfoliant. Or the latest black top ( even if you own 2343240 other black tops ).

It’s honestly exhausting to keep up!

Michael & I have decided we’re going to go through our closets, empty them out, & purge!! We will be donating half to charity & sending the rest to Tradesy, but all in all we are ready to LIVE LIGHTER.

( Should we also talk about the parka I packed just in case of a storm? Currently it’s a cool 90 degrees. SO FITTING. ).

The other day we looked at each other with our HUGE ( AND I MEAN HUGE ) suitcases & laughed. It’s fucking ridiculous.

I mean, I’ve worn the same damn palm print kimono for three days straight. We’re not even wearing a tenth of what we packed. SUCH A JOKE.

So call me Larry Lightweight because I’m done over-packing.

Thoughts on packing? Anyone have packing tips? Any serial travelers? Spill.

HELP ME.

– Lauryn

P.S. I CANNOT WAIT TO BLOG ABOUT THAILAND. It’s spectacular here! For more vacay pictures, follow TSC on Instagram. x

{ pic via }

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  1. AvatarElle

    I travel internationally a lot for work and had the same issue. Last year I started asking flight attendants, seeing their tiny bags, and got the best advice about packing light: buy a smaller bag and force yourself to use it, roll up eeeevrything while you pack it, stuff your purse in a bigger ‘personal item’ bag (my favorite cheat) and plan to use hotel laundry. My last trip was 3 weeks and I had only carry on!

    Reply
  2. AvatarJocelyn

    OMG!! that is so me! My husband always complains about how much I pack but….. what if I NEED it? Oh my! Interested in letting go of all that neediness and packing lighter too! Hope this blog post brings lots of good tips and suggestions!

    Reply
  3. AvatarCynthia

    This! A million times this! It is my life! I am the worst overpacker.. especially when I go to the beach. I bring like 12 pairs of shorts (for a 4 day vacay) and like 16 tops because what if I want casual versus dressy and then like 10 pairs of shoes. Then we get to the beach and I literally wear a bathingsuit and I’m lucky to put one of the 4 cover ups on when we go out to eat! I am definitely in need of a lesson in lightweight packing.

    I’m constantly purging my closet and instead of buying trendy things (which tends to fill up people’s closets) I buy classic pieces that can be layered like a white button up or a cute flirty flowy tank that i can throw a cardigan over and wear to my 9-5. Good luck with the purge! I think some spring cleaning is definitely in order!

    Cynthia
    Sensibly Sharp
    Find me at :instagram

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  4. AvatarMorgan A.

    First of all thank you for blogging in real time! I love that! And secondly, I just have to tell you that I went to Europe for 25 days last year with like 6 outfits and ONE PAIR OF BOOTS and I was totally fine! It almost felt good not to have so many choices, and not to mention lugging it all around. But, I did pitch those boots right when I got home. I could never look at them again lol.

    http://www.morningappleblog.com

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  5. Avatarkristin | W [H] A T C H

    you are going to love it once you go for it and pack light. i travel to asia for a few weeks a couple of times a year and pack only a carry on. there is something so freeing about knowing that everything i need i can pick up and place in an overhead bin. it takes practice and editing, but you can absolutely do it!
    kristin | W [H] A T C H recently posted..LONG RUN: VIETNAMMy Profile

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  6. AvatarShannon

    I always overpack. My friends call my giant suitcase “The Body Bag” because you can fit a few people in there. I even been known to bring that bag on weekenders.

    But I’ve tried to cut down recently and I have found that planning outfits around a few key pieces and sticking to them is essential. Bring one jacket and plan all of your outfits to go with it in case you need it, don’t bring one for every outfit. No need to bring ALL OF THE SHOES when if you just plan ahead you can bring 2 pairs that will go with everything. Bring as few pants a possible and repeat them once or twice.

    I love having options as much as he next gal, but you just have to sacrifice that if you want to pack light.

    Reply
  7. AvatarJill @ Champagne for Everyday

    Oh girl, I hear you. NOTHING gives me more anxiety than packing!! When we moved to SF from NY, I had to deal with the “packers” because my bf was grinding away at his finance job…and even them doing it for me made me want to have a nervous breakdown. I love your revelation about minimizing – I HAD to with the move and it has been the best thing ever. A “capsule” wardrobe would help with trip packing too – but I am really just not able to stick with that lol.
    xx
    Jill @ Champagne for Everyday recently posted..Beauty Hacks for Travel: How to Fit Your Favorite Toiletries into a Carry OnMy Profile

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  8. AvatarVictoria

    Okay, you are going to LOVE Thailand, a lot of my family lives there and when ever I go to visit I am in aw, make sure you go to the floating market while your there! But on the packing note, I am just as bad. When I travel for 4 days, I grab the biggest luggage I can find grab 6 pairs of at least everything because who knows what may happen ( I also pack an extra outfit and personal stuff in my carry on in case my luggage gets lost), but seriously, it’s bad. I am leaving to go back to Philadelphia in 2 weeks and I decided I will only use my keepall 50 handbag HA! My shoes barely will fit in it. I hope you have a wonderful time and I hope we both find ways to pack lighter!

    Xo Victoria

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  9. AvatarFernweh Society

    Hey Lauryn,
    I think its great that you have a post on this! Perhaps i will do a similar one on my blog as “how to pack light”. I use to pack heavy but as to your point you never use it all! My trick is, if i am packing anything i haven’t used recently why would i use it on the vacation. Seems logical right? 🙂 Plus when i travel normally its lots of moving around and forgive me if i am lazy but i try and think of lugging bags around, not my cup of tea, so then it forces me to pack light! The other thing, is when i was living in Thailand, i brought bare essentials and then figured if i need something else, i will simply buy it there 🙂
    Happy Traveling! oxox
    Annika
    http://www.fernwehsociety.com

    Reply
  10. AvatarMelissa

    I usually pick three pieces and make 2-3 outfits around them. Casual, fancy, and workout shoe. I wear my biggest pieces to the airport (makes me look cute and keeps me warm in the a.c.). I over pack underwear. I take quick drying workout clothes – shorts w liner/sports tanks with shelf bra. Travel size toiletries or samples that I can throw away. There are other things but this post will get out of hand.
    Melissa recently posted..Home EssentialsMy Profile

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  11. AvatarEmily N.

    Totally with you on living lighter! I have stopped buying so many clothes and things for my apartment that I DO NOT NEED! I am trying to buy with intention, only things that I love, and if that means I have to save up some to get them then so be it. I am over buying a shirt because it was a good deal, but not being crazy about it. I don’t like clutter in my apartment (and plus theres not enough storage for me to really sock up).

    Isn’t it awesome what traveling can do for you? It can change your outlook on life for the better 🙂
    Emily N. recently posted..Got five minutes? Then you have time for breakfast.My Profile

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  12. Avataremily

    Yes! I travel for work and I’m only gone 3-4 nights a week but my toiletry bag is out of control. I’m also moving in with my bf and I was just thinking of how absurd it would be to pack all the beauty products I’ve been hoarding. I need to start using them up before I buy more!

    Reply
    1. AvatarKari

      Honestly, the more I travel, the lighter I pack but packing light has really been a process. My first trip to Europe, I was twelve and my mom told me we were each just taking a backpack. I was convinced that I couldn’t live without my hairdryer and curling iron, and multiple shoe choices. Somehow I survived! Now my biggest trick is super neutral colors so that I take far less clothes and just interchange them. I add color with scarves and accessories that really pop.
      Kari recently posted..Rustic Southern Wedding – California Meets the SouthMy Profile

  13. AvatarMia

    OMG totally in Love with this Post.
    This is what I go throug almost everytime I’m in my hotel room and realizing I have to much of everything and I want to live lighter!
    Currently I’m so into this “Live with less” That I cleaned out everything. All kinds of decoration and Jewellery and clothes (totally forgot how much stuff I have) and it feels sooo Freaking good. And on my latest trip, I packed just half of what I usually do!
    Enjoy your trip!
    Greatings from munich! <3

    worldsessd.com
    Mia recently posted..Bilder von Taiwan bei denen du am liebsten sofort die Koffer packen möchtestMy Profile

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  14. AvatarMallory

    Soooo…last year I went to Uganda to work with an orphanage. One “shower” for 18 other people (when we had running water) and one small mirror for the same. You better believe I brought my pink clarisonic along with the adapter to charge it up, AM and PM face washes, face creams, toner, moisturizers (with and without SPF), etc…

    Ridiculous! 🙂

    Reply
  15. AvatarLindsey

    I only pack a carry on so I am forced to pack light. Its only because I HATE checking luggage with a passion. I don’t like getting to the airport extra early and I’m always worried they will lose it. So the outcome is even on longggg vacations I pack a carry on. Roll everything, carefully consider shoes, and pick your favorite cleanser cuz you only have a ziplock bag to fill. Best of luck! Enjoy Thailand!

    Reply
  16. AvatarNina

    I completely agree! Whenever I go anywhere I over pack! Yesterday alone I drove 4 bags to university I only used 2 – in my defence I really was going to try to go the gym!

    My handbag has got to be the worst! I have hand cream and sanitizer which I have used for about 2 days! I need to start trying to limit myself on a daily basis!
    Nina recently posted..Lets Talk: Ovarian CancerMy Profile

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  17. AvatarSimi @ The Micro Harvest

    Packing is so tough! I am always afraid I will get somewhere and wish I had something that I didn’t bring 🙂 I made a pseudo-capsule wardrobe and sent tons of bags to ThredUp! Somehow with less clothing I feel like I have more choices! this has helped me SOO much!!
    Simi @ The Micro Harvest recently posted..I Need to Unplug! HELP!My Profile

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  18. AvatarSuzanne | Agent Athletica

    I’ve actually written a little about this in the past. I’m the opposite of you, I pack LIGHT. I don’t even check a bag! Most recently, I wrote about how I packed for an 11-day trip in the dead of winter using only a carry-on duffel: http://www.agentathletica.com/winter-packing-tips-stuffed-11-days-carry/ Sure, I didn’t look like a million bucks, but it worked and I was comfy and warm. 🙂

    Anyway, here’s the thing: yes, I like to have all my things. Yes, I’d like every outfit of mine to be perfectly put together. But guess what: if you don’t have something you think you “need”, YOU WILL BE OK!!! When I realized this, it revolutionized how I feel about packing. There have been times when I’ve thought “awww man I really wish I’d brought x dress or y sweater”, but I’ve learned to just say “welp, oh well!” and move on. I get dressed in something else and it’s fine!! You enjoy your trip anyway, and that’s what it’s about, you know? You have to force yourself to be comfortable with a little discomfort and just let it go. Once you get over that hump and that initial panic, and you re-center yourself, it’s so much more peaceful. 🙂 I hope that helps.
    Suzanne | Agent Athletica recently posted..The 3-Year Evolution of Lululemon’s Brand ImageMy Profile

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  19. AvatarLindaB

    The first time I went to Europe with my sister we packed everything in carry ons. I still do the the same…Rolling all your clothes is an amazing space saver. Just bring a tiny spray bottle to refresh your clothes and your hair with h2o. I also bring one of those tiny battery operated flickering votives to find my way to the bathroom at night.

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  20. AvatarEmmy

    Hey Lauryn,
    If overpacking is a disease, then I have it, too. It’s ridiculous how much stuff I think I just “can’t live without”. But recently I’ve been trying to adopt a more minimalistic lifestyle – I haven’t gotten rid of my entire shoe or bag collection, of course, but I’ve made small changes here and there. Like, for each new item of clothing I buy, I give away or sell two others.
    Check out this article on the same topic that I find really inspiring: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/10/opinion/sunday/living-with-less-a-lot-less.html?_r=0

    xo, Emmy

    Reply
  21. AvatarBeth

    I too used to be the WORST over packer! When I started traveling more and more I realized how weighed down I felt with all my crap. Now I’m all about EDIT, EDIT, EDIT.
    I think about what clothes make me feel my best and what I really want cute photos taken in 🙂
    Hope this helps a bit! PS – How do you like that wrinkle serum? Happy with results? I was considering ordering – wrinkle serum is always confusing me – too many brands!

    Reply
  22. AvatarZoe

    I’m a serial over-packer – girls I met when travelling Aus were shocked with my toiletries bag!! Love the thought with living with less, it’s so easy to get caught up in the excitement of buying the latest products when the beauty does really lie in simplicity xx
    Zoe recently posted..GlowBites: Saturday in YorkMy Profile

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  23. AvatarCassie Tran

    I’m the WORST overpacker! Totes relate, but I always evaluate how much time I have, and if I can buy it at my destination, I don’t need it. Except for hygiene and clothes, of course!

    Reply
  24. AvatarHarkness

    I read about a person who packs their old / worn out clothes for vacation and just discards them once worn on vaca. No dirty laundry to deal with. Kinda brilliant, and you’ll have room then for souvenirs.

    Reply
  25. AvatarAlex

    I feel your pain! I am a self confessed over-packer! I live in Scotland and I even overpack when I go home for a visit where I know I still have clothes at my parents’ house and that my mom will have anything I might need! Definitely a problem!
    But I’m working on it! Had a clear out and donated 3 garbage bags of clothes a couple weeks ago!

    Reply
  26. AvatarChunk

    I’m so happy to see this post, also love that you post in real time. I have the same issue “what if what if what if” and I never ever use it all. I’ve also been feeling very overwhelmed by all of my “Stuff” and have been thinking of ways to live lighter. We’re going on vacation again at the end of April and I’m hoping I’ll be able to cut back. I think if I just get some interchangeable pieces I’ll be okay…but there I go again with the “i just need one more thing” approach 😉

    Reply
  27. AvatarSarah Piuggi

    So funny! I just posted yesterday about that same problem that I have. Last summer we went to Cancun and one of the bell boys had to carry our bags into the room. He knew which one was mine. I swear he just looked at me when he lifted up my bag conveniently after my husband’s (who is an extreme light-weight packer… like I have to force him to bring enough underwear on trips – gross). It was that look of “I know this is your bag. I know.” I get so embarrassed about it, but I too am trying to change that. Hope you guys are having a wonderful trip and I am so loving your blog and Youtube videos!

    xoxo,
    Sarah | QueSarahSera
    Sarah Piuggi recently posted..How NOT to Pack for a TripMy Profile

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  28. AvatarLarina

    I pack less and less each trip I take so I feel I will eventually get it right! I’m traveling interstate in a couple weeks and staying 4 days/3 nights and I’m already thinking about what to pack and coming up with so many “what if’s” so I have to keep reminding myself to calm down and wait until I know what the weather is like.

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  29. AvatarCourtney Bentley

    The first time my husband flew me out to see him in Asia I brought the world with me and after lugging three large suitcases through Hong Kong, China, Thailand and North/South Vietnam I realized that I wore like 10 items and because of Asian service which I am sure you have experienced you have service at your feet cleaning etc. When I decided to move here to be with my husband I packed ONE suitcase with all my shit and never looked back and I can promise you that I don’t even MISS one thing! The culture here is about having the BEST and sticking with it! I am so happy you love this side of the world as much as me! xo C
    Courtney Bentley recently posted..Booty Workout in the ParkMy Profile

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  30. AvatarKatie

    Seriously read “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo. It’s written by this Japanese organizational guru and is a super quick read that’s also insanely inspirational. Maaaaybe two chapters in I went on this purging rampage through my house and I swear my body felt lighter after I got rid of all the stuff I never wear/use.

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  31. AvatarBianca

    Okay, I don’t mean to brag or anything BUT I kind of consider myself a professional traveler and packer. Unless I’m going on a ski trip or somewhere for an extended period of time, I almost ALWAYS only bring a carry on. First off, finding the perfect size carry on is key. I have a Samsonite rolling bag with 4 wheels that is literally the perfect size (it also has an expander in case of over shopping!). My secret is to pack all the same color scheme that way you can bring a variety of clothes and still have lots of options! Definitely roll the clothes and utilize every bit of space you have. I will only bring 1-3 pairs of shoes and make sure they are each for very different occasions. Usually I’ll bring my black Steve Madden sneaker wedges, a nice black bootie for going out, and some flats/sneakers, etc. (clearly I’m still in winter mode here in New England lol) All staple pieces. I also will stuff socks/underwear/bras into and around my shoes to save room. The socks/underwear/bras that don’t fit around the shoes get pushed into ANY open space as I fill in my clothes. As far as toiletries go, I only bring the essentials – shampoo, conditioner, face wash, face/body lotion, makeup removing wipes, eye cream. I pack all of my toiletries and makeup and hair care in the flap of the suitcase that shuts closed (does that make sense? lol!) Boom, bag is packed and then I carry a back pack or some type of bigger bag and put an extra small purse/clutch, electronics, fragile makeup, chargers, etc. in that. I definitely still tend to over pack at times but I think what helps most is sticking with one color scheme. Enjoy the rest of your time in Asia!!! 🙂

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  32. AvatarSusie W.

    I recently moved and while moving I couldn’t help but notice how much stuff I had, basically just everywhere, and how much of it I really did not need. So I did a MAJOR purge and let me tell you it is liberating. It is just so much easier to live when you’re not weighed down. Good luck with your purge, you’re going to love it!
    Susie W. recently posted..CHEERS TO THE WEEKENDMy Profile

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  33. AvatarCatherine

    1) you can totally donate all your clothes to me

    2) when i travel i tend to expect that I’m going to wear repeat outfits so i pack more smaller items like accessories or tank tops so I can layer to change up the look

    3) I do know what you mean with wanting to purge. My girlfriends always give me skin/bath products as gifts, you get free samples when you buy that type of stuff and then before you know it you have a bucket full of crap you never use. I took all the unused products and gave them to the people at the homeless shelter I work at. Now my skin products drawer in my bathroom are just: coconut oil, one clay face mask, turmeric, rice flour, apple cider vinegar, sunscreen and a bar of soap 🙂

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  34. AvatarAshley

    I’ve done a fair share of traveling myself, through Thailand as well as Europe.. I’ve managed to do it all in carry ons! But, we’re always on the move, so it’s easiest to do it that way, and really not worry about the latest fashions and stuff.. Once I was in Thailand, I pretty much wore elephant pants and my swimsuit the whole time anyways! Plus a few cute dresses, obvi! But in general, I think it makes you realize how bad consumerism is in America, and how everyone is always trying to keep up with the Joneses! Besides trying to save money, I don’t want my closet filling up with more random stuff that I will only wear a few times! But, it’s hard when I follow such fun blogs, and want to keep up with latest trends.. Constant struggle to find that moderation! But, it’s good to reflect on it, and to purge and donate! Good luck!

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  35. AvatarCharlotte

    This post pretty much sums me up! I will always overpack, and the worst part is, I feel like I’m packing lightly but its still ten times more than everyone else brings. Going back and forth between home and university means I never know what I will need for make-up/clothes/shoes, it’s a nightmare! I’m going to Barcelona next week with just hand luggage and I’m terrified about packing, definitly need to take some tips for packing lightly!

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  36. AvatarPaige @ Healthy Hits the Spot

    This post made me so happy. I love hearing other appreciating the small things and wanting to simplify. Nothing bad ever comes from simplifying 🙂 I especially loved this part: “people savor more & really appreciate the little things.” <– so cool to hear.. it's really so true that when you have a little bit less, you savor it more (food, clothes, people in your life, etc..) 🙂
    Paige @ Healthy Hits the Spot recently posted..5 Tips to Stop BingeingMy Profile

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  37. AvatarBecky

    I looooove a blog called ‘un-fancy’- she creates seasonal capsule wardrobes and it’s just such an amazing idea!!!

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  38. Avatarsascha

    Before you start tossing – check out the bestselling book by Marie Kondo The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It’ll make your closet chore so much easier!
    After reading her book I packed for a trip rather quickly and without my bag being overstuffed before I left!

    Reply
  39. AvatarColleen Welsch

    I manage to keep the beaut products under control, but I am a major overpacker when it comes to clothes! I never know what kind of mood I’m going to be in, ya know?

    Reply
  40. AvatarChloé | Bits of Blonde

    I so feel you! I go to France every few months to visit my boyfriend and I ALWAYS overpack. I bring 3 jackets when I only end up wearing one, and I bring so many beauty products, when I end up using no more than 10% of it. I’ve found that planning your outfits for the entire vacation helps prevent you from bringing too much when it comes to clothes!
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  41. AvatarJules Mariette

    Oh. Such a reliable topic!! I think every woman has had this problem once (or probably all the time ;)) I guess I found some usefull tips throughout the years of travelling.
    1. Plan your outfits. It makes it so much easier and you haven’t got a stressful morning during your vacation.
    2. Personally, I’d take items where I think “Maybe during vacation is the perfect time to use it for the first time” NOOO! You sure wont’ use/wear it. LEAVE IT 🙂

    xx from Vienna 🙂
    Jules Mariette recently posted..3 days BUDAPEST.My Profile

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  42. AvatarLauren

    Packing cubes made packing SO much easier for me when I discovered them. I have the ones from Eagle Creek and they help so much to be organized and not pack too much (but also to take advantage of all the space in your suitcase!)

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  43. AvatarMallory

    I just read about the Konmari method of cleaning out your closet/life and I haven’t had a chance to do it yet but I’m really excited to try it. I’m usually the last to catch onto these things but if you haven’t heard of it, it’s based on whether an item sparks joy in your life. She encourages you to pull everything out, hold each item and ask yourself that. If the answer is no, then pitch it! No room for “I might need that top for underwater basket weaving” or “I paid a lot for this and only wore it once” type junk which is what I always end up doing.

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  44. AvatarHarriet

    I am also an over packer… like every woman, I think but I try to take less things just because I always take clothes and stuff that I don’t use! Try to imagine what you are going to do each day of your trip and plan your outfits so you can take just what you need! 🙂

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