If you're anything like me, packing is very low on the scale of exciting parts of traveling. I really hate spending hours agonizing over outfits and/or carefully organizing my suitcase, so I rely completely on a pre-prepared plethora of grab-and-go items that never fail me. A friend of mine recently put it quite well - packing is only painful when you give yourself too much time! Between the challenges of last minute trips, organizing endless camera equipment, and having to look presentable after an 11 hour flight, I've been forced to get my packing routine down to a quick science. Below, I'm highlighting my essentials for everything on-the-go.
My number one packing essential, although not the most glamorous, are these zippered cases. They make packing manageable and organized even when you are not. It's also a really great way to stay organized if you won't have a dresser and will be more or less living out of your suitcase on a trip. Things I use them for are toiletries, underwear, shoes, and nicer tops or clothes that I don't want to risk coming in contact with any liquids. The circular one is amazing for bras and underwear!
Next in line are travel sized toiletries. These are important to buy and have on hand even when you are not traveling. It's a huge relief to have small sized bottles ready to just throw in your bag. I've given up on hurriedly and messily squeezing out products into travel containers last minute because let's be honest, ain't no one got time for that. I'm a creature of habit and I can't live without Bioderma or Oribe and thankfully they both make excellent travel sized bottles. It's also a nice little luxury to bring your signature scent - I've always loved Le Labo and their 100ml bottle is carry on safe and has never leaked on me [I also love that you can recycle your bottle with a refill when you run out]!
Something I found on a recent trip to London was this amazing Uniqlo backpack. It folds up into a tiny pouch and expands into a full size pack. It's really great if you plan on doing any day trips or hiking and don't plan on doing that with a rolling suitcase! It's pretty non-offensive looking and the price is RIGHT!
I've had some seriously tricky packing scenarios this past year where I've had to be outdoorsy, fashionable, and prepared for serious weather all in the same trip. The key for this was packing smart layers, tops that transition from day to night, and a big warm jacket that can be compressed into something packable. Some of my favorites below...
Airports are stressful and for me, flying is often stressful as well. Having a rock solid rolling bag with FOUR wheels (not just two) is simple but really makes traveling such a breeze. I really like hardshell cases because I worry about my camera equipment but Zack prefers soft cases because he likes to have easy access to the outside pockets. I make a really concentrated effort to not carry anything that is not on wheels besides a small handbag with my phone, passport, and magazines - otherwise, I feel like I am schlepping. Below are our family of suitcases and we are thrilled with all of them [we also have our AWAY carry-on in the main photo and we LOVE the dual iPhone charging feature]!