You guys!!! This time next week I will be lounging beachside in Cartagena, Colombia! Which means…packing. Which means…next level stress. I head to Dallas on Wednesday for work and am going straight from Dallas to Colombia. Oh, and did I mention I’m only bringing a carry on? Yeah I know, major cray. Not only is it going to make traveling between states and countries way easier, but we’ve all decided to go with a carry on for our weeklong vacay. (hopefully challenging to focus more on what we’ll be experiencing versus what we’ll be wearing while experiencing it!)
I’ve never been the most efficient packer and was always the girl that packed ten belts and ten pairs of shoes just in case. After a few years of traveling as adult under my belt, it’s safe to say I’ve finally started to hone in on my packing skills. Check out a few of my tips below and wish me #alltheluck as I somehow manage to pack ten days worth of clothes into one carry on!
- Identify the necessities. This one sorta seems like an obvious one but we all know how unrealistic it can be at times. For example, for our trip to Cartagena I know we’ll be spending the majority of our time walking around the Old City or basking on the beach. So ideally, pairs of heels and bodycon dresses are not really on the top of my list. Sure, I’ll pack one to two options for a fancier night out but I’ll plan on sticking to the items I know will get the most use (i.e. a pair of two of sandals, neutral wedges or heels, a hat, denim shorts)
- And speaking of basics, when packing for ten days in a smaller bag, it’s crucial to pack items that are versatile and can work with different items to create as many looks as possible. This includes those above mentioned denim shorts (I’m bringing two pairs in two different washes), a few maxi dresses that can be dressed down for a tour of the city or dressed up for dinner at the hotel, simple tees + blouses that can be worn with shorts or jeans or even as an easy pool coverup, and lastly, neutral accessories (think bags, belts, shoes) that can go with everything. I’m sticking to a tan, black and white color palette so I can mix + match.
- If you are going to over-do it, pick something that makes sense. Because we are going to a country that currently has a high temp of 91 degrees, I know without a doubt I will be spending the majority of my time in bikinis. So, if there is one thing that I overpack it will definitely be in the swimwear department. My most recent count making the journey to Colombia is eight. Let me remind you, I will only be in Colombia for six days — but you just never know what the swim sitch could be! Things I won’t be over packing: heels, jackets, glam dresses, etc.
- Now for the packing trick that has literally saved me from checked bags and overstuffing. Roll. Your. Clothes. While this might not work for everything (larger pieces or pieces you don’t want to wrinkle by balling up), rolling your lighter or smaller pieces is going to be a game changer. I usually do this with items like t shirts, tank tops, jeans and shorts, and anything chiffon or airy like maxi dresses and coverups. Roll them up tightly and layer them in your bag. This while save a ton of space and also keeps things somewhat organized.
Carry On Bag c/o Vera Bradley | shop some of my other items heading to Cartagena below!