How to Pack Like a Pro.

 In travel
how to pack like a pro

Traveling is one of those things I’d like to think I do best, & over the years I feel like I’ve learned how to pack like a pro.


We are on the cusp of our first big trip of 2019 & today, I’m sharing with you my top 5 tips when packing for any trip. (Call it inspiration & self-motivation… as I should actually be packing, instead of posting this! lol!)

how to pack

1.  Make a list.

I actually hate the act of packing for a trip. So much so that I’m often packing 3 hours before my flight! However, I have developed this habit of making a list.


A few days before take-off I make a list of all of the products I’m running low of. Think basics here: shampoo & conditioner, hair product… I usually make an Amazon Prime order for supplies or make a Target run with my list, if I don’t have time to wait for next day shipping. You don’t want to be packing for a destination the night before & realize you’re out of toothpaste!


I also start to plan my outfits via my list. I know my closet well enough, & it provides me with the perfect justification to endless Instagram scrolling by calling it “inspiration” for my travel outfits! 😉

how to pack

2. Pre-plan outfits.

Speaking of travel outfit inspiration… one of my best tips for how to pack like a pro is to try on & style the outfits I plan to wear ahead of time, & take pictures with my phone. Yes, this is definitely a time commitment, but being that I am notorious for over-packing… this helps to save space in my suitcase, as well as cut down on get-ready time every morning of the trip.


Because I am a super-planner, I typically have every day of our trips planned ahead of time. If I don’t do my research prior to taking off, I’ll struggle with a serious case of FOMO the entire trip… so we always have the conversation about what our must do’s & see’s before embarking on our travel! To some, this sounds a little OCD… but Hubs & I have our travel routine down, & this is what works for us: we alternate every day with adventure & relaxation, no matter where we go.


Having our daily plans at least penciled in ahead of time helps with planning outfits for the trip as well. I pack one outfit for each day, unless we have plans for the evening that will allow for us to get a little bit more dressed up. 3 days, 3 outfits. Once I know how many outfits I need (ex: 4 casual & 3 evening looks) I literally try on every outfit I think I’m going to wear on my trip & take a photo of it in the mirror on my phone. This allows me to easily see on my phone all my outfits & I rarely have to fully unpack at the hotel. &, it helps cut down on forgetting something that I need.


Next, I use these photos on my phone to go to my shoes, bags, sunglasses & jewelry, & pull pieces for each look. Again, this allows me to only pack what I need to bring, without a ton of “just in case” items. If I bring extras of anything, it’s jeans & basic tees… & for jackets, I always toss in a leather one & a black or grey blazer. These are all pieces that are easy to mix & match with other looks, as well as dress up or down as necessary.

3. Pack by outfit.

While I was once a “throw everything in the bag, however it best fits” kind of girl, I’ve learned that packing methodically & by outfit makes my OCD tendencies extremely happy! It also helps to save space in my suitcase & time upon arrival, because I don’t feel like I need to unpack or reorganize.


Prior to putting everything into my suitcase, I organize each day’s outfit in it’s own pile. Shoes & jewelry, included. Referring back to my list & phone photos, this also helps to ensure I don’t forget anything… like, the right bra to go with a specific neckline. I rarely feel like I “forgot something” when I pack this way – it’s like I’m going through a visual outfit checklist on my phone, & laying everything out per outfit prior to packing in my suitcase is my way of “double checking.”

4. Use Packing Cubes.

This is a recent discovery for me… & a complete game-changer! While I used to pack toiletries in ziplock bags, & stuff socks & underwear into my shoes… packing cubes will neatly hold all of your things in an organized way, ensuring everything fits perfectly into your suitcase! Seriously, I promise: you will fall so in love with packing cubes, you’ll wonder how you ever survived without them!

JJ POWER Travel Packing Cubes, Luggage Organizers with Shoe Bag

5. Pack toiletries last.

Because I know I will need my toiletries & makeup the morning of getaway day, I never pack them until the very last. As I walk through my morning routine, I set aside the products I use. This helps me to only pack the products I’ll actually use… there’s no sense toting around a bunch of products that don’t serve a purpose, & risk them exploding inside your bag! Keep it to your basics before you add “just in case” items like face masks, variety of serums, etc. I mean, really… when was the last time you actually did a face mask when on vacation? Leave it at home & save it for Self Care Sunday.


When it comes to certain toiletries, like my shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush & toothpaste, I tend to always have 2 sets on hand. These basics always remain in my toiletries packing cube, so I’m guaranteed to have them. As far as my skincare products go, I’m always changing up what I’m using according to what my skin currently needs, so these are among the last to go in the suitcase. Same with my makeup. I clean out & reorganize my Dollup Beauty Case before every trip, because I know that vacation is not when I’m going to take the time to try out new eyeshadow palettes. I tend to stick with neutral tones for my eyes (a light highlighter, a medium every day brown & a darker accent shade) & toss in a black shadow, so I have the option for a smokey eye. For lipsticks, I pack two options: a neutral liner & lip gloss set & my favorite red lip. There are so many combinations that can be made out of my basic go-tos!

Image result for dollup beauty caseImage result for dollup beauty laughterImage result for dollup beauty laughter

Do you have any packing rituals? Comment below with your tips for how to pack like a pro!

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  • luann

    This is great!!!
    Thank you!

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