We recently went away for a four day trip to PEI. We spend these days with six other families in cottages; enjoying campfires, cookouts, outings to the waterpark, yard games etc. etc. What I’m trying to convey is that there is a lot of packing involved for this getaway! Aside from food, pool gear and games; clothing brought needs to cover various weather conditions and purposes.
For whatever reason, for this trip I decided to time how long it took me to pack my own clothing and toiletries. 25 minutes. This included getting out my luggage and playing around with outfits. It’s not that I’m necessarily a speedy packer, it’s that I have a routine in place that keeps things simple and pretty much, fool proof. I also use the same system when packing for our three kids and can’t imagine it any other way. Remember that picture I shared of combining all three kids clothing for a ten day vacation into one carry-on…. it’s the system!
Below are my top five tips for packing efficiently and to ensure you’re not without anything on your next trip!
FIVE TIPS FOR PERFECT PACKING!
Create a Master List: This is key. Following a list takes the guess work out of determining what to pack and ensures nothing is forgotten. It might take a couple of trips to truly determine what you need, but once you have it nailed - it’s gold! I use and love Paktor. It’s an online packing list creator. You can create various lists per household member, purpose (summer camp, winter vacation, summer vacation) and add to your list as needed. Paktor also has templates that you can use and also customize. Using a web-based platform for this means you can access your list from anywhere and print or follow off your phone.
Confirm Weather: Weather is always the one thing that is impossible to control. It can also significantly change what you need to bring for your trip. For example, two days before our recent getaway the forecast was sunshine the entire time we were to be away. The night before we left, when I was packing, I checked the weather and it changed completely to rain. Having a heads up, allowed me to make some clothing adjustments and I had exactly what I needed for both the rain and sun; without over packing.
Play around with outfits: This is where I have curbed being away and wishing I had brought certain clothing (we’ve all been there, right?). I go a bit more into detail than just mix and matching options. I always start with neutral bottoms. Packing dark jeans, beige shorts, etc just keep things simple and versatile for matching tops and sweaters. For shirts, I always plan out layers with tank tops, button downs and sweaters. This also helps with being comfortable no matter the weather. When laying out my clothing, I think of the amount of days away and one day/evening outfit for each. Dark bottoms go a long way in knowing you can wear them multiple times without the worry of stains! So with this, I always factor in items that will be worn more than once. Having played around with ‘looks’ before I go has also made it easier while away because I already know what I want to wear.
Choosing Clothing that Doubles Up: Bringing versatile clothing options means you have less to pack! Some examples are:
Casual cotton black dress: Easy and comfortable option for daytime wear, but can be dressed up with a few accessories and/or a flyaway cardigan for a dinner out.
Long tank tops: Perfect option to pair with shorts for hot, daytime weather and can also double as a swim cover. I find Old Navy Luxe tank tops in ‘tall’ are perfect for this purpose.
Folding: How did I manage to get clothing for three kids into one carry-on? It really came down to the way I folded! I always fold clothing in the KonMari (rectangle) style. I know some people fair out well with rolling, but in my experience I can fit more into any bag with the KonMari technique. I also take advantage of every inch of space. My first layer of clothing is always tucked between the rails of the luggage and then the second layer I simply stack on top of that. In a carry-on I can usually fit three rows of children’s sized clothing and two of adult. Play around and see what works best for you.
Here’s a YouTube video that I put together on how I packed myself for this trip. I’d also love to know any packing tips or tricks you have to share!