Packing Tips

Last Updated on May 26, 2014 by Jody Halsted

Knowing what to pack is key to any trip- whether it’s a long weekend or a month long getaway. Budget Travel recently had an article featuring Clinton Kelly of What Not To Wear with some great packing tips.
Note: this article was written with a 3-day-weekend in mind but you can easily use these tips for any trip. Any wording in green I have added.

The big rule “Nothing gets packed unless it goes with at least two other pieces. In fact, be careful whenever you buy something that only goes with one thing. You get stuck.”

Commit to neutrals on half the body “Let’s do neutral bottoms. (ie: jeans, khakis, black, brown) “Gray is the easiest neutral to make work for day and evening. Brown is OK, but it can end up being too casual, especially for men.”

Darker jeans are better He chooses darker jeans because they can be dressed up for dinner. “Straight-leg jeans are preferable to wide-leg ones, for the same reason.”

The other half gets patterns “A shirt with a pattern goes well with a neutral bottom. I’m no big fan of jeans and a solid–even though I’m wearing it now.” You can mix prints if they’re in the same color family and you vary the patterns’ sizes.

Keep secondary colors consistent. He throws in an extra knit (a pink top), because it’ll go with the jeans and the trousers. “The fewer colors you have, the more likely it is that different pairings will work.”

Accessorize strategically “The right shoes and jewelry can take an outfit up or down.” It’s fine to mix gold and silver, but when you’re traveling, it’s easier to stick to one. “Dramatic earrings like these will make this outfit dressier.”

On the actual packing “Wear bulkier items on the plane, so you have more space inside the bag.” He puts the jewelry in Ziploc bags to protect it, then stuffs the bags inside the shoes. Next he packs the shoes, in shoe bags, in the bottom of the suitcase. Think about layers. Always.

An excuse to go shopping “A cotton or poly jersey dress, like a Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress, is great for traveling. You just roll it up in a ball.” Finally, Clinton says V-necks are better than crewnecks. “They elongate the neckline, which makes you look taller. And that makes you look thinner. I’ve never met a woman who didn’t want to look thinner!”

Of course these tips are catered towards women, but you can easily use them to dress anyone. Think Garanimals– coordination is the key.

Don’t forget to track the weather before your vacation. The Weather Channel is great for this. You can get averages as well as weekly and monthly outlooks.

And don’t forget to ship items ahead (as mentioned here and here).

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  1. hello! i have been to dublin before, but we were thinking about going to ireland on our honeymoon. do you think it would be better to take a tour, and sacrifice some of our freedom and alone time, or rent a car and do it ourselves.

  2. Thanks so much for the question! I am definately in favor of renting a car and doing it yourself. You will have the freedom to go at your own pace and wander off the tourist path at will. There are many comapnies that offer packages. I’ve used Sceptre and Brendan and had great experiences with both. In addition to doing your own research I recommend having a travel agent check deals. Sometimes they can get deals you can’t.

    Please feel free to contact me directly at traveler(at)havekidwilltravel(dot)com if you need any recommendations of places to visit. I’ve been twice and am currently planning our next trip in the spring.

    And check out the Ireland posts by clicking “Ireland” under the LABELS column directly to the right.

  3. Pingback: All About Packing

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