I like to relax in the morning. My brain takes a while to turn on, so for me, there’s nothing better than sitting with my coffee and watching the news for an hour to start my day.
Unfortunately, this is also how I tend to realize, walking out of the shower, that I’m leaving for the airport to fly to Phoenix in an hour with my currently empty suitcase for a 5-day trip.
It happens, okay? (Yes, I’ve done this more than once. Don’t judge.) I’m normally a planner but sometimes things just come up. No? Just me then… anyway, here are my best tips for packing fast, honed though a few experiences of having to use them.
First, I want to be clear that you should not attempt this for a big international trip or a trip longer than a week. That’s crazy, ya’ll, I would at least start the night before. (And put your passport either in the bag you KNOW you’ll use or, if you haven’t decided on a bag, wrap your shirt/ bra/ underwear/ jeans for tomorrow around it. When you unfold in the morning, it will fall out and you will remember to throw it in a bag. You can forget a lot of things, but not your passport.)
Anyway, let’s get on with the quick packing tips, okay?
1. Pack each cosmetic product as you use it.
This is actually my standard packing procedure, because it ensures that I don’t forget my toothpaste. If you’re carrying on, you can still use this strategy. Post-shower, throw in your shampoo, conditioner and body wash (hopefully you had the forethought to buy or pre-pour baby bottles if you’re carrying on, but if not, pour them right now.) After you comb your hair, put your comb in.
I don’t bring my suitcase right in the bathroom, but I do leave it open right in front of the door and everything I touch all morning either goes in the suitcase, in a smaller cosmetics bag (I have these and I’m obsessed with them) that I pack with, or in the cupboard. This leaves me with a clean countertop, which makes the boyfriend happy and leaves me reassured that I’m not forgetting anything. The second you finish drying your hair, put the blow dryer in the suitcase or the cupboard. Do it. It’s already in your hand. Do it right now.
2. Don’t overpack clothes just because you’re going fast.
Count the number of days you’re going, minus travel days. Throw in that number of dresses if the weather allows. Otherwise, 1 pair of neutral pants per 3 days and neutral shirts for everyday (or 2 for every 3 days maybe, I’m gross). Focus on neutrals and pick either black, brown or navy as your central color scheme here. I go by the first thing I see. Navy dress? Okay, give me 2 more navy dresses. I also throw in 1-2 cardigans in white or grey in case I’m cold.
3. Pick an easy travel outfit.
Travel Days? You’re wearing the same thing on both travel days. Or you’re going to buy a shirt on your trip and wear that home (I know you’re shopping on your trip, don’t lie to me, we don’t have time for this!) Put on the first pair of jeans you find. Now put on the first T-shirt you see. Now grab a light sweatshirt or sweater for the plane. You’re done. Don’t overthink it.
4.Keep your electronics with their chargers.
Don’t put anything in your bag until you also have the charger in your bag. Yeah, you have to carry your camera around until you find the charger and put it in the bag. But you don’t want to stop taking pictures halfway through a trip because your charger is on the coffee table 1000 miles away, do you?
5. Pick go-everywhere shoes.
Put on neutral sandals or flats. They’re the most likely to go with whatever you just stuffed in your suitcase. If you have wiggle room, put in another pair. Bonus points if you have fold up flats, I love my Tieks and I almost always bring them when I travel just because they fold up.
Now, just make sure you’ve got your passport/ID and your boarding pass and you’re ready to get on a plane! Have fun!
What are your fast packing tips? Let me know in the comments!