I’ve been talking a lot about packing these past days. Probably it’s because spring just arrived and summer vacation plans seem more real now. All of these talks among my friends, we all agreed overpacking is not the way to do it. But certainly, it’s easier said than done!

Hi, my name is Stella and I’m an overpacker

I am, with not a shadow of doubt, an over packer. My girly girl instinct makes me want to pack lots of shoes and all types of imaginable lotions that a person can dream to use in a seven-day vacation.

So, after bringing along with me a lot of unnecessary stuff, I developed what I call smart overpacking. It means you can bring with you all the stuff you want and need, with two not negotiable conditions: you must use it during vacation and all of it must fit in one suitcase.

The golden rule of the method is to be extremely organized. You have to plan in advance the outfits for each day, optimize the usage of products and make all your junk fit into your suitcase. Before I hit you with the tips, let’s take a seven-day cruise to the Caribbean for example: everyday, before breakfast, you plan to jog, then going ashore for great days at the beach and sightseeing; back to the ship, you’ll enjoy a wonderful dinner and have some drinks at one of the beautiful bars.

The 3 steps for paradise

So, to master the smart overpacking method, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Plan the outfits! Think about the number of days you’ll be on vacation and what are your plans for each day. Then, go through your stuff like you’re getting ready: what you use when you wake up, the gym clothes, then the outfit for beach and sightseeing and what you’ll wear for dinner and drinks. Choose everything: shoes, socks, underwear, makeup… I meant everything! For planning the other days, you’ll take under consideration what you already laid out, to avoid taking repeated items, like cosmetics and clothes (especially the ones you use for dinner – you’ll be wearing them for just a few hours). Making a list makes life easier too: write down everything you need and start ticking the boxes away! Also, consider doing laundry: you don’t need to pack seven identical black leggings if you wash the three you brought, right?!
  2. Minis, samples, 2-in-1! I have a box in my closet full of mini and sample sizes I got during the year. I use them when I’m packing: I always need my favorite eye makeup remover, but I definitely don’t need the full-size bottle. They take up less space and you still have all your dear products with you. Another thing is using all-in-one products: a bronzer and highlight duo, shampoo and conditioner, body scrub and washer, BB or CC cream, color for lips and cheeks, texturizing dry shampoo… Try them in advance and take the ones you adapt well.
  3. Make it all fit in! There are a million ways to fold clothes and making shoes fit better in a suitcase. First, I would recommend making one side of the suitcase for clothes and the other side for shoes and cosmetics. Always put cosmetics in Ziploc bags and shoes in dust bags – you avoid a big mess and a lot of dirt! For clothes, I like to put heavier clothes, like jeans, on the bottom, rolling t-shirts and leggings, and on top of everything, summer dresses and blouses that wrinkle easily. Formal dresses and blazers (or tuxedos, if you feel fancy!) are best to be in a protective clothing cover and carry on by hand, but you can carefully pack it and get it ironed. YouTube can help you, and the best video I’ve seen is the two-part CruiseTipsTV series in how to pack!

Now, get your suitcase out of the closet and start packing! Don’t forget the real essentials as well: your daily medicine and prescriptions (for your glasses too!), money, credits cards, ID and passport. Get in the cab and happy travels!

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