My Trip Packing Philosophy

I am by no means an expert at packing for trips.  Not that I wasn’t taught how to pack, I am, after all, a Girl Scout and learning how to pack your own bag for a camping trip was a big deal.  I learned some good tips: roll your socks and put them in your shoes to save space, keep whole outfits together in plastic bags, always bring extra pants because you will end up having a mud/food/water fight and if you don’t remember your poncho you will be forced to wear a trash bag with holes cut out for your head and arms to go through.  Okay, that might sound like torture but it was really fun; the point is, I was actually taught how to pack for trips, and yet, by the time I went to college I had lost all reason when it came to packing.  Actually, it wasn’t until 2009, when I spent a month in Rome and had to pack everything I was bringing for the trip into one piece of carry on luggage, that I realized I had a problem.

You see, I’m a notorious over-packer.  I always managed to stuff my suitcase with skirts that I never wore and tops that were completely impractical for whatever I was doing while away.  Since my visit to NYC coincided with Mercedes Benz Fashion week, I knew that I would be tempted to bring the most impractical outfits for the sake of “being fashionable.”  I do after all, have a blog.  So I sat myself down and really thought about the trip.  As I mentioned in my previous post, the real point of my journey was to hang out with my best friend and help her think through wedding things and honestly I didn’t need to look fancy to do that.  I did know that I was going to the Opera so I would need one fancy dress and heels, but since S. lives a mile from the D train there would also be lots of walking, including walking around museums, so most of my outfits needed to be practical.  Also, I needed to consider the fact that my first and last days of the trip would be spent running around the city carrying my luggage since a trip to the Bronx to drop it off would take us about 2 hours.

So I packed lightly, although I still manged to bring one too many pairs of shoes. I though I would share with you some of my wisdom with you.

  1. As I said above, consider what you will be doing on  your trip. — If you are going to the Opera, bring an appropriate outfit.  If you are, on the other hand, going to be painting a friend’s house, bring clothes you care less about.
  2. Create a “uniform.” — For New York, my uniform was jeans (black or blue) and a loose fitting but nice looking shirt paired with my oxfords and topped with a red cardigan.  (This did make for an awkward moment when I realized I had on a pink shirt with hearts and a red sweater a week from Valentine’s day.)
  3. Get good insoles for your shoes.  — This is only really an issue if you are wearing non-tennis shoes or if you are wearing old tennis shoes. I picked up these at my local Target and they were amazing!  I chose insoles that had some real structure as opposed to being squishy since my oxford’s don’t have that much arch support. Honestly, insoles are amazing and they are made for all sorts of shoes now a days, even heels, so if you are going to be walking do yourself a favor and buy some.
  4. Consider the weather. — Yes, this one is trite but I spent an afternoon running around stores unsuccessfully looking for a knit hat because I had woefully under packed for New York winter.  I just assumed that NYC was having a mild winter like DC but I was wrong and cold.
  5. Don’t Over pack. —  I found that packing just enough clothes made my life so easy.  There was no agonizing about what to wear in the morning, instead I got up, got ready and was off on my adventures quickly.

And my final advice, always pack sunscreen, even if its wintertime, because protecting your skin when you are out and about frolicking is really very important.


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