HAPPY FRIDAY! I am telling you- this has been a loooooooong week. I mean literally it went from October to November and it honestly felt like it was about a month long. But we made it to the weekend, and I’m so excited because Drew and I are going to NASHVILLE tomorrow!
Drew got a chance to scope it out last month when he was there for a bachelor party, but I’ve never been! (Side note: this is how I pictured Drew and his friends during their trip– I literally can’t stop laughing at this video). I’m excited to just get away for a little weekend trip because we’ve had a busy month and have another one coming up so it will be a nice, short vacay!
We love to travel, but I HATE packing. Leaving for a trip can be so stressful because you’re running around like a crazy person trying to get everything together before you go. Sometimes packing for a short trip is even harder than packing for a long trip because you can only take a carry on! We’re becoming traveling experts (or so I like to think) so I’m going to share some of our best tips and HACKS with y’all about pre-travel prep and packing.
BEFORE YOU GO
(these can all take less than 30 minutes!):
- MAKE YOUR BED. I’m sorry y’all, but this one is non-negotiable. I don’t go on any trips without making my bed before I leave. You’ll come home from your trip, exhausted, and feel so much better about your nice, clean bed.
- CLEAN UP YOUR MAIN SPACES. I’m not talking about a deep clean, but don’t leave your bathroom or kitchen or closet a disaster. Make an effort to at least fold your clothes and straighten up your counters!
- CLEAN OUT YOUR FRIDGE AND TAKE OUT THE TRASH. There is nothing worse than coming home to a weird smell! Go ahead and toss any leftovers that won’t keep. Freeze any vegetables or meats that might go bad while you’re gone. Take out the trash and BAM automatic clean kitchen when you come home!
- COLLECT ALL WATER CUPS/BOTTLES! This is a big one at the Altman house because Drew has a water cup in every room (I’m not even kidding, also I love you Drew). Dump ’em out and put them in the sink. Easy.
- MAKE A PLAN FOR FOOD FOR WHEN YOU GET BACK. Let’s face it, no one wants to get home from a trip and hop in the car to go to the grocery store. If you’re coming back on Sunday in time for dinner, go ahead and decide what you’re going to do for food, almost like it’s a part of your trip itinerary. If you’re stopping for food on the way back, great! If you’re planning to cook/eat at home, make sure you have some groceries or a frozen pizza and avoid the “what are we doing for dinner” madness.
WHEN YOU’RE PACKING
(some of these depend on the length of your trip and where you’re going, but hopefully they’ll help you feel more prepped while you pack)
- PACK IN OUTFITS. Raise your hand if you’re guilty of packing something that you’ve literally never worn before. You can’t see but I’m raising both of my hands!! We all want to pack cute vacation outfits that we haven’t tried on or worn before and then we get somewhere and wish we had our normal, comfy clothes. Pack FULL outfits and try them on, just like you would in a dressing room before you buy something! Try before you buy, fam! This will also keep you from leaving accessories like socks, belts, sweaters at home, and it’s a great tip for guys, too! (I don’t think Drew needs to try on his outfits, but packing things together has saved him many times from leaving a belt/socks at home!)
- MIX AND MATCH. This is especially important for weekend trips when you’re just bringing a carry on- pack things you can mix and match together! Here is a pretty good graphic for a weekend trip carry-on– I might throw in a dress too if I know we’re going out somewhere faaaaancy.
- DO NOT FORGET YOUR PAJAMAS. I’m sorry, but there is nothing worse than getting to a hotel after a long flight or drive and realizing you left your sweats at home. Pajamas and slippers are always the first thing I pack (because I have forgotten them too many times to count). And socks! BONUS: If I don’t wear them with my travel outfit i.e. if i’m wearing sandals or something, I always stick socks in my purse to wear on the plane!
- ORGANIZE YOUR PURSE! When you’re headed through the airport, things can get so jumbled. Put everything in a place where you can easily access- I keep my ID in one pocket, all of my chargers/headphones/cords in one pouch, and keep things like chapstick and handwipes (yeah, that’s right, I’m a grandma) in one place so I can grab them when I need them. Don’t be that girl on the airplane dumping out your whole purse so you can find a granola bar. Charming Charlie has great options for travel bags– they’re all super cute too!
- DOWNLOAD YOUR MOVIES/PODCASTS/TV SHOWS/BOOKS. I do this as a part of my packing routine- even if you’re driving, having everything pre-downloaded will save you data and low-signal induced frustration! Netflix AND Amazon will both let you download certain titles as a part of your subscription- I usually download a whole season of The Office before we leave so we’ll be covered on the way back too! Here’s more information about downloading from Netflix and some great titles you can get right now!
- LEAVE THE THINGS YOU DON’T NEED AT HOME. Well, DUH, Conner! I’m serious, y’all- unless it is something you HAVE to have, leave it! I’ve started doing this with some toiletries if we’re going to a hotel- check their amenities list. If they have shampoo and conditioner (as most places do) I’m not going to try to cram those into a plastic baggie for TSA. This will also leave you more room to bring the things you can’t get there like heat protectant spray, dry shampoo, and your other must-haves!
Above all else, my packing strategy is if I want it, I bring it! Trips can be stressful, so if bringing a blanket or not-so-cute sweatshirt will make you feel a little more relaxed, DO IT. I don’t go anywhere without my heating blanket (even when go to Mexico in JULY, it has a place in my suitcase). Be comfortable, and don’t stress. Staying positive while you pack will help start your trip on a good note!
What are your packing tips? What do you never leave home without? Let me know in the comments below!