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10 Secrets On How To Avoid Overpacking

So you've purchased your plane tickets and booked your hotel room, and now all you can think of is how many days are left until you go on your dream vacation. Exciting! But hold on — you have yet to pack. While you want to dress up in different picture-perfect outfits for every day, luggage weight constraints stop you from bringing your entire closet. Not so exciting. 

Don't panic. Keep in mind these tips to avoid overpacking and spending on excess luggage — while still making sure you still get to take all your can't-leave-behind wardrobe picks with you. 

 

Wear the heaviest items, rather than pack them 

This tip especially holds true when traveling to a cold destination. You're undoubtedly going to be bringing bulky outerwear and and shoes, and those things take up more luggage space than you'd like. As much as possible, wear a pair of shoes and a thick coat or sweater on the flight to leave more room in your bags for other essentials. 

 

More tops, less bottoms

Rather than pack an equal proportion of tops and pants/trousers/tights/skirts, consider stocking up on blouses, tanks, sweaters, and shirts instead. It's easier to achieve more versatile looks and different outfits this way. (Extra tip: prioritize bottoms that you can wear more than once, or that you are confident in having laundered at your hotel. Avoid sensitive items that require special cleaning care). 

 

Neutrals and plains over patterns and prints 

If you like dressing in solid colors, this will be a no-brainer. On the other hand, if you're a prints and pattern kind of lady, think of this exercise as adding a new facet to your fashion sense! In general, pairing heavily printed pieces is tricker than mixing and matching neutral clothes, so avoid stocking up on them if you want to pack lightly. As a rule of thumb, everything you bring with you should go together no matter which top and which bottom you choose to wear. 

 

Two and three are the magic numbers

To remain comfortable (and stylish) on your trip, you'll need just three pairs of shoes. Two that you can interchange when you're out and about, and another dressier pair for any formal occasions you may attend, or for venues that have a dresscode. When it comes to bags, two is all you'll need: one to wear, and another as a back up just in case of damage. Like shoes, the only exception to bringing more is if you need a dressier piece for a special occasion. 

 

Accessories

When packing, accessories are put in the back burner. Aside from the weight issue they might pose, you also don't want to take any chances by leaving a huge bulk of them in your bags that might attract the wrong pair of eyes. Classic pieces that go with any style and outfit is your best bet, or if you really must bring several pieces with you, considering packing them in your carry-on instead. 

 

Learn the art of modular packing 

Believe it or not, using packing organizers to section off luggage space conserves more room than just layering, rolling, or stuffing item after item in there. When you use packing organizers, space is used more efficiently (those little corners that could fit a rolled up pair of jeans are satisfyingly filled up), and clothes are packed more compactly. We recommend soft packing organizers, too (the kind that resemble laundry bags used for keeping delicate items safe in the washing machine). 

 

 

Toiletries: from maxi to mini

Never, ever bring full-size toiletry items if you can avoid it. Shampoo bottles, facial wash, night cream, and more — they may seem like small items, but put them together, and they're sure to weigh a ton. Buy small multi-purpose plastic bottles, transfer just the right amount of their contents into them and that should definitely help. If you can afford to purchase some items abroad and discard them before you come home, you can do that, too. 

Cosmetics 

Now is the time to hoard those three-in-one versions of your favorite makeup and skincare products. Similar to the toiletry dilemma, makeup can be heavy and space-consuming (not to mention more fragile, and you really don't want to unzip your luggage to discover a foundation explosion). Double purpose products like foundations with SPF protection, tinted moisturizers, lip and cheek tints, and a two-in-one eyeliner and brow pencil to name a few, will be your beauty best friends while traveling. 

 

Know the weather

Do your weather research before packing. It'll help to know what the weather forecast is like to help you silence that internal dialogue you're having to yourself about whether to bring boots or flats. You have lots of options for accurate forecasts: go online check out weather channels, ask your hotel's concierge about what you can expect, or if you have friends and family in the city your visiting, heed their advice. 

 

Extra, not excess, luggage

If you're given the privilege of having two check-in bags, keep the second as empty as possible or at least only half full. Let's face it; you're going to be doing a lot of shopping when you're away. You don't want to have to ship the stuff that doesn't fit in your bags, or buy a third bag and spend even more for excess luggage at the airport. Play it smart!