Pack With Me: California

Washington, DC, USA
Pack With Me: California
Sweater | Belt | ShoesJeans | Star Necklace | Nameplate Necklace | Earrings
Welcome back to the blog everyone! I wanted to try a pack with me post where I show you how I pack my suitcase, what I pack and some of my packing tips and tricks with you all. I've always attempted to do these type of posts in the past, but it never quite works out. Since I've been planning this trip for over six months though I was able to finally commit to this post.

Pack With Me: California
Pack With Me: California
Pack With Me: California
Pack With Me: California

What I Packed
After I made all of my purchases for the trip, I started to plan out outfits and pack. This part is very important for a blogger because like I said, I tend to overpack. I want to make sure I'm packing as light as I can and leaving room for things that I purchase on my trip. Omar and I try to pack in one suitcase going to our destination and we pack a large empty duffel to fill on our way back from our destination. That way we never exceed two checked bags. Omar gets checked bags for free since he's military which is an awesome bonus!

The first thing I'll do is pull out any and all clothes and shoes that I *think* I want to bring with me. That's when I'll start making cuts to see what pieces come with me and what stays behind. I'll start by putting together as many outfits as possible and try to make multiple outfits using the same pieces. This way I'm not just packing a shirt just to pack a shirt but not sure what it goes with. This is also when I try on things to make sure I like how they look and how I feel in them. Don't forget to check the weather for your destination location. You may love your denim jacket, but do you need it in 85 degree weather? Probably not.

The hardest part about packing for me is my shoes. Luckily, I have small feet and can get away with packing more pairs of shoes then everyone else, but I still have to be careful because I have specific shoes that go with specific outfits. I'll try to pack shoes that got with multiple outfits to save room and make the bag weigh less. I'll pack basics like sneakers, sandals, black heels and some sort of everyday shoe. The shoes that I'll be wearing the most are the White Slip-On Pro VansI also only pack one pair of pajamas and 1 pair of black leggings.

What I Bought
I'll start with all the new products I bought specifically for this trip. Since I created a mood board on my Pinterest account, I knew some of the golden pieces I was looking for. As a blogger, I tend to over plan (and overpack) outfits for trips. A trip, especially a trip to California, was no exception.

How I Packed
Once I decide on everything I'm bringing I'll honestly do a second round of cuts. I know that I could probably get rid of the third bathing suit and second pair of heels so I'll be a little more cut-throat and put away some items. Then I'll take everything that Omar is packing + what I'm packing and start to organize everything to put away in the suitcase. We bought these space saver travel bags that we use and they save so much room!

I'll organize our clothes and put them in the appropriate sized space saver travel bags before putting them into the suitcase. I can't explain how much room these bags save, but I will say, your clothes may be wrinkly when you take them out. Just be prepared to iron or steam them when you unpack. The rest of packing is honestly just like playing Tetris. I'll put the shoes, hair tools, makeup and anything else that doesn't go in a space saver travel bag in the suitcase. Another thing I do is put my socks in my shoes to keep my shoes from bending. We also have this awesome large duffel bag that I throw in the suitcase. We bring it with us empty and fill it up for when we come back.

Aside from our clothes and shoes, I also pack a jewelry organizer and my makeup bag. My friend Stepheni got me this awesome large makeup case which holds everything I could possibly need. Then  I bought this travel jewelry organizer that fits more than enough pieces for any trip.

Helpful Packing Items

I also always pack my hair straightener because I swear I have the best hair straightener in the world, but since my friends were also going on this trip, I knew that one of them was bringing a curling iron so I left mine at home. If you're going on a trip with friends and you can share or borrow some items, I highly recommend starting a group chat to plan this. Not everyone needs to bring a curling iron and no one brings a straighter. If you also don't have a staple item, like a white t-shirt, see if someone else is bringing one that you can borrow during the trip.

I don't know exactly when I started this tip, but something I've been doing the last few trips is buying essentials when I arrive at my destination. If I happen to have some travel toiletries lying around then great, but if not, I'm not going to waste my money buying them. Seriously, I think travel shampoo and conditioner is the biggest waste of money (unless it's a day or weekend trip). Our trip is 15-days so I'm going to need more than a couple ounces of hair products. What I'll do instead is go to the dollar or grocery store to stock up on toiletries. I personally prefer going to the dollar store because they sell the same items that you get at the grocery store, but for only a dollar. We'll get everything we need for a long trip like this for less than $10. If you're going on a group trip, then you can all pitch in for some of these essentials. Depending on the Airbnb you may even need to get toilet paper and paper towels. Then by the end of the trip you should have used most of the products so you can just toss it or leave it behind. Or if you can bring it with you, great! Face wash isn't something I'd leave behind, but a half empty bottle of shampoo that I got for a dollar can totally get tossed. Or if you have some products that are about to run out, you can bring those with you and then toss them when they're all out. It all depends on what you need to bring, where you're going and how long you're going for.

Essentials To Buy/Pack

The last thing I have to pack is my carry-on bag. My carry-on bag is always my backpack and I have it super organized so I can find everything while I'm in the airport. I have a 3-part laptop sleeve Herschel backpack (similar one linked here) that fits everything I need for the flight. If possible I try to put all my chargers in my suitcase that way I'm not sorting through wires at the security check. I also put my polaroid camera and smaller items that are a bit more durable than my carry-on electronics (tripod, film, camera charger). My laptop is the first thing that goes inside the laptop sleeve. Then in the bigger compartment I put my camera, my headphones and my jewelry organizer. In the middle compartment I have my portable cell phone charger, my phone charger, my glasses, my sunglasses and my USB-Hub for my laptop. Then in the small front pocket I keep chapstick, scrunchies, my wallet and my phone. That's it! I might have a book or a magazine too, but besides that I really don't keep much for my carry-on. To me, the less, the better. I also make sure to charge all of my electronics overnight! I might also carry my purse on with my depending on room in my suitcase and if I packed any additional carry on items. Usually it's packed away though. I usually pack my chargers and camera film in my purse before packing it away in my suitcase. That way it doesn't get dented or anything. Sort of the same concept of when you put your socks in your shoes.

The last little tip & trick I have, which everyone should know by now, is to wear your heavier clothes to the airport. For instance, my vans or sneakers might be the heaviest shoes so I'll wear those instead of a lighter shoe like my sandal, I'll pack those instead. If you're bringing a heavy coat, or sweater, carry that on with you instead of packing it to save some space.

Obviously things are going to change based on where you are traveling to, but for the most part this is what my packing routine looks like. If you have any other tips or tricks let me know by commenting down below!

xoxo, Michele

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