What kind of trip are you going on? Are you visiting family or friends? Going sightseeing? Going shopping?
It is useful to know what you are going to do on your trip. If you are going out, maybe you need a nicer outfit. If you are going sightseeing, you will need to make sure you wear something comfortable you can walk in all day. If you're going shopping, pack less cause you're buying stuff anyway (that's my mom's tip.. she swears by it. I can't do it because I have to alter so many of my new clothes and I don't like risking not buying enough shirts or something).
Now that you know what you're packing, pick your bag(s).
I say, stick to a maximum of 2 bags (purse included). If you're okay with lugging one backpack around everywhere, all the better. But there are so many combinations you could do:
Suitcase + backpack, suitcase + large purse, suitcase + small purse, backpack + large purse, backpack + small purse, you get the point..My personal favourite combinations are suitcase + large purse and backpack + large purse. I have a problem with bringing too many bags (one for every purpose!) but in both instances, I have a large versatile purse (and I usually throw a small clutch in, shh!) where I can carry anything I need from water to passport to a light cardigan to my iPod. And then I throw the rest of my clothes in the suitcase or backpack, depending on what degree of wrinkled is okay and if I need to walk a lot with my belongings (aka if you are taking the bus or train and are sightseeing on your way to the hotel).
Pick a clothing colour scheme
This is my #1 space saving tip!!! Use your basics and neutrals, and only accent with one colour family. That way you can mix and match and re-use your pieces without having to pack too many different outfits. Use your accessories to change up the feel of some of your pieces and you instantly have a new outfit (a thin cotton belt vs a thick leather belt makes a world of a difference). I usually figure out one outfit first and then build around it. For example, when I went to Toronto a few weeks ago for my cousin's bridal shower, I picked out an outfit for the shower (skirt and top) and then built the rest of my choices around those colours. That weekend I packed in pinks, purples and neutrals. When I went shopping in the States last weekend I packed in blues, turquoises and neutrals. Make it work!
Before you start actually grabbing your items, make a list.
This way you can see how much you're packing and you can easily strikeout items or add to it without having to turn your closet inside-out (has happened too many times). And if you've done it before, reuse an old list and you'll be sure to never forget the same items you forgot last time (happens to the best of us).
As I get ready for my weekend trip to Kingston, my best friend is on the other side of the world in Fiji. Rosemarie shares her tropical travel tips on her blog, threepiece. Check it out!
(photos from Pinterest)