So If anybody still reads my blog, which there is no eivdence for, then you probably know that on Monday I leave for San Francisco for five days. I've been thinking about what to bring for months. The problem is that I change at least twice a day, and generally I dress for whatever my mood is when I wake up. I try to choose outfits the night before, but sometimes I change them in the morning because I'm feeling different than the night before. So even though I really do like packing, there's always that little idea in my head that I maight hate what I'm bringing. Now I've done quite a bit of travelling in all seasons, and all weather conditions, and have become quite good at packing. Since it's summertime and most people will probably be heading off on vacations of their own, I thought I'd give a few hints that help me pack. I hope you find this helpful
1. Air out your suitcase/bag two days before leaving. Whatever smell is in your suitcase will be on your clothes THE WHOLE TRIP! I store my winter things in my suitcase durring the summer, so I keep mothballs and sache's in there anyway, but being stored in a musty closet still has a stench effect. I always open my suitcase for a day or two before I pack to air it out. Then spray it with something nice smelling. I wear rosewater perfume, so usually I spray that in there. You could use an air freshener as well, or your favourite perfume. Once you've sprayed it shut the lid/zip it up for an hour or so. This let's the scent seep in.
2. Make a checklist and live by it. Sit with a clear mind, and list everything you could possibly need during your trip. EVERYTHING. Not only does this let you get organized and fully prepared, it also eliminates the chances of your forgetting something. Pack your list on top of your suitcase. Now you won't lose anything on the trip.
4. Check the weather. Yahoo weather let's you see 10 days worth of weather. Use it! Check at least once a day until the day before you leave. Yesterday the high's in San Francisco were in the 60's. Today they're in the high 50's. Keep checking to ensure what you're bringing is weather appropriate. Otherwise you'll be miserable. Also keep in mind your own natural tempeture reactions. I'm always hot, so I can get away with taking a light jacket. Jessica is always cold. She's thinking of bringing a pea coat. Make sure you know how you react to whatever the weather in your destination is.
5. Go over your itinerary. Make sure you know what you're doing each day of the trip. Will you be walking, hiking, running, swimming? Is your location a hilly place? Are the streets paved with cobblestones? Does a strong wind kick up in the evening. When I went to Wales we were told to bring work clothes for one day because we were going to be cutting down the wild rodedendron (don't get me started on that) in the hills of North Wales. 90% of the kids on the trip didn't get the memo and wore flip flops and clothes that they couldn't work in. Make sure you have what you need for what you're doing. If you're going to be at the beach remember a hat.
6. Think about how you are travelling. If you are flying remember to wear shoes that slip on and off, and don't obstruct the blood flow to your feet. Wear something that is comfortable (if you're flying for more than an hour or two concider nice loung pants and a comfy top or a super comfortable dress). Also think about when your arival time is. If you arrive in the morning you're stuck with what you've got on until you can get to your hotel/hostel/house/living space. If you're travelling by car remember you can't move so it had better be something you can sit in until the next pit stop.
7. Picking clothing. You can just throw all your favourite peices together. You can. It's not going to work, but you can do it. I always hem and haw over what to bring so I've come up with the following solution. Plan for each day. using your itinerary as a guide to plan outfits around what you'll be doing. Some places have dress codes, some are hot, some cold. So plan for each day. Regardless of when in the year I am travelling I always dress in layers. This way I can adjust to my own personal temperature needs. I bring a jacket to work everyday because my desk is under the air conditioner vent. I don't wear it outside, but I wear it while I'm at my desk. Use the same principle. I always start with getting out the clothes that I absolutly love. The dresses I've planned on wearing there for weeks. I choose which one will work for each day and go from there. TRY EVERYTHING ON AS AN OUTFIT. This way you get to see it in action. While doing this choose accessories. I tend to choose a colour pallet to work with. This way everything I have brought matches everything else. All your accessories will go with each other this way too. If you are bringing seperates then mix and match them for new outfits while saving space. Also make notes of anything special you'll need for an outfit, like a slip, or white undies. make sure you have everything you'll need for your clothes.
8. Packing. They say to roll, they say to suck, they say to lay flat. How do you know what works best? Try them. Roll all your clothes up and see how much room you have left, try a vanccum seal bag, or just fold them. I fold because it works best for me. My suitcase is small and has pulls for pulling clothes as tight as possible. Pack backwards. leave whatever you'll be wearing last at the bottom. I pack in layers, the bottom being the last outfits I'll be wearing. also pack anything that is and extra or a "just in case" at the bottom this way they don't get messup with everything else. Pack any larger accessories with their outfit, such as belts, or hats and the like. Be aware of how much room you have and don't over pack. It's not worth it. You will have to carry everything you bring at some point, and bringing things that you "might" need is just going to waste space. Most airlines have a weight limit for luggage as well and it's going to cost you more in the long run if you bring and extra pair of shoes just because you want to. Also remember that how you pack your things is how they will come out. If it looks messy in your suitcase, It'll look messy once it's taken out, and unless your hotel has an iron, you have to live with that. It's also a good idea to pack sache's or dryer sheets in with your clothes to keep them smelling fresh while travelling.
9. Meet Ziplock, my bff. Never doubt the power of a ziplock bag. Big ones are great for shampoo and other toiletries, small ones for jewelery, hairpins, floss, etc. Pack an extra one of each just in case. They take up no room if laid flat on top of everything.
10. Extras. Airlines will not let you take a curling iron or blow dryer in your carry-on so be sure to pack such items in your suitcase. Also remember that any liquid over 3 oz. cannot be carried onto an airplane unless it's bought once you pass security. Any shampoo, conditioner, facewash, mouthwash, or lotion is concidered a liquid (because if a plane gets hijacked they're really going to kill us all by moisturising us to death). When packing a carry on less is more. Bring a book for the airplane/car/train/etc. One book should be fine. If you do manage to finish it while away, buy a new one and pack the old one in your suitcase. It is ineveitable that you bring home more that what you left with. I do one of two things. Arlines allow two carry-ons, one bag, and one personal item. So I usually bring my purse and a backpack (the backpack I'm bringing has been my travelling/school companion since I was 14. It is a veryinteresting bag that i will be sure to get a picture of). This trip my backpack will hold only my laptop, a notebook, a guide book, and a reading book. I bring an extra large backpack so that I can put all my souvineres in it. Another option is to just bring your purse and then pack a tote bag. Fill the tote with everything you've bought and bring that as your second carry-on.
I hope this helps anyone with the "I hate to pack" blues. Have a wonderful weekend and to everyone in ooosa, have a happy day celebrating our socialism, I mean a Happy 4th of July! Random Fact: The U.S. did not actually get it's independence until the fifth of July and all the founding father's thought that we would be celebrating that day as our Independence day. Also The U.S. never actually got any independance because we were not the U.S. durring this time. We were the American Colonies. Also Benjamin Franklin wanted us to have a monarchy. He also wanted the Turkey to be our national bird. I could keep going with these random tidbits that I seemed to pick up, but I'd rather not bore you.