Stress-Free Summer Travel: Top Packing Tips from a Personal Stylist

by May 29, 2024personal stylist0 comments

Are you getting ready for upcoming travel this summer? There is nothing better than the excitement leading up to a great trip away, but it’s often met with stress to get things done prior to our travels. Typically, the most stressful thing leading up to a getaway is packing. What to wear and how to style, how much to bring, planning outfits by itineraries and weather is a daunting task especially when there is so much else to think about prior to the trip.

As a personal stylist, I have packed many travelers in my career. The warrior that spends 3 weeks in Europe with a carry on, that was easy because she couldn’t bring that much anyway, lol. And the client who doesn’t really care how much luggage she has, but needs and wants different outfits, with pictures, and with options. Most people lie somewhere in the middle, but still hate the task.

Stress Free Packing

Imagine eliminating that stress and feeling the pure excitement of your upcoming trip, just like when you were a kid. We never sensed our parents’ stress before a trip—we only counted down the days before they woke us up to get going!

Read on for a personal stylist’s tips on how to pack and travel stress free!

Tips for Packing Like a Pro:

1. Don’t Pack the Night Before!

Try your best to start packing 1 week before. I don’t mean putting clothes in a suitcase, just planning outfits, pieces you know you’d like to bring on vacation, and pulling things aside when you have small amounts of time. This will allow you to know if you need to buy something prior to your vacation so that you don’t have to stress shop for anything when you get there.

*Print out your itinerary with all activities and know the weather in each place.

2. Build Your Outfits from Your Shoes Up

This is so important especially if you have a lot of walking to do on your trip. You must wear shoes that are comfortable for long days. Yes, they should be stylish as well so consider what you own and can wear without any pain.

This is the time to buy a great sneaker that works with your daytime outfits if you don’t have one. Consider small, heeled sandals for evenings, and chunky heels are even better, or just cute flat sandals that can easily be worn day and night with your skirts and dresses.


3. Pick a Neutral Color Palette

Pack neutral colors such as white, tans, navy or even black. These will be your foundation colors to make it easy to create several outfit options by mixing and matching pieces, therefore packing less, and you won’t need as many shoe and bag options either. And, have fun with a pop of color here and there or prints that make you happy but that will coordinate back to your foundational pieces.

4. Bring a Blazer

I always bring a great blazer and a denim jacket on my summer travels, no matter where I am going. They are that great 3rd piece to add dimension and instantly elevate your outfits. They also work as an added layer for warmth if needed in the evenings or in the ac.

Shop My Favorite Blazers:

5. Avoid Clothes That Need Ironing

Try not to travel with clothes that need to be ironed if you can avoid it. It’s just an unnecessary hassle that you don’t need while you’re away. With that being said, I love linen for the summer so think linen blends that won’t wrinkle as much, and a quick steam from the shower should work just fine.

*I always recommend a little travel steamer in the suitcase if you are so inclined.

Shop Travel Steamers:

6. Always Bring Jeans

Travel with at least 1-2 jeans depending on the length of your trip. Ideally 1 should be a darker wash as they easily go from day to night with a quick change of top and shoes, and don’t show stains as easily.

Shop My Favorite Jeans:

7. Don’t Try New Outfits on Your Trip

Pack pieces you wear now that you know fit and know how to style, not pieces you’ve never worn because you don’t know how but think they might work better on vacation. Yes, we want to look stylish while traveling, but experimenting with new clothes will create chaos while packing and while on vacation. Stick to your go to’s and add something fresh like a cute bag, scarf, or piece of jewelry. Trust me, it will save you lots of time.

Stress Free Packing

8. Don’t Bring New Shoes

Make sure whatever shoes or sneakers you are bringing as your “walking” shoes are not brand new. It’s never a good idea to break in new shoes on trips where you will be walking a lot. If you really want to bring a new pair of shoes, spend a few days breaking them in BEFORE you leave for vacation.

9. Limit the Number of Shoes You Bring

Shoes take up a lot of space in your suitcase, and are heavy, so the fewer the better. I recommend packing 2 shoes for the day, one of which you will wear on the plane, and 2 pair for evenings, this will be dependent on the length of your trip.

*I always pack a flip flop as well for hotel rooms, spa, and pool.

10. Bags are Extremely Important

A small soft evening bag (easy to pack) and an everyday crossbody are my essentials. They both should work with all your pieces, so choose wisely. If you want to add one more of each depending on the length of your trip they should pack easily and in colors that work back to your outfits.

*If you have designer bags pack them in your carryon.

11. Go Light on Accessories

Bring just a few accessories that work well with all your outfits. If you are someone who rarely changes out your jewelry, then you probably won’t on vacation either (in reality). Sometimes playing it safe can make for the best outfits.

*I always pack my jewelry in my carryon

12. Invest in Packing Cubes

They keep your luggage neat, and so easy to put the cubes directly in the drawers of the hotel neatly. Compressed bags are even better so that you can pack more in a smaller space.

Shop Packing Cubes:

13. Utilize Shoe Space

Put larger products inside of your shoes or boots to save space and make sure products that can leak are placed in plastic zip-loc bags. You can also use packing cubes if you aren’t very organized. They are great!

14. Wear Your Heaviest Items on the Plane

Try to wear your heaviest clothing and shoes on the airplane and if traveling to colder climates carry your coat with you on the plane. I always bring a cashmere wrap to use on the airplane as my blanket and then during the trip as an accessory to my outfit.

15. Pack Essentials in Your Carry-On (And Use a Tracker!)

I learned this the hard way last summer in Europe. My luggage was lost for 2 days, and having to buy things under these circumstances was very stressful and not a pleasant way to start the vacation! The better prepared you are, the better you can handle situations that arise.

Happy travels and remember I can pack for you! I know how difficult it is to pack and outfit plan for vacation, but thankfully, you don’t have to. Schedule a complimentary consultation call to discuss my packing services, which can also be done virtually. Let me help you with planning and packing for your next trip so that you can enjoy how truly simple and stress-free it can be!

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