Traveling: How I Pack!

Greetings all! Recently, we had the opportunity to do some traveling. I had the pleasure of seeing good friends get married-one in Punta Cana and the other wedding in Arkansas, so we definitely got in some flight time this summer! While getting ready for all of these events and hanging out in hotel rooms and airports, I was inspired to do a post on packing and travel items!

We don’t fly often at all but when we do, we try to avoid checking bags and get everything in our carry ons. For us it’s just easier-no lost luggage or waiting around for it, plus it’s one less thing you’re paying for. I like saving when I can, so this makes my frugal side very happy! You don’t get to bring as much this way, but I don’t see that as a bad thing. It’s also a lot easier to pack less in the summer or when you’re only away for 3-4 nights, so we had that advantage. We did manage to do two weeks in Europe one summer with just our carry ons and my tote, so I guess anything is doable!

You might already have this packing thing down to a science, maybe need a little push to get you going, or you’re just nosy like me and get amped seeing how people are doing things and what they use lol. Either way, I wanted to share how I pack and what I use to put it all in!

I’m not super fancy when it comes to my toiletries– I tend to bring a lot of the same things with me over and over and keep them in a bag so I don’t have to think each time. Dear hubs is from NY, and while it’s not super far (we drive), it’s far enough where we usually stay over for a few nights a couple of times a year. Keeping everything together in the same bag saves some time in the whole packing process.

Trial sizes and Samples
Samples and trial sizes
Samples and trial size items are so handy for traveling! I keep sample containers for this reason, or hit up the travel section at CVS if I need to. I reuse or re-purpose them if I can. They’re almost always the perfect size for TSA’s 3-1-1 rule and don’t take up much space. Sephora gave me sample of foundation to try and the small round container it came in is the perfect size for foundation! I’ve also used a contact lens case to hold liquid foundation as well. Space-saving is essential so whatever works, right?

Travel Containers for liquids
Travel-friendly containers for liquids
Most times I put what I already have in these travel-friendly containers. You can find them at most drugstores and sometimes they even come with handy labels. They can be reused a good amount of times.

Kate Spade wristlet, Victoria's Secret cosmetics bag
Kate Spade wristlet, Longchamp Le Pliage,Victoria’s Secret cosmetics bag
My favorite travel tote is the popular Longchamp Le Pliage (large). It holds a lot, is durable, water-resistant, and streamlined. If you like a lot of compartments, this doesn’t have any aside from a small one by the zipper for smaller items, so take note. I usually carry my wristlet wallet (wristlet details here) in there and a clear cosmetics bag. The clear VS bag is great because it keeps everything together and makes everything easily acccessible/visible.

3-1-1 bag for liquids
3-1-1 Lewis N. Clark bag for liquids
I also have to have my 3-1-1 bag ready in my tote to whip out when it’s time to go through the detectors.  I put some of my liquids in my husband’s ziplock since he always has way more room (of course) than I ever do. I bought this Lewis N. Clark 3-1-1 bag from Amazon because I wanted something sturdier than your regular quart size ziplock. This one isn’t bad but the plastic can get cloudy. Weirdly enough, you can rub vaseline on it to get it clear again. Who knew?

Cosmetics weekender bag by Contents
Cosmetics weekender bag by Contents

Contents weekender cosmetics bag
Cosmetics bag by Contents
I absolutely love this weekender cosmetics bag by Contents. The weekender is my favorite style because of the compartments and lays pretty flat. I got mine from Target.  They don’t sell this exact design anymore but they have lots of other cute patterns. It’s really sturdy and holds all of my travel makeup essentials. I love that it has three compartments and that you can see everything easily!

Bags for jewelry and toiletry, and Vera Bradley glasses case
Cosmetic bag for jewelry, toiletry bag, and Vera Bradley glasses case
I like using the striped cosmetic bag for jewelry (I roll up necklaces in toilet paper to keep them from tangling-works!) and a larger yellow one for all of my toiletries that aren’t liquids (or when we’re not flying, they all go in there!). The pink Vera Bradley is a glasses case from my husband!

High Sierra Carry On and Longchamp tote
High Sierra carry on and Longchamp tote
When it comes to my carry on luggage I went for the High Sierra AT7 based on reviews and that it has three options to carry (backpack, rolling, or just by handles on the top). I ordered this online in 2013 for our two-week trip to Europe and it help up extremely well. It’s a tad larger than most carry on luggage but fits in those top plane shelves and I’ve never been told to check it. It really holds a decent amount! There’s also a flap inside that you can zipper open for an extra section too, which I usually use for my shoes. I have other duffel bags that I like for easy overnight trips, but this is my heavy duty go-to.

Packed carry on
Packed carry on
When it comes to actual packing, I roll my clothes for more room which also helps me see what I have. I also try to plan some outfits ahead of time to prevent over-packing. Most pieces I could mix and match to allow for more options. I try to be realistic when it comes to what to bring, but I always like having my choices and variety too!

What are your staple travel bags, space-saving tips or travel ideas? 

<3, Jen

17 thoughts on “Traveling: How I Pack!”

  1. I live packing for some reason! This kind of post always gets me excited – even though I never go on holiday! My boyfriend and I have booked a holiday for next February, and I’ve been researching bags like this, but they’re pretty pricey! We paid for the lightest gold luggage too just in case!

    1. So exciting! Where are you headed?? Spend the money once and have it forever- I’ve learned my lesson! I once use a carry on off my parents and it literally was falling apart as I was rolling it! Like plastic pieces on the ground! lol. Never again! Thanks for the comment!
      <3 Jen

      1. We’re off to Madeira! I’ve only been abroad once but I was about 10 so didn’t fully appreciate it. Well I did but it’s also so long ago I can’t remember much and I have different aims! That’s true… It’s just unlikely I’ll be flying very much!

    1. It’s definitely a lot easier to pack when there’s less- don’t blame ya! It’s such a chore sometimes! Thanks for the comment!
      Jen X

  2. I absolutely love that travel tote. Everything seems nice and organised. I haven’t been away in such a long time. I’m not as good a packer as you though x

    1. LoL well everything always looks much neater going in but once I get to my destination it’s a different story haha. And yes- it’s a great tote, use it all the time! Thanks for the comment!!

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