Vacation Packing 101

1 day, 24 hours, 1,440 minutes, 86,400 seconds till I go on vacation….but who’s counting?

These days with social media, Yelp, Expedia, bloggers and snapchat covering every corner of every city, there is very little left to the imagination. I feel like I have been to Coachella, Iceland and Running with the Bulls without ever having to leave my house! Obviously, it is not the same, but planning for vacations has become very different in this day and age. Gone are the days where your dad would bring that HUGE bulky gas station travel book and a pack of maps (omg shout out to everyone who remembers their parents arguing over directions….what was life without google maps) Gone are the days of seeing a travel agent and booking a tour guide. And of course (the saddest of them all) Gone are the days of free luggage with barely any weight restrictions. I honestly remember my mom’s suitcases for our India trips in the 90s…She could have packed me, my sister and my dad in there and still gotten a thumbs up from the United counter.

Though certain aspects of traveling have gotten easier packing has DEFINITELY gotten harder. If you are a normal human being maybe this post is not as applicable to you. But if you are borderline INSANE when it comes to packing (like me)…keep reading!

I have compiled my best tips and tricks for a pain free packing experience. The only things you will need are time, patience and a glass (probably bottle) of red wine!

*This is for a 4-7 day vacay!

Tip #1: Plan your outfits ahead of time. I can’t tell you how helpful this is. Us ladies loooveee to have options and the idea of restricting ourselves to only bringing certain outfits its scary. I get it! I would suggest planning each outfit by day and then bringing 2-3 backups incase you change your mind. Trust me I have been there. You wake up and feel too lazy to shave your legs and wish you brought one pair of jeans instead of all dresses. Keeping the spare outfits are a great solve.

Tip #2: Try to consolidate the bulky items such as jeans, shoes, outerwear and handbags. As a rule of thumb I try to bring 1-2 pairs of jeans and jackets. Handbags and shoes are wear I struggle because I love to change them up based on my outfit. I try to bring 2-3 “fashion” pairs, 1 athletic pair (which I usually also wear to the airport) and 1 formal pair! With purses, I pack them all inside of each other. For example, I will start with my cross bodies which I put inside of my clutches which then go in my big tote and eventually in my carry on! This saves tons of space!

Tip #3: Packing Cubes!! These are such a life saver for someone like me. I cannot think of a better way to organize the suitcase. It was always so challenging for me to decide how to lay things out in my bag. Then when I would reach the hotel I would have to unpack everyyything just to get to the one pair of jeans that were at the bottom. Packing cubes totally get rid of that problem. I choose to pack by “time of day/ activity” (I know I am weird guys..let me live my life lol) I pack all my daytime / casual outfits into one cube and all of my nigh time/ formal dinner clothes into another. My swim/beach clothes and undergarments go into smaller cubes.

Tip# 4: Leave Space! One of the biggest mistakes people make is packing their bag to the brim on the way there. ALWAYS leave a little room in your bag. You may decide to do some shopping on the trip, or you may decide to steal the amazingly plush cloud pillow from your hotel or you might just be too sad that your vacation is over and decide to dump everything in your bag 2 hours before take off. Whatever it is…leave some room, it will be a life saver!

Tip# 5: Bring a laundry bag! Every time I go on a trip I end up not wearing half the clothes I bring. You idealistically pack outfits for everyday but then have too many margaritas and end up wearing your “I love spring break” tee the entire time (speaking from experience) Having a laundry bag will make the post vacation laundry loads (honestly the worst things ever) a little less painful!

Scroll through for photos of my packing steps and more Nam Hacks! Keep scrolling to the bottom to see links to all products I use to pack!

Happy Travels

xoxo Nam

I love my Amazon Basics hardshell bag! It is the absolute PERFECT size and sooo spacious! If I can fit everything I need…anyone can! It is also so affordable compared to other suitcases on the market!

Packing cubes are my best friend! These are so cheap and come with a laundry bag as well! I would highly recommend these to anyone who is packing for a trip of any length!

I lay my big bags flat on the bottom of my clothes so that they keep their shape and don’t get crushed! Also how CUTE is this bag! When I saw it, I could not resist!

It’s like the cubes were built for this suitcase! They fit perfectly and still leave room for extra items!

I like to lay down a layer of plastic when packing shoes because I am a super germ-a-phobe and don’t like the idea of my shoes dirtying up the inside of my suitcase! (personal problem lol) But also really helpful if you are going somewhere sandy because all the sand gets on the plastic and not over your interior lining!

You can tell I am going somewhere warm and beachy haha! Packing for cold places is much more challenging space wise because of the big coats and boots. Luckily sandals and bikinis don’t take up too much space!

There are A LOT of clothes in there but you can barely tell! It looks like its full to the brim but most of it is air and when I close my bag there is still a TON of wiggle room. I was able to fit 14 different outfits in there!!!!  The only call out that I have is that the empty suitcase itself is a bit heavy and adds extra weight! But even after that, my bag was only 30 pounds and I definitely feel like I was able to fit everything (and more) for my 5 day trip!

I like to pack all my sunglasses and accessories in little boxes so that they are easy to find and they don’t get crushed or break!

I Love this Sole Society Duffel! It is super cute, SO spacious and the perfect carry on. I put all my designer items (things I don’t want out of my sight), bags, camera equipment, toiletries, plane books etc in there and still have so much space! And my mom always gave me the advice to pack some extra clothes just in case anything happens with your check in bag! (This is also a super affordable version of the Madewell duffel)

TONS of room in this carry on duffel bag! I even use it by itself for weekend trips! Mary Poppins would be all over this!


The End! Wasn’t that easy!!

Shop The Essentials 

Amazon Suitcase 24″

Amazon Packing Cubes

Sole Society Duffel Bag


More of my Travel Favs!



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