How to Pack: MAD Style

So with an upcoming family vacation to Las Vegas, it’s time to break out the suitcase and hit the sky! Now for some, packing can be an extreme chore. For me, it’s one of the greatest style challenges.

I use to pack willy-nilly, just throwing shirts and jeans in and hoping things went together when I got there. Now I pack by outfits. It’s much easier to figure out how many days I’ll be gone and pack an outfit for each day. Then I’ll throw in a few extra shirts, an extra pair of jeans and jacket.

So for Vegas: I started with some special pieces I had bought specifically for the trip. Like this awesome one-sleeved, silk burnt-orange shirt from The Limited that just screamed Vegas at me when I saw it online. From there I checked the weather. This is probably the most important piece of research to do before packing. You don’t want to pack shorts if you’re going to need a parka. Vegas’ temps are settling into the low 80s this time of year (boo it’s the freaking desert). So I started with cute shorts and top combos, threw in some jeans for traveling and night time, a leather jacket, a denim jacket and two smaller handbags. A few swimsuits for good measure and I’m ready to roll!

In terms of the physics of packing, I approach it one of two ways. If I’m really worried about wrinkles, I lay items flat on top of one another. If not, I keep shirts folded in half and throw them in. I usually keep dresses and jackets in a garment bag to protect against spills of any kind. Also: Downy Wrinkle Release and Febreze are sold in travel size so always keep some in your bag. Same goes for Scotchgard.

I also used to be the girl who packed five pairs of shoes for a simple weekend away with friends. It seems like such a simple concept, but I read in a magazine to stick to one color combination, say black and white or browns, so make packing easier. Well duh! I try to follow that now so I only end up with one pair of heels, one pair of flats and a pair of sandals. But being me sometimes this doesn’t always work but I’m human so sue me…

Same goes for accessories: I try and stick with a color scheme. The best advice for packing necklaces, especially long ones: invest in small jewelry plastic baggies. When I worked retail, all the jewelry in shipment came in these and I’d bring them home since they would just be thrown away. It’s great for no tangles (let the clasp hang outside the bag; it’ll still close somewhat and be secure). Earrings and rings I toss into a mini Tuperware container from the 80s or my smaller beauty bag in my purse. And of course, wear anything valuable or sentimental during your travels or keep them in your carry-on/purse in case of lost luggage.

I’m a large handbag type of gal and this conviction is proven most useful when traveling. I can save my carry-on bag, which is usually a backpack, for my computer, camera and other electronic supplies. My large handbag can hold my planner, travel itinerary, magazines and other random stuff. I pack smaller handbags to switch into when I arrive.

What’s the best travel packing advice you’ve received? Cheers from sunny Vegas!

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