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Dear Friends,

Summer is finally here, and with it the sometimes loved, sometimes challenging business of travel. I've grown into travel myself. There was a time when I dreaded it. Now, I'm excited and ready to go on any adventure that comes my way.

SuitcaseThe only part I find challenging now is knowing what to pack. I am somewhat of a packrat in general, though I have worked over the past few years to curb that problem. In fact, I perform my own Closet Rescue every few months just to keep myself honest with my wardrobe choices.

As a self-confessed packrat, I often go overboard when packing for a trip. I try to use my packing list, but sometimes I just start throwing stuff in the bag. And this is where I get into trouble. The next thing I know, I've got a huge bag to check AND a very large carry-on. On the way to the airport, I think to myself, "this is ridiculous" - and it is. But it's also too late at that point.  The truth is, there are some pretty clear tips that can get you through a variety of situations.

Patricia's Packing Guidelines

  1. Have a list and don't be afraid to use it. Before your next trip, make an initial list of what to pack. When you return from your trip, review the list and make additions or subtractions of what was needed (or not!) and file it in a vacation file. Next time you're preparing for a trip, you'll know exactly what to pack and what to leave at home.
  2. Wear your heaviest pair of shoes and pack three pairs at the very most. I try to stick to the "wear one, pack two" theory myself.
  3. Pack 2-3 shirts for every pair of pants/skirt/jeans. A variety of tops makes a small amount of tried-and-true bottoms go a long way.
  4. Think layering for just about every trip and you can't go wrong. Pack clothing that is truly flexible and lets you switch from day to evening very easily. 
  5. Only take clothing you love. Almost everyone I know ends up throwing in some dress they've never worn because it wasn't quite right and they are sure it will be perfect for the trip. Let's face it, if it isn't perfect at home, it's not going to be perfect anywhere.

Packing is all about finding the right balance. As a friend of mine always says, "less stuff, more fun." And she's right.  When I travel, I want to spend my time enjoying the trip, not unpacking and deciding what to change into the whole time. Keep in mind that your life is going on right now and that will ease some of the troubles. Let's face it, we only go around once, and we might as well feel good and look good doing it.

I hope this finds you well, and enjoying your summer and the places you travel. Happy packing!
Patricia Gorham

Patricia Gorham
Inside/Out Style