I Want to be a Smart Packer, What Should I Bring on Vacation

I have been a smart packer as far as I can remember from traveling at a young age. Traveling in my twenties, my friends always laughed when they saw my backpack and said where’s the rest of your stuff? It just makes life so much easier. Putting that aside, the goal is to be a smart packer meaning you bring all the things you truly need and wear most if not all of what you bring on vacation. 

Be A Smart Packer For Your Vacation Getaway

So, let’s start with the essentials. If you are going for a two week vacation you want to bring enough underwear and socks to make it through the trip or only do laundry once at the most. A lot of the luggage now have these grooves in them so you want to make use of that space. That’s where your socks and underwears can go to take advantage of every available space. I personally like to pack clothing items that are compact so they fit nice and snug in my luggage. Nothing that takes up too much space even if it’s my favorite outfit. 

Picking The Right Luggage

I like to pick out luggage that has a side that zippers that separates to two sides and has four wheels. That way you can separate clean clothing from dirty clothing easily. I usually bring a small travel laundry bag to separate clean from dirty. A zip up compartment for electronics is helpful unless you plan to bring a laptop bag. Although I don’t generally need to check in my bag, I prefer any color other than black so I can clearly distinguish my bag. That way if you do have to check in your bag, it is much easier to identify my bags at baggage claim. 


So, a couple of dresses that hold well and don’t wrinkle in your luggage are a must. Preferably you choose ones that are versatile and can work for day or evening. You can take a scarf or some costume jewelry to dress it up for the evening. If you are traveling to a hot climate, pick light colors and breathable fabrics. I generally have a rule where I stick to two dresses, ten tops, three shorts, two lightweight pants, a long sleeve top, a light weight sweater, PJs, one pair of yoga pants, two bathing suits and my white bucket hat. You are asking what about shoes; ballerina type flats and one pair of heals that go with all my outfits. I wear waterproof sneakers on the plane because that takes up the most space.

So that’s my essentials list that I have lived by traveling through almost thirty countries. I always take a small bottle with detergent to hand wash anything I need to. Some hotels have those drying towel racks which I take full advantage of to dry a few handwashed items.  My husband and I generally have a similar strategy minus the dresses. He brings one pair of smart shoes and definitely more electronics than me. We both generally have something that measures our activity throughout the trip so either a smart watch or an app on our phones. 

I try to avoid getting sick on vacation at all costs so I take vitamin C and Zinc drops with me where ever I go. I bring my travel size toiletries plus I limit makeup to lipstick, eye liner and mascara. 

Basic Colors 

Try to stick with basic colors so that you have choices with different outfits. I pick versatile items that work for different activities. No matter how tempting, I don’t take my favorites. My goal is to pack smart. 

Wherever your travels take you, make a plan so you can be a smart packer. Smart packing has served me well for my many years of traveling. Happy traveling! 

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