During my busy travel season as a pilot, it's normally back to back trips with minimal time at home. This leaves me with lots of laundry, and little imagination or energy to put towards the effort of packing for the next extended trip. There are two parts to any packing process; first there is looking at the four "C's". and the second part is breaking down in detail the fourth "C"!
THE FOUR "C's"
Keep in mind, when you're packing, and be considerate of the culture you are traveling to. This also goes for weddings and special events. (i.e. black tie affair, funeral, religious invitations etc.)
This should be common knowledge, but you can tailor the "count down packing method listed below" to the climate you are traveling to; no need for 2 bikinis on a ski trip but 2 sweaters would definitely come in handy!
When talking about packing a "color", You pretty much get two options: brown or black. If I am traveling for black tie, I stick with blacks (i.e. black shoes, black belt, black sunnies and silver jewelry) and mix in my whites with pop's of color. If I am traveling out west or going adventuring, I stick with my browns (i.e. brown boots, brown belt, gold jewelry and gold sunnies) then with this palate I can wear my animal prints, beiges, tans, and more earth-tone colors to mix in.
While I have used the countdown packing method for years, I figured with my new webpage, its high-time to share my easiest packing secret around! One of my go-to travel and fashion bloggers is A Pair and a Spare. You can find her original post that I started to follow years ago here.
I adopted this awesome and easy practice and its about time you get on board the countdown packing method! Are you ready?
FIVE FOUR THREE TWO ONE!
* example shown above is for a one week trip
Choose 5 flexible and adaptable tops which go with all the other pieces you’re taking with you. These five include outerwear (which is fine for your summer travel as well), so chose a piece that will get you onto the plane and through any chilly evenings in style.
Throw in 4 bottoms including shorts, skirts and jeans. Your tops and bottoms should be adaptable and compliment each other.
3 dresses/rompers and shoes
Dresses and rompers are the easiest pieces to throw on, although they do limit your mixing and matching options, so stick with a maximum of three of these. Shoes are where a lot of us become unstuck when it comes to packing, but the trick is to pick very, very wearable shoes that go with everything you’ve packed. When travelling you’ll want to opt for more flats than heels.
2 bags and swimwear
For bags, you’re going to want a large bag that will act as your travel one (backpack or tote is good) when you’re on the plane or wander the markets, and have another smaller one for evenings and when you don’t want to carry too much. If you’re heading on a summer holiday you’re going to want at least two bikinis (but not too many more than that), so that you have choice when one set is wet.
**For winter travel, forego the bikinis and add two heavy sweaters or jackets.
1 of each accessory (hat/sunglasses/watch/necklace.)
Stick with one of each accessory, . I take a couple of pairs of sunglasses, but in reality only ever wear one or two so try to limit those – it’s less to lose!
For underwear, socks and jewelery, feel free to throw in as much as you can manage, squeeze them into your shoes and other gaps in your luggage!
NOT ENOUGH? or TOO MUCH?
Simply adjust the numbers friend! maybe its just a weekend getaway you're headed for. then 3 tops, 2 bottoms, 1 dress and 1 set of accessories will do the trick.
maybe you're headed for a 2 week family trip. 7 tops, 6 bottoms..... oh you get the picture.
**My strongest advise while using this method for extended trips is to never pack more than 7 days worth of clothing. You are bound to do laundry somewhere and you have way more options to mix and match than you think.