Is it finally time to go on that trip you’ve been dreaming of? Before you can hit the road or head to the airport, you have to accomplish that dreaded task: packing.
It’s almost always stress-inducing (I know it is for me!) and you’ll probably still forget something. Plus, if you already struggle with choosing your clothes when you get up in the morning, then packing is just a nightmare.
Fortunately, there are certain essential clothing items that you should pack no matter what, and we’ve got a step-by-step process you can use to help you pack like a pro.
Questions To Ask Before You Pack
You probably already know exactly what devices to bring for your trip, but it can be a lot harder to choose the clothes you’ll be wearing on vacation. Before you start throwing half your closet into your suitcase, ask yourself these questions:
What will the temperature be like?
How many days will you need to pack for?
Will you be going to any special events or places that may require a more formal outfit?
What are the size and weight limits on your luggage?
How many pairs of shoes do you need and how many do you have space for?
Once you have your answers to these questions, you’ll have a better idea of what’s appropriate to bring and what you can leave at home.
No matter where you’re going or what you’re doing, these clothing items are great to have in your suitcase.
A Comfortable Black Dress
Black is a great color to wear when you’re traveling for several reasons, and a black dress is a super versatile item to have while you’re away. I always wear a comfortable black dress (and leggings) on the plane because I can layer it any way I like, and airports and planes have such varying temperatures.
A more formal black dress is another great item to pack as it’s equally easy to style for dinners out or special events.
A Classic White Button-Up Shirt
If you don’t often wear a white button-up shirt (I know I don’t), there’s no need to fear. It may not be a part of your regular wardrobe, but it can be a great asset to have on your travels. A white button-up can be dressed up and paired with a skirt or dress pants or dressed down with jeans or even shorts. If you’re going to the beach, toss it on as a cover-up! Depending on how long your vacation is, you may want to pack two.
A Good Pair of Jeans
Speaking of jeans… don’t leave this classic staple off your list unless you’re absolutely, 100% confident there’s no way you’ll wear jeans while you’re on this trip. But for most vacations, jeans are a great item to bring along. They can be styled up or down, meaning they can be worn in most settings.
If you’re uncertain about whether jeans are considered appropriate in the place that you’re visiting, do a little research before you leave. It may be that distressed jeans are frowned upon, or they could be totally fine. Look for answers online if you’re worried at all!
Scarves and Wraps
It’s time for some color! You will probably want to pack at least one scarf no matter where you’re going. You could end up sitting in an over-air-conditioned hotel room, or the day you go to the beach could turn out to be extra windy. A scarf will help in so many situations!
Wraps or shawls are also fantastic items to bring with you. They’re a nice layer to have on the plane or having dinner at a restaurant patio. Choose a style that fits your personality and the rest of your wardrobe.
Black pants, like jeans, are another versatile item that you’ll never regret bringing along on vacation. Dress them up or down, wear them in the airport or out to dinner, and they’re appropriate no matter where you go.
Black jeans can be a good option, but if you think you may be spending time in more formal settings, then black dress pants are probably the right choice. Think about what exactly you’ll be doing before you pack it and zip up your suitcase.
Comfortable Walking Shoes
Most likely, you’ll be walking at least a mile on your vacation. If you’re backpacking through Europe you’ll probably need an expensive pair of high-quality shoes. If you’re spending the week at the beach in Florida, then a pair of sneakers for the afternoon you go to the mall will probably be enough. If you’re visiting a gorgeous resort near beautiful walking trails, you might want to bring a pair of hiking boots.
It’s tempting to only pack cute shoes for vacation, but don’t give in! Your feet, your body, and your travel companions will thank you if you choose comfort over style and you’re not grouchy because you’re in pain.
These six essentials are a great starting point for any vacation. Once you’ve packed these items, choose the rest of your travel wardrobe to coordinate with them!