DESTINATION: LOS ANGELES
DURATION: 1 WEEK
Since I have traveled so much in the past, and now travel for work, packing has become second nature to me. Here's a peek at how I pack, based on my recent week-long trip to Los Angeles.
For my trip to LA this time around, I had to pack for a variety of occasions from hanging out at the beach to my friends' graduations to nights out. I wasn't planning on doing any shopping, so I did not leave that much extra room in my luggage.
Unless I'm traveling for over two weeks, I don't check in any bags. Most US carriers will allow one large item and one personal item for no additional charge.
1. I love my Samsonite carry-on suitcase, it is the largest size that you are allowed to take on flights. It's lightweight, which allows me to pack more things while staying within the weight limit. It also has four wheels at the bottom, which helps me lug it around the airport. I've been using it heavily for over a year now, and it's proven sturdy and has had no problems.
I've collected a couple cute luggage tags over the years and use them with all my suitcases. They not only carry my contact information, but make my luggage easily recognizable. Amazon and Bed Bath and Beyond have some cute ones.
2. I've taken this Longchamp Le Pliage tote in large all over the world and it is by far the best carry-on tote option out there. It's very well made, so the zipper, handles, and material will stay in shape. There is minimal wear and tear at the bottom corners of the tote, but those can be fixed by stitching the material together yourself, or you can send them to a Longchamp facility for repair.
3. I can't travel without my neck pillow. I've had this for over three years now, and taken it to over 7 countries. It's the perfect size (not too flat or full), and helps me knock out on flights.
While I rarely create packing lists anymore, they're a great way to plan outfits when you have limited luggage space and to make sure you don't forget anything. I split the list into carry-on suitcase and carry-on tote, then categorized everything into clothes, shoes, beauty, tech, and other.
I can fit practically everything into this Longchamp Pliage large tote, including my 13-inch laptop, but it can also fit up to 15-inch laptops. If you empty the tote, you can also fold it down, which can be useful if you want to store it away during any part of your trip.
My mini toiletries bag helps me carry my basic essentials I'll need on the flight, especially the hand cream, lip balm, and Advil. I don't only use this mini bag when I travel, but I also carry it around with me everywhere--work, dinner, picnics, you name it. I usually take a perfume rollerball on trips, but this time I had a sample perfume I could take instead.
For the plane ride: I always get cold on flights, so I always wear jeans or leggings with a hoodie. Comfort is first, so I usually opt for a casual cotton top and a pair of sandals or flats. When traveling to a cold destination, I'll wear my thickest coat and scarf on the flight.
During the trip: I try to pack clothes that are easy to mix and match. I end up packing a lot of tank tops, shorts, and skirts. The leather jacket and blazers have also become staples in my closet and can be worn over pretty much every outfit I packed.
Packing tip: I always roll my clothes when I pack them into the suitcase. It saves a lot of space and helps minimize wrinkles.
For this trip, I took five pairs: flip flops, running shoes, flat sandals, wedges, and heels. I always pack them in separate containers, and add socks between the pairs to prevent them from rubbing against each other.
Shoes are the heaviest items and take the most space, so I try to pack versatile shoes that can be used in more than one occasion. The flip flops are needed to lounge around or when I head to the beach. The sandals can be used with shorts or to make dresses more casual. The black heels can be worn in the day and night.
I've been a MUJI fanatic for several years now. They have the best travel items (containers, organizers, cases, bags, etc.) All of MUJI's products comes with a beautiful design aesthetic focused on minimalism, and I love that it is definitely affordable.
1. I like the transparent, simple look of this MUJI toiletries case. You can find toiletries cases anywhere, including the local drugstore, but make sure the case is waterproof, in case anything spills during the plane ride.
2. For travel-size toiletries containers and bottles, make sure they are under 100 millimeters per TSA requirements.
Accessories and jewelry are important with a limited traveling closet. They make a big difference to your look and keep your outfits looking fresh.
1. I use this laundry bag for delicates to hold my bras & undies during trips
2. I always take a curling iron everywhere. Don't forget to use heat protection spray first! My favorite one is by Tresemme.
3. I bought this mini straightening iron in Korea last year, and I love it. I usually only straighten small parts of my hair (front bangs or ends), so this saves a lot of space. I recommend everyone to buy a straightener that has 110-220 voltage capacity so that you can use it all over the world.
4. I don't use brushes anymore. I only use detangling wide-tooth combs to minimize hair breakage and split ends.
5. Sunscreen is a necessity, it helps fight sunspots, aging, and cancer.
Here are a few useful tips that I have learned over the years:
- Roll all your clothes: dresses, shirts, sweaters, and even jeans. It minimizes wrinkles and optimizes storage space--the more you roll, the more you pack.
- Place shoes at the bottom of your suitcase. They're heavy, so you don't want them to press down on your clothes in transit.
- Place your toiletries bags on top of all the luggage, near the zipper closure. This is in case you have to take it out for airport security.
- Pack a couple plastic bags to store any dirty laundry that you accumulate throughout your trip
- Also take a couple zip lock bags--I've used them for to store toothbrushes, to pack random extra toiletries I've bought during a trip, to store an apple or sandwich, to protect my iPhone while kayaking, etc.
- If you plan on going shopping during your trip, leave extra room in your suitcases. I've also traveled with a foldable duffel bag to fit my new clothes, but I had to pay to check in a bag on my return trip.
- If you really need the extra organization, use packing cubes to help you keep things nice and tidy. I've seen them used to organize by outfit, or by category.
- Get a luggage tag for your bigger bags. Amazon and Bed Bath and Beyond have some cute ones.