Let’s talk about how to pack a suitcase for traveling. There’s nothing that I loathe more than over-packing or under-packing when traveling. When I over-pack, I hate to know that I went through the hassle of lugging around this huge suitcase from destination to destination and only end up wearing half the stuff, especially since my husband is a minimalist and if left to his own devices he’d prefer to travel with a backpack and that’s it. When I under-pack, I get stuck wearing the same thing for days and always regret not bringing certain pieces with me. So the key to packing just the right amount of clothes is to mix and match outfits, from hijab to shoes, prior to packing your suitcase. I know some people just throw in a bunch of tops, scarves, dresses, and pants without really knowing if and when they will wear it but I do not recommend doing that. You need to really think about how many days you are staying for and try to predict which outings/activities you want to part take in so you can pack accordingly. I also don’t believe in bringing five pairs of pants for a five-day trip – that’s unnecessary. Generally, with pants you can get away with bringing two or three pairs max (depending on the duration of the trip) in popular colors that match most of the tops you’re packing (think beige, blue, black or white).
I knew we were going for four days and three nights. We had daytime activities planned for two of the three days, so I knew I needed to bring something casual for those activities and something dressy for the evening dinners. Also, my husband challenged me to bring only one pair of heels and guess what? to my surprise I managed ;) I chose the iconic and versatile Stuart Weitzman’s Nudist stiletto sandal because I knew it would go nicely with different outfits. My only problem, though, was that they are not the most comfortable heels to walk in; they’re 4.5 inches tall with no platform so you can’t really walk long distances in them. I put an extra pair of flats in my purse in case I needed to swap them out. But in all honestly, they are probably one of the nicest heels I’ve seen, so the discomfort is well worth it.
I like to lie out each outfit so I can properly match it, add the accessories (from purse, to hijab, to jewelry), and the shoes. This way I know I didn’t forget anything and I’m not packing anything that’s unnecessarily taking up space. By matching the outfits at home (pre-travel), this reduces the amount of time you generally end up wasting at the hotel trying to put an outfit together from scratch. Less time wasted getting ready = happy hubby + more time enjoying a night out in the city #doublewin.
Also, it’s important to bring a pair of sandals and sunglasses that aren’t expensive incase they get ruined or even lost. With the activities that we did (zip lining, water rafting, ATVing), we kept getting warnings from our instructors that our glasses or shoes may fall off. To avoid the headache, it’s best to pack a cheap pair along with your nicer ones. This way you can get down and dirty with the cheaper pair and fancy and flirty with the nicer ones ;)
Once you arrive to your destination, be sure to unpack everything – I’m talking empty out the suitcase. When you have all your clothes neatly hung up and in clear view, you actually end up wearing them all. A lot of times when people live out of a suitcase they miss half the things they packed because they can’t see it! When you hang up your clothes you’re not only reducing wrinkles, but you get to take advantage of everything you've packed. My rule is, if you packed it you better wear it!