"...draggin' all those bags like that...so, pack light!"

Ms. Badu said it best--granted she wasn't talking about literal luggage but you get the point. A few of you asked me to share my packing tips based on my recent Instagram post so, here it is! 

Traveling is so much easier when you pack smart and light! It's easier getting through security, on and off the plane, and to your final destination. I don't know about you but I don't like hauling my weight in bags through a busy airport sweating to death, looking like who done it and why. You can have great style while traveling, too! I think the most important thing is to pack pieces that can be worn with multiple outfits. Layering items helps as well. For example: You can pack a fun vest with a top to wear underneath and wear the top separately with another outfit--one less top you have to pack.

Okay, so here are the bags that I took with me on my last trip. The black weekender on the left is from Nordstrom Rack: similar one here. I love bags that roll for the convenience and always use them on bigger trips but weekenders are awesome because the material is more flexible--meaning you can stuff more in! Rolling bags are usually hard set in a rectangle. The bag on the right is an oldie but goodie from Ann Taylor Loft. I haven't been able to find anything super similar but look for something that is like a Nylon tote: Longchamp sells a great one--it's on the pricier side but will be durable and last you a long time. The key again is to find a bag that is deep, wide and made of a flexible material--personally I prefer to stay away from bags with hard bottoms if I need to pack a lot inside (like the ones that come with the rectangle inserts)--it restricts how much you can put in.


T   H   E        W   E   E   K   E   N   D   E   R

I basically wear black, grey and neutrals--I like the way they look on me and they're easy to mix and match! When choosing outfits pick things that can easily be worn together, with different shoes, pants, etc. Pack a flat and heel that can go with the same outfit in case you need to change for comfort or a more casual/dressier look.

TIP: Plan your outfits for the amount of days you'll be there in advance and try to think of unforeseen circumstances like getting invited somewhere a little nicer than expected or having to go somewhere super relaxed. Pick items you know for sure work together so you don't end up frustrated trying to piece things together once you're there. I love rompers because they're an outfit in themselves--all you need is a sweater or jacket to dress it up or down.

For this trip I wore my exercise attire on the plane to save space + be comfy on the plane (and I also knew that I wouldn't be working out because let's be real it's Thanksgiving "break" and I want to enjoy my friends + family and eat while I can!). Here's what I packed :

  1. Black Heels
  2. Black Boots
  3. Neutral Ballet flats
  4. Grey Jumper
  5. Neutral Riding Pants
  6. Black Fur Vest
  7. Neutral Joggers
  8. Neutral Casual Top
  9. Black Jeans
  10. Black Faux Leather Leggings
  11. Black Dressy Blouse
  12. PJs
  13. Bras/Undies (TIP: If you're packing in a hurry throw in your strapless bras and thongs (or panties with the least amount of VPL), this way you're guaranteed to have no show straps/panty line in case you end up wearing or buying something you hadn't planned for on your trip.)

All of these items can be mixed and matched. I also wore a cute pullover hoodie on the plane that can be worn with a few of these items as well for a casual, relaxed look.


Pack your items left to right starting with the biggest items, your shoes. I layered shoes boots first at the bottom, heels next, then ballet flats. I also place them one on top of the other toe to heel (as pictured above) to maximize space. If my shoes didn't come with a bag, I always put the bottoms of my shoes facing each other when possible so they don't rub on my clothes or face the bottoms towards the bag lining. You can separate with tissue paper as well.

In the middle I pack my clothes (roll them! it saves space): largest items on the bottom (vest, jeans, etc.) with smallest on the top. Bras and underwear or pjs usually end up on the right side in the corner or right on top.

T   H   E      T   O   T   E

So, the weekender served as my "carry-on item" and the tote was my "personal item". I like to keep anything important within reach, especially when I'm sleeping during the flight. In my tote I packed the following:

  1. Portable External Hard-drive (where I save all of my photos and blog stuff!)
  2. Brush + Comb
  3. Phone Charger
  4. Laptop
  5. Laptop Charger
  6. Camera Battery Charger
  7. Calendar
  8. Compartmentalized Toiletry/Jewelry Bag (I don't get crazy in this department. Along with jewelry (in a separate compartment) I pack the essentials: lotion, deodorant, perfume, toothpaste, toothbrush, makeup + brushes, face moisturizer and small travel sizes of my hair products. Unless you'll be gone more than 4 days you really don't need that much. Plus I was going to Mom's house so I get to borrow all of her stuff :) ). (Note on my jewelry: I pretty much wear the same classic pieces that match every outfit I have--If I accessorize they are dainty). TIP: Pack travel size everything--it saves space. I reuse my glass MAC makeup containers and put face moisturizer in them and I save the mini shampoo/lotion bottles from hotel stays for my hair products--they're the perfect size!
  9. Wallet + Checkbook...duh.
  10. Extra Camera Lens
  11. Sun Shades (apparently I'm the only person in the world who calls them that...anyone else?)
  12. Not Pictured: Camera (because I needed it to take this photo haha)

Similar tactic here as the weekender: Pack items large to small, back to front. Laptop first (it's hard and will provide structure and stability to put all of your other stuff in), then calendar, toiletry bag at the bottom left with all chargers/PHD on the right of it, brush/comb in front and wallet + extra lens on top (camera would go on top). Voila, magic!

There's also a little pocket at the back of this bag where I keep my ID while going through security so I don't have to keep digging in my wallet.  In there I also put my keys, an extra writing pen, lipgloss, gum, etc. and anything else I might need for travel (subway tickets, etc.).

That's about it! This was for a shorter trip but you can apply the same methods for longer and bigger travel. I'll share that with you when the time arrives!