Going on vacation is exciting! It’s great to take a break and relax; explore new cities or return to favorite hot spots. But the preparation can be downright stressful. There are always last-minute trips to the drug store and the frantic charging of electronics. Leading the stress movement: packing! Deciding what to take and what to leave behind is a difficult task. How do I know? Because I just got back from a 2-week trip to Italy, and Claudia just spent a weekend in Mexico. Use our recent travel experiences as a guide for your next packing predicament.
JILLIAN: When I was younger, I loved packing for family vacations. I loved the anticipation it built and all the promise it held for an amazing trip. But when we got home, I dreaded unpacking. I hated putting everything back in its place; the final sign that our vacation was over. Now that I’m older, the tables have turned, and I find packing to be an incredibly stressful experience.
CLAUDIA: This year I have been invited to a ton of weddings, which is really exciting! The one I was most looking forward to was my friend’s destination wedding in Cancun last month… a much needed mini vacay and wedding celebration all in one! Now comes the hard part – packing! I had so many options for what I wanted to bring, but for a 3-day trip, I didn’t find it necessary to pack a week’s worth of clothing for such a short siesta.
JILLIAN: While abroad, we visited 4 cities: Florence, Pisa, Sardinia and Rome. Plus, on our way to Italy, we had a 10-hour layover in Amsterdam, so we left the airport and did a little sight-seeing there. Packing for two weeks is tough. And because we were hopping from city to city, we didn’t want to be lugging around a ton of suitcases. We ended up taking one large suitcase, which we checked, that held mine and my husband’s clothes. Then we brought a smaller carry-on suitcase (for souvenirs), as well as a backpack and smaller canvas bag.
CLAUDIA: The first thing I had to consider when packing for this island getaway was the weather. Since the weather is tropical and warm, and I would most likely be spending a lot of time at the beach, sundresses, a pair of shorts, a couple of tanks, bathing suit and flip flops were key and took up minimal space in my suitcase. Next I had to consider what I would wear for a special evening out and to the wedding. So I made sure that two of the sundress selections were a little more formal. Then I included my favorite JustFab wedges.
JILLIAN: Because space was limited, I had to make the most of my packing. I checked the weather in advance and saw that it would be mostly warm and sunny. Too bad it wasn’t. The majority of apparel I packed included shorts and short-sleeved T-shirts; I only brought one pair of jeans (the ones I wore on the plane). Big mistake. The weather was cool (we even had some rain), and I wore long sleeves and pants almost every day. As for shoes, I stuck with sneakers and a pair of flat sandals. No one can traipse around Europe’s cobble stone streets in stilettos! Unfortunately in most of our pictures I’m wearing the same pair of jeans and jacket, so I tried to change my hairstyle each day.
CLAUDIA: The final step was adding in my essential toiletries (all travel sized), accessories, makeup and undergarments. This was easier than I thought, and due to my compact packing job, I saved money at the airport since I didn’t have to check a bag on my flight. Score!
Below is a complete list of what we each packed. Happy travels to you! Let us know where you’re going and what you’re packing!