Hey y’all! I hope you’re doing well! It’s a wonderfully busy season for me these days! Of the last 7 weekends, I’ve traveled 5 of them visiting family and friends in Maryland, Ohio, Indiana, Georgia, and Virginia.

I’m back home now and hopefully back to blogging! I thought I’d share a few things that I’ve been doing to make frequent traveling easier.

1) Leave room in your suitcase.

There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to fit everything back into your suitcase at the end of your trip or not being able to root around in your bag to find socks because it’s too stuffed. Choosing a suitcase with some wiggle room and/or paring down your items so that you don’t have to struggle to fit it all in is one way to relieve some stress!

2) Pack your reliable clothing.

I know it’s a lot more fun to pick different or new outfits to take on a trip, but you will thank yourself if you make sure they are first and foremost pieces you feel comfortable and confident in. Trying new outfits in an unfamiliar environment just adds to the awkwardness you’re already experiencing being away from home.

3) Turn your purse into your overflow bag.

I have a Mary-Poppins sized purse that has been such a blessing these last few weeks. I keep a smaller wallet in there to take into the gas station, grocery store, etc. but by keeping all the “extras” I take on a trip in my purse I’m able to feel prepared and don’t have to think about what to take with me in my pockets when riding with a friend or leaving last minute for a trip. Some things I keep with me:

  • My make-up bag
  • Tylenol/benadryl/Vitamin C
  • Handcream
  • Mints/gum
  • Protein bar
  • Bobby pins
  • Pain relief cream
  • A full-sized, shareable bar of nice dark chocolate
  • Chapstick
  • Extra mags for my gun
  • Deodorant 
  • Sharpie
  • Bracelet 
  • Perfume
  • My Bible and a notebook
  • Phone charger
Sometimes if I don’t have room in my suitcase I also throw my straightener, hairgel, and jewelry case in my purse.

4) Take your own blanket.

No matter how many times you visit grandma’s or your best friend’s house, it’s always so much easier to sleep when you are warm under your own blanket. It can double as a pillow if you decide nap at a gas station and ensures you’re able to keep warm when your host doesn’t believe in turning on the heat unless it’s snowing. πŸ˜‰

5) Plan your outfits around your shoes.

Shoes are the bulkiest item to pack, so if you’re able to take just two pair for a weekend it really helps. If you’re taking boots with you, try to incorporate them into your travel outfits so you don’t have to fit them in your suitcase. It’s always good to have some sort of casual shoe that you could do active things in and then a pair of nice flats or heels for the other events. This past weekend I packed three pair, but ended up not wearing the gold heels because they kept slipping off my feet and I couldn’t walk in them… which was weird because they usually fit fine? But it worked just fine to wear the plum shoes with my church dress.

6) Always take a casual outfit.

I don’t know how many times I’ve been super thankful I had thrown a pair of jeans and warm sweater tunic into my bag at the last minute. Whether it’s freshening up after traveling, ending the day with a movie at a friend’s after a fancy event, or being invited rock climbing unexpectedly, having the extra outfit is a very nice thing. πŸ™‚

7) Handcream.

When I travel, I try to simplify my routine as much as possible. So instead of packing body lotion and make up remover, I just try to take something that works for both, like Cetaphyl or coconut oil. Gas station restrooms have ridiculously drying soap, so moisturizing is even more necessary than normal.

8) One jacket (with pockets).

There’s no reason to take more than one outer coat/jacket for a weekend trip. It may not go with every outfit perfectly, but that’s okay. I don’t like toting things around with me, so having pockets for my phone and keys in my coat helps keep my hands free when I’m wearing a dress or other outfit that doesn’t have pockets.

9) Don’t apply make-up at 3 am.

I don’t know about you, but I usually wake up with puffy eyes, sheet creases on my cheek, and a generally less-than-perky appearance. If I apply make-up before my face has had time to energize, my makeup looks horrible the rest of the day. So I throw my make-up bag in my purse and apply it once the sun has risen. There’s better lighting in the car than in my bathroom anyway. πŸ˜›

10) Don’t take more than you can carry.

It’s no fun to take up vacation time schlepping stuff around. Take only what you absolutely will need so that you aren’t tripping over suitcases in your hotel room or making 3 trips from the car to your friend’s third floor apartment.

I’m sorry I’ve been so absent these last few weeks! I’ve been posting a little bit on Instagram.com/freshmodesty, though, so I’ll share some of those posts here on Friday!

What are your top travel tips? I’d love to hear them since I have two more weekend trips scheduled for March! Blessings!

17 thoughts on “10 Packing Tips for Frequent Traveling”

  1. Wow, it sounds like a whirlwind of adventure over there! That's really exciting! I think that this is a great list, especially #10-if we weigh ourselves down with stuff, it will only detract from the experience! Something that I try to do when packing is only pack the bare minimum with 1 top in case something gets stained. I tend to wear a ton of skirts, so if I'm packing for 3 days, I'll bring one skirt that I can wear both days, two different tops to go with that, and a dress (just as an example). Usually when I pack, I'll put everything I'm taking on my bed or in my bag, and then I'll go through it again to see what I can weed out to make my load lighter. Being more of a minimalist can be liberating at times-once when I was on a large tour group that traveled to Europe for 11 or so days, I would be jogging along in the train station with my shoulder duffel and small backpack, while tons of other people from my group were lugging around big suitcases! (many of them admitted that they were a little jealous of my light load) I used to overpack big time (the whole idea of "be prepared for anything,"), so as time has gone on and I've traveled more, I've learned that minimalism is where it's at for me personally πŸ™‚

  2. Hey, Olivia! I have been unofficially following your blog for years now, and I just wanted to tell you this is my favorite blog and you have helped me SO. MUCH.
    Oh, and this is such a great post! I always way over-pack without actually getting anything useful. πŸ˜€ BUT I usually have at least 3 outfit options for each day plus a bunch of books I will never get around to reading… Oh well! πŸ™‚
    Anyway, I just thought it's about time I say thank you!
    ~ Merry

  3. Hi Olivia, So nice to hear you have had safe travels. I do like your simplified packing strategy. I like my hands free to, so pockets are a must. I do like your jewelry box perfect for necklaces-no tangles. My hands and face get dry with the different water types so lotion is always in my bag or console of car. I have to travel with my fluffy soft pillow-always gets me a good nights sleep. Looking forward to your future posts. Blessings, Stephanie Means

  4. Excellent tips Olivia!! I'm still using my oddly strapped denim bag as my makeup catch-all that I take everywhere. Every time I look at the poor thing I can't help but laugh. XD

  5. Hi Olivia, I've been reading your blog for maybe 2 or more years now. You always have such great posts!
    This one is especially great because I love to travel, and packing is one of my favorite parts. Call me weird, but I love organizing a suitcase for an adventure πŸ™‚
    I have a blog, if you'd like to check it out:

    1. Yay, I'm not the only one who packing is one of their favorite parts!! πŸ˜› I am known in my family for my super-
      early packing just because I love to pack πŸ™‚

      My packing tip would be to pack 2 days beforehand, so in case you need to get something else for your trip (like extra toothpaste or socks), you have a day to go and buy those.

      Also, I have found that a pair of TOMS is great for almost any occasion on a trip, even going to Sea World for a day! They are actually quite comfortable up until the last hour or so!


  6. My dad swears by packing an overnight bag for long trips! It's really helpful to have something from a medium duffel bag to an extra oversized purse with your pajamas, one simple outfit and all of you necessary toiletries, especially if you're going to be stopping more than once for just one night.

    It's so much simpler for just one night then pull your entire suitcase out and, especially if you end up making emergency hotel stop because plans changed, it's a lot nicer than trying to remember which bag the toothpaste is in!

    In a large family, especially with several small children, it is simplest to have one suitcase be the whole family's overnight bag. That way you only need to take one bag out for everyone on a one night stop.

    It never hurts to have one outfit of comfortable travel clothes that you know where you can put your hand on it in a pinch!

    1. Yes, this is a lifesaver! It's also a very good tip when flying, because if you have an overnight's worth of things in your carry-on, you're prepared if you get stranded overnight in the airport or your luggage is lost.

  7. I am not traveling quite as much now that I have small children but my husband and I once sold nearly everything we owned to buy a 1973 Winnebago Brave and start an adventure! We eventually upgraded but we used to travel every single weekend. One thing I found really helpful in packing lightly was to pick a solid color theme… brown shoes + sweater to wear with whatever sweaters/shirts, or gray, or black, or navy, whatever. Otherwise I agree with all your tips too!

  8. Great post! I have 3 small children, so packing overall is a big job when traveling! I love all of your tips! I do what one of the above readers does about packing one overnight bag for the whole family. I think it's nice to bring something to swim in, in case the occasion arises too. I didn't bring my tennis shoes on Christmas break, and really regretted it! I think it's pretty important to bring appropriate seasonal attire (like a warm parka and boots) if you are going to be somewhere for a little while, so that you don't miss out on fun activities. Like one of the above readers, I also tend to overpack books. Another tip is to always bring cards like UNO, or whatever you like to play for otherwise down-time. Love your blog, and glad you are back!


  9. Great tips! I travel quite a bit for my job, and have become kind of obsessed with packing as little as possible, haha. I always try to wear my bulkiest outfit on travel days to save room in my suitcase – which usually means jeans and boots. I also pack my suitcase with my pajamas on top so I don't need to go digging through the case when I'm tired from travel. πŸ™‚

  10. These are good tips. I tend to be an over-packer, but it has gotten better since I'm always traveling with my children and have to take all their stuff as well. I usually limit toys to one thing to sleep with and one thing to play with, like a toy car. If I think I may want to sleep in the car, I forgo as much makeup as possible because it just ends up looking like a smeary mess and gets on the pillow or blanket I usually bring along. You can always do the makeup in the car shortly before arriving at your destination (as long as you aren't the one driving!) Cold weather trips are harder for us since we are from a very warm state – we get really cold and have to pack lots of layers, gloves, etc. even if it's not going to be snowing.

  11. Hi Olivia, I just read your packing tips because we are getting ready to go on a trip. They were very helpful because I do tend to over pack. I was wondering if you traveled a lot when your siblings were little and if so what did you do to keep them happy while they were in the car seat? I have six younger siblings and two of them can get rather bored in the car. One is only a year old and is not fond of his car seat. Just wondering if you (or any on else) had any tips or tricks on that subject.

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