In the beginning of August, I set out to spend some time traveling the country (and soon the world) whilst living nomadically. At the start of this journey, I figured I would pick up some fashion hacks for travel along the way — and I wasn't wrong. After all, I basically gave up my apartment, stored my stuff at my parents' house, and took off with two suitcases for a few months of radical adventure. That was bound to result in some lessons learned.
My jet-setting fashion finds have been nothing short of shocking. I've always loved fashion and enjoyed using my disposable income to invest in it, but now that I have a limited amount of storage space (meaning what I can carry), I've had to do some major curbing of my shopping habits. Not only have I been amazed at the money I've been saving, but also at how little I actually need.
The thing is, I consider myself a fashionista of sorts. I'm not someone who doesn't know the difference between a wedge and an espadrille, which means I have your best, sartorial-loving interests at heart. I've combined my knowledge of all things fashion into nine useful travel hacks that you can use when packing for your next big trip.
1. Figure Out What You Really Wear
Did you know that you only wear about 20 percent of your wardrobe consistently, according to NY Mag? I remember hearing this statistic a few months ago, estimating that while I don't wear every single piece in my closet all the time, I probably wear about 75 percent of my garments regularly.
One of the things I was most worried about with this nomadic lifestyle was having enough clothing. As it turns out, I'm finding that I probably brought too much stuff with me since I tend to stick with the same rotation of tops and leggings.
If you're about to embark on a trip, save yourself some cash in checking bags and think about your favorite pieces to wear. Stick to the basics! There's no need to bring 10 pairs of shoes just so you have "options."
2. Only Bring Comfortable Shoes
This was one travel fashion lesson I didn't need to learn the hard way, since I only brought shoes that I'm absolutely in love with and can walk in for hours without issue.
Please don't bother packing any shoes that are not comfortable or that are brand new. I can promise you that one of two things will come of this: You'll either end up never wearing those dreadful shoes for fear of pain or you'll wear the shoes and curse yourself for doing so. Remember: The point of traveling is to have new experiences, not to make your "legs look longer."
3. Opt For Southwest
If you want to ignore all of the advice out there about packing light, Southwest lets you check two bags for free on every single one of its flights. Go ahead and pack everything you own for a weekend, because this airline will have you sorted.
4. Put Your Necklaces Through Straws To Prevent Tangling
Have you ever packed a few different necklaces in your bag, only to eventually discover they were all in a tangled, messy ball? All you have to do to prevent necklace tangling is put your necklaces through straws. No longer will your favorite jewelry get caught around each other, so you'll never be stuck in your room untangling necklaces instead of having fun.
5. Always Roll Your Clothes
The most effective method of packing has been debated for decades, but I feel there's now a general consensus that rolling your clothes is the best way to fit them into your suitcase. I can personally fit much more into my bag if I roll everything, rather than shoving it all in there in a haphazard mess.
6. Use Dryer Sheets To Keep Your Clothes Smelling Fresh
If you're going somewhere for a week or longer, your clothes might not end up smelling great, and you may not have access to a washer or dyer to clean them either. If you want to keep your bag smelling like you just did laundry, put in a few dryer sheets. This way everything will smell like roses and trees, even if you've worn some of the items more than a few times.
7. Keep Essentials In Your Carry On
Unfortunately, sometimes sh*t just happens while you're flying: Your luggage gets lost, you end up stranded at a layover overnight, or you miss your connecting flight and are stuck at the airport way longer than you anticipated. For such emergencies, it's a great idea to be prepared by having your essentials and at least one change of clothes in your carry on. By having some options on your person, you save yourself from relying on the efficiency of airlines.
8. Always Pack A Light Jacket
No matter where I'm going, I always make sure to bring a light hoodie or jacket with me for sudden changes in weather. You never want to get caught in a rainstorm or cold spell with nothing but tank tops to wear, so make sure you have something warm on hand.
9. Pack A Small Purse With Essentials
Bringing your massive tote bag everywhere is a huge mistake. Just pack a small purse with only the essentials: Your wallet, keys, cell phone, ear buds, charger, one pair of sunglasses and lip product, and an umbrella (you'll thank me later). I can't tell you how many times I've lugged my huge purse around and wished I'd left all of that crap behind.
Bon voyage, guys! Your re-vamped fashion travel plan will make all those adventures all the more fun.