The Gospel According to: Drinking a Mai Tai on the beach
It’s almost officially summer. In fact, as of the day this blog is posted there are 21 days until the Summer Solstice. With that being said, vacation time is now approaching. Maybe you’re even on vacation as we speak OR your reading this blog right now, which is distracting you from packing. Been there.
I’m going to start this post by saying that I, Sabrina Nicole, am a horrible packer. Always have been. I wasn’t faced with the realities of packing poorly until I was 18. I was on school trip with my high school choir and it was my first trip with out my mom. Well, the first plane-trip I would take without my mom to Disney World. The last day of the trip rolls around and I have to now not only pack all of the stuff I took out but also the souvenirs I bought as well. I managed to get by, just barely.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten slightly better at the whole packing thing. Slightly… But what definitely got better at packing was my makeup/toiletries bag and my carry-on bag. I’m also now able to fit my makeup in my carry-on which is great. You want to do this if possible because this way you can keep an eye on your makeup and no one will handle it with love & care like you will.
So sit back, blast some tunes (preferably The Go Go’s “Vacation”) and let’s pack a bag for that trip!
Packing Your Bag Like a Boss
One thing you should ways do before even thinking about packing is make a list. If you are anything like me, then this step does always come to mind before packing but actually producing said list never comes to fruition. So, this is how to actually make and keep that list.
Lists like these are a life saver! I would print two copies of this, one for pre-planning and one for right before you close your suitcase. This list helps you keep track of what you do and what you don’t have, while also reminding you of any last-minute items you need to get as well.
Let’s start with picking the right bag for you. I personally love backpacks. Backpacks can be optimized to have a lot of space to pack a lot of things inside and they keep your hands/forearms free. No forearm chub rub for us! This is the one pictured below.
If you want to use your carry-on as your only luggage for shorter getaways, then you want one that is reliable but not too expensive. I also think getting one with a built-in charger is worth the investment too. Unfortunately, I do not own one, but a friend of mine does and she says it is a god send. Also, the rolling wheels go in all directions which helps with it not getting tangled.
Another great option for weekend getaways are weekender bags.
I love this one from Target! I use it a lot for overnight stays and shorter trips that don’t require that many items to be packed. For a trip that is more than a week consider a checked luggage with a carry-on. For trips less than 5 days try a carry-on with a backpack.
Ok, now that you have your bag picked out, let’s get to packing, shall we?
The items I highly recommend packing away first are the things you won’t need until you’re on the plane/arrived at your destination. First, I’ll pack my toiletries bag. This bag includes:
- Travel sized toothbrush and paste
- Facial wipes
- Ibuprofen (or any other medications that you won’t need to take before your trip)
- Pads and/or tampons
- Travel sized shampoo and conditioner
- Hand Cream
- And I pack these Undereye Patches from Tarte for the plane.
Tip: If you have a specific shampoo or conditioner you can’t live without, just get these travel sized squeeze tubes. These can also be used for other liquid products like moisturizer and facial washes.
Also, for both your toiletries and makeup bags, you will need to make sure they are in a clear bag so that TSA can see through if you are not keeping them in a checked bag. This one from Ulta is a great one. You are permitted to bring disposable razors and tweezers on the plane as well. I like this disposable razor because it’s small.
Next, I like to pack an extra pair of socks because my feet can tend to get cold on the plane, and for these I usually like the thick fluffy pair.
In one of the front pockets, of the backpack, I pack small items that I may need at the airport like sanitizer, wet wipes, and gum. If I have more room in that pocket or if there is another pocket, then, I like to add my wall charger and portable charger. I will also go ahead and add a cheap pair of plug-in earbuds, because most airplane TVs require that type for their earphone jack.
In the main compartment of the backpack, I’ll first add my toiletries (make sure there are no glass products that can easily break). Then, near the top I add my noise cancelling earphones, travel wallet with the necessary travel documents, my iPad, and phone. I will usually pack a smaller purse in my checked luggage or carry-on.
Also, I will add towards the top of the bag some Dream Water, which is a “Fast-Acting Liquid supplement form for better nutrient absorption, Non-Habit Forming, Natural alternative to prescription or over-the-counter pills”. It is a more natural way to help fall asleep, but I understand if you need something stronger like Benadryl.
In the carry-on, I like to add my clothes, shoes, and makeup.
I love packing cubes like these from Amazon. They make packing like a bazillion times easier. They keep you organized and can also work as bags to keep dirty clothes away from clean ones. I will usually use the small one for undergarments, a medium one for tops, a larger one for dresses and bottoms like jeans and shorts.
If you wanted something else in the packing cube, like a jumpsuit or nice jacket, I feel like leaving denim out is a good bet because they are pretty durable and shouldn’t be damaged during a flight/trip. I also will keep my shoes in a cloth bag. Save the ones you get with shoes and handbags. They usually look something like this:
Wear your comfy pair (like comfortable sneakers or sandals) on the plane. I love these from Steve Madden. And pack your heels or fancier shoes away.
Lastly, we are packing the makeup. In other words, “The Goods”, “The Essentials”, or
“The Precious Valuables”. Linked below are the products I use and love.
In my bag I will pack:
- Foundation (I use shade 190)
- Face Powder to set the face
- Liner (both liquid and gel pencil)
- Lashes and lash glue
- Brow Product
- Lip Product (Lipstick, lip liner, and chapstick)
- Mac Fix+ and Travel Sized Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray.
- Makeup Remover Wipes (these are a little more expensive but worth it, because they don’t over dry your skin or cause irritation. If you want to know my skincare routine, you can find it here)
- Face Wash
- Makeup Brushes and Sponges (I keep those in this) and never put a wet sponge in a closed bag, that can cause it to smell.
For brushes, I try to keep it simple. A large face brush for face powder, a beauty sponge for wet products, a contour brush, a shadow blending brush, a medium brush for blush and bronzer, and smaller blending brush for detail work. A great alternative is this set from BH Cosmetics, which includes a travel pouch for them!
I didn’t add these next items to list because I want to elaborate on them. For palettes, I suggest finding a blush and bronzer duo, this way its all-in-one and it saves space in you bag. I like this one.
For eye shadow, either a basic palette that is small but you can use for several looks. Or you can get pan shadows like these from Anastasia Beverly Hill or Makeup Geek and put them into a small Z-pallet like this one. This is for if you want to customize and don’t have a palette that has all the shades you want.
ORRRRRR You can just get this palette from Smashbox that is literally my holy grail and you heard me mention in a previous post. It has a great mirror in too. Highly recommend!
One last thing, in one of the travel squeeze tubes that I mentioned earlier, I will add this mask from Formula 10.6.0
This is cooling mask that can be used for the face after you get sunburned and really helps with the swelling and burn. If you keep it in the fridge (usually a mini fridge) it will be even more cooling and relieving.
I just want to stress any of the liquids mentioned in this post must be travel sized if you are going on a plane. That means they must be 3.4 ounces or less. Also, anything travel sized in general helps tremendously with saving space. Here is a great article explaining what you can and cannot take.
With all that being said you can get away with just a backpack and carry-on. If you are really thrifty you could fit everything in just one bag, and if so then please be my guest. Stranger things have happened.
Safe travels everyone and be smart.
Now, go out there and order a fruity tropical drink, little paper umbrella and all, and have some fun in the sun!
Q: Where is the best place you’ve traveled to?
Hugs and Lipstick Marks,