The world is filled with rules, both unofficial and not. On the unofficial side of the spectrum are those packing rules that we've all been told would be a mistake to not follow. But as someone who travels at least once a month on average, these are a handful of packing "mistakes" I choose to make.
So why should you care? Good question. Packing actually causes a good bit of anxiety for me. I fret about forgetting something, overpacking, not having the right outfits for the weather or the occasions, looking as stylish as people expect me to look—you name it, and I've probably stressed about it. Because of that, I've come to terms with the fact that consciously making certain packing "mistakes" and following my own unique set of "rules" actually make me happier. Read on to find out what some of them are and shop travel essentials that will also make your life easier. I hope that it inspires you to be your happiest self the next time you embark on a journey that involves a suitcase.
Packing "Mistake" #1: Bringing Things I've Never Worn Before
Here's the thing: When I go on a trip, I pretty much always want to bring something shiny and new. And in many cases, I don't have the right thing for a certain occasion or activity, so I have to seek it out. While I have run into the occasional pair of painful shoes and jeans that unknowingly stretched out, for the most part, investing in a couple new things for a trip is something that I rarely regret.
Available in sizes S to L.
Available in size S.
Available in sizes 23 to 30.
Available in sizes XS to L.
Packing "Mistake" #2: Not Rolling My Clothes
To each their own, but I don't believe that rolling your garments saves space in a suitcase or prevents wrinkles by any means. Instead, I fold and place them in (life-saving) packing cubes and make sure to pack a steamer.
Packing "Mistake" #3: Bringing More Than One of a Certain Type of Item
I have never been (and will never pretend to be) a minimalist, so I balk when I hear the packing rule that says you should only pack one pair of jeans, one pair of heels, one jacket, one handbag, etc. In my opinion, that takes all the fun out of dressing the part once you reach your destination. Plus, what if I spill something on that one pair of jeans, or what if my one pair of heels breaks? A frantic shopping trip isn't something I want to add to my trip itinerary.
Available in sizes 23 to 32.
Available in sizes 36 to 40.
Available in sizes 1X to 3X.
Packing "Mistake" #4: Overpacking
While I certainly try to not go overboard, I've found that it's inevitable that something I bring won't end up being right or I'm short an outfit, so I always bring a couple extra things (e.g., several tops, a versatile pair of pants, or a dress) just in case. (And I often end up wearing them.) That said, I do try to avoid overpacking shoes, as tempting as it may be. They just take up too much space.
Available in sizes 00 to 14.
Available in sizes XS to L.
Available in sizes 8 to 24.
Available in sizes 0 to 14.
Packing "Mistake" #5: Not Sticking to One Color Palette
A completely neutral color palette feels a bit too boring for me, especially if the trip is for pleasure as opposed to business. Instead I always try to pack neutral accessories and outerwear that will go with everything else I'm bringing so that I can have fun with the rest of my travel wardrobe.
Everyone's lives are different, so I encourage you to make your own set of style rules, according to what makes you happy.