I'm not sure when it started, but I've definitely been doing it for years.
And since many of you recently told me (via Instagram Stories) that you greatly dislike packing for trips, I wanted to share exactly how I plan and pack so you can extend the fun of a getaway into the preparation stage like me.
My actual packing plan for a family weekend in Ocean City, MD
This part should be really fun because it's basically just daydreaming about what you'll do on your trip. Grab a piece of paper and a pen. Each day of your trip (including travel days) will be a heading on your paper. Then consider the main activities or sections that day will hold and those will become your sub-headings. For example:
Consider travel needs and if you'll spend time lounging around the place you're staying in. Will you workout during this trip? Are you going anywhere that requires a particular dress code? Don't forget to take a look at the forecast 10 days and 5 days out from your trip and factor that into your plan.
I knew that most of our trip to the beach would, in fact, be spent on the beach. However, I also knew that my ideal vacay included morning trips out for donuts and evening trips out for ice cream so I needed to plan for that. See, isn't this fun?!
Once my days and anticipated activities are mapped out, I begin to fill in what I'll wear starting with the most specific items. For me, that's usually a dress or nicer outfit for a dinner or it could be active wear. Continue filling in outfits and look for logical opportunities for overlap. For our recent beach getaway, I knew that my "Travel To" outfit could be the same t-shirt dress that I planned to wear as a bathing suit cover up for the rest of the trip. I could also probably re-wear a casual dress from our first night's dinner to run out for breakfast on our last day.
Shoes can take up a lot of space and even add a lot of weight in your travel bag. Once I have my outfits planned, I like to find shoes that will work with several of them. Shoes can be a lot of fun and really set off an outfit, but in this season of life when nearly all of my trips include my family, I'm much more interested in making memories than being Instagrammable.
Finally, jot down the necessities - under things, bathing suits, beach flip flops, etc that are not necessarily outfits, but need to end up in the suitcase.
At the end of a well-packed trip you should have nothing (or almost nothing) that has gone unworn. You should also feel like you had something to wear for every activity/occasion. I shared my packing plan (with some mistakes I made) in a previous post from 2019 when our family took a 7-day cruise if you're looking for inspiration for a longer trip or one with more varied activities than our 2-day beach stay.
As much as I love planning outfits, I want to remind you that what you wear on vacation will not be as important as the experiences you have and who you share them with. Especially in times like these, if you're able to get away and enjoy a change of scenery, make the most of it.
All my Best,