Packing for a Long Trip in 6 Steps

As I made my summer plans a couple of months ago, it pretty quickly became clear that I was going to be spending a significant amount of time away from home. Rather than bounce back and forth between vacations and home, I decided to basically connect the dots and skip the in-between home stays. The result? I'll be away from home for two full months this summer. Now I'm a notoriously light packer. I once brought only a small duffel bag and a backpack on a two week trip to France. This is mainly because I hate dragging around luggage, but anyway, packing for two months is a little bit tougher than two weeks. Since I was struggling a bit with it, I thought you guys might like to see the steps I took while packing, because they can pretty much be applied to any length trip.

  1. Make a list of everything you think you'll need: Everything from clothes to medications to electronics should be on this list. Write it all down, even if you think you'll remember it.
  2. Pick a color palette: Luckily I wear mostly neutrals like black, white, cream, and beige. To spice things up a bit, I add to that palette one or two seasonally appropriate colors. For this trip, that means I'll be tossing in some red and pink too. Since it's summer I'm focusing on light and airy fabrics, and throwing in a little denim for good measure. Using a palette means I'll have a travel wardrobe that is filled with pieces I can easily mix and match - a necessity when you're away from your full wardrobe.
  3. Pack for (almost) all possibilities: I'll potentially be in 6 or 7 different climates in the next two months - eek. So I'm packing options for all of them and making sure I have clothes suitable for special events, pool days, and family adventures. Obviously, you'll typically need a lot fewer special event clothes than everyday clothes, so pack accordingly. It's good to have options, but don't overwhelm yourself with them.
  4. Add shoes: I tend to bring 2-3 pairs of shoes that match everything I'm bringing and one nicer pair for fancier occasions. For this trip that means - two pairs of white sneakers, black espadrilles, pink espadrilles, and black mules. Pretty basic and practical.
  5. Don't forget beauty: This is where I struggle to pack lightly. Particularly knowing I'll be gone for so long means I'm bringing a lot more than I normally would. I did manage to narrow it down to the makeup, skincare, and hair/body care that I literally use daily; a red and a nude nail polish, beach necessities, and a couple of face masks.
  6. Double check your list: Once you're certain you have everything on your list packed, go through it again. Check each item off once you've actually seen it in your bag, in the chaos of packing, false memories are killer. 

That's it! Are you traveling this summer? How are you preparing?