Happy Friday jetsetters!

It’s about that time for many of us to start traveling for spring break and in a couple months—the summer now that the semester is coming to a close (thank God). As for myself, I’m flying to Chicago early tomorrow morning and decided to give you guys a travel guide because I know packing can be stressful, especially if you pack last minute or if you’re like me & have a habit of over packing (oops). But in my defense, I go to sleep with a bomb outfit picked out and wake up wanting to wear a hoodie so ya girl has to be prepared (am I right? Lol). I also make a tentative itinerary of locations and eateries with their address to make the most of my trip which helps me decide what kind of look

Regardless of where I’m going, I have a basic list of essentials in my notes I need for almost every trip and I adjust it according to where I’m going. A week before I leave, I like to go ahead and stock up on whatever I am running low on that will also be coming with me on my vacay. For example, the past three weeks I’ve been extra low on concealer and moisturizer. Knowing I was going on a trip, I didn’t bother running to the store every time I ran out of a beauty essential this past month and made a trip to Target to stock up on my drugstore favorites on Sunday. Of course, it’s totally optional to restock your skincare and beauty essentials right before a trip but I always have some replacement lying around that I use and I always like to go get everything all at once.

*TIP: Don’t forget to pack a small bag of medication such as painkillers, Zantac and any other medication you may need to toss into your purse. It will save you the hassle of running to the drugstore should you get sick!

This is so important and surprisingly—many people forget to check the weather of where they’re going. Oftentimes, they will assume what the weather is like (i.e. Florida is always sunny) but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. As soon as I confirmed my hotel and flight, I checked the weather for Chicago and unfortunately, the windy city has been bipolar, leaving me confused as to what to expect. At first, the 10 day forecast said it would be snowing, a few days later it changed to freezing rain and as of late it’s a mix of light showers and sun in the mid-fifties (talk about roller-coaster!).

Now that you have stocked up on anything you were low/out of and have checked the weather, you can start to plan your outfits. I like to stick to a basic guideline of “types of outfits” when I travel and it has never failed me and leaves me room to pack various options and styles. 

For starters, you need a comfy airport outfit (depending on how long your flight is and whether or not you’ll be able to check into your hotel as soon as you land). This is important because most check-in times are at 3 pm and if you have a red-eye flight (like I do) you want to be comfortable for the flight yet be dressed enough to be able to start site-seeing or going out to eat when you land.

Depending on the number of days you’re on vacation, you want to follow the 1 casual/1 slay rule. You may be doing an adventurous activity yet going to a fancy dinner spot at night so having both options for each day is always helpful. Be careful following this rule in order to avoid over-packing. For example, I’m gone for a total of 4 days and 3 nights so I packed 3 casual outfits (not including my airport one) and 3 dressy outfits with a variety of shoes and tops I can interchange with my casual outfits. After all, wearing an outfit two different ways and folding everything neatly will save space in your suitcase! 

Pack pieces that you can wear alone or layer. Layering with a long cardigan, kimono or trench coat will allow you to take it off/put it on throughout the day should the weather fluctuate and again—add variety to your outfits, allowing you to pack lightly yet stylishly. (#score!)

As you can see, I laid out all my shoes, jeans and blouses in separate piles and made outfits with the appropriate shoe and accessory. If I liked the way it looked, it was lined up on my bed so by the end of all of my outfits—I could see what kind of colors and different styles I had (taking out and adjusting whatever style that was too repetitive). After the first 2-3 outfits, I started using only tops or layering pieces (sometimes a different jean) and matched them to clothes already in the pile I planned on taking. That way, all the clothes could be worn more than one way. I took pictures as I went for the purpose of this blog post, but it actually helped my sister & I coordinate outfits so that her suitcase could be filled with whatever else that didn’t fit in mine. (We wear each others clothes so technically—I had two suitcases to work with ;) although she did pick out some looks only she planned on wearing).  

Since I’m in school I almost never get to wear my collection of heels so I fought the urge to bring them all and settled for a nude, neon & floral heel to bring a little something extra to my casual outfits. I wore my white all-star converses to the airport so my bag only had three pairs of heels. My sister wore my combat boots and since the weather is predicted to be cold-ish – we’re prepared for whatever weather Chicago throws at us. Not to mention, the combat boots will give an edge to any of my casual outfits versus my converses.

You didn’t think I would skip this section did you? Lol, so I don’t recommend travelling with all your makeup because God forbid your luggage gets lost or worse—if you’re entire glam bag was in your suitcase… ouch

Living in the South, I don’t need moisturizer as much as I would in a windy/cold city so my CeraVe lotion was the first thing I threw in my beauty bag followed by a toothbrush and toothpaste. Make sure you have only your needed skincare essentials—do not take your entire vanity with you. A simple face cleanser, makeup remover wipes and some Mario Bidescu Drying lotion will do the trick for a few days. Even a small face mask packet (since airplanes tend to dry you out).

 Take your routine makeup, applicator/brushes and one eye shadow palette that can create multiple looks. Since I shower at night to let my hair naturally dry (and since most hotels have blow dryers) I only packed my straightener and 32 mm NuMe wand to create different looks throughout my trip. If you’re staying somewhere for an extended period of time, I wouldn’t bother lugging a bottle of shampoo and conditioner. I usually drop in the closest drugstore and pick it up in the city I’m vising (some hotels will give you bottles on the daily too).

I took some pictures of how I packed my suitcase below—hopefully this was helpful! I took my big Kate Spade bag to hold my laptop, DSLR, phone chargers, wallet, etc. as well as any small items that could get lost in my suitcase (i.e: extra hair-ties, bobby pins, painkillers, etc.)

xo, Rasmin