September 21, 2014

How to Pack a Bag for Three Months

On Wednesday I'll be leaving California and heading back to England before starting the next stage of my gap year. In July I was faced with the task of packing for three months away which frankly, I didn't do that well.  I've compiled together a few tips to make packing a little bit easier when you know you'll be gone for quite some time.
Please feel free to learn from my mistakes:

1. YOU DON'T NEED ALL THOSE SHOES
When you're packing, do not place ANY brand new shoes in your case because you will not wear them. Make sure you've worn a pair in before you take them anywhere because who wants ugly blisters when walking barefoot on the beach?...no one!
In addition to this, you really do not need any more than two pairs of heels but usually one staple pair will be plenty. I quickly realised that staying in one place for a long time actually meant not going out for fancy meals as you often do on a normal holiday. Heels take up SO much space. Buy a pretty pair of sandals, I promise you that you'll wear them a whole lot more.

2. THE WEATHER IS NOT THAT RELIABLE
Last weekend I found myself in a very breezy San Francisco, wishing I'd packed at least one jacket. It's very rarely below 26C in California but that doesn't mean there aren't exceptions. The wind can take a good few degrees off the temperature and will leave you wondering why you didn't put your essential black leather jacket in...just incase.

3. ROLL YOUR CLOTHES
The best space saving idea I learnt from one of my sisters is to roll your clothes up when placing them in your case. It seems weird but it actually makes them a lot more compact. You can roll more delicate items, that are more likely to crease, around a few other pieces to prevent this.

4. THINK REALISTICALLY
Staying on track when packing is one of the hardest things to do. You might be contemplating how many shoes, dresses and bags to pack. I've so far bought 6 dresses out here. Apparently they're the second most common thing for women to buy whilst abroad. Shopping is inevitable. By all means take plenty of options with you but my general rule is; if I haven't worn it more than twice in the last 6 months, it doesn't go in the case. I know you like the idea of your brand new silk blouse but do you really plan on wearing it anywhere near salt water air? Plus, why not treat yourself to something unique that no one back home will have!

5. NO LAST MINUTE ADDITIONS
So you're thinking "oh but I'll definitely wear my black asymmetric skort"...you won't. I added about six items as I was leaving the house and I have worn one of them. Adding items to fill out your bag? Trust me when I say that you'll need all the space you can get on the way home. I'm taking an extra suitcase back because I have such a bad shopping addiction. If I had maybe not added those items, I might not need it.

I hope these have in some way helped you to pack a little more efficiently and made you allow plenty of space for all that 'unnecessary' shopping you'll inevitably do.