With spring right around the corner, many of us have warmer weather and travel planned in the coming days. While daydreaming about PTO should fill the mind with excitement, packing ahead of it can be stressful and tedious.
For some, pre-travel anxiety stems from waiting too long to start packing. But a lot of the stress is caused by over packing or not knowing what to bring.
I am one of the few who enjoy packing. When I open a suitcase, I am confident that filling it will be a relaxing process, and the end result will be clutter free. How have I reached this state of travel nirvana?
In part, I am a minimalist, so picking what to wear is straightforward. But also, I was a consultant for three years, one that traveled often to places like Charlotte, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Madrid. For those work trips, I only brought what I needed because schlepping a heavy suitcase around was out of the question for the sake of my back and arms.
Effortless packing is in your reach too, even if you are a maximalist or never were a consultant. Below are my tried-and-true tips for packing like a minimalist—with a focus on how to bring the perfect number of undergarments. Follow these guidelines to ensure the days before your well-deserved vacation set a positive tone for your trip, and not be wrought with stress!
Underwear—1 pair per day of vacation + 1 spare for every 3 days of vacation. If you are going to somewhere with water, add a pair for each day you plan to swim. For example, for a 5-day/4-night trip to the Bahamas, pack 10 pairs (5 + 1 spare + 4 to change into post swim, assuming 4 days of ocean splashing). You could pack 11 undies if you feel safer with 2 spares, but I personally would skip it because we added 4 extra pairs for post-bathing suit changes.
Bra—1 bra for every three days of wear. If you are planning on physical exercise, bring a sports bra for each day of sweat-inducing activity. As I shared in this article, figuring how often you need to wash a bra is not an exact science, as it requires a balance between convenience and cleanliness. When traveling, it's no different. In our Bahamas example, pack 2 bras (if you want to get technical, my guideline suggests bringing 1.67 bras but obviously that’s illogical).
Nipple covers—One pair of nipple covers, as needed. Our nipple covers last for multiple wears, so unless you’re going on vacation for a month or more, you only need one set. Don’t bring them if you are not going to wear them to save the precious space!
Socks—1 pair per day of vacation + 1 spare for every 3 days of vacation. If you are going to somewhere where toes will be out, reduce this amount by 1 pair for each day you don’t expect to wear sock-required shoes. Back to the Bahamas scenario, pack 3 pairs (5 + 1 spare – 3 pairs, assuming 3 days of shoe-less bliss).
Voila! I hope you find this framework useful the next time you break open the suitcase. Of course, these are guidelines, so adjust what you pack based on your unique needs and itinerary.
—Phoebe Kunitomi, founder and CEO of okko