10 Packing tips for Extended Travels

Finally! We leave on Friday for our family trip to Spain where we will visit my husband's family.  We go every year and we usually stay for three weeks.  So fun, but when it comes to packing for this trip I kind of feel like I'm putting together a puzzle.  For example, I make sure that if I take a skirt it has at least three different tops and a couple of pairs of shoes with which I can wear it with....that sort of thing.  Then, I need to make sure I have clothes for when its too hot  or for when its chillier than usual.  And all this has to fit in one suitcase! Add to this the fact that I want to look cute every single day.  This is where  the practical packing guide comes in to help.

1 || Pack ahead (and by this I mean one week in advance).  Packing ahead will allow you to make sure all the pieces you want to take are clean and pressed and ready to be folded into your suitcase.  This also allows plenty of time to really plan the outfits in your head.

2 ||  Pack a lot of single colored pieces.  For extended stay vacations this is great way to maximize your outfits because everything pretty much matches (you don't have to worry about matching patterns). The more outfit possibilities you have the less bored you will be because now you have many more outfit permutations.

3 ||  Its all about the accessories.  Accessories don't take up a lot of room and they can really make your outfit standout and even change it up a bit if you wore the same thing a few days earlier. You can bet this Gold and Gray necklace is crossing the Atlantic with me (its my new fave piece). And this cute necklace from bauble bar is on sale...too bad I just spotted it.

4 ||  For shoes think cute and comfortable.  I am not one to wear sneakers when traveling (but I have before don't get me wrong) but there are many cute and very comfortable shoes out there that can pamper your feet while you hit up all the sites.  Its so much better to travel in style (plus all your Instagram photos will be all the more interesting!). These Zara shoes are surprisingly some of my most comfortable shoes that will be coming along.  And of course my Tieks will also join in the fun- talk about comfort coming in one small package!

5 || Evening Wear.  I usually pack a little black dress that can easily morph into different outfits by way of the accessories. This way I can use it multiple times without it looking the same.  How perfect is this one?  And the price is even better.

6 || Cross body bags are your friend.  With all the walking one usually does on a trip the last thing you need is to carry a huge and heavy bag everywhere.  Get rid of your huge wallet by using a little change purse (love this one) and minimize all the items you usually carry  in your huge bag.  Your hands will be free (to you can enjoy that delicious gelato or carry that shopping bag with those new shoes) and you will feel more relaxed and less tired at night. This (love all the zippers- a great way to keep things categorized) and this cross body bags are so cute!

7 ||  Protect yourself from the sun.  I'm the first one that believes that there is no better tan than the one you get  in the Mediterranean...its more golden in my opinion, but those rays are strong and I don't want to be leaving the beach just after an hour or two.  I want to make sure to enjoy every bit of that beach as much possible without being stressed over the harmful rays.  For me the solution has been these lifesaving, ultra-chic rashguards from Cabana life.  The delight of playing in the beach without having to overly worry about harmful rays- Priceless.  (the best part? they have matching outfits for your little one!)

8 || Foldable extra bag. Clothes tend to gain weight or grow when I travel (not sure which).  Does it happen to you?  By the end of the trip I can barely close my bag.  Blame it on a few extra souvenirs or on my folding skills getting sloppier. The solution- pack an extra foldable bag that you can check-in at the airport in case this happens to you as well.

9 ||  Put plastic bags on everything!  Especially your cosmetics and beauty products.  Pressure has a way of affecting some of my creams once in a while and they have ruined clothing before.  Bags will keep everything in its place.  These are perfect for this sort of thing.  And I even put a grocery bag over this as well...just to make sure.

10  || Shawls are your friend.  They are multipurpose.  They can serve as a cover when cold, as an accessory around your neck or head, as a pareo over a bikini when on the beach, or even as a picnic blanket or place to sit and lay on a park or beach.  They are so practical. Have one handy!  Loving this one.

There you have it. Ten tips for extended stay travels.  What else would you add?  Any special tricks or ideas to be make packing more efficient?