That is right! For six glorious days I will be lounging by the pool, drinking margaritas and munching on tortilla chips. I do not know how I missed this Style Lush Vacation Round-Up, but Mexico is my vacation location of choice. I have been on two cruises to Mexico (once on the west coast and once on the east), spent a week in Puerto Vallarta and now will be staying in Playa del Carmen. In my opinion you simply cannot beat the weather or the food! In Puerto Vallarta I stayed at this boutique hotel I found on Luxury Link. I booked an all-inclusive package and, WOW, it was awesome. The breakfast alone was worth the trip, but the hotel and the staff were incredible. I hope this vacation is just as great!
My challenge when vacationing is that I PACK TOO MUCH. Multiple pairs of jeans, shorts, dresses and, of course, SHOES to go with every possible outfit. I've tried the packing tricks before, like only packing clothes that go with black OR brown shoes. But, REALLY, am I willing to commit to wearing the same pair of shoes for one week? As a result of this, shall we say, condition, I have become a Master Packer. Here are a few of the tips and tricks I have for you to get maximum space out of your suitcase.
1. Zip-Loc is your friend. Totes for your toiletries may come in cute shapes and prints, but they usually are not space-friendly and, well, they leak. The TSA has the right idea! All of my liquids, even the ones in my checked luggage, are double bagged in zip-loc baggies to prevent unfortunate spills and messes. Using Zip-loc also allows you to group similarly sized items together and squeeze (gently) into tight spaces. More room for shoes!
2. Reduce and Reuse. If you are going on a week-long vacation, how much shampoo do you really expect to use? Same with your hair products and moisturizer. Because of TSA restrictions a lot of companies are selling smaller size bottles of our favorite products, like Frizz-Ease Moisture Barrier Hairspray in a 2oz container. When you are a SHOE NUT like me, space is at a premium and I don't mind coughing up a few extra bucks for the travel size. My local Bed Bath and Beyond has a huge selection of travel size products. There are also websites like Travelsizetoiletrykits.com to find your favorite products. (And take the hotel shampoo for next time!) You can also put your own products into smaller containers, but remember these cannot be taken in your carry-on luggage as per TSA regulations.
3. Roll It Up! The biggest space culprit is clothing itself. Folding each piece and placing it into the suitcase leaves a lot of unused (precious!) packing space. Then, when you cram everything into the suitcase and take it back out again, you have a wrinkled wardrobe. Solution? Roll it up. By rolling each piece of clothing into a tight cylinder, you can maximize the room in your suitcase (go ahead, throw in that extra pair of shoes) and your clothes will NOT BE WRINKLED. If you folded them nicely to start, that is. I don't work miracles, people. Here is a demonstration on a polo shirt.
[Pictures by me, apparently in a cave.]
4. Call Ahead. I love my hair dryer as much as the next girl, but most hotels these days supply one for you. The same goes for beach towels and even shampoo. No need to take up precious packing space with unnecessary items. Find out what the hotel or resort supplies for free and make room in that suitcase for another dress or two.
Now that I've spent this time talking about packing, I should probably start packing. Do you have any tips and tricks for packing lightly that you would like to share?
2 oz Cabo Wabo Reposado Tequila (or other good quality Reposado tequila)
2 oz Lime juice, freshly squeezed
1 oz Triple Sec (I actually prefer Cointreau)
Combine the ingredients in a shaker half filled with ice. Shake well. Strain into a salt-rimmed martini glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.