How to Be a More Efficient Packer

Less is more.

By Camille Styles
Best Travel-Sized Beauty Packing Essentials

I’m discovering that packing for 4 people is much trickier than packing for one — traveling with kids challenges the organizational abilities of even the most Type A among us, and it seems like getting ready for a trip can take up the entire day beforehand. Last week, things were really busy leading up to our Aspen trip for the Food & Wine Festival — and I was determined to find a way to be prepared without turning into a total basket-case by the time we boarded the plane. Click through the slides for my space-saving packing essentials (we managed to pack everything for the four of us in ONE suitcase!), as well as a $15 promo code from today’s sponsor, Google Express, so you can start shopping from the comfort of your own couch.
Packing strategy #1 – Stock up on high-quality minis.

I have a pretty consistent skincare / makeup / hair routine when I’m at home, and I like to stick with my normal products when I’m traveling so I’m not dealing with frizzy hair or breakouts while I’m on a trip!

Here’s what I packed in my Hudson+Bleecker toiletry bag:

Makeup setting spray from Urban Decay, Smith’s Rosebud Salve from Rosebud Perfume Co., Dry shampoo from AG Hair Care, Nail polish from Essie

Packing strategy #2 – Have your travel essentials delivered to your doorstep.

I ordered all my last-minute essentials from Google Express instead of devoting an entire day to running errands. The day before we left, I was free to tie up loose ends at work then take the kids for an ice cream date instead of being stuck in the car all day. It was so much more fun to start the trip feeling calm and organized instead of frazzled!

Packing strategy #3 – Download a thorough packing checklist.

When I’m traveling on my own, I can kind of wing it. But when packing for two kids, the sheer number of essential items (diapers, toys, snacks… the list goes on) becomes so great that a checklist is essential. I used these lists and while I definitely didn’t feel the need to pack everything on them, just going through the list mentally helped me make sure I wasn’t forgetting anything crucial.

In Phoebe’s backpack:

Granola bar from Kind, Madeline sticker set from Barnes & Noble, Etch A Sketch from Barnes & Noble, Children’s books from Barnes & Noble

Packing strategy #4 – Chill out.

Getting ready for a big trip can be stressful, and if you’re like me, the thought of forgetting anything important can feel like a mini disaster. This trip, I reminded myself to chill out and remember that if I didn’t pack toothpaste, I could buy it at my destination.

In my carry-on: 

Tea bags from Yogi, Digital camera from Sony, Headphones from Beats by Dr. Dre, Chocolate bar from Chocolove, Mints from VerMints