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Packing Like an Expert: A Guide

Picture this: an idyllic setting, beautiful warm weather, sun and sand in your hair. “Right, I forgot to put on sunscreen”, you think to yourself as you desperately rummage through your overflowing suitcase. You angrily toss out a gigantic mass of clothes, only to discover that in fact you didn’t bring sunblock. Or your wallet. Or god forbid- your charger. Sadly we’ve all been there; anticipation and excitement for the upcoming holiday, together with a mixture of insecurity imposed by social media and dependence on home luxuries fuel our overpacking urges. But, as someone who has suffered the consequences of their obsessive mind, I assure you that a huge suitcase is always a burden difficult to pack and to unpack, to access and carry around, it’ll merely strain you. So here are some tips on how to pack for your vacation like a pro:

  1. Plan ahead: The chances are that if you wait until the very last minute to pack, you’ll stress out, bringing along a lot of unnecessary stuff that careful planning would have left behind. Plus, when on a rush, you’re a lot more likely to forget something genuinely important. So instead, spend the day before your departure wisely constructing a list of everything you need to carry, making a packing scheme and neatly putting everything in the right compartment of your suitcase/carry on.
  2. Inform yourself: Before setting off it’d be a good idea to find about the weather of your destination as well as its overall climate. This way you won’t bring unnecessary clothing nor freeze to death every evening on your outdoor trips. Also, you might need to check up with the hotel to find what amenities they provide such as hair and body wash, blow-dryer etc.
  3. Bring spare bags: For your worn underwear and socks, for your shoes, and of course for your electronics which you don’t want tangled or scratched.This way everything will be nice and tidy, easy to access.
  4. Sort out the essentials: Pack all the essentials in a small carry-on so that you can always grab at your phone or your wallet without turning your suitcase inside out.
  5. Reevaluate: Before packing everything into place reassess. Did you bring everything? Did you take any medication/vitamins you need, snacks and entertainment for your trip to the airport? Most importantly, how could you narrow down what you bring? Is everything really vital? Can you picture yourself using all the items?

Also here’s my list of all the essentials for any trip or short getaway, for you to pick and chose:

  • The essentials: Keys, wallet, ID, passport, cash, tickets, phone.
  • Comfort: Sweater or blanket, flats or socks, neck pillow
  • Entertainment: Headphones, book/magazines/kindle/iPad, camera, chargers for all your electronics (!), journal and pens
  • Food: Dried fruit, granola bars, reusable water bottle, gum
  • Toiletries/Beauty: Toothbrush and mini toothpaste, wipes, sunscreen, shampoo and conditioner, one hair styling product (moose/dry shampoo etc), brush and hair ties, deodorant, eye drops (if you’re wearing contacts or have dry eyes), moisturizer, chapstick, pads, pain-killers, insect bite relief stick (very useful for the summer time!), prescription drugs, roller ball perfume
  • Minimal makeup bag: BB cream, powder, bronzer, mascara, eyeshadow palette, brow pencil, lipstick, makeup-remover
  • Fashion (bare in mind that this varies according to your destination): Two or three pairs of shorts, a couple of t-shirts for all occasions, a sundress, a formal dress, swimsuit, clean underwear,pj’s, a statement necklace/earrings, hat, sandals, high heels/platforms, sunglasses

Hope you all have a memorable and safe holiday no matter where that is. And if you’re staying home don’t feel left out; you can always take an impromptu trip to the beach or to the nearby town or just spend the day exploring your home city. Fun is our own creation! Lots of love xx


Words by Maria Stratoudaki // Photography by Brianna Sharma.

© 2015 Reef Magazine

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