tips & tricks to packing like a pro

As some of you already know, I am heading out next week to take a quick vacation to LA. My super awesome older brother bought me the trip for a birthday/Christmas present & I feel like I owe him the world right now. I am so excited to get to take a few days off from my hectic busy life & be able to relax & explore one of the most fashionable cities to exist.

Packing for trips honestly stresses me out though. I mean, who really knows what they want to wear like a week in advance? I feel like I always end up packing things I hate & wishing I packed what I didn’t. It’s especially hard when visiting a new place that has different types of weather patterns as where you live. And sadly, LA strikes just that so I have no idea what to pack! But since I’ve been traveling by myself since I was just 8 years old, I have acquired a few tips & tricks in my adult life that help me prepare for the worst & feel more comfortable while being away from home. And I can bet that if you follow these guidelines while packing, you’ll be more at ease & actually excited about what you’ve brought along to adventure in. So let’s begin!


Whenever I’m about to start packing for a trip somewhere I like to begin with pieces I for sure know I’ll wear & love. I most likely am currently obsessed with a few things from my wardrobe & so of course my favorite things must be packed.




This white blouse from H&M (you can find a similar one here) is my current favorite top. It goes great with jeans & is lightweight enough for any type of weather. It’s definitely a go-to of mine. I’m also loving all of these necklaces right now, because let’s be real, that’s basically the only jewelry I really wear. They are all from Swallow’s Heart, except the blue tassel one is from Créme Co. My favorite all around piece right now is this Shearling Jacket from Top Knot Goods, which is currently sold out right now, but a similar one is sold here. I love this piece so much & basically wear it every day! It’s no surprise that all these items will be making an appearance in my out of town looks because they’re pretty much a part of my everyday look. They help me to feel me, so that’s why I believe your favorite top, jewelry, & piece must go with you wherever you go.


When going out of town to a new city I also think it’s important to try out new things involving your look. It’s a great time to test something out & see if it really works for you. I mean, why not? You probably don’t know anyone from the town, so the only person there to judge you is the waiter from that hipster dive restaurant that you’ll never see again.




You all know you have a new make-up trend that you’re itching to try, but scared to face the reluctant commenters. Well, you’re on vacation so who cares! I’ll be trying out this new trendy lip color by NYX Cosmetics while in LA & will be wearing this new jumpsuit from H&M as well. The new style I’ll be trying out is a bracelet is the form of this Quartz Arrowhead Crystal Cuff from Swallow’s Heart. As I said before, I’m not big on much jewelry, but I love the design of this piece & want to push myself to feeling comfortable while wearing it. New things are sometimes hard to do, but trying them just once is the first step. Plus you can’t go wrong while doing so in a new city!


Shoes. They’re a big deal honestly. And I almost always pack too many, not the right ones, or end up wearing only one pair the entire trip. Here’s some tips to not make the mistakes I have in the past.




These three types of shoes are all you honestly need while going out of town. Unless of course you’re going on some exotic vacay, then please pack according to the terrain. But in my experience you need a pair of everyday comfy shoes, like these brown boots from Old Navy. I wear these almost daily at home & my feet never hurt in them even after all day wear. Next are some out of season shoes. Whether it’s summer, bring boots, or winter, bring flats because you never know how quick the weather might turn. These flats (similar) are the best to travel with. The last pair you need is slip on shoes like these (similar) ones from Target. I mean, how many times have you been in a hotel & had to throw on knee high boots with your jammie’s just to go eat some free continental breakfast in the lobby or head to the pool dressed the same. You need some easy slip on shoes. Even if you’re staying at a friend’s house, it’s nice to have a pair of easy accessible shoes just to throw on & head to the grocery store in. I of course pack at least one other pair of versatile shoes, just in case one of the above gets soaked by rain or destroyed by chance. (Both of which always seem to happen to me while I’m away!) But these three types are key in keeping shoe packing light & breezy.


Let’s be real, bags are just as important as shoes. They really are. And while on vacation I feel like they’re even more important because you sometimes need to carry things that you wouldn’t normally at home. That’s why I always pack these three types of bags when traveling.




Three bags for one trip? Most people might think I’m nuts! But they can fit inside of each other so I’m really not taking up any space. You first off need a tote bag, like this one from Forever 21. Whether traveling by sky or by road, a good sized tote bag is essential so that you have everything you might need within arms reach. For the daytime & sight seeing times of a trip I always bring a crossbody, or satchel. This one from Forever 21 is the perfect size to hold my camera, sunnies, & touch up make-up while running around exploring a new town. Nothing’s worse than having to hold a heavy purse all day long, so just bring one to sling over you for some hands free adventuring. And lastly, I always bring a simple clutch (like this black one also from Forever 21) that’s just big enough to hold some cash, my I.D., & lipstick for dinner purposes. No one wants to go to a fancy steakhouse & only be noticed for your oversized bag. Keep it classy & small & turn those heads by rocking a cool outfit instead.

Now here’s the last (& best!) section…


We always seem to forget to pack some sort of the basics don’t we? Well I certainly do! Here’s a few I’ve been known to forget from time to time & hope not to in the future.




Basic tees! I live in these at home, so why would I leave them there? Beats me. But I don’t ever travel without them anymore. I always pack a long sleeve & a short sleeve tee. They’re great for layering & lounging & a must for any & all trips. I also always bring along some sort of basic reading material. Whether it’s a magazine, a new trendy book (I love #GIRLBOSS), or a book that was gifted to you & you haven’t even looked at it yet, you should take it with you. It’s nice to have some sort of non-battery eating entertainment for when you’re waiting at your gate, at the car rental place, or in the car for hours on end. Books are my vacation jams & you shouldn’t forget to bring one with you! Lastly, I almost (seriously) always forget to bring a piece with me that I feel comfortable enough to wear all day, but is nice enough to wear all night. Feeling out of place is the worst, so this faux leather dress is a piece that I know I can either dress up or down for whatever plans seem to unexpectedly pop up!

Hope this little guide helps y’all when you’re packing for a trip. It for sure helps to ease my mind while figuring out what to take. Although I still wish it were an option to bring your entire closet with you when you travel. But since it’s not, I’ll stick to these tips & hope for the best! I can’t wait to visit LA & see all it has to offer. I’ll share TONS of pictures when I get back, I promise!

— abbey kay

Do you have any tricks you use while packing? I’d love to know! Also, where’s the next place you want to visit? After LA, I’m thinking New York, Chicago, or Seattle!


4 responses to “tips & tricks to packing like a pro”

  1. itsallaboutsonia Avatar

    Such a good guide loving the boots, tote and necklaces. song forget the sunnies. enjoy!

  2. shannonwaisath Avatar

    Chicago is the best city – but definitely wait for it to thaw out (mid April)

  3. secretsandsongs Avatar

    I vote Chicago next!!! I think you’d love it here

  4. secretsandsongs Avatar

    I vote chicago next! I think you’d love it here!

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