How to Pack Part DEUX: pre-packing and planning

This is part {DEUX} of my How to Pack series! Part {UN} can be found here, and is all about having a consistent color palette. This time, I’ll be sharing some tips that will prevent some of the stress you’ll be feeling on the departure day.

Since my departure is exactly one week away, I thought I’d get a head start on packing. Here are some important things to pack for very long trips! I suggest packing these a week to three days before your departure.

{FIRST}, Plan your airport outfit. Comfort and layer-ability come before everything else. Who wants to sit for millions of hours in a tiny, cramped airplane seat, wearing too-tight pants and a shirt that has to be adjusted every 5 minutes? And who wants to walk through confusing airports, carrying heavy, awkward luggage wearing shoes that, although score high on the fashionable scale, pinch at your feet and make walking extremely uncomfortable? NOT ME! Go for comfort, ease, and casual elegance.


{outfit planning: comfort}

{SECOND}, gather up any important documents, and photocopies of documents, you will or might need while abroad. When in doubt, bring it. It’s better to be over prepared than not prepared enough. Some examples of documents to bring are:

  • Passport
  • Student, Work, or Travel visa
  • Birth Certificate
  • ID card(s)
  • Any other documents from your visa application you feel would be necessary or helpful
  • Flight Information and/or boarding pass
  • Extra Passport-sized photos
  • About 100 in foreign currency, which I ordered through my bank here in the States (make sure you call your credit card people to let them know you’ll be abroad)
  • List of practical info including:
  • Important addresses and/or phone numbers
  • How to travel from Airport into the city (train numbers and station names)

These documents you should keep in your carry-on bag, as they are extremely important to have just in case anything goes wrong, or your luggage goes missing.


{copies and originals of important documents}

{calendar and passport-sized photos}

{THIRD}, pack some little things that you won’t be needing for the rest of the week before you leave. This can include:
– Airplane beauty products (keep liquids at 3oz. or less in a clear plastic bag)
– Versatile nail polish colors you plan to use often
– Journaling supplies
– Small mirror
– Small paper scraps, postcards, and photos to make your new home feel like home
– Pouch full of jewelry
– A carry-on full of shoes. Shoes take up A TON of weight, so I’d rather not pack them in my checked luggage. You don’t want to pay a huge extra fee for overweight luggage. This only applies, of course, if you’re taking more than two pairs. I’m taking 7 pairs… most likely WAY too many. But hey, I gotta be stylish in Paris, people!

{pouches with airport liquids, nail polish, and jewelry}

{mirror, journals, washi tape, photos, etc.}

{Carry-on full of shoes}

I hope this helps! If you have any questions, please comment or email me at

I'm a Californian in my mid-twenties who studied Art History and lived in France for 3 years. I blog honestly about my travels, share my thoughts on life, and get poetic about art and photography. I also sell prints of my photographs on Etsy.

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