24 Jun 2019

Packing for a River Boat Cruise

Today's post is another packing post! I did my first one for our minimoon back in February (here) and I figured I'd do another for this trip. This trip is our official honeymoon and we are doing a river boat cruise down the Rhine! This is very exciting stuff, but I'll admit being a bit weary on what and how to pack for such a trip... Luckily, I started early! As usual, I turned to my trusty closet app.

A few weeks prior to any trip, I start creating outfits in my Stylebook app and try to stick with a colour palette. I try to check the weather of my destination, or keep in mind the season, in order to create weather-appropriate looks. For this particular trip, I decided to go the safe route and pack enough options for a week's worth of cold-weather options and a week's worth of warm-weather options. You can't be too safe! I managed to do this by mixing, matching and layering pieces that all fit into my nautical style capsule wardrobe. I obviously went with red, white, navy and threw in some light blue just for fun! I was going to be sailing for a week, so I clearly needed to tap into my love of the nautical style! Why not? I made sure that each piece was versatile; that I had could easily mix and match. Also, comfortable footwear options were a must! I was going to be doing a lot of walking! (According to my Fitbit, I walked a total of  134,857 steps on our day-ten trip!)

From my app, I could generate a packing list with all the items I had selected. I even have the option of manually adding non-clothing items I don't want to forget. This makes packing a breeze because I literally check things off as I gather them and they are listed by category. Seriously genius!

My other trusty packing tool is this notepad I found at Chapters ages ago. It is the most extensive and trustworthy list I've found and has never let me down! Even my husband swears by it and asks for it every time we go on a trip. You just know it's a great thing when your husband can't live without it! I have yet to forget anything!

Once I've got my Stylebook list and my notepad ready to go, I start stock-piling stuff. I actually start gathering things on my desk a few weeks prior to leaving. I start with items I know I won't be using before the trip and the pile slowly grows until everything is there. A couple days before leaving, I lay everything out to get a good look at just what I'm bringing. From there, I can start strategically packing. 

When it comes to packing, I use packing cubes and pouches to categories and organize everything. These cubes will seriously change your life! I've ranted and raved about them here. I also make great use of little pouches and I have a lot of Ipsy bags. I like compartmentalizing things, so having a bunch of colourful pouches makes things easy. I use one for makeup, one for electronics, one for hair accessories and even one for snacks! I like to see them as mini packing cubes, for all the tiny things you want to keep track of. The different pouches are also easily identifiable, which is a bonus when you're rummaging through your luggage for a specific thing. 

I also try to minimize the size of my toiletries and only bring the necessary. Thanks to my Ipsy subscription, I have a ton of travel-sized products to pick from. Because of the tiny size, I don't have to compromise on how many I bring! Just another reason to love my Ipsy galm bags! I have travel bottles for my shampoo and conditioner, which I fill up from my big bottles at home. For body wash and lotion, I like to go to Bath and Body Works for their travel-sized options and keep them in my toiletry case, ready to go at any moment!  

Finally, I never go on a trip without what I like to call my little emergency kit. This is a kit I've assembled myself over the years and it contains everything and anything I could potentially need when on vacation. Here is a flatlay of the contents of this kit that I carry around in a waterproof pouch. It's always in my carry-on, my day bag or my beach bag. Basically, it's always with me! I have used it many times during this trip and oddly enough, it was never for me! Word got around that I was prepared for anything and fellow travelers would come to me asking for things. I ended up using Kleenex, wipes, nail file, Tide-to-go, hand sanitizer, my Benedryl stick, Tums, Advil and even Imodium! It pays to be prepared. 

Here is a list of the contents of my emergency kit:
-hand sanitizer
-Wet-Ones or wipes
-Band-Aids or Moleskin
-Gravol (and motion-sickness patches)
-Benedryl tablets
-Benedryl stick
-Cough drops
-SPF lipbalm
-Nail file
-Pepto Bismol tabs
-Feminine Wipes
-Ziplocks or plastic bags
-Sewing kit
-Gum or mints

To pack my clothes, I use the rolling method. I've been doing this for years and it really helps save space while preventing wrinkling. By using packing cubes, it also allows me to see every piece of clothing in the cube, so rolling is the way to go! I had one medium cube for pants and shorts, a medium cube for tops, a small cube for dresses and a small cube for workout gear. Then I used my round purses as makeshift cubes as well using one for underwear and bras and the other for headbands, belts and scarves. I stuff socks and belt in my shoes to keep their shape. I then pack the cubes in one side of my suitcase and the shoes and bulkier items in the other. I play around a bit with the different layouts to maximize space. It's a bit of a Tetris puzzle, but when you get it, it feels awesome!

I was particularly proud of myself for packing so efficiently for this trip! I managed to bring 73 items of clothing and accessories (34 outfits) including 4 dresses, 1 jumpsuit, 5 pairs of shoes, 3 pairs of pants, 3 pairs of shorts, 2 sweaters, 11 tops, 3 purses, 4 scarves, 8 pairs of earrings and then some in a carry-on suitcase! I actually wore everything I brought with me and had outfits to spare! This was a travelling feat and will be hard to beat in the future, but I am up for the challenge!

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