Sunset Blonde’s How to Pack

20 Aug

I know there are tons of different strategies, tips and tricks for packing, and I’m always trying to discover new ways of making packing for a trip out of town easier. It always seems like I bring too much, or too little, or I forget something. The thing about going on a trip, especially for females, is you never quite know just what you might need.

What makes this post different than others? I’m packing for 2 different climates/locations in 1 suitcase. HOW TO PACK FOR 2 Climates!

Recently, I have been doing a lot of research to possibly discover new packing ideas. Why? Because packing for 1 location is hard enough, but this time I was packing for 2 different locations/climates over a 2 1/2 week trip. Which means I need a LOT of different things. One hot location (Greece) and one cooler location (Norway). Packing for 2 locations can get pretty complicated, and you could end up packing way more than you need.  I wanted to pack only 1 suitcase, plus 1 carry on bag. I’ve over packed many times, and so this time I was determined to try and make it as simple as possible.

In my carry on bag, I put my purse, my jewelery holder, my digital camera, a scarf & jacket, toiletries and makeup for freshening up on the long plane flight, cell phone charger, my laptop, and a few other things that I wanted with me on the airplane.

In my large suitcase I packed my clothes, shoes, flat iron, and other toiletries, and and extra empty fold up bag.

Let me explain our 2 locations: We flew to Norway from California, stayed for 24 hours at our home in Norway, dropping off our “Norway Luggage” and then left for Greece the next day, for 5 days. We will then return to Norway where we will stay for another week and a half.

So, How did I pack for this trip you wonder?

Here’s How:

My strategy was to simply use 1 gallon plastic freezer Slider bags with Smart Zip to pack everything in. The ones I used were Hefty Brand, but any brand will do.  I put like items together, for example, all my tank tops in one bag, my casual tops in another bag, my bikinis in another bag. . . After putting the items in the bag, I squeezed all of the air out, and sealed it closed. I then labeled it “Greece,” “Norway” or “Both” and then I labeled what items were inside of the bag. (see photos below**) I know this might sound tedious and kind of OCD, but I’m sooo not an organized person, and this wasn’t so bad to do. It actually really helped me.

When I arrived in Norway, I emptied the contents of my rolling carry on bag, into another bag that I had (empty, folded up in my large suitcase.)

Then, from my large suitcase  I took all the bags labeled “Greece/Both” and packed them inside my rolling carry on bag. I checked this bag on my flight to Greece, which was much smaller than my large suitcase.

Here’s what my Greece packing looked like:

Before (everything all packed up in bags) and after (everything unpacked and laid out on the bed)

My small Carry-on rollerbag

What everything looks like packed into the suitcase.

Everything packed into Zip Lock Bags. **

Labeled- “Greece-Tanks” the tank tops that I packed inside a plastic bag. **

I even packed my shoes in plastic storage bags to keep them from getting my clothes dirty. **

Labeled my lingerie: “Both-Bras” “Both-Nighties/panties. **

If you noticed in the above photo, I used 2 different sizes of plastic bags, using the smaller bags for smaller items and accessories.

I also found it really helpful not only to stay organized by using the plastic bags, but it also helped to keep my clothes neatly folded and certain items together. If you are really good at making outfits, you can put each outfit in 1 bag, instead of by type of clothing. Because everything is labeled it is easy to pack things back in their proper bags when I am packing to leave. I could also write “dirty” or “clean” on some of the bags as well, so I know what I need to wash when I return home.

What I packed

Everything I packed was either white, coral, turquoise, black, tan, blue or denim. All of the items I brought could be mixed and matched with other pieces, which gives me a lot of options. I also wanted some bright colors, but not too crazy. I can also layer different pieces together, or change it up just by adding a belt or wedges. I tried to pick lightweight fabrics because I knew Greece was going to be very hot. I knew I could also wear a bikini top underneath outfits instead of a bra, so I chose bikinis that were also in the color pallet.

Here’s exactly what I packed:

2 Dresses. 1 floral print & 1 cotton white dress- both from Target

1 romper- easy to throw on for breakfast or over a bikini- from AQUA at Bloomingdale’s

1 pair of jean cutoffs-American Eagle

1 long black dress (traveled on the airplane in)- From Jill Roberts

1 chambray shirt-American Eagle, the light colored one.

2 light weight 100% cotton button-ups, 1 white & 1 coral colored-both from H&M

1 light weight pullover-Roxy

4 tank tops, sheer black, white, turquoise & coral-Feel the piece & Target

1 pair of comfy neutral flip flops-Aldo

1 pair of neutral wedges-Aldo

1 sheer black cover-up/can also be used as a night time fancy top. ( from Have Faith Swimgerie)

5 bikinis-some can be mixed and matched – Bswim & Have Faith Swimgerie

2 satin nighties-lightweight and cool to sleep in-Victoria’s Secret

1 denim jacket, for the plane ride and cool nights-American Eagle

1 dressier dress (on the more causal side) for a nice dinner out– MICHAEL Michael Kors Chain Lace-Up Dress

1 light weight white 3/4 sleeve boyfriend cardigan to layer over if cool out- by Mossimo/Target

1 pair of white denim


1 scarf-Beige (good to carry on to the plane in case I you get cold) doubles as a wrap for nighttime-Gucci

1 silk scarf (leopard print) to wear as a headband, head scarf, or bracelet-Henri Bendel

2 belts, 1 adjustable camel colored leather belt that can be worn on hips or around waist.
1 gold buckle & straw stretch belt that is also fully adjustable-MICHAEL Michael Kors Stretch Belt

1 day bag-Louis Vuitton 25 Speedy with Strap

1 nighttime clutch-Louis Vuitton


2 Bras, 1 nude, and 1 black-Target

The 2 dresses and romper.

Top: scarf, 2 nighties, Bras & accessories, cut-off shorts.
Middle: 4 tank tops rolled up, white jeans.
Bottom: jean jacket, chambray shirt, white cardigan, dress & romper.

Mix and match bikinis-mostly solid colors, in turquoise, coral, blue, and black.

Cute & comfy neutral flip flops that go with everything and can be worn at the beach/pool/or in town.

All my toiletries & Makeup.

Makeup bag.

Here I am wearing just one of the outfits. Coral button up over the coral bikini top, with cut-off shorts and belt.

I will do a post when I get back to Norway of all the things that I packed for Norway, and how I packed them as well…



Sunset Blonde


6 Responses to “Sunset Blonde’s How to Pack”

  1. Kristin August 30, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

    I follow you on pinterest and i noticed that you have a lot of pictures from Norway on there. And then I go on your blog and you\’re blogging about how to pack, since you\’re going to Norway. So I was just wondering. Are you norwegian or something? Or is your fiance norwegian? (He had a common Norwegian name.) Or why did you go to Norway? Just curious, cause i live in Norway 🙂 And I love your blog!

  2. Diana August 31, 2012 at 7:52 am #

    I read this post before, but I am reading it again because I am packing for a trip. Really great ideas! I’m about to make via Sunset Blonde-style after this comment.

    Also, I noticed that you have a lot of Target items in your pack list which is so wonderful! I think blogging about affordable items that is made available to girls/women just about anywhere is really what I LOVE about you! You always look fabulous and I would have never thought that you shopped at Target. You even have Target bras!!! Yay for you! It really says a lot about you because anyone can look like a million bucks in $2,000 outfit but it takes real skills to look the way you do or have style in Target-branded clothing. This means a lot to many of us out there especially because we are on a budget or don’t have the $$$ to spend on nice clothes/shoes/purses like many of the celebrities or rich bloggers out there. So I say, kuddos to you!!! And please never stop blogging!!!! =)

  3. Tammy November 8, 2012 at 9:53 pm #

    Hi, I’m about to have a 3 months getaway too. I’ve been looking for a cute toiletries/makeup bag but can’t seem to find anywhere. Where did you get your leopard toiletries bag? It’s so cute and looks like it fits a lot. Thank you so much!!!

    • Sunset Blonde's Blog November 8, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

      I bought it at ULTA. They are sort of expensive, but I would also try checking places like Marshall’s, TJMaxx, or Ross stores. They usually have makeup and travel bags for cheap in the Beauty section!

  4. Chelsey July 16, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

    Hi! Great post! Just curious, do you remember where you got that coral bikini? So cute! And is that leopard print a bikini? If so, do you remember where you got it? I’m trying so hard to find a swimsuit with more support than a triangle top! Thanks so much!

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