As a girl who loves clothes, two suitcases is my worst nightmare. Okay, that was a little dramatic. But if I’m being honest, I thought about it a great deal as I prepared for Dublin. To calm my nerves as I was starting to pack, I decided to talk to some of my friends who had already been abroad and had the experience of packing. Most of their advice included “bring stuff to mix and match” and “only bring a few statement pieces”.
Now, I am a HUGE thrifter. Each article of clothing I own has its own story and was worn by God knows how many people before. I like the idea that the clothes I wear were not made for me, but that many people felt joy when they wore the same somewhat ugly hand-embroidered sweater. So, most of my clothes are statement pieces and this advice didn't really help me.
Another suggestion I got was to just buy things when I got there. While good advice for some people, I simply cannot afford to spend money on new clothes or skincare or jewelry (hence my love for dollar tag days). So, it was important to me to bring the things that I absolutely needed.
Here are a couple of things that made packing less stressful for the girl who loves her things:
- Planning outfits
- Compression bags
- Travel jewelry case
My favorite part about having so many unique and fun pieces of clothing is creating unexpected combinations every day. As I started packing, however, I realized that this would not be feasible. Packing my favorite items while disregarding what other clothes they might go with would leave me with an absolute fashion disaster in Dublin! So, I carved out some time to create some outfits that I know would make me happy to wear abroad. You will not catch me being unstylish, I can assure you that.
Another thing that really helped me was packing using compression bags (shoutout mom). Some sweaters that I own are just too plain poofy to pack without making them smaller. It’s tough out here being a baggy sweater girly. I was, however, able to put a few of those oversized sweaters into compression bags and make them smaller. All of my problems were solved: I could bring my favorite sweaters and save space in my bag for other things that I needed as well!
But, it doesn't just stop at clothes. Where was I to pack my chunky rings or my dangly earrings? How would I keep them safe? As any jewelry person knows, it is extremely difficult to pack these items. Something always goes wrong: either a necklace gets tangled or an earring inevitably ends up lost and you’re left sad with the one that remains. The putting everything in a plastic bag method™ has failed me in the past, so I knew I needed to try something else. After some research, I decided that a travel jewelry case would suit my needs the best. I was able to buy one for pretty cheap that had an ample amount of room for my necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings, and hair clips. And the bonus? This case barely took up any room at all!
Overall, my packing for Dublin was all about saving space, saving money, and looking stylish while doing it!
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I am from Mesa, Arizona and am a third-year at Grinnell College studying English and Anthropology with a concentration in Peace and Conflict Studies. I come from a big family of 6 people and four pets. I run cross country and track and field.