Happy Valentine’s day everyone! What a great time for a romantic getaway with your favourite travel partner.
Not just for Valentine’s Day, but on every trip, we try to plan at least one night where we dress up and have a date night. However, this can sometimes affect our packing plans. We like to travel light, but with a bit of practice we’ve basically figured out how to share a carry-on sized suitcase while still bringing everything we need (and not wanting to kill each other).
Since we both like to pack a little bit differently, we have created a his and hers guide that will hopefully save you some headache for your next couple’s trip.
His – Randolph’s POV
Something warm ✓
Good luck guys!
Hey, but really, that’s all I actually care about. The rest is fluff if you’re a dude traveling on your own. I usually add a couple things when I’m traveling with Sydney.
In reality, you’ll want to think about what you’re traveling for. Are you going to spend most of your time at a resort and by the beach? Will you be climbing hill sides, in the hot or cold? Or are you wandering city streets to take in the architecture of a different time?
Sydney and I have done a little bit of each of these things on our travels and it’s important to think about the the weather and the activities that you expect to be doing while you’re out being all adventurous.
Typically our expeditions are between 1 – 3 weeks long. I don’t go into the packing game thinking that I’ll be washing clothes. Who wants to actually waste time doing that while you’re on vacation? Outside of those essentials that I mentioned earlier, I’ll make sure that I have a pair of dark wash denim for any sort of “night out” occasion. That could range anywhere from a nice dinner or a gathering with some friends or family. As for a top I make sure to pack a polo shirt. I particularly like the ones that feel like dry-fit material. They double as something I would wear as I’m wandering around cities. Outside of that, pack yourself all the active-wear you can think of. Numbers wise, I pack a bottom and a top for every two days. If I’m going somewhere hot or know I’ll be active and sweaty most of the trip, I tend to lean more to having a different top per day.
I’ll pack myself a pair of flip flops for instances where you’re lounging in your Airbnb, hotel, or campsite. I try to use flip flops as often as possible on trips really. I’ll also bring a pair of clean shoes that is date night worthy or for an important dinner/gathering with the significant other’s friends or family members. If you aren’t doing any of that, I really just stick to plain black runners. They’re easiest to clean if you need to look presentable for a random situation.
I also pack a small day backpack that I’ll use to carry snacks, credentials, my GoPro or camera, and then depending on the situation, a spare shirt or a small towel. I found that the towel and a change of shirt were great when out on a hot day. You’ll definitely want to pack some snacks if you’re trying to be budget conscious. If you have an appetite like me, you’ll probably make a stop at another grocery store mid-way through the day.
The last thing I’ll add to my list is a light waterproof windbreaker that has a hood. It’ll get you through those slightly colder evenings, or those periods of wet conditions that you might find yourself in. Best piece of advice, keep it simple, and pack to be comfortable. Also roll all those clothes so they’re like hotdogs so you can pack every corner of your luggage. Your significant other will be taking your space.
Hers – Sydney’s POV
The first thing I think about when packing is how many days we will be traveling. Typically, I like to pack for an outfit per day, plus a dressy outfit for going out on date-night. All of this has to happen with the smallest number of items occupying the smallest amount of space. I typically try to bring minimal bulky items such as pants, sweaters, and jackets (which is difficult for someone who is always cold) and wear as many of them as I can on the plane to avoid taking up space in our carry-on.
Toiletries don’t usually take up too much space so I will generally keep them in my personal bag on the plane. This also makes it easier to take out our baggie of liquids at security. I keep makeup to a minimum and try to just bring concealer and mascara so that I can still feel human while on vacation. For everything else, we limit to travel sized toiletries regardless of how long we are traveling. It’s easier to just buy more at our destination than try to fit a bunch of liquids into a small plastic bag. For my personal bag I usually use a large purse with a shoulder strap that has just enough space for my wallet, any paper documents we need, sunglasses, a water bottle, and our toiletries.
For trips that are a week or less, I can usually last with three pairs of pants, or two pairs of pants and a skirt/shorts. Even though jeans take up a bit of space, I can’t handle wearing them on the plane. I put them in the suitcase and wear a pair of stretch leggings or sweatpants to travel. They will also usually double as pyjamas or active-wear if we have any hiking planned. The third pair is something lightweight and comfortable that takes up very little space.
I compensate for having packed my jeans by wearing a bigger sweater on the plane. I always find it cold on airplanes so it keeps me warm while also saving space. Plus, no matter what climate you’re traveling to, you will be glad to have a sweater when you end up on an evening stroll after the sun sets or in extreme air-conditioning. If I plan on packing a scarf, I will usually wear that on the plane as well.
Tops are always a little bit trickier since it’s hard to bring fewer than one per day unless you want to do laundry on your trip. I usually pack a combination of tank tops and t-shirts depending on the weather at our destination. If it’s going to be a little cold, I’ll maybe pack a couple of lightweight sweaters that fold flat. The biggest thing to remember with tops, is to only pack the bare necessities. To avoid over-packing, I try to have a few tops that I can wear more than once and/or are easily hand-washed in a bathroom sink.
Another thing that you can’t really avoid packing a lot of is underwear. Always always one per day for me. Even if I can wash it in the sink, I think it takes up a small enough amount of space to just bring enough for the whole trip. I do the same for socks but pair it down to how many days I will actually need to wear socks in my shoes. I will usually have a small laundry bag to separate dirty socks and underwear from our clean stuff.
One thing that I always pack, regardless of where we go, is a bathing suit. You never know if you are going to unexpectedly have access to a hot tub or decide to go to hot springs or a beach. It’s also a good idea to pack a small towel for those same reasons. It doesn’t have to be a full on beach towel, but a small hand towel will do the trick. To go with your bathing suit and towel, it’s also a good idea to pack a pair of plastic flip-flops. They are really light and pack flat so it’s an extra that is worth bringing. You’ll also be happy to have them when you’re staying in a hostel and showering in a shared bathroom.
Speaking of footwear, I try to pack as few shoes as possible. The bulkiest shoes tend to be my walking shoes, so I wear those on the plane. I then pack a dressier pair of shoes which tends to be a pair of flats that don’t take up much space or sometimes I just try to bring a colour of flip-flops that can pass with a dress for date-night. If I can, I will wear walking shoes that look nice enough to wear for anywhere we go so that I’m only bringing one pair of shoes. There are some really cute sandals out there that have great support for walking but can still work for a date-night outfit.
I usually pack at least one dress with me on a trip. One item that counts as a full outfit and perfect for date-night? Count me in. It’s easy to wear a basic t-shirt dress with a scarf or a necklace and a pair of flats or sandals. If I want something a little bit fancier, I’ll try to bring a dress that packs small and won’t wrinkle when folded. Usually, synthetic materials with a bit of stretch are great for this. I try to stick with flats instead of heels unless I can make room by eliminating other items from my packing list (I’ve occasionally encroached on Randolph’s space to make room for this…). Small accessories are fairly easy to pack without taking up loads of space to make your date-night outfit a little extra special.
The last thing to remember when packing is that if you forget something, don’t stress about it! It’s very unlikely that you’ll be going somewhere that you can’t find a reasonable replacement for what you didn’t bring. Being prepared is great for a stress-free trip, but going with the flow is even more relaxing.
Let us know if you found these packing tips helpful! Now get out there and enjoy your next romantic getaway with your special someone!
Posted by Sydney and Randolph