Our trip to Turkey happened in three parts: first we spent two nights in Istanbul, then we flew 500km south to Bodrum and spent two nights there in an amazing hotel to celebrate my friend’s wedding, then we boarded a chartered sail boat for three days and sailed around the Aegean.
Each portion of the trip was amazing in and of itself and spectacular combined, but all together it made for an interesting packing list. Walking/touring the city of Istanbul required very different clothes and shoes than getting all dressed up and celebrating at a wedding which required very different clothes and shoes than lying on a boat and sailing around (which, to be honest, mostly required bathing suits and sun block).
I also knew this trip was going to be a total fashion show–everyone on the trip loves getting dressed up and going all out, so there would be no room for khaki shorts and sneakers.
In preparation for the trip, I made about a hundred lists. But the list that was the most helpful basically broke down our planned activities for each day and evening along with the outfit I planned to wear for that activity (I made Matt make one of these too). Before we packed, I tried on every outfit, along with shoes and accessories, to make sure it looked good and felt comfortable. Once I knew an outfit was acceptable, I added it to the list and packed it. I brought the list with me on the trip too–just in case.
The list looked something like this:
- Wed night: dinner and drinks out (green skirt/black and white cami/black gladiator sandals)
- Thurs day: tour Istanbul (black maxi/brown belt/printed scarf/platform sandals)
- Thurs night: dinner and drinks out (romper/espadrilles)
I definitely over packed–I ended up coming home with 4 or 5 outfits I never wore–but that was always my intention. I would much rather be on a trip and have several options for clothing than be on a trip wishing I had a certain item that’s 5000 miles away and settling for wearing something that isn’t quite right for the occasion. Especially with a trip like this, which I knew would be HEAVILY photographed (we took over 800 photos!). And since it’s summer and most of the clothes packed up nice and small, having 4 extra outfits didn’t actually take up much suitcase space.
I think this is the best packing/planning method I’ve come up with, and it would work well for any long trip. I know it seems kind of over-planned and maybe a bit anal-retentive, but um…I am an anal-retentive over-planner, so that makes sense.
The only thing I’d do differently would be to pack less densely in a larger suitcase so I had more room to bring home gifts and souvenirs. I made it work, but it was a tight squeeze packing up to get back home.
What are your best packing tips and tricks?