I pack differently depending on if I’m flying or driving. Driving makes it much easier, since you normally have more room and no restrictions. Dare I admit I overpack when driving, but I’m working on it:)
Packing usually starts a couple of days before. I start putting clothes and things I know I want to bring on the bed in the guest room. This continues until it’s time to pack and I go through the pile, making sure I really need what is there. It helps to base your clothing around one or 2 colors that coordinate with 1 pair of shoes. For example, if I am bringing black shoes, I am not going to pack navy clothes. I like using Packing Cubes because it helps keep groups of things together and is easier to find things when you need them.
I don’t like to check a bag if I can help it, which means I really have to plan out what I will truly need so I can get everything into a carry on. The hardest part of that for me is shoes and toiletries. I have big feet (size 11!) which means big shoes….and they take up a lot of real estate in a carry on bag, so I do my best to wear sneakers on the plane and select one other pair of shoes for the trip.
The toiletries trip me up b/c i have curly hair and for those who have curls, you know that only certain products work without creating a dry, frizzy mess. So I now have smaller containers for my hair products, each clearly labeled so that they are within the TSA guidelines for carry-ons. I use these Silicone Travel Bottles because they are easy to label and clean out when I want to switch what is in them.