Packing Hacks: Leave the Phone Baggage at Home


Those of us who travel, regardless of where or why have probably seen endless articles of how to pack our essentials into a bag in the most organized way. When I thought about tackling this topic for my readers, I found myself instead of looking for packing hacks that go beyond practicality and efficiency. I wanted to offer packing advice that enhances the experience and serves your soul as you travel.  

Suddenly I remembered how on a recent trip, I was on a text thread that had my phone blowing up with a flurry of messages. I deeply wanted to enjoy the magic of being on vacation, however, instead, I found myself engaging with my phone and offering friends back at home a play by play of what was happening. 

My goal this year is to shift my relationship with my iPhone - my phone is an incredible tool that lets me run my business and my life, however, I own my phone, my phone does not own me!  I get to choose when I utilize my phone. Not every notification deserves my immediate attention, especially when I am on vacation. I want to be ALL in with those that are right in front of me. I have this theory that if we were truly present when we were with other people, and we soaked up the moment for all that it was worth, we wouldn’t feel the need to be constantly tethered to each other via our phones. If we used our time with other people wisely, we would walk away well-nourished and satisfied, and then we could move onto the next moment, and be at peace being apart from our family and friends during the times we were not physically together. 

Too often our phones are a distraction for not dealing with the bigger issues in our lives. Our phones allow us to escape and ignore the present moment, especially if we find the present moment to be dull, boring or painful. 

I am not a first responder or doctor, so whatever is on the other side of the ding of my phone, can wait until I have the time to give it my full attention. 

So many people apologize to me for being slow to respond to messages I send them, and I quote my very dear friend Katie, who proclaimed “Do not apologize! When I text you, I am entering your realm, and your world, and I have NO idea what you are up to or what you are in the middle of. It is not your job to drop everything to respond to me immediately!” 

We live in a world where everyone assumes they are entitled to your time and attention simply because they sent a message to your phone. We also live in a world where we allow others access into our lives via the highlight reels we place up on social media. The sharing can be incredibly beautiful and inspiring, and it keeps everyone in the loop. However, I am going to challenge you to think about why we feel so inclined to stream our lives as if they were a 24-hour television show? Do you feel that if you went on a fantastic trip and you didn’t share it with your followers, it didn’t happen? Is validation for your trip via likes and comments more important than actually experiencing the trip?

And because I am super passionate about this, I am going to REALLY challenge to you to be present with those that are RIGHT in front of you instead of attending to your phone while on your vacation. 

From a technical standpoint, we have never been more connected to those in our world, and yet on a soul level, we have never been more lonely, disenchanted or anxious. 

We are living life through the lens of our phone and we are constantly wanting to be in a place, and in a moment, other than the one we are currently in. We joke about “Doing it for the Gram and yet in all the over-sharing and in all the being glued to our phones, we are missing out on the spellbinding beauty of what is profoundly happening right in front of us. We are missing out on the actual moment and what life is trying to teach us by being present. We are failing to honestly SEE those that are LITERALLY right in front of us. 

So on your next trip can you experience the moment just for you, simply because you deserve to experience every bit of magic life has to offer? Can you let go of needing to answer every text and truly give yourself a vacation? Can you be okay not showing off your fabulous vacation and simply revel in the divine bliss of getting to experience it yourself? 

Soul Carrier’s latest collection of handbags was named after the concept Essentialism - “Essentialism is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter.” 

If you are on vacation, BE on vacation. And have the discipline to make your vacation and those you are with on that trip your priority, versus attending to your phone and answering every inbound communication. Give yourself the grace to have time off, and breathe into the fact, that unless it is a true emergency, whatever is on the other side of all your notifications can wait. 

Pack a little lighter this next trip and give your soul the vacation it deserves. And if you need a handbag to bring that is a symbolic reminder of all these concepts check our latest collection. We have some beautiful pieces for both the fashionista and vacation adventurers. 

If you’re struck by a sense of wanderlust, you might go away for a backpacking trip across Europe, travel to a luxury resort, or simply embark on a peaceful getaway in the countryside. Are you considering one of these trips?

Whether it is a three-day cruise or a month-long journey, it is crucial to know what to pack. Packing right can save you major headaches and help you truly enjoy a vacation of indulgence and relaxation. Rather than overstuffing your suitcase for every possible travel situation, following a few packing hacks can help you enjoy your trip even more. 

At Soul Carrier, our carry-all bags and other handcrafted bags are essentials for luxury travelers. From what to pack and how to pack, these seven tips will help you travel like a pro.

Stylish woman drinking coffee and writing on a notepad

1. Do not forget the checklist:

Just like any other task, it’s important to have a checklist. While you may be anxious to get going, remember that taking the time to plan at the beginning will minimize problems later and ensure that you don’t forget the necessities.

Now, the right way to go about this is to prepare a travel checklist. We understand that making a list might take up some time, but this extra step will help you be methodical rather than searching in your room aimlessly. A travel checklist should include destinations, clothes, essentials, toiletries and important documents.

At the very least, you should include:

  • Passport / Identification
  • Wallet
  • Undergarments
  • At least one outfit for special occasions
  • At least one outfit for nightlife
  • At least one casual outfit
  • Pajamas

Remember to pack clothing that is versatile. A white button-down shirt can be paired with denim for a casual daytime look, and a nice necklace and black pants for a slightly sleeker nighttime look. If you’re traveling a long distance and plan to stay abroad for a while, it might be better to wait to buy toiletries when you arrive. You’ll save space and prevent leaks and spills.

woman preparing for a trip by packing clothes inside a carry on

2. Compartmentalize:

It is essential to maximize every inch of free space in your luggage. Overstuffing can cause you to end up wasting a lot of bag space. The best way to make use of free space is to organize your bag into sections.

You can neatly place your shirts together in one section and separate your undergarments in another.

 The advantages of compartmentalizing your bag include:

  • Helping you use the space efficiently.
  • Allowing you to pack in more things.
  • Keeping your bag more organized.

These advantages make sectioning your bag an essential when it comes to travel preparation. It’s also a good idea to save some space just in case you decide to bring home any souvenirs.

woman rolling shirts up

3. Roll them up:

An alternative method of packing entails rolling up your clothes. When you roll your clothes up, you save a lot of space by filling the gaps that folding would typically leave behind. Using this method frees up space for other items like hand towels and undergarments.

Another advantage of rolling your apparel is minimizing wrinkles. At your destination, you can unroll your clothing and start using it instead of trying to find an iron. As a result, it can save you a lot in cost and time.

Courageous Carry All

4. Use a carry-on bag:

If you want to travel like a pro, it is best to use a durable bag that meets the carry on guidelines of the airlines. A proper carry-on not only ensures that you can take the bag with you into the cabin but it allows you to roam around freely without compromising comfort. 

No, we aren’t asking you to compromise on space. A high-quality carry-on bag utilizes space efficiently. A good bag will consist of multiple compartments, with different sections for various possessions. It will also be made of durable material that withstands the wear and tear of travel. 

Ultimately, a carry-on bag instead of a checked bag allows you to be stress-free, move faster through boarding lines, and save on luggage fees.

Pro tip: For an extra touch of personality, set yourself apart with a stylish, leather bag from Soul Carrier. The Courageous Carry-All from our Essentialist Collection features soft cowhide and strong leather handles and black accents. With gray velvet liner and dimensions of 12" W x 8"H x 7.5"D, this bag is both luxurious and capacious.

black leather soul carrier connection clutch

Connection Clutch

5. Use versatile pouches

Small pouches like The Connection Clutch from our Essentialist Collection help you stay organized. Some people use travel organizers, but these end up taking up a lot of space in your bag. Elegant pouches to organize your travel bag can also be used as a clutch in the daytime or at night as you explore the town or city. These cowhide or leather clutches do double duty by acting as a travel organizer and a handbag.

6. Go with Minis:

There are personal hygiene items that you might want to carry with you on your trip. Instead of going for bulky containers, it is a good idea to go with travel packs, which are also known as minis. It will help you fit all of them into a small amount of space. They will remain in perfect condition during your travels.

This includes:

  •   Lotions
  •   Gels
  •   Lip balms
  •   Oils
  •   Shampoos and Conditioners

Going with minis can save you from hassle and also ensure that you have access to all your hygiene items if you need them while in transit.

black and gray film camera near printed photos

7. Take care of the breakables:

Most packing lists include fragile items like souvenirs, perfumes, cameras, and so on. These delicate items can cost a lot to replace, plus some of them might have an emotional value.

You have to go the extra mile to protect these valuables. Consider separating valuables by placing them in cushioned pouches. Rings and precious jewelry can be placed in our Contribution Coin Purse, lined with protective grey velvet liner. Larger valuables can be placed in the Connection Clutch, and still larger valuables can be wrapped in fabric and placed in your bag.

Final Note

It is time to focus on creating memories rather than wondering about the condition of your belongings or if you have forgotten something important. Packing well gives you the peace of mind to replenish your soul with a peaceful vacation. As you’ve learned, efficient packing is easy to do with the right tools.

Our bags are ready for your journey and guaranteed to stand the test of time. Providing both function and style, our high-fashion bags will get you excited about packing.

Shop our Essentialist Collection to see our range of small-batch leather goods.

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