I feel like packing for a vacation is like playing a constant game of give and take. You have to decide whether or not to carry a ton of stuff, and you also have to balance having enough pieces with you to get all of the photos you want with the constrictions of your luggage. Knowing how to look Instagram-ready on vacation can be a serious struggle when you're trying to downsize your suitcase. Luckily, I've been on enough trips to have gathered up some intel to share with you.
I'm a huge advocate for packing in layers, switching up camera angles, bringing a ton of one-piece and multipurpose items, and much more so you can maximize the photographic-ness of your clothes. You don't have to bring a giant suitcase with you to have enough things for your photos, and you also don't have to worry that you didn't bring enough things because you just decided to travel with just a carry-on.
If you're heading on a vacation sometime soon and want to ensure that you get incredible travel photos for your Instagram feed — but don't want to worry about carrying a giant suitcase — try following some of these tips. They've gotten me through some of the most memorable trips of my life, and have gifted me with beautiful pics in the process.
1. Pack In Layers
My number one tip for making sure you look Instagram-ready without having to bring a ton of garments is to pack in layers. Tank tops, crop tops, button-up shirts, and light jackets or cardigans are all pieces you can use to switch up your outfits a bit.
For example, once I've already worn a button-up as a shirt, I'll then style it open as a top layer over a small crop top to change how it looks. Layering is the best way to get the most use out of the pieces you bring with you.
2. Opt For One-Piece Outfits
When it comes to saving space in my luggage, I always look for pieces that can be easily compressed. One-piece outfits like jumpsuits, rompers, and dresses are easy to pack because they are a complete outfits on their own, and they don't take up much room in your suitcase.
You can bring more pieces than you actually need, because they take up less space than jeans or other pants. It's easy to make a jumpsuit pants if you put a shirt over it, you can switch up a dress by putting a T-shirt underneath, or you can wear the piece on its own.
3. Only Bring One Of Every Type Of Shoe You Need
Keep in mind that you don't need as many things as you think you do. You absolutely do not need more than one pair of sneakers or heels. Try your best to only bring one pair of every type of shoe you need, unless they're easily flattened (like sandals).
4. Accessorizing Is Key To Upping Your Outfit Game
I've found that it's easy to make any outfit look like you haven't worn it before when you pair it with different accessories. Things like fanny packs and sunglasses are easy to switch out, and they flatten easily enough so you can pack multiple. You can even bring a hat or two that can be stacked in your suitcase to spice up your outfits.
5. Pack Items That Are Multipurpose
Bring as many things with you that are multipurpose. I like bringing longline bralettes that can be worn as crop tops, jumpsuits that can be worn as pants, and jackets or sweaters that I can wrap around my waist to give my outfit a little more oomph.
6. Play Around With Your Camera Angles
If you're going on a long enough trip where you have to repeat various pieces in your suitcase, when you take your pictures, play around with your angles. You can take ones that are closer up versus ones that are full-body, or even take ones from really far away (which is especially great when you're taking pics in front of iconic landmarks).
Camera angles can make a huge difference when you're trying to conceal the fact that you're wearing an outfit more than once. Pro tip: You can also play with the height of your camera, whether you take pics from a down angle or above to change how your outfit looks.
7. Have Faith In Your Luggage
With all of the packing tips in the world, it's still possible to overpack your suitcase. But if you have the right suitcase, it's totally possible to make a huge number of pieces fit. I'm currently obsessed with the BÉIS Carry-On, because it has compression straps to flatten your clothes, and even has an expansion zipper if you really do pack too much.