Is there anything more difficult than packing shoes? I say, no!
It doesn’t seem to matter how big my suitcase is, or how “light” I try to pack- shoes are ALWAYS my issue (and we only have a family of 4!)
Here are a few tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years:
- Assess Your Needs: The first thing I do when I’m packing for a trip is lay out all the shoes (for all 4 of us) that I would ideally like to bring. This is usually a HUGE pile. I check the weather to determine if I need to add or subtract any shoes (ex. if the forecast is for lots of rain, rain boots become a ‘must.’)
- Be Realistic: I almost always throw a pair of tennis shoes in my initial pile. Tennis shoes take up a lot of space, and honestly, they are usually my least worn shoe. Even with the best of intentions, I rarely make time to work out on a vacation. That’s me though. For you, it might be a pair of heels, a boot, or even some cute flats. Most likely there will be one pair of shoes in your pile that stands out as a real extra. Eliminate those!
- Coordinate Clothes: After I’ve pulled out all the clothes I want to travel with, I go through each outfit and decide which shoes I will wear. If I find that there is a pair of shoes I’m only planning on wearing with 1 outfit, I try to either settle for another pair of shoes with that outfit or I will try to replace the outfit with something that works with other shoes. In my husband’s case, I encourage him to travel with either black or brown shoes and clothes.
- Pick the First Shoe: Before I pick the outfit I plan to travel in, I consider my shoes. I make every attempt to wear the largest, bulkiest or heaviest shoe. If it’s on my foot, it doesn’t need to be in the suitcase. For my children I also consider how quickly they can get the shoes on and off. It’s worth it to have them travel in manageable shoes since they frequently take them off.
- Fill the shoe: Once I’ve narrowed down our shoes, I fill them with as much of our clothing as possible. Our kids shoes are small so I usually fill them with socks, or underwear. I usually roll undershirts or pj’s and stuff them in my husband and my shoes. Not only will this save a little space, but it will also protect the shoes.
- Don’t forget Flip Flops: It’s easy when you travel in the winter months to not think to pack flip flops, however if there is any chance you’ll be staying in a hotel with an indoor pool- you’ll DEFINITELY want to find room for them! Otherwise you’ll end up heading to the pool in a swim cover up and snow boots.
- Keep it Clean: As much as I love shoes, I still view them as pretty dirty and germy. I always pack my shoes inside a bag of some sort. There was even a tip in my post on the Coolest Travel Hacks where they suggested putting hotel shower caps over the bottom of your shoes. I love that idea and can’t wait to try it.
- Pack Strategically: Once you are 100% set on which shoes you are packing, be sure to maximize your space by packing the shoes strategically. Here is a great post with a video to demonstrate (PS. I don’t necessary agree with her 3 pair rule of thumb…depending on the length of my trip, I’m more of a 5 pair girl!) : click here to watch video.
Do you have any tips to make shoe packing easier?