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Spring Break Travel Hacks: Essential Packing Tips for Your Outdoor Adventures

Learn how to pack like a pro with insider tips from travel expert and flight attendant Natalie Magee.

 An epic Spring Break starts with smart packing. Natalie Magee, a part-time flight attendant and yoga instructor who considers herself a “full-time adventure seeker,” is always on the move. She knows the importance of traveling light with multifunctional gear that doesn’t take up much space. Here are her must-have pieces, including her favorite Free Country styles, and hacks to pack like a pro for your upcoming journey, whether by plane, train or automobile!

Must-have essentials:

  1. You’ll never regret bringing a rain jacket. I like this Free Country packable one because it has its own stuff sack and it fits easily in a backpack or suitcase. I also use the pouch for wet bathing suits or dirty socks and undergarments on the way home!
  1. Bring a bathing suit bottom that does double duty. I love how Free Country makes bathing suit bottoms that are skirts and shorts. That way I can use them for activities like swimming, kayaking, beach walks, paddleboarding; and also throw a shirt on and walk around town. It means there’s one less item I have to bring since I can use it for multiple occasions!
  1. I always bring a casual dress that I can style easily. I love how this Free Country dress has pockets and a cinched waist so that I have some shape! I can throw it over leggings, pair it with a jean jacket, wear it over a swimsuit or even hike in it.
  1. If I am traveling by plane I will always wear a fleece jacket—like this super-soft shacket style. It can double as a pillow or blanket, and I put my headphones in the pocket so they’re easily accessible. Even if I know I’ll be in warm weather, it is still nice to have something to wear at night. Fleece is great because it keeps you warm and is lightweight.
  1. I always bring a pair of joggers or what I call “comfy cozies.” When I’m sleeping I like to wear shorts, but they aren’t always appropriate for, say, lounging around in front of the in-laws. This new style from Free Country is perfect to throw on at the end of the day, and ensures I'll be comfortable and well-dressed in front of company.
  1. Spring Break can still be chilly, so I like to pack a Free Country beanie. Even if I don’t use it, it doesn’t take up much space. Plus, if I don’t feel like doing my hair on the way home, I’ll wear it on the plane! 

Quick tip packing tricks:

  • Lay out all your clothing and organize them into piles, then ask yourself realistically how many of the same item you really need. My motto is, when in doubt take it out.
  • If you haven’t worn it in the past month at home, you won’t wear it on vacation.
  • Pick items that are made from easy-to-clean materials, pieces that won’t wrinkle and clothes that can pack down small.
  • Packing cubes are key to staying organized. I organize mine by outfits, so when I have to change, I don’t have to dig through my whole suitcase.
  • Lastly, I always pack socks in my shoes to save space!