Spring break packing: less is more

I am not one to pack lightly. I once packed five different tops for a weekend trip to Chicago. But this spring break, I will be limited to only carry-on luggage, an endeavor I have never even attempted before. Fortunately, I have streamlined my getaway routine and packing list significantly through the years.

Do you really need that?

A few things I usually leave at home are my hairstyling tools. I know many of you don't believe you can live without your flat iron, but your hair could use a break for a week anyway. Beachy waves are my go-to vacation look, which I create by spritzing KMS California Hair Play Sea Salt Spray onto wet hair.

Of course, if you're lucky enough to be spending your break on the beach, all you need to do is wet your hair in the ocean to achieve this look.

You probably do not need your entire makeup bag either. Cut your collection down to these essentials: bronzer, lip balm, tinted moisturizer and waterproof mascara. Bronzer can double as blush and eye shadow, and many come in a multi-shade color palette. Physicians Formula bronzers are great options, because most of their products provide multiple hues in one container. Tinted moisturizer is another great spring break option, because it replaces moisturizer and foundation, and most contain SPF. Wet 'n' Wild Ultimate Sheer Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15 is a steal at $4 (available at Walgreens) and got rave reviews online.

This spring break all of my beauty products have to be 3 fluid ounces or less due to TSA guidelines. As daunting as this seemed at first, 3floz.com proved to be a lifesaver. This website, as the name suggests, carries only products in 3 oz containers or less, from popular brands, with the tagline, "For those who travel, those who are curious and those who can't commit." I purchased several new products from the site that I am itching to try, and I'm also bringing an old standby, Yes to Cucumbers Facial Towelettes, $6.

I've found huge space hogs in my suitcase are bras. Traditional bras are also difficult because they lose their shape in your luggage. Swap out a few underwire and padded bras for bandeau and bralette styles. These lingerie alternatives are generally inexpensive and take up minimal space. Victoria's Secret's bandeau tube top comes in a variety of colors, and you get two for $20.

Another huge space waster is shoes. Don't over-think your footwear. Unless you are attending a formal event, all you will want to wear is flip flops and possibly running shoes. Reef carries some of the most stylish and comfortable sandals I have ever worn, perfect for sightseeing all day or just hanging out by the pool. Reef sandals can be purchased from the MU bookstore. Packing a pair of closed-toe shoes is also generally a good idea. Keds canvas shoes, $35, are a great choice for vacation.

As far as clothing goes, choose items that won't wrinkle. Monochromatic, cotton T-shirts like Madewell's tomboy tee, $29.50, are a great travel staple, because they can be dressed down with jeans and shorts, or up with a floral mini skirt. Knit dresses are also easy. You can wear them as a cover-up, during the day or dress them up for night. The Ruffled Stripes Tank dress from Forever 21 is a versatile buy at $9.80.

By now, we all know that spring weather can be unpredictable (especially in Missouri), so make sure to bring a light jacket and scarf. I am already getting a lot of wear out of my classic wash denim jacket from Gap, $69.50, and I have been coveting Fred Flare's lightweight cherry ombre infinity scarf, $14, to pair with it.

When it comes to packing in general, just remember less is more. Keep in mind the weather and activities and plan accordingly.

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