The start of the new year is always exciting, not only because it’s a fresh start, but because we have a brand new season of The Bachelor to look forward to. Our favorite guilty pleasure premieres tonight with all-American hunk—farmer Chris Soules—and 30 new ladies hoping to win his heart.
Besides questions like, “Is she here for the right reasons?” and “Will he find love?,” we always find ourselves wondering how the women manage to pack enough clothes, shoes, and accessories for a potential nine-week stay. Not only that, but it's no secret these ladies will be venturing to some amazing far-away places. One week they could be soaking up the sun in Fiji, and the next they could be snowshoeing in the Swiss Alps. How does a girl prepare for such different climates?
InStyle met with four of the new bachelorettes after they arrived in Los Angeles to get some behind-the-scenes info on how they handled this daunting task. It may seem impossible to prepare for this journey, but these ladies did it, and we gathered all the packing tips and tricks you could ever need. Read on to find out the best way to pack for your next vacation or business trip, and tune in tonight at 8 p.m. ET on ABC for the first round of roses!
Mackenzie, Dental Assistant
Suitcase count: I brought two and then one duffel bag, and I think I completely underpacked and just realized it!
Suitcase contents: I brought a lot of cocktail dresses, some formal dresses, long fitted skirts, short fitted skirts, and then four pairs of jeans—two regular-colored jeans and two colored jeans. And then overalls. And so many shoes. So many shoes!
Packing strategy: I just packed a variety. I made outfits. I’d get one pair of jeans and then get a bunch of tops that look good with those jeans. And then I packed certain colors that I know complement my skin tone and look good with my brown hair.
Hardest part about packing: The weather—I don’t really know what to expect. So I didn’t really have everything that I needed.
Megan, Makeup Artist
Suitcase count: I brought a total of four: one for my shoes, one for my clothes, and one for my toiletries, and then my other one is a little garment bag. I checked three of them, and they were all overweight. So that was $300!
Packing strategy: At first I was joking when I said one suitcase would be for shoes and one would be for clothes, but that’s how it worked out.
Hardest part about packing: I don’t like wearing the same shoes every day, so of course I had to bring all of them! I want to say I brought 20 pairs. I’ve got my rain boots, and my snow boots, and heels.
Packing tips: Plan in advance. Don’t do it last minute the night before! I was actually doing it at four in the morning. My life has been going a hundred miles per hour, so I’ve been too busy to plan ahead. Definitely write it all down—what you want, and what you want to look like.
Suitcase count: Two bags, a carry on, and a garment bag.
Packing strategy: I brought my mom out here because she’s way better at packing things. And honestly, we couldn’t bring that much, so we had to pick a lot of things that were super versatile.
Hardest part about packing: Planning for something that you don’t have a picture of. I was like, “Do I bring snowboots?” Then I have no room for anything else. What if we don’t go somewhere cold? Then I have no bathing suits for when we’re in Fiji or whatever. Yeah, not having a real picture for what’s going to happen made it really tough.
Packing tips: Put your bras inside one another! And I put cosmetics and stuff in all of my shoes. There’s no space that’s wasted at all. And then after packing, I would open it up and I mean, Q-tips, perfume—that kind of stuff—I would just stick in everywhere. And then I put little sticky notes on the top because it’s packed in there so tight, I wanted to remember [what’s in there].
Samantha, Fashion Designer
Suitcase count: I packed three big ones!
Suitcase contents: Jeans, shorts, tank tops. A lot of short, cute casual dresses. And then for the rose ceremonies: dresses. And a lot of shoes—that’s my favorite! You can never have enough. I have one whole bag of shoes. It’s crazy!
Hardest part about packing: I packed with all [Ziploc] bags because I know that things will shift around. I tried to make a list—I know that’s really crazy, but I’m really organized—so I can see what formal outfits I have and what casual outfits.
Packing tips: It’s better to have too much than not enough. I think normally when I pack for vacations, I just throw everything in a bag and then worry about it when I get there. And then I’m stuck with whatever I have and make it work. For this, I actually made a list of what outfits go with what shoes so I don’t have to think about it. So really, just to be organized and have a list. It might be a little over-organized, but it’s easier.