Roman Holiday

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Those of you who’ve followed me online over the last few years know that my travel schedule is pretty hectic. Naturally, I’ve become a bit of a whiz when it comes to packing – which becomes especially handy when trips spill into each other and I don’t have time to repack. (I once had to go straight from Bermuda to Alaska and was only allowed one soft-sided duffel bag. Skills y’all. And a lot of griping.)

Next week, I am teaming up with one of my absolute favorite spirits brands – Campari and embarking on a special trip to Rome for an exclusive red carpet launch! The project will feature some exciting components (and even a few celebrity guests!) but since I’ve been sworn to secrecy until early next week I wanted to satisfy your wanderlust with some of my favorite packing tips, tricks, and cheats that you can use on your next vacation.

And don’t forget… be sure to follow Campari (@CampariUSA) and I (@justinliv) on social media as we roll out the excitement on January 23rd and 24th.  It’s going to be one killer ride!



  • Set The Mood – Packing is my second least favorite chore in the world (behind unpacking, of course). I know many of you can sympathize, so it’s important to get in the right headspace to make packing a little more exciting. Put on your favorite playlist, turn on the latest episode of your current Netflix binge, or whip up a delicious cocktail to get in the mood. My trick? I’m a Negroni fan so I love crafting this classic Campari cocktail that easily eases me into packing mode. I’m calm, cool, and relaxed… until I get to the airport at least. (Psst… my favorite recipe for the Negroni is below, if you’d like to join the club. Cheers!)
  • Gather, Then Purge – Start by gathering all of the clothes you think you’ll want to wear… and then put back half. No matter who you are, over-packing is a reality. Keep options in the same color family. The general rule is to pack 2-3 bottoms (pants, jeans, or dresses/skirts for the ladies) and 5 tops – this will work to have enough looks for a trip of up to 7 days.
  • Top Coat – If you’re headed somewhere requiring outerwear, opt for one jacket in a dark neutral color, like black or navy. It will pair well with any outfit and save extra space in your suitcase for lighter layers.
  • Contain It – Clear travel containers (like you can find at just about any drugstore or big box retailer) are your new best friend. It took me awhile to get into the idea of putting my loose essentials (like advil, jewelry, tech cables, etc.) into containers but it has changed my world. They’re no longer tangled up or hiding in the recessed corners of my bag – plus with see-through containers you’ll always know what’s inside!
  • Charge Up – Another big (but hopefully obvious) tip is to charge all of your devices the night before: iPhone, laptop, Kindle, iPad, camera, electric toothbrush, and the like. If any of your devices come with an additional battery, charge that too! Nothing is more frustrating than getting to the airport, breezing through security, boarding the flight, and realizing your iPad is on 1% and you’ve got an 8-hour flight ahead of you!

Well there you have it, folks. Five tips to take the stress out of packing and get you excited for your next trip! What are your packing tricks? Share them in the comments below – I’d love to hear!



If you’re not familiar, the Negroni is a classic cocktail that dates back to the early 20th century. The secret ingredient lies with a classic Italian liqueur, Campari, that gives the cocktail its distinctive bitter flavor. It’s smooth to the senses but packs a punch in flavor, which I love.

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It’s an incredibly easy cocktail to make so even the least adept mixologist can succeed, no problem!


Simple and delicious!


Scout Sixteen is a lifestyle blog from Justin Livingston. Justin grew up in Mississippi but relocated to New York City in 2008. On Scout Sixteen, Justin shares his passion in fashion, travel, food and drink, and mental wellness.