I will be on the road next week. I am an inveterate over-packer, meaning my suitcases are always way heavier than they should be. I’ve been working to retrain myself to make it a little easier on everyone (taxi drivers, me, Mitch, bellmen). I always check my bag so I’m not trying to get around that, it just started to seem silly that I take so much.
1. You must plan ahead. Most of my overpacking is a result of being scattered about what I will need, so I’m just throwing stuff in, always at the last minute.
2. Three carefully chosen pairs of shoes can cover you. When we went to Europe this spring I took four pairs. I ended up being glad I did because I have problems with my feet and I can be really miserable if I can’t vary my shoes. But usually I can do it with three. I blame the weather. No, I blame my feet.
3. No one really notices you. Oh, this has taken me forever to accept! Yes, they may notice how fabulous I look, but probably only for a minute, and it isn’t like I’m likely to see them again! Really, you can repeat yourself. This means you have to like what you are taking. I took 3 dresses, 2 pairs of pants and 5 tops to NYC. I could have left one dress behind (although I love it, I only wore it once!). I often travel mostly with pants and tops because they are more versatile, but I am beginning to feel that dresses give you a lot of options too–if it is the right dress.
4. It is all about accessories. Scarves, jewelry, stockings/socks, shoes. These are the things that end up making a difference in your outfit. Europeans wear the same clothing much more frequently than we do–but they invest in accessories. I usually restrict the number of pins I take. It makes me be more creative! I love stockings/tights, and that can completely change your look. I like scarves and shawls too. They protect you from cold and air conditioning, and make your outfit feel different. And they don’t take up a lot of room (stuff those shoes).
So I’m heading out to my first destination with a very spare wardrobe and a weekend bag. My cosmetics (health & beauty aids) are my biggest problem. I think I can get everything into small containers and may even do carry-on only. The heaviest thing I carry will be my laptop.
My second trip poses some issues: It is going to be colder than I am used to so I need sweaters and warm things and they just take more room. I got these for our NYC trip and they worked really well. I got a ton of stuff into each bag but it was smaller stuff!