I have had numerous requests from friends and customers, asking to teach them how to pack for a one or two-week trip. The goal – everything should fit into one carry-on bag. For the purposes of this story, I am going to focus on women’s wardrobe, and nothing else. If you follow the ideas and guidelines I’m suggesting, you’ll have everything you need, plus great wardrobe. Wardrobe you will actually wear. Trust me. I’ve been doing this for years.
One of the biggest benefits, you won’t have to worry about lost luggage ever again. You’ll save money, as you won’t be paying for checked luggage. And most important in my opinion, you won’t be exhausted by dragging a heavy bag, or worse to many bags, from place to place. If you are traveling in Europe, riding the trains and buses are more convenient and less expensive. If your bag is too heavy, or you have more than a carry-on and a personal bag, it’s just not practical.
With the help of my friend, Rhonda Sargent Chambers, a professional model and spokesperson, I created this photo shoot, to illustrate exactly how to mix, match, and layer your clothes, so you always look great, but travel light. I asked Rhonda to keep the wardrobe choices classic and a little on the conservative side. I wanted to show pieces that could travel anywhere.
I arrived at Rhonda’s with my makeup kit, a bottle of prosecco and my camera. Rhonda supplied the wardrobe. I loved her choices and the color palette.
Choose a core neutral color like white, brown, grey or navy for summer. You can add one an accent color but it must coordinate with everything else. Scarves are a great way to add color and pattern. Pack one summer dress, and one top that can dress up a pair of pants for evening.
Hats are a must for summer travel. There are lots of great hats in modern fabrics that you can literally fold up, or stuff it into a hand bag.
When packing shoes, I never pack more than two pairs of shoes. One comfortable and supportive pair for heavy walking and travel days, and one pair of sandals that can dress up an outfit for dinner, or a day at the museum. Resist the urge to pack your favorite high heels. It’s summer, think casual, comfortable, fresh.
First thing I like to do is lay everything out then edit.
This layered look is perfect for travel days. You can take off layers as needed. Rhonda’s wearing a tank, white button down, sweater, jacket and pant. You can get at least three more outfits out of just those pieces.
The tank with the jacket, pants and hat make a great walking outfit. Practical shoes are a must! Only pack shoes that you know for a fact you can walk a minimum of five hours in.
What’s summer without a great dress to wear out to dinner or a day at the museum? If you like to visit churches, a jacket over a tank or sleeveless dress, is more appropriate.
Here’s where you can change shoes. I repeat, only two pair, for two weeks. This has been my practice for six years.
Check back next week for more ideas on how to wear these same pieces. Yep. No more clothes required. Just a little rearranging. Look stylish and carry on one bag.
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This is a great post. I never pack a checked bag – only travel with a carryon and a personal bag. But normally, I’m travelling domestically to stay with family or friends – so I don’t ‘edit’ very well and end up carrying big bulky bags onto the plane. My upcoming trip to the Caribbean will be my first overseas trip by myself, and I really want to get my luggage down to a lightly-packed carryon. It is driving me nuts trying to figure out what to take! Thanks for the suggestions!
Really glad to help. It will be warm there so maybe leave off one of the pairs of slacks, and add shorts. And maybe another dress instead of the extra jacket. Have fun!
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I got some new ideas from this post – thanks again!
Hey Meg, Exciting that you are going to France! Woo hoo! Very happy you found a new tip or two. That’s what it’s all about. 😉
Want to share what it was?
Limiting the number of shoes to bring and including a hat 🙂
I know a lot of women pack too many shoes! If you’re a luxury traveler it might make sense? Most people just pack shoes that they never wear!