A new meaning has been given to traveling lightly as airlines continue to impose frustrating baggage fees. As if travel isn’t difficult enough, travelers are now forced to condense their wardrobe into a tiny shell of a bag, or cough up the average $50 bag check fee for a round trip flight. The good news is that your travel wardrobe doesn’t have to suffer just because you’re forced to carry on. As a frequent traveler, I have saved $100’s alluding the bag check fees by packing smart, and maximizing the space in my carry on.
As we enter fall packing light does become a little more tricky, but I assure you that it can be done. With a few guidelines, and staple items to include no matter where you are going, you will be ready for anything from an impromptu picnic to an unexpected dinner meeting.
Rules of Traveling Light
1. It is important to begin to map out your wardrobe about a week before your trip. This will give you plenty of time to do any laundry, dry cleaning or alterations that may need to be done before you leave.
2. Take items that can easily be mixed and matched together. I like to lay out all of my items so I can see them together; then get creative mixing different tops and bottoms for different looks. Take this one step further by making sure everything can be dressed up for work or an evening out, or down for a daytime excursion.
Above is an example of all you would need for a 10-day trip that includes some business meetings, casual tourist days and a few evenings out.
3. Make a spread sheet of each day and what outfits you will wear. (Daytime look, evening look) This will help you make sure you have everything packed you need, and will make getting dressed a lot easier once you arrive.
4. Key Items to always bring:
1 black and 1 white t-shirt – these can always be worn with a pencil skirt and jewelry if you had to dress up unexpectedly; a pencil skirt – choose a neutral color that can be dressed up or down; a blazer; nude pumps – this saves you from having to bring a pair of black and a pair of brown shoes by matching everything; a dress – choose one that can be dressed up or down; dark wash denim; A tote and a neutral clutch.
5. Now – how to fit everything into a carry on bag: The first trick is to wear the bulkier clothing onto the plane. With today’s security check-points this may be a bit of a hassle, but it will save you room in your carry on. Next, be sure to utilize all of your space – pack your jewelry in your clutch and put your clutch in your tote bag; stuff toiletries, belts and under garments into your shoes. Experiment between rolling and folding your clothing — sometimes one saves more room. Last, minimize what toiletries you really need – consider purchasing one of those miniature “touch-up” flat irons for travel.
Follow these tips for your next vacation, and not only will you save money in baggage fees, but you will have a flexible wardrobe that is ready for any event!