Going on vacation is all about planning your adventure, dreaming about how much fun you’ll have, embracing the memories you plan to make, packing all the perfect clothes for the trip. Oh wait, the packing part isn’t all that fun? I agree! I’ve been known to wait until the very last minute to pack for a trip (actually most of the time.)
I want to look great when I get there and be prepared for whatever comes my way. So I lay out multiple outfits, usually by day, and I overpack. (Almost every trip, when I get home again, I unpack several items that I didn’t wear.) And I bring too many pairs of shoes because well, SHOES! But I don’t wear them all either, and they make my suitcase even heavier.
But what if packing didn’t need to be that way? What if you knew you could pack a handful of items with the confidence of knowing that each of these pieces would work great together, giving you lots of outfit choices without the huge suitcase?
So here are a few tips that I can give you to help you not overload your suitcase and still look great every day of your vacation.
- Pack fewer items but make sure you can mix-and-match them. Instead of packing single outfits, pack fewer items but ensure they have a coordinating color palette. For example, pack three bottoms (skirts, pants, shorts and leggings), 3 tops and 3 layers in colors that complement each other, such as blacks and grays with an accent color. You’ll then be able to use these “building blocks” to come up with many outfits and it will feel like you packed more than you actually did.
- Add interest with accessories, which are small and easy to pack and they don’t add weight to your suitcase. Pull out a couple scarves that you can wear around your neck, tie as a sarong or use as a cape or vest. And, make your jewelry count. Each piece you bring should match or accent your color palette but also help you make a statement so the outfit you wear it with really shines.
- Finally, pair down your shoes (I know, the gal who loves shoes really can’t believe she’s saying this but you won’t wear them all anyway, right?) Take into account the activities you have planned for your vacation and also consider the color palette you’ve used for your wardrobe. You can likely get by with a more comfortable flat”ish” shoe that you’ll use for active days, and a dressier shoe that can be worn for dinner or when you need to dress up.
These tips will lay the foundation for your next trip, no matter where you’re going. If you want to learn even more, I’ve put together a “mini course” (5 minutes a day for 4 days, that’s it) on how to create a travel or capsule wardrobe featuring just 10 items that can help you create more than 40 outfits. It includes examples, as well as a worksheet to get you going. If you’re interested in this course, you can sign up here.
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