How to · Travel

How I learned to travel light

So I am back from my glorious, two week long vacation. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I have zero patience. When I began planning my vacation, I was convinced that having large luggage, checking in the said luggage, waiting interminably next to the baggage carousel and then dragging this luggage everywhere was a surefire way to completely ruin my experience. D was completely on board with the idea of taking only two carry on bags (one for each of us) for 18 days.

This was a daunting challenge. After all, my white lace dress (perfect for South of France) was pouffy enough to fill my carry on all by itself. Anyone who knows me will also tell you that I love challenges. The internet is full of advice about how to pack better and travel lighter. I am not a minimalist in my everyday life at all, but I liked the idea of a minimalist capsule wardrobe for a vacation. I embraced this idea and couldn’t wait to see how it will work out.

I wanted to wait till I came back from this trip to share what worked for me. So here’s a list of tried and tested tips on how to be a light (but stylish) traveler –

Choose a color palette

I cannot stress the importance of this enough. Usually when I pack, I decide outfits with different shoes, bags and accessories. With a specific color palette, everything matches everything, providing many combinations of the pieces you’ve packed. My color palette consisted of white, blue, black, brown and blush. This strategy worked out for the most part. My advice – after choosing your color palette, add one item that’s a completely different tone. In Paris, I wished I had brought a red dress and I would’ve gone shopping if I had any space in my carry on!

Pack layers

Everyone researches their destination including weather predictions. Before I left, Paris was supposed to be a blazing 85F and sunny. However, the first few days were more like 60F and rainy. It’s always a good idea to pack layers (and a small travel umbrella).

Wear your heaviest clothes on the plane

I always wear my heaviest jacket and shoes when I am traveling, leaving space in your carry on for other things. I also carry a scarf because I am always cold on the plane.

Limit your shoes

Three pairs of shoes always work for me – one ballet flats to walk in, one pair of sandals to wear with dresses and one pair of strappy heels for a night out.

Limit your bags

You probably don’t need four bags but I stuffed the smaller purses into my bucket bag so it doesn’t count?! I carry my biggest bag – a tote with me on the plane. Its stuffed with my tablet, an emergency toiletry kit, wallet, and documents.

As you will see in my upcoming travel posts, this was almost exactly my travel wardrobe. Do you have any tips that have worked out for you? Share in the comments below….

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