Packing for travel is a critical element to a successful trip. Whether you’re traveling to the coast to escape the summer heat, planning a long anticipated trip to Europe, or hitting the road to visit family and friends, packing effectively is key. Because I’m a stylist and personal shopper, I’m very particular about packing, and I want to share some strategies I’ve learned. Basically, I want to have the right wardrobe pieces for every occasion and activity so that I can be comfortable and stylish with the lightest luggage possible.
Packing is most difficult for trips with varied destinations, activities and climate. You can never be sure about the weather because monthly temperatures or extended forecasts may not match daily forecasts. But even taking these challenges into account, I suggest that you: start by picking a central color palette appropriate for the season; select pieces that are interchangeable; include a few scarves of different weight and fabric for pulling together solid colors and keeping warm; transform a look with waisted or hip belts; bring jewelry and accessories that work for numerous looks; and strive to limit yourself to no more than three pairs of shoes.
Then, with these mix and match pieces in mind, think about the following before you start packing your luggage:
- Does each piece of clothing work in different settings you’ve got planned? If your trip includes city walking, hiking national parks, dining out, visiting museums or lounging at your hotel, make sure you can cross-purpose clothing for these activities.
- Are the pieces versatile enough so that you can dress them up or down by changing accessories?
- Is your clothing durable enough to withstand heavy wearing and washing methods that could be harsh on pieces?
- Will items dry within 24 hours placed indoors, if your itinerary has you changing hotels frequently?
- Will bulky items take up too much space in your luggage?
So, I encourage you to take a little extra time to think through these packing considerations so that you’ll have what you need when you arrive, and you won’t be carrying around extra pieces that you never needed. I also have tricks and tips for physically packing your luggage . . .perhaps a future blog.