When it comes to traveling, if I could pack my entire closet into one suitcase and it keep it under 50lbs, I assure you, I would. My motto used to be: “Pack everything; be ready for anything.”
I was that girl at the airport who would act super shocked when her bag weighed in at 52lbs even I knew darn well how much my bag weighed: I already had to remove 17lbs to get it down to 52lbs before I had loaded it in the car. But, I had figured if I was really friendly, smiled a lot and told a joke or two, United would still take my suitcase without charging me the extra fees. And I was correct! But, did that make it right? Not only was I manipulating airport employees to do my bidding while also potentially giving the men who handled the luggage lower spinal lumbar injuries, I was also causing myself unnecessary confusion and frustration once arriving to my destination. Instead of spending my time efficiently by sight seeing or visiting with family or friends, I was spending (and by spending I mean wasting) time trying to create an outfit for my day or evening out of a heaping mess of clothing. Not cute.
A few weeks ago, as a birthday gift, my mother took me to visit my little brother in New York City. What a great Mom right?! Before I left, I vowed my clothes-hoarding, suitcase-stuffing, airport-trickster days were over and decided to properly plan before my visit to the Big Apple. I’ll admit, I don’t give myself an A+ for my first attempt. I did, however, learn just as much from my mistakes on this trip as I did from my successes. I’ll share both and hopefully save you the trouble of having to make them yourself.
4 day trip: Four layer-able tops, two camisoles, one pair skinny black jeans (roll up to make cropped jeans) , one pair of skinny blue jeans( also can roll up to make cropped jeans) , one long necklace, one short necklace, a pair of converse, one pair of boots, one leather jacket, one fun Tee, one chambray shirt, a cross body bag, and a great coat :)
Yes, of course you want to wear your mini skirt and cowgirl boots in New York City because let’s face it, Texas girl in the Big Apple? Just too adorable. I had to talk myself out of that precious picture of me in Times Square in my Tony Llamas, however. New Yorkers may be able to handle 45 degrees in shorts and light jackets, but this Houstonian absolutely can not. So as much as you want to wear that gorgeous dress or those perfect pair of high heels, if the weather or your activities (for example, if you’ll be doing a lot of walking, like I did) don’t call for it, leave it at home. You'll be glad you did.
This was an outfit I couldn't talk myself out of. Can’t just see me at The Broadway Musical ALADDIN in this outfit? Well, New York’s wind chill couldn’t. Should have left this little number at home!
Have a wardrobe strategy
Can all the pieces you’re bringing be mixed and matched and worn together? How many times
can you wear each piece you’re bringing? My normal rule for any article of clothing is to be able to wear at least four different ways. For a trip, make sure each piece has at least two uses.
This is particularly important as you might not have access to a washer and dryer on your trip and so each piece needs to be as versatile as possible. And honestly, unless my clothes smell or have a stain, I will wear them again. Seriously, why else do they need to be washed?
This is how you will keep both your frustration factor and the weight of your suitcase to a minimum. Plan your outfits ahead of time so that you are not doing it on your trip and wasting valuable time that you could be spending with loved ones or discovering a brand new city. The time you take beforehand will be well worth it.
Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize.
A common worry: “Well, won’t people realize I’m wearing the same clothes over again?”
#1 Remember that we pay 1000x more attention to those kind of things than anyone else does, so, no!
#2 Not if you change your accessories! Yes, it’s the same jacket or, yes it’s the same chambray shirt. But, changing accessories changes up the outfit’s personality. Scarves, jewelry, and handbags do a great job at this. And, accessories are small and light, making them perfect
Packing more than one heavy coat for a 4 day trip? Not so smart. Packing more than one scarf for a 4 day trip? Genius. Not going anywhere cold anytime soon? This same theory can be applied to jewelry!
Until next time,
Wear it out!