08 May 2014

Spring traveling, European suitcase packing

If all has gone according to plan, I’m now in Switzerland! Guten tag, ja!

But before we get to Switzerland, let’s go back to one of my most and least favorite parts of a trip: packing. Least favorite because it takes so much dang time to do it right. Most favorite because that time is spent solving a puzzle, and when I’ve figured it out, it’s a cause for celebration.

What’s the puzzle? How to fit a week’s worth of my life into a carry-on suitcase and a backpack – and carry no more and no less than what I need. That’s especially important for this trip, which involves taking trains several times (no way I’ll haul around more than two medium bags!). It’s a challenge, but one I enjoy taking on, as I’ve told you before! Here’s where I told you how I fit all my clothes in my little suitcase (pro tip: BUNDLE), and here are my tips for building a mix-and-match, layering-friendly traveling wardrobe for the winter months. (pro tip: MORE BUNDLING).

Since I’ve already spilled most of my packing tips, I thought I’d just provide a little round-up of what made it into my suitcase this time around. As usual, I went the visual route and laid everything out on the bed (although a few items didn’t make it into this shot).

Here’s what I decided to take on my chilly, mountainous European adventure, including both what I packed in my suitcase and wore on my body:

  • 2 medium-weight shirts in neutral patterns
  • 1 sweater dress
  • 2 pairs of colored jeans, in maroon and black
  • 1 pair of stretchy leggings (for the transatlantic flights!)
  • 2 tank tops, in black and maroon
  • 2 cardigans, in gray and black
  • 2 scarves: one lightweight, one heavier
  • 2 dresses, for the wedding and related events!
  • 4 pairs of shoes: black boots, brown booties, black ballet flats (essential for the walk to the wedding, then stuffing in my purse), and black heels
  • 1 medium-weight raincoat

Depending on whether you’re a light or heavy packer, that list seems either terrifyingly short or way overkill. For me it’s just right, though! I planned all the outfits I can wear with those items (one per day, except for days with wedding events):

(If you’re wondering how I made those images, look no further than the Stylebook app. I’ll do a full review of it eventually!)

Building these outfits meant that I could ensure each item, except for the shirts, are worn at least twice. As for the shirts, I believe having a few semi-clean items means that if an emergency arises, I’m not stuck with only a suitcase full of yucky, dirty clothes.

But! If I were willing to do laundry (I’m lazy and I’m not, for this trip), I’d be able to build probably twice as many outfits. This is why it doesn’t matter how long my trip is – I always end up taking the same amount of clothes, and either washing them or just getting used to wearing clothes that are sub-100% fresh.

And as you can tell, I followed my old rules: sticking to a simple color palette (this time it’s lots of dark neutrals with pops of red), picking patterns that mix well with others, and making lots of opportunities for layers. Hopefully, I’ll be able to happily report that everything in my suitcase was worn just enough but not too much.

Now, if only I could get the rest of my travel items as coordinated... oh well, happy packing!


Deborah Massey said...

Thank you for sharing your tips with us. You have packed some great outfits. Greetings