Four months. One checked suitcase. One carry-on. Three Seasons. Lots of vocal naysayers.
One determined traveler.
I don't need to be told I can do something, but it definitely irks me when I'm told I can't. When working on my Master's, I set a ridiculous deadline for myself (in hindsight) but, wouldn't you know, I did it! I was the first to finish in my cohort and, it turned out, one of the fastest to ever complete the program. With NO revisions to my thesis after defense! My supervisor later told me she hadn't thought it would be possible, but hadn't wanted to deflate me by telling me. But she never felt the need to be my cheerleader, either. She just pushed me along, never wasting time sugar coating things. She understood me.
Everyone keeps telling me to splurge on the $100 (each way) second checked suitcase fee, because I won't be able to fit what I need into one. But a second suitcase, aside from being highway robbery, also means major hassle getting to and from the airport in teeny little European cars. Plus, I already stress about losing my suitcase, misreading the allowed dimensions, having something stolen from it by security staff (it happened!). I don't need to double that stress! So I am determined to keep it to one checked suitcase.
I've been searching for some packing tips to help me pack the most suitable wardrobe to carry me from the lingering summer weather to winter.
I found great wardrobe advice (neutral, versatile and layered) from Travelista:
Then I spotted a slightly funkier version, with a splash of colour thrown in, by a Pair and a Spare (I shall be skipping the stilettos & hot pink bikini though!):
Although it was a summer vacation, Julie from Peanut Butter Fingers shared some photos from a trip to demonstrate how light layering changed the look of basic pieces to create more outfits. I think it'd be easier if I only needed to pack summery pieces, but I still love her tips and the neutral palette of her wardrobe.
The Best Packing Advice:
The advice is pretty consistent: neutrals + light layers + tiny splash of colour + accessories to change the look seems to be the most common theme. Although, I'd caution that too many accessories can add weight to an already stuffed bag. A few scarves, in different weights, will add some colour to my limited wardrobe but will be more practical in changing seasons than heavy necklaces.
I make my own packing lists when I travel, but I found a nifty print + check template that has been helpful for reminding me to add things to my own list of non-clothing items.
Once I figure out what exactly to pack, the question remains: how to pack? I'm a folder - a maximize-space-by-layering-folder. But there is an intense rolling vs. folding debate on travel websites. One flight attendant advocates rolling and showed photos of the dramatic difference between rolling and folding for getting everything to fit. Are you a roller or folder? So many say rolling works. She did get all this into that little carry on . . .
Some friends have recommended packing cubes (I'd pick teal, naturally!). I can see them being especially satisfying for packing an orderly suitcase, but I'm not sure if they save space. But these traveling envelopes are great. I use freebie make up cases from Lancome and Clinique to stash power cables, makeup, jewellery - I like keeping all of the little bits contained and organized, especially because the last time my suitcase was searched, they made a mess of everything and I lost some smaller items in the shuffle. I'm going to invest in a super lightweight suitcase - as big as I can get - so I'm not wasting weight.
A luggage strap is a must (ORB makes pretty, eye-catching ones that will help me easily spot my bag) and so is a small luggage scale, to make sure my bag isn't too heavy on the return trip. I need these like a hole in the head, but I am very tempted by this mint passport cover and matching luggage tags. So cute.
Wish me luck! And please share your own packing tips.