Ideally, everything about a vacation should refresh and recharge your mind and body. But for those of us concerned with traveling in style and how to pack light, the 20kg limit is a horror. How exactly do we fit a week of clothing in a small carry-on suitcase without having to repeat the same outfit again?
Think about your last vacation and all the stuff you brought along that was left unworn. It happens every time we travel, you over pack and risk paying a hefty fee because your bag exceeds the carrier’s size requirements or you debark the plane excited to jump-start your vacation only to wait for your luggage to show up on the conveyor belt. Believe it or not, your vacation could have started twenty minutes ago.
From experience, if it doesn’t fit into a small carry-on and backpack, it is terrifying to check luggage. Having your bags lost is something you’re never prepared for. Packing requires careful thinking in order to organize your stuff into one compact carry-on. Consider packing basic wardrobe essentials, travel size products, accessories and shoes that can be worn with every piece in your travel luggage. Leave your fancy jewelry at home so you’re not an easy target.
Let’s break drown how to pack light and still rock your style.
THE RIGHT LUGGAGE
No wants to shoulder a bulky bag through the terminal walkways. Even the savviest travelers are focusing on wheeled luggage that fits comfortably in an overhead compartment. For your next vacation consider a piece that allows you to get everything possible into one bag. Use your personal item (purse or backpack) for the Dopp kit that didn’t make your carry-on.
You want as large a bag as you can get without risking airline limits. Not all airlines will have the same “carry-on acceptable” policy. A 22” wheeled roller bag will meet all major airlines carry-on maximum limits. Find something that fits your comfort level and most of all, your personality.
THE WEATHER DETERMINES WARDROBE
Be aware of the weather in the place you are traveling to. This almost automatically pares down the clothes you bring to what is most practical. Lose the coats if you are traveling to New York in the summer, but of course, bring a light jacket or blazer for covering up—it is not going to be hot and sunny all the time. In the same vein, be familiar with the city or country’s culture —it would be incredibly awkward for you to wear denim cut-offs in Egypt. Keep in mind that you’ll need to consider outfits for the day and night.
MIXED AND MATCH. LAYER. BE CREATIVE
Versatility is key in every wardrobe, and this includes the contents of your suitcase. Bring essential items that can be mixed and matched. This means a workable color palette for most of your clothes, prints that are layer-able, tops that go with at least three of the bottoms you’ll bring.
Be creative—dresses or jumpsuits can also double as bottoms with a top thrown over them. You get the drill. The fabrics and materials you choose will also spare you from extra weight—choose thin breezy cotton and light cashmere sweaters, for example. The same goes for statement pieces: lightweight is best. Think outside the heavy chains and wide cuffs. Classy accessories, like a red lippie, scarves, and hats, will turn heads and not take up a lot of space or weight in your luggage.
Some trends give you extra style points in your travel wardrobe if they come in coordinating separates. You can switch the bottom or the top with another item in your suitcase.
Finally, remember that you have to be comfortable. Since traveling necessitates you to be out and about most of the time, choose clothes and shoes that aren’t just stylish, but also comfortable.
Trainers that you can walk in for lengths of time and wear with everything are a definite win-win for your travel wardrobe.
The best part about making the effort to choose versatile, lightweight, minimal pieces to fold in your suitcase is not meeting the 20kg limit or less of it—it’s having enough room to bring back home goodies you bought while touring.
Nikki Woolfolk is an Atlanta-based personal stylist to professionals for Label Content. She is known for taking professionals in search of an image reboot and transforming them to come off as successful. Nikki offers a free eCourse ‘How to Build Your Wardrobe Without Killing Your Wallet.’
Through education and hands-on experience, Nikki takes her knowledge of fashion and delivers it to professional women. She will help you solve your fashion dilemmas, teach you how to shop on your own and help you radiate confidence through your wardrobe.
Header Image: Aurora James