Does your suitcase look like this when you pack? Oh the horror of not being able to zip your suitcase. (Usually the night before you leave or even the moment before you are supposed to leave.) Does the thought of packing make you want to skip traveling altogether? I hear you! Packing can be THE least fun part about travel. But…I’ve got it all figured out for you. Stick with me and I’ll show you how you can do it easily, do it well and you won’t be skimping on anything! I swear.
In this installment of my packing series, let’s start with what we’re putting everything in – luggage. Yep, I’m going to say it, the word you may dread hearing, “carry on.” Unplug your ears. It’s okay. It’s the best decision you will ever make. We have easily traveled for 6 weeks in only a carry on. You only have 8 days when you travel with us, so you’ve got this! We get the 21″ size and actually still check it, so I don’t have to deal with the liquids situation. I’m very particular about the characteristics of my carry on and why it’s important – more on that later. Let’s just say, for starters, the smaller your luggage, the less you have to lug around on all modes of transportation or try to stow away in your hotel room. Don’t worry, there’s still room for souvenirs! Our favorite carry-on is the Travelpro Maxlite (in whatever the latest edition is). It’s expandable, doesn’t tip over and all the wheels spin!
What to bring, what to bring. Ugh, decisions.
My general rule of thumb is neutrals, with a pop of color here and there so you don’t completely bore yourself. I know it looks boring, but you won’t look boring! Scarves and jewelry can always up the visual interest on your outfit and they don’t take up much space. (You can use those scarves to stay warm on the plane too. Usually I have one around my neck and use a warmer one as a blanket as those dang plane blankets aren’t exactly cozy.) Mixing & matching is key! My personal hack is that if I had to get dressed in the dark, 85% of the time, my pants, shirt and sweater would match. My go to fabric is merino wool because it keeps you very warm even if the sweater is thin, so you don’t need to compromise room for souvenirs or Belgian and Swiss chocolate because you brought too many bulky sweaters! For a more comprehensive list of what we pack when we travel, check out our packing lists for women and men. Note, these links are our personal lists for approximately 6 weeks of travel, but you get the general idea. Layering is key here as it gives your more options and combos.
Here’s a list for your 8 day tour with us:
- 2-3 bottoms – pants/skirts/dresses
3-5 sweaters/long shirts (I always do a button down or cardigan for nearly all of them as it makes for easier layering.)
1-2 tank tops
3 tee shirts
pajama tank (can use a tank from above after you’ve already worn it)
3 pairs of shoes (This includes my running shoes and an optional dressier pair like foldable flats, booties, loafers, lace up
- 1 coat
- 2 workout bottoms
- 2 workout tops – maybe an extra if you want a long sleeve
- 1 sports bra
- Socks can make or break it. They don’t take up much space, so bring what you need – especially for your race! *Tech gear dries quickly, so you can wash your running gear in the sink with shampoo or suck it up and run in some stinky gear for a day to give you a break on laundry duty.
So, I hope this has been a helpful start to tackling the packing situation! There is so much more to come on this topic. I’ll get into the nitty gritty on all categories of packing in deeper detail, so stay tuned!