PARAVEL Duffel // MANOLO BLAHNIK Heels
I love to travel. But I do not love to pack. In fact, I despise it. Packing a suitcase is something that, for whatever reason, has always kind of stressed me out – especially when it comes to a carry-on. Deciding what to bring along and setting limits for myself can be difficult. (I like options, ok?) However, you know what they say: practice makes perfect – and I’ve had plenty of practice lately. While I’m nowhere near perfect, I have managed to hone my carry-on packing skills and avoid the last-minute panic that used to be routine. Here, a few tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way.
1. Invest in a good suitcase. A great suitcase can make all the difference. If I’m headed for a weekend getaway, this Paravel duffel is a perfect option. If it’s a longer trip, I swear by my Rimowa rolling bag. It’s a game-changer. It’s super lightweight and quite roomy. You’d be really surprised just how much you can fit into this little bag. It’s worth every penny.
2. Stick to a color palette of three or four colors. Doing so allows for plenty of mixing and matching. For example, navy, white, and black is a fool-proof trio – think: these jeans, a pair of cropped black pants, a navy blazer, a striped button-down, and a couple of tees (one white, one black). I use accessories (a scarf, for example) to add in pops of color or a pattern.
3. Bring two striped t-shirts. This is a no-brainer for me – and if I’m being honest, I usually find room for more than two. I consider a good striped tee to be just as neutral as a white one. It’s a classic and works with everything. My favorite ones are the “Minquiers Moderne” style from Saint James and the “Modern Long” from Kule.
4. Rely on dresses in a big way. This may not work for everyone but it’s been a game-changer for me. A great dress is a one-and-done thing – throw it on, add a pair of heels, and voilá. It simplifies the packing process and keeps me from overthinking (and overpacking!) things. Versatility here is key. Wrap dresses like this one are great because they can be dressed up for evening or worn with a pair of sneakers during the day. (Bonus: You can even wear it over a pair of pants.) The same goes for shift dresses. I love this one and this one.
5. Keep shoes to a minimum. I used to always overpack when it came to shoes, but I’ve learned that I can pretty much get away with just three pairs for any trip: white sneakers, a pair of flats (I’m currently obsessed with these loafers), and one pair of heels that work with jeans or dresses. (If I’m headed to the beach, I’ll skip the ballet flats and throw in a pair of go-with-everything sandals.) Less is most definitely more here.
6. Buy travel-sized toiletries. I’ve become a repeat buyer of these beauty sets. They’re basically all the best products sized down to TSA-friendly bottles. I also just found my favorite multitasking moisturizer in a 1 oz. size tube on Amazon. $11. That’s a steal.