Nope, not a get-away car. Although, that sounds really nice right now!
I’ve been encouraged to share how I pack so light when I travel. It all started when I was
in 9th grade. I went on a week long summer trip to Colorado Springs and all I packed was a backpack and a fanny pack (*cringe*). Whenever I travel with other people, their comment is always “That’s it?” Yup. That’s it.
I’ve definitely graduated from the backpack; and I have banished my fanny packs. Now I pack with more adult sophistication, but still, I pack light. It’s partly how you pack, but it’s mostly what you pack that makes the difference. The secret? Versatility. Repeat the word over and over in your head until it sinks in. I’ve noticed that people who over-pack usually do so out of a fear based mind set of “What if I need ___?!” My secret is that I know exactly everything that I will need because I have taken the time to thoughtfully curate versatile pieces for traveling that will be useful in many different circumstances.
Here’s an example of how I would pack for a weekend business conference/workshop:
Visualize the Events
I know it’s so hokey. But I do sit down with some kind of note taking device (usually my phone or a computer with Google Keep) and I start from the beginning of the weekend and go through each and every event in my mind and write down exactly what I will need.
- Driving in the car: I need comfortable clothes. I hate driving in uncomfortable clothes. I need good shoes. I need a water bottle. Maybe snacks. Tissues. Dramamine if I’m not the one driving. Money for gas. Phone charger for the car. Headphones. A book downloaded on Audible. Music.
- The conference starts right away when we get there. So whatever I’m wearing in the car should not only be comfortable to drive in, but it should also be professional. (Ahem… versatility) I might want to either plan on wearing my Rothy’s all weekend, because they are cute, professional, and comfortable. Or I can bring a pair of heels to change into.
- Dinner? Do we have to walk far to dinner? If I choose to bring heels, I need a tote purse big enough to put them in if we walk to dinner.
- Sleeping. I will need PJs. I should make sure and bring lounge clothes that can double as PJs. That way I can wear my lounge clothes while driving, or going down to breakfast at the hotel. Do you work out when you travel? Maybe you can sleep in your workout clothes too.
- Toiletries. (By far my most high-maintenance category. Probably half my suitcase is my toiletries.) I have everything in my travel roll-up bag. All my make-up goes in one pouch, skincare, shampoo/conditioner, razor, toothbrush, deodorant, hair bands, bobby pins, headband (need this to wash my face), charcoal mask (if I have time), comb, hair serum, and a small pouch for jewelry.
- Stuff that doesn’t fit in my travel roll-up bag: Body lotions, hairspray, curling iron, hair dryer, round brush.
- Second day of the conference outfit: I will try to wear the same pants or skirt with a different blouse. Same shoes. Same sweater or jacket. (versatility)
- Third day: Maybe bring a simple dress that I can wear with the same sweater/jacket and same shoes. This dress could be dressed up if we decided to go out for happy hour the night before. A LBD is perfect. Make sure it’s not one that will wrinkle when folded in my bag. Oh, and it has to be comfortable, because I might be driving home in it. Or I can plan to change into my lounge clothes.
And that’s it! That’s how I think through everything. So now I have my list:
- Jewelry: basic necklace and earrings, and 1 statement necklace if I need to dress things up.
- 2 Blouses
- Black Professional Skirt
- Black Dress
- Flat shoes
- Lounge outfit
- Phone / Charger
- iPad / Charger
- Notebook / Pen
- Water bottle
- A few snacks
- Normal Purse stuff
I LOVE my overnight bag from Revo. It’s small, but it has lots of really efficient pockets. I can pack my underwear in the inside wall pockets. I will Kon-Mari fold all my clothes. My toiletry bag fills one half, and my clothes the other (or less if I wear my business clothes in the car. I personally think it’s good to look professional while traveling). The front pocket area will fit my large hairdryer, curling iron and lotions. Then I have extra side pockets if I need to stuff anything else in. Like snacks.
I always carry a large tote purse with a smaller purse inside it. That way if we go out for dinner or drinks I can leave the tote in the car and just take the smaller purse as a crossbody or a clutch (versatility). I make sure that my tote purse can hold that smaller purse, my iPad, notebook, water bottle and a couple snacks, plus my shoes if needed.