What to Pack for Vacation

Many of you have contacted me asking what to pack for a vacation, and many of you are looking to pack light, but with style and versatility. It is possible to pack light, but be stylish and ready for any occasion during a vacation. With luggage fees and restrictions, it’s best to try to pack everything into your carry-on bag. This can feel extremely limiting, but with the examples I provide below, you can see how pieces can mix and match to create a whole week of ensembles.

Sightseeing Vacation
Maybe you’re heading to DC for a week of monument-hopping, possibly you are traveling to Paris. Wherever you’re going, you need to be prepared for lots of walking, long spans of time away from your hotel, and appropriate attire for restaurants, museums, and places of worship. For such a trip, it’s important to dress for respect – leave your short shorts and tube tops at home and keep it simple, elegant, and with a least a hint of modesty. For warmer weather, tucking a pashmina or shawl in your day bag will let you wear a sleeveless top when trekking around town but have the coverage you need for cathedrals as well as air-conditioned restaurants. Below is a sample wardrobe for such a vacation.

  1. Black matte jersey dress. A dress of matte jersey can dress up or down with ease, won’t wrinkle in your suitcase, and because it dries quickly, you can hand wash or spot clean in your hotel sink and have it dry and ready by the next day. While black can be seen as gloomy, it’s quite versatile and can make a budget-friendly dress look more expensive and elegant. A solid dress is less memorable than a print, meaning you can wear it multiple times without being obvious.
  2. Black leather pumps. A very simple style with a slim heel so it can dress up and look elegant. However, be sure this pump can be worn long enough to walk several blocks, dance for hours, or stand all evening at a gallery opening. A closed-toe shoe is a safe bet if you will be attending a house of worship or a conservative family; if you know your destinations and who you will visit you can switch out pumps for a pair of peeptoes or heeled sandals.
  3. Black comfortable day shoes. This is your sightseeing shoe. The style will be dependent on your personal style and the time of the year. While a ballet flat may seem like a sensible choice, you will want a shoe with structure and arch support to have all-day (and all-week!) comfort. In the summer, it could be a flat or low heel or wedge sandal; come winter it could be a structured flat, low wedge, or athletic Mary Jane.
  4. Crossbody purse. This will be your day bag. A crossbody keeps your hands free and also gives you protection against pickpockets. While it may be appealing to buy that microfiber bag with 50 pockets sold in a travel store or catalog, a simple microfiber or leather bag can achieve the same thing without screaming “tourist!” You’ll want one big enough to hold a small bottle of water, your camera, a tourbook, and possibly a cardigan or shawl along with your purse essentials. While it may be tempting to carry a large tote, such a bag will be quite uncomfortable after several hours hanging from your shoulder – only carry the essentials in a bag that fits just that. If you know you will be shopping, consider a packable tote that you can open up once you have wares to carry home.
  5. Pashmina. A pashmina is a shawl for drafty museums, modesty for houses of worship, an accessory for a simple ensemble, and even a cozy blanket on the plane. Choose a signature color to jazz up your wardrobe basics.
  6. Clutch purse. A clutch purse can take a day dress and make it evening-appropriate. Not only that, it takes little space in your luggage. Choose a signature color or unusual fabric to add interest to your simple wardrobe pieces.
  7. Dark jeans with stretch. A deep dark denim wash looks elegant and sophisticated; a hint of stretch keeps the jeans fitting appropriately through a week of bus rides, plane trips, and walking several miles. A pair of dark denim in a straight cut that is free of embellishment is always stylish and is easy to find at most any pricepoint.
  8. Striped tee or sweater. A striped boatneck tee is a classic yet adds interest to a very basic travel wardrobe. Navy or black stripes on a white or ivory ground is surprisingly versatile, working with solids as well as prints and looking chic every month of the year. Choose a style that has a feminine cut and 3/4 or elbow-length sleeves for a chic silhouette as well as versatility.
  9. Knee-length skirt in a solid color. This could be a pencil skirt, a-line, or a full style – choose what is most comfortable and flattering on you. While a neutral such as black or gray would work, don’t be afraid to add color to your capsule wardrobe with this piece; just make sure it is a color that works with the other colors in your suitcase.
  10. Solid-colored tee with flattering neckline. This could be a hot pink tee with a scoop neck and puffed sleeves, a cobalt v-neck with elbow-length sleeves, an orange cap-sleeved crewneck, a mint green surplice necked jersey with flutter sleeves. Have it be a color and silhouette that flatters, but also will fit comfortably under a cardigan or jacket. Be sure the top has at least cap sleeves for modesty and versatility.
  11. Black soft blazer or cardigan. A deep, rich black jacket or cardigan can dress up or down with ease. Having the piece soft and stretchy means it can be shoved in a bag when it’s hot, won’t be crushed in your suitcase, and can create a makeshift suit with the next piece on the list.
  12. Black pants with stretch. A straight or slightly wide leg style will be the most versatile. I love Ponte de Roma (AKA ponte knit) for pants as it is a heavyweight knit, refined, and can dress up easily. Keep the style simple, free of embellishments.
  13. Sparkly top. A simple tank or shell with beading or sequins can be surprisingly versatile. Such a piece takes little space in your suitcase but may be a godsend for the unexpected night at a discothèque with new friends, or an elegant cocktail party.

A list of possible ensembles from these 13 pieces:

  • Striped top, jeans, pashmina, day shoes
  • Striped top, black pants, blazer, day shoes
  • Striped top , skirt, pumps
  • Scoop tee, jeans, blazer, day shoes
  • Scoop tee, skirt, pashmina, day shoes
  • Scoop tee, black pants, blazer, pumps
  • Black dress, pumps
  • Black dress, pashmina, day shoes
  • Sparkly top, jeans, day shoes
  • Sparkly top, black pants, pumps
  • Sparkly top, skirt, pumps

Add variety to your capsule travel wardrobe with accessories. A silk scarf can be tied at the throat, made into a headband, used as a belt or can be tied to your bag as an accent. A statement necklace can transform your simple black dress into a chic and trendy look. Depending on the cut of your pieces, a colorful obi-style belt can completely change the silhouette and formality of your collection.

Tropical Vacation
Maybe you’re spending a week at the shore, possibly you’re heading to the Caribbean for a relaxing getaway at an all-inclusive resort. This is the sort of vacation where you will be spending quite a lot of time at the pool or beach, with occasional short jaunts to town or excursions to hike, bike, or some other athletic activity. The items below will ensure you’re looking chic while keeping your cool.

  1. Two swimsuits. One that makes you look utterly fabulous, one that will stay in place while surfing, kayaking, or swimming.
  2. Beach coverup that can be worn indoors. A coverup of cotton voile or gauze will dry quickly but offer enough opacity to double as a sundress for a beachside restaurant or boutique.
  3. Cotton Shorts. A simple twill Bermuda short is chic and long enough to provide protection when on a bike, moped, or zipline.
  4. Lightweight cotton shirt. A cotton voile campshirt can be paired with your shorts for an excursion, worn over your swimsuit as a coverup, or tied at the waist and used as a layer over sundresses and tanks.
  5. Maxi dress. Easy dressing for easy glamour. Somehow adding a few inches to the hem of a sundress makes it suddenly evening-appropriate. Such a dress can also be worn during the day over a swimsuit or with flip flops for variety. Many maxi skirts have a wide elasticized waistband making it double as a maxi dress.
  6. Sundress (or two, or three!). Nothing is easier for a day in a tropical locale. It easily slips over a damp swimsuit, is kind to sunburned skin, and can dress up or down with ease.
  7. Cotton skirt. A gauzy or cotton skirt that hits anywhere from the knees to the ankles is comfortable and provides easy glamour. It’s also an easy way to make a swimsuit look like part of an ensemble at beachside cafes.
  8. Cotton tank. A simple ribbed tank in a fabulous color will be indispensable on such a vacation. Slip over your bikini for a bit of sun protection, wear with the shorts for an excursion, or pair with a wrist of bangles and the maxi skirt for a festive ensemble.
  9. Athletic sandals. While such a piece may not seem chic, it will keep you comfortable for excursions, day hikes, and hours of shopping. These days there are styles that are far more elegant than classic Tevas, yet will still give you grip on slippery rocks, can handle getting dunked in the ocean, and will provide arch support.
  10. Flip flops. A simple pair of flip flops will protect your feet in the public shower, can tuck into a beach bag and be pulled out for lunch at a restaurant, and can handle being battered with sand and saltwater.
  11. Pashmina or wrap. Coverage on a breezy evening, a great travel blanket, and if made of silk or cotton it can be knotted and wrapped like a pareo for an additional beach coverup (or even an additional skirt!)
  12. Sun hat. Naturally. Have it big, and have it crushable so it can survive the plane trip.
  13. Two pairs of sunglasses. One could get lost. Have a lightweight pair for excursions and an oversized pair when on the beach or beside the pool.
  14. Clutch purse. Small yet dresses up any ensemble.
  15. Dressy sandals. These could be gold gladiators or tan snakeskin stilettos. Choose a style that will work with your shorter and longer dresses.

A list of possible ensembles from these 15 pieces:

  • Ribbed tank , shorts, athletic sandals
  • Ribbed tank, maxi skirt, metallic sandals
  • Ribbed tank knotted, sundress, flip flops
  • Cotton shirt, cotton shorts, athletic sandals
  • Cotton shirt tied, maxi skirt, flip flops
  • Cotton shirt, bathing suit, flip flops
  • Maxi dress, metallic sandals
  • Sundress, metallic sandals
  • Sundress, flip flops
  • Sundress, cotton shirt tied, athletic sandals
  • Coverup, bathing suit, metallic sandals
  • Pashmina, bathing suit, flip flops
  • Bikini top, maxi skirt, metallic sandals

Of course, these lists do not contain everything necessary for a trip. One must have undergarments, sleepwear, toiletries, and other clothing necessary for your specific vacation. These capsule wardrobes are merely guides and examples of how you can create multiple ensembles for multiple types of occasions with minimal garments. For additional ideas on travel wardrobes, check out my previous posts on the subject:

 
What is your must-have piece for a travel wardrobe?

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  • Katie

    Thanks, Allie! This is fabulous! I will defiantly use these sometime through the summer.

  • Katie

    Thanks, Allie! This is fabulous! I will defiantly use these sometime through the summer.

  • IsabelleS

    I loved this post! Thanks, I am going to NYC at the end of June and will make good use of it.

  • IsabelleS

    I loved this post! Thanks, I am going to NYC at the end of June and will make good use of it.

  • Mrs Top Monkey

    I live in a tropical city where the local Uniqlo store sells bra tops in various colours.  They come in spaghetti strap and thicker strap styles and have a built-in bra.  I’ve got a small bust and I find these work better than bras when travelling to a colder climate as they are both bras AND layering tops.  I’m not sure these would work for those who have bigger busts though as I’m sure the bra tops wouldn’t offer the right support.  

    Your capsules look exactly like the ones I’ve planned for our upcoming trip to the UK and Portugal!  I’ve found that it’s a lot easier to pack what you need, as opposed to what you think you need, if you take the time to sit down and plan what you’re going to wear for say, a week.  It means listing out how you’ll mix and match, the undies, the accessories and your shoes and taking into account if you’ll be doing laundry or not.  Then just take what you’ve planned out and I guarantee that’s all you need.  I did just that for a beach holiday and it was the first time ever that I’d gotten full use of everything in my luggage.  

  • Mrs Top Monkey

    I live in a tropical city where the local Uniqlo store sells bra tops in various colours.  They come in spaghetti strap and thicker strap styles and have a built-in bra.  I’ve got a small bust and I find these work better than bras when travelling to a colder climate as they are both bras AND layering tops.  I’m not sure these would work for those who have bigger busts though as I’m sure the bra tops wouldn’t offer the right support.  

    Your capsules look exactly like the ones I’ve planned for our upcoming trip to the UK and Portugal!  I’ve found that it’s a lot easier to pack what you need, as opposed to what you think you need, if you take the time to sit down and plan what you’re going to wear for say, a week.  It means listing out how you’ll mix and match, the undies, the accessories and your shoes and taking into account if you’ll be doing laundry or not.  Then just take what you’ve planned out and I guarantee that’s all you need.  I did just that for a beach holiday and it was the first time ever that I’d gotten full use of everything in my luggage.  

  • crtfly

    Allie,

    Last week I was traveling again for work. I try not to be judgemental of how people dress. But when their choices get into health and safety issues, yes I am judgmental. I saw a woman with an outfit that definitely was not appropriate for airplane travel. She had a gorgeous body, but I don’t think it was the time or place to show it off in the manner she did.  She had on very short, very tight shorts. Her cheeks were peeking out of her shorts. The top was a v-neck tee that actually looked nice. The shoes, oh my goodness the shoes. They were slip on espadrilles with no heel strap and 4+ inch heels. She was carrying what appeared to be quite heavy luggage. She was not doing well with her walking. I can’t imagine much more insecure footwear. Then adding to the risk by carrying heavy luggage was just asking for an ankle sprain or even fracture.

     She looked like a hooker. I don’t think that was the image she wanted to convey. (Or maybe it was.)
    With her beautiful face and body, there are dozens of choices for her that would show everything off to good advantage without looking sleazy. And then there is the safety risk. I truly felt embarrassed for her.

    Chris

  • crtfly

    Allie,

    Last week I was traveling again for work. I try not to be judgemental of how people dress. But when their choices get into health and safety issues, yes I am judgmental. I saw a woman with an outfit that definitely was not appropriate for airplane travel. She had a gorgeous body, but I don’t think it was the time or place to show it off in the manner she did.  She had on very short, very tight shorts. Her cheeks were peeking out of her shorts. The top was a v-neck tee that actually looked nice. The shoes, oh my goodness the shoes. They were slip on espadrilles with no heel strap and 4+ inch heels. She was carrying what appeared to be quite heavy luggage. She was not doing well with her walking. I can’t imagine much more insecure footwear. Then adding to the risk by carrying heavy luggage was just asking for an ankle sprain or even fracture.

     She looked like a hooker. I don’t think that was the image she wanted to convey. (Or maybe it was.)
    With her beautiful face and body, there are dozens of choices for her that would show everything off to good advantage without looking sleazy. And then there is the safety risk. I truly felt embarrassed for her.

    Chris

  • I’m going to Greece in about a month, and I’ve been mulling over my wardrobe for about five, haha. I’ll be with a tour group, so I know we’ll be hitting some religious places, but it’s also going to be 90 degrees and probably extra humid, which makes me reluctant to wear anything other than my shorts (which hit about mid/upper thigh. I’m told that girls my age (college age) in Greece dress similarly though. So that’s reassuring). But this post, along with your other travel posts, was very, very helpful! Gave me some good ideas about what to buy before I go. Like a sunhat. And I have a feeling I’ll be wearing a lot of dresses. Dresses forever, yo.  

    Not to jazzed about the athletic sandals, quite frankly, but I flew over to Boston last week to visit my big sis, and she took me on a six hour walking tour of the city because she likes to watch me suffer. I thought I’d be okay in flip flops, since it’s what I wear around campus/town (and I don’t have a car so I’m used to walking), but man, my feet hated me at the end of the day. In short, yes, athletic sandals.

  • I’m going to Greece in about a month, and I’ve been mulling over my wardrobe for about five, haha. I’ll be with a tour group, so I know we’ll be hitting some religious places, but it’s also going to be 90 degrees and probably extra humid, which makes me reluctant to wear anything other than my shorts (which hit about mid/upper thigh. I’m told that girls my age (college age) in Greece dress similarly though. So that’s reassuring). But this post, along with your other travel posts, was very, very helpful! Gave me some good ideas about what to buy before I go. Like a sunhat. And I have a feeling I’ll be wearing a lot of dresses. Dresses forever, yo.  

    Not to jazzed about the athletic sandals, quite frankly, but I flew over to Boston last week to visit my big sis, and she took me on a six hour walking tour of the city because she likes to watch me suffer. I thought I’d be okay in flip flops, since it’s what I wear around campus/town (and I don’t have a car so I’m used to walking), but man, my feet hated me at the end of the day. In short, yes, athletic sandals.

  • Great post, Allie! Some good ideas there. I struggle with reconciling the need for comfy shoes with how damn ugly almost all comfy shoes are! I am constantly pushing the boundaries towards pretty shoes only to have very sore feet. Hot weather is a particular problem.

    Re: cathedrals, I can say that at least in the UK, New Zealand and Australia, anyone who isn’t Roman Catholic doesn’t care at all what you wear to visit. (i.e. Anglican/Episcopalian, Methodist, Prebyterian etc.). So feel free to wear minishorts and a vest top (if it’s hot enough)!

    I’m not sure about Catholic churches in the aforementioned countries but I know places like Italy would like you to cover up.

    I think Mosques are pretty keen on various rules like shoes off, modest dress, seperate women and men etc. but I’ve never visited a mosque… I think there are some very pretty ones but they’re more like practical places of worship rather than tourist attractions in most places.

  • Eleanorjane

    Great post, Allie! Some good ideas there. I struggle with reconciling the need for comfy shoes with how damn ugly almost all comfy shoes are! I am constantly pushing the boundaries towards pretty shoes only to have very sore feet. Hot weather is a particular problem.

    Re: cathedrals, I can say that at least in the UK, New Zealand and Australia, anyone who isn’t Roman Catholic doesn’t care at all what you wear to visit. (i.e. Anglican/Episcopalian, Methodist, Prebyterian etc.). So feel free to wear minishorts and a vest top (if it’s hot enough)!

    I’m not sure about Catholic churches in the aforementioned countries but I know places like Italy would like you to cover up.

    I think Mosques are pretty keen on various rules like shoes off, modest dress, seperate women and men etc. but I’ve never visited a mosque… I think there are some very pretty ones but they’re more like practical places of worship rather than tourist attractions in most places.

  • Great tips, thanks!

  • Great tips, thanks!

  • Great packing advice!  I don’t really have anything new to add to your list, but I usually try to pack items in complimentary colors so they can be mixed and matched.

  • Great packing advice!  I don’t really have anything new to add to your list, but I usually try to pack items in complimentary colors so they can be mixed and matched.

  • I am horrible at packing.  HORRIBLE.  I always pack way too much, and then I’m at the last minute trying to sneak more stuff in the already stuffed suitcase “just in case.”  My family hates me for it.  We are going on a mountain vacay next week and a beach vacation at the end of the month, so I am writing these down now.  My husband will definitely thank you!  

    I will say that if anyone is looking for camp style shirts, that J.Crew popover is great.  I don’t have the striped one, but I have a polka dot one and the fit is good, the fabric is thin and wonderful for summer without being see through or flimsy.  I highly recommend.  It looks really cute with jeans or shorts and I have tucked it into a pencil skirt for work.

  • I am horrible at packing.  HORRIBLE.  I always pack way too much, and then I’m at the last minute trying to sneak more stuff in the already stuffed suitcase “just in case.”  My family hates me for it.  We are going on a mountain vacay next week and a beach vacation at the end of the month, so I am writing these down now.  My husband will definitely thank you!  

    I will say that if anyone is looking for camp style shirts, that J.Crew popover is great.  I don’t have the striped one, but I have a polka dot one and the fit is good, the fabric is thin and wonderful for summer without being see through or flimsy.  I highly recommend.  It looks really cute with jeans or shorts and I have tucked it into a pencil skirt for work.

  • great post! Im terrible with apcking because I am such a what if girl…. great tips though!

  • great post! Im terrible with apcking because I am such a what if girl…. great tips though!

  • Mrs.M in MI

    Last summer,  my husband and I went hiking in the Swiss Alps for ten days.  We had already packed quite light, considering that we had to carry everything on our backs the whole trip.

    But Air France lost our packs on the way over… and instead all I had to wear was a short-sleeve tee, long-sleeve tee, fleece jacket, pants, one bra, two undies, two pairs of socks, and my boots.  For ten days.  Fortunately, I had carried on our toiletries and important stuff, and we were dressed exactly the same as all the other tourists in the Alps.

    There was lots of sink laundry, and as these were all technical hiking clothes I felt like a total hobo on our city days, but I was shocked by how I (the total clotheshorse) managed to live with four articles of clothing for a week!

    Now, when I’m tempted to throw another pair of shoes or an extra outfit in my suitcase, I try to remember that trip and put it back in the closet.

  • Mrs.M in MI

    Last summer,  my husband and I went hiking in the Swiss Alps for ten days.  We had already packed quite light, considering that we had to carry everything on our backs the whole trip.

    But Air France lost our packs on the way over… and instead all I had to wear was a short-sleeve tee, long-sleeve tee, fleece jacket, pants, one bra, two undies, two pairs of socks, and my boots.  For ten days.  Fortunately, I had carried on our toiletries and important stuff, and we were dressed exactly the same as all the other tourists in the Alps.

    There was lots of sink laundry, and as these were all technical hiking clothes I felt like a total hobo on our city days, but I was shocked by how I (the total clotheshorse) managed to live with four articles of clothing for a week!

    Now, when I’m tempted to throw another pair of shoes or an extra outfit in my suitcase, I try to remember that trip and put it back in the closet.

  •  I had a similar experience in Italy where my luggage was lost for the first couple of days.  I had the clothes on my back and traded tops with my sister (who also lost her luggage) for variety, but it was an eye-opening experience. One doesn’t need a gigantic collection of clothes to have fun, be comfortable, or look good!

  •  I had a similar experience in Italy where my luggage was lost for the first couple of days.  I had the clothes on my back and traded tops with my sister (who also lost her luggage) for variety, but it was an eye-opening experience. One doesn’t need a gigantic collection of clothes to have fun, be comfortable, or look good!

  •  Yep, when I think about the modesty issue I go back to traveling in much of Europe where either they wouldn’t let you in wearing shorts or a tank, or they would let you in but have much issue with you and ignore you and talk about “that American.”  Figure it’s best to just dress out of respect so you have full-access to all locations and aren’t seen as the rude American in the tube top 🙂

  •  Luckily there are nice athletic and comfort sandals out there that have comfort AND style.  IT’s about time!

  •  Yep, when I think about the modesty issue I go back to traveling in much of Europe where either they wouldn’t let you in wearing shorts or a tank, or they would let you in but have much issue with you and ignore you and talk about “that American.”  Figure it’s best to just dress out of respect so you have full-access to all locations and aren’t seen as the rude American in the tube top 🙂

  •  Luckily there are nice athletic and comfort sandals out there that have comfort AND style.  IT’s about time!

  • crtfly

    Allie,

    What do you think of these shoes as day walking shoes?
    http://www.landsend.com/pp/womens-chalet-mary-jane-shoes~225225_254.html?bcc=y&action=order_more&sku_0=::DCT&CM_MERCH=search-_-407326&origin=search

     I just received a pair from Lands End. They are nice looking and ohhh so comfortable.

    Chris

  • crtfly

    Allie,

    What do you think of these shoes as day walking shoes?
    http://www.landsend.com/pp/womens-chalet-mary-jane-shoes~225225_254.html?bcc=y&action=order_more&sku_0=::DCT&CM_MERCH=search-_-407326&origin=search

     I just received a pair from Lands End. They are nice looking and ohhh so comfortable.

    Chris

  • Those would make for great walking shoes – and what a fantastic price! Did you get them for that price, or possibly along with the 30% off they had this weekend? What a score!

  • Those would make for great walking shoes – and what a fantastic price! Did you get them for that price, or possibly along with the 30% off they had this weekend? What a score!

  • crtfly

    Allie,

    I bought brown ones at the sale price of 24.99. I liked them so much I ordered the black too, with the 30% off. Lands End has been very good to me lately. I don’t want to offend your other readers or make it sound like I work for LE, but they do have some excellent choices for pluses. And when they offer 20 or 30 percent off and free shipping, they are hard to beat! I know, they aren’t super trendy, but they have classic, well constructed pieces.
    Chris

    Subject: [wardrobeoxygen] Re: Wardrobe Oxygen: What to Pack for Vacation

  • crtfly

    Allie,

    I bought brown ones at the sale price of 24.99. I liked them so much I ordered the black too, with the 30% off. Lands End has been very good to me lately. I don’t want to offend your other readers or make it sound like I work for LE, but they do have some excellent choices for pluses. And when they offer 20 or 30 percent off and free shipping, they are hard to beat! I know, they aren’t super trendy, but they have classic, well constructed pieces.
    Chris

    Subject: [wardrobeoxygen] Re: Wardrobe Oxygen: What to Pack for Vacation

  • Lisaschroder

    Wonderful post. Great tips, and I love your suggestions and savvy ideas. This is very helpful. Aside from what to wear on vacation, I am always looking for that perfect travel outfit: comfortable enough for about 5 hours of flying, 2 flights each way, yet not frumpy or sloppy. Easy shoes to get through security. Some women seem to pull this off so effortlessly and I admit I am always people watching other women travelers at airports for how put together they look. Great look, great bag, not loaded down. Do you have suggestions for the perfect ensemble for airport travel? I am traveling to San Francisco from the east coast next week. Thanks!

  • Lisaschroder

    Wonderful post. Great tips, and I love your suggestions and savvy ideas. This is very helpful. Aside from what to wear on vacation, I am always looking for that perfect travel outfit: comfortable enough for about 5 hours of flying, 2 flights each way, yet not frumpy or sloppy. Easy shoes to get through security. Some women seem to pull this off so effortlessly and I admit I am always people watching other women travelers at airports for how put together they look. Great look, great bag, not loaded down. Do you have suggestions for the perfect ensemble for airport travel? I am traveling to San Francisco from the east coast next week. Thanks!

  • Thanks! This is exactly what I needed to prep for my trip this summer

  • Thanks! This is exactly what I needed to prep for my trip this summer

  • MJ

    Perfect timing! I am headed to the beach in a little over a week. I love the gauzy coverup, I have only been able to find cotton ones. I will have to keep looking I guess!

  • MJ

    Perfect timing! I am headed to the beach in a little over a week. I love the gauzy coverup, I have only been able to find cotton ones. I will have to keep looking I guess!

  • Steph

    I was denied access to a cathedral in Italy despite my pretty (modest) dress because it didn’t have sleeves. 

  • Steph

    I was denied access to a cathedral in Italy despite my pretty (modest) dress because it didn’t have sleeves. 

  • Ruth

    Love this ! Do you suggestions on what to pack for a business trip?  That would be great and I would love to feature it on my blog! One tip that I would like to add is to have lightweight luggage – here is an article I wrote about it and some great luggage – 
    http://thesmartbusinesstraveler.com/packing-light-for-travel/

  • Ruth

    Love this ! Do you suggestions on what to pack for a business trip?  That would be great and I would love to feature it on my blog! One tip that I would like to add is to have lightweight luggage – here is an article I wrote about it and some great luggage – 
    http://thesmartbusinesstraveler.com/packing-light-for-travel/

  • Iris

    Thanks so much, this is a huge help. Its my first tropical trip and had no idea where to start. Do you have one of these for men??

  • etw

    I’d 86 the orange (the bikini) and add some comfy/yoga type pants.

  • As a profesional traveler, I think this is great packing advice!

  • cathrynj

    I found your blog when I was looking for advice on how to pack more efficiently. Just got back from our 10 day trip to Amsterdam and I wanted to say thank you. It was the best packing of outfits I have ever done and it was one bag and a carry on tote bag not totally stuffed. Traveling was much smoother and I felt great posing for all those photos!

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