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How to pack light for a vacation

Packing light for a vacation is always a struggle – no matter the duration of your trip. You need all of your favorite blouses, and you can’t forget matching shoes. And do you really need to bring all 15 of your colorful dresses? Opt for the Convertible Diva Dress instead – you can style it eight different ways! Look at that, you have multiple dresses in one. That’s just one simple tip. We’ve got plenty more!

So instead of paying those extra airport fees for an overweight bag, pack light with these pointers:

Pack neutral outfits

You’ve probably heard it before, but choosing a color palette for your vacation wardrobe allows you to mix and match any piece for tons of clothing combinations. The easiest way to go about this is to mostly pack neutrals with a few pop colors. So, rather than packing your pink cardigan, swap it out for a more neutral color, like black. This way, you can wear it with everything.

Or you might have denim, white and brown as your neutrals with a pink fashion scarf for those cooler days and an aqua sun hat for the beach. Accessories are a staple for any ensemble, and they give you the opportunity to switch things up. Plus, because scarves and jewelry are small, they won’t take up much space.

To be sure, you don’t have to make neutrals your color palette. If you have enough bold hues that match, make a small travel wardrobe from that! The only rule is that everything you pack should look good paired with other items in your suitcase.

Shoes count here, too. At most, you should only need three pairs of shoes for your trip. One for walking (tennis shoes), one for nice outfits (heels or dressy sandals) and one for relaxed days (comfortable sandals or stylish sneakers). Wear your largest pair, which is likely your tennis shoes or sneakers, while on the plane. This way, you’ll save space in your bag and be comfortable in transit. As with the rest of your clothing, choose neutral shoes that will match any combo you create.

Embrace metallics

Metallics are considered neutral colors, too, but their shimmery look packs a style punch. They can make your outfits stand out and feel brand new while still pairing with the rest of your clothing. What’s more, you can bring metallics knowing they won’t sit around in your suitcase. Choose metal jewelry, blouses with gold or silver accents, shoes and even metallic tote bags. In fact, choosing a purse in a metal tone will make it a pop accessory that fits right in.

Take only what you need . . .

Take what you need, instead of taking what you want. You really only need one bathing suit, especially if you want to keep those tan lines consistent. The key is to lay everything out, and take half of that. Sounds rough, we know. Leave your blow dryer at home, as chances are the hotel comes equipped with one, or whomever you’re staying with has one you can borrow. Consider purchasing an air-tight bag to put your clothes in. This will help create more room in case you really can’t say “no” to those last couple of dresses.

. . . But have one nice outfit

Of course, you’ll need sleep wear and casual options, but don’t forget to have one nice outfit. This is the ensemble you grab for that nice restaurant or show or when you want to impress your significant other. For instance, choose one from your favorite neutral dresses and pair it with a blazer you can wear with other items in your suitcase. Finish the look off with a clutch and nice shoes. Other than this one outfit, however, don’t pack anymore “fancy” looks. In fact, a dress that can be toned down for a casual vibe or enhanced for a night out is perfect!

The only exception to the one-nice-outfit rule is if you will be spending most of your vacation in upscale settings. In that case, flip the script. Mix and match nice pieces during the trip, but have one casual outfit on hand.

Stuff your carry-on

Take advantage of your one carry-on and one personal item. Your carry-on could be a large tote bag or a small suitcase. This is where you can store your makeup, jewelry, toiletries, electronic devices, chargers – basically anything that doesn’t necessarily have to go in your suitcase. If you can even fit the extra pair of wedges in your bag, go for it! Remember: airports prohibit liquids greater than 3.4 ounces for a carry-on. Be cautious if you’re taking your toiletries on board with you.

Wear it all

Okay: if you really want both a jean and a leather jacket, wear one on the plane and pack the other. If you can handle being a bit warm, throw on a couple of shrug cardigans, too. You can always take them off once you’re seated. While you’re at it, go ahead a slip on one of those dresses over your shirt and jeans. While this may not sound comfortable, it’ll save you some extra bucks at check-in.

A lean suitcase doesn’t have to mean a boring vacation wardrobe. You can have your denim and wear it, too, by sticking to a color scheme and strategically adding in highlight pieces that will make you feel fabulous on the beach, sightseeing or relaxing.

Comments (4)

I have worn some of either my capri’s or shorts under a big flowy dress with a short cardigan and a hat before … It may make for a few uncomfortable hours but I was more than thankful that I had brought them with me in the end. So never say you won’t do something !!!

Great feedback – Thanks, Cindy!

Wear my clothes instead of pack them? No. Just no.

We know some of these ideas won’t work for everyone, but we’re trying to provide ideas for a wide range of people and situations – Hopefully some of the other suggestions were of interest to you. Thanks for commenting!

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