If you are anything like me, the thought of checking luggage for a trip adds another layer of stress that seems unnecessary for a vacation! Are they going to charge me? Are they going to lose my bag? Who might be going through my things? Will my bag end up with big black stains on them (which I still haven’t figured out how to remove)? So, now I try to always travel with only carry-on luggage (I just purchased a Briggs and Riley Bag, and think it might be perfect)!
This becomes a little more challenging in the shoulder seasons when you need to prepare for a multitude of weather conditions, but with these tips you will be packing lightly and efficiently for your next fall or spring get away.
1. Light Layers: This is the key to packing light; be prepared to pack items that can be ‘stacked’ on. By bringing a base layer (I like The North Face, mid weight base layers), and a medium weight sweater or fleece pull over, along with a good quality rain jacket (mine is a Marmot) you don’t have to worry about packing a parka for chilly days. Don’t forget a nice pair of thin, but wind proof, gloves and a light hat and you will be set for anything!
2. A Pashmina: These things are so versatile, and if you have read my blogs before you know they have a myriad of purposes. They can be a scarf if you are cold, a head covering if you need to go into a Mosque, a blanket on a cold plane, a makeshift picnic blanket, a bathing suit cover up, and they can also be worn as a shall to dress up a dinner outfit. With a neutral pashmina, you’ll look like a true Parisian as you stroll along the Seine. This is a serious must for all lady travelers.
3. Socks: Not just socks, but moisture wicking socks, like wool. (My favorite is Smartwool). This is an all year item, as wool will keep you warm in the cold and cool in the heat. I recommend not only bringing short socks for hiking or biking, but also a few pairs of knee high socks to help keep your legs warm. This pairs with:
4. Undies: A good pair of long underwear bottoms. I know we talked about base layers for the top half, but having a good quality bottom base layer will keep you warm as you take in the sights of Prague, of any city, on a rainy day! You don’t need to be relegated to museums or shops if the weather gets ugly.
5. Color: Lastly, to keep packing to a minimum, try to color coordinate the items that you pack. Choose one neutral color (black, grey, brown, or navy) and build your wardrobe around that. Make sure that everything matches everything else, and that way you will end up having more options (and fewer shoes).
I hope this helps condense your travel items as you plan your next European Vacation or Yellowstone Tour. By packing thoughtfully you will save space as well as time and money as you traverse through airports.
Your Friendly Travel Expert,