I pack and unpack for trips a LOT - you would think that it would be so easy for me, but there are challenges - I'm not sure I'll ever get it just right, but I'll keep trying!
When I pack for a weekend of teaching at a store, I need to take something that I can wear that is comfy but nice and that I can wear if it's hot as can be in the store or freezing with lots of air-conditioning, so I usually have a couple options. When I pack for a longer trip, I always look at the weather forecast and consider where I'm going - Will I be only in the city? Will it be chilly enough to have a coat on most of the time? Will I be outside most of the time? I have a tendency to overpack, always fearing that I won't have just the right thing - like I couldn't make do if I didn't!
Believe it or not, I've actually gone to Italy twice with just a carry on suitcase (after my first time there when they lost our luggage.) That was in the winter though, when it is actually easier to pack lighter because you know it will be cold - a down coat and some turtleneck sweaters and scarves and you're good to go.
When I packed for the 30 days I recently spent in Paris and London, I got out everything that I thought was a possibility to wear and then REALLY pared it down to what I thought were the essentials. Since I was going to be there from the end of March through the end of April, I knew the weather could change quite a bit - it could go from really cold to hot during that time, so I took a couple options for every scenario.
WELL - I totally over-packed AGAIN!
I decided to take a picture after I got home of the clothes that I took with me to remind myself of what NOT to do next time! The little pile in the center is the clothes that I wore, and the pile on the right are the things that were not worn at all (the 3 things on the left pile were things that I bought there and wore.) This doesn't include the pants that I took and wore.
Yuck! I hated having all that extra stuff with me! I never wore any sweaters, sleeveless blouses or shirts, blazers, or jackets. It shows how little I actually needed for a month abroad.
I also took a ridiculous amount of scarves with me (I need a scarf intervention). These are the scarves that I wore...
and these are the ones that I didn't... (this is embarrasing!)
Seriously? I'm showing this to say, "My name is Debby Schuh and I have a scarf problem!" I used travel bags for the first time that you roll up and squeeze the air out of and it compressed all these down to pancake (a LARGE pancake) size. Jewelry was another problem - I took a necklace to match every outfit and never wore a single one. When you have a scarf on, who sees your necklace!
I'm showing you this as a reminder for myself for the future and to possibly help you as you might be packing for a trip. I think the secret is to keep it simple and comfortable. Choose a color - black or navy and have everything coordinate with everything else so that you have lots of options. I am leaving this week for a 26 day trip to Italy and Germany, and I going to try to keep it simple since I'll have to lug my own suitcase on and off trains. I'd love to go with just a carry on but I'm not that good for that long of a time! I'd love to have a different scenario when I come home from this trip - that I took just the right amount for just the right conditions! (An ideal I have in my imagination!! :)
The 10 day weather forecast for Rome and Florence to at least start out the trip with is for the high 70's and low 80's so I'm taking some light weight things that I can mix and match - the only problem is that I'm going from the city to the country and everything in between. I'll let you know how it goes!
I've got the travel gear for the airplane trip down to a science though - I have my travel "uniform" - a knit swingy dress with leggings and a scarf. I avoid anything with a tight waistband or that is too confining. It has to have sleeves in case it's freezing but not too hot in case the air isn't working right. I always have my noise-cancelling headphones and earplugs, a small pillow and a wool shawl that can be a blanket, an eye mask, my iPad, and an extra pair of reading glasses.
Do you have any packing tips to share? Wish me luck!! :)