Packing for a trip can be fun and frustrating at the same time especially for women. It’s exciting to think about what you will do when you arrive at your destination while you are filling that suitcase with your favorite clothes, but it can be challenging to figure out exactly what you will need for all your activities and how it will all fit in your carry-on. For someone like me who loves clothes AND shoes AND scarves AND jewelry AND all the other accessories, it is particularly difficult. I love the idea of a simple capsule wardrobe for travel which essentially is a set of clothing with a limited number of items that can be mixed and matched to create a wide variety of outfits. It makes total practical sense. I have read blog after blog on this topic, but I never seem to be quite sold. Plus, travel capsules are usually geared to vacations of no more than one to two weeks. We’re going to be in France for almost 8 weeks ending with one of those (ahem!) big birthday celebrations for which I certainly have to have something special to wear. So I’ve decided on an extended capsule wardrobe.
A trip to France during the summer starts out cool and perhaps wet and ends up being rather, sometimes uncomfortably, warm so it’s definitely important to layer. For me that means a couple of pairs of pants and about five pairs of crop pants all in neutral colors. Added to that will be 6-7 knit tops in solid, brighter colors plus a variety of three-quarter sleeved sweaters and last, but certainly not least, since I am going to be in France — a selection of scarves. Yes!! All items will be rolled to avoid wrinkles and most packed tightly into ziploc bags which when compressed and zipped will conserve space. In order to picture the combinations of my choices, I layed all of the potential main pieces out on the bed a few weeks ago and then photographed them so I would remember what I had settled on. I think this will work out very well and just to make sure, I will be packing two weeks in advance. That way I have time to add or delete items and take care of any last minute inspirations.
But what about all that “other” stuff? On our last trip, we each took one carry-on suitcase and checked a very large suitcase with all of our miscellaneous items. That large suitcase proved to be quite a nuisance. It was a pain to lug around and some of our accommodations were so small that it was nearly impossible to open or store it. We vowed not to make that mistake again. So this time we will pack all of our clothes and a few accessories and toiletries in our individual carry-ons and check one more carry-on size suitcase which happens to be bright red and hopefully, easy to spot in the baggage claim area. And what’s going into that red carry-on? Well, you’ll just have to stay tuned for the next post. It’s rather interesting.
I wish I was facing the challenge of packing for an 8-week trip to France! It’ll be fun to follow along. In our travels, I finally came to the realization that I can’t take all solid-color tops. I invariably spill something on my shirt, or get a spot on it, and at least for the cotton tops, that means laundering often, and a two- day drying time. A scarf would serve two purposes for me – one for the fashion of it, and one being to cover up the spot on my shirt!
Yes, Kathy, scarves serve all manner of purposes from dressing up to covering up. Plus people keep trying to figure out if you are French.