Two Weeks, Two Countries, 1 Bag

I loathe checking bags. It’s bad enough that it takes forever to get off the plane, but then you get to wander around until you find the baggage claim and wait even longer for the carrousel to start. And natch mine tends to be the last one out.  Ugh.  So as often as possible I try to fit everything into a carry-on bag and tote.

I’ve been perfecting this system for a couple of years now, and it’s helped along by the fact that I have also been using a capsule wardrobe.  Essentially I just stuff everything I own into the bag and I’m done.

Okay, it’s not quite that easy, but it can be done.  Click the link below to see photos of what I’m bringing on my trip to Paris & Malta, and get a free travel checklist to go along with it!

The key to packing light is neutrals, ensuring everything can go with everything else.  I’m a black and white kind of gal (in sooooo many ways, but that’s another story), so that’s what I mostly stick to, with some pops of red or khaki for interest.  So here’s what I’ve got going on this trip:

IMG_3059
This is what I’ll be wearing. The palazzo pants and knit turtleneck feel like pajamas and while it looks dumb to wear a wool coat in the desert heat, I’ll be grateful on the plane. The scarf? It has a zip pocket! Perfect for keeping super important stuff like my passport safe while I sleep en route.
IMG_3060
My travel tote, aka “personal item”.  As you can see there’s really not a whole lot in it – just enough to keep me comfy during the flights.  I could probably just use my purse with the travel pillow attached. However, I have a sneaking suspicion I’ll need plenty of room for souvenirs!
IMG_3058
And here’s the rest! All of this can fit into a standard sized (20″ I think?) carry-on suitcase. If you roll the clothes you can get more in, but I don’t usually even need to do that.  You can also stuff socks and underwear into shoes to save some space.

DOWNLOAD THE PACKING LIST PDF

Can you REALLY go for two whole weeks with just those clothes?

Absolutely! Without repeating a single ensemble, no less, although you may want to run the bottoms and the underwear through a washer halfway through your journey just to keep them fresh.  Here’s how I’ve assembled my outfits (keep in mind the time change while flying there means I wear the same outfit on Day 1 and Day 2):

SUN

MON

TUE

WED

Palazzo pants

Black SS turtleneck

Black pumps

(same as Sun)

Black pants

Black turtleneck

Red sneakers (swap

Tan pants

White button-up

Red sneakers

Red & tan scarf

THU

FRI

SAT

Black pants

B&W stripe top

Black ballet flats

Black print skirt

Black turtleneck

Red sneakers (day)

or pumps (evening)

B&W dress

Black pumps

SUN

MON

TUE

WED

Tan pants

Black SS turtleneck

Black ballet flats

Black pants

White Button-Up

Red & tan scarf

Black ballet flats

Black print skirt

White tee

Red sneakers

Tan pants

B&W stripe blouse

Black ballet flats

THU

FRI

SAT

Black pants

White tee

Red sneakers

Black print skirt

White button up

Black pumps

Palazzo pants

White tee

Black pumps

That’s actually not even the maximum number of outfits, either. The striped top goes surprisingly well with the print skirt for some weird reason.  And I can wear the black turtleneck over the dress for a skirt/top effect.

For each outfit I can add the black cashmere cardigan and/or the peacoat depending on the temperature.  The pumps go with everything so I can dress up any outfit by swapping out the casual shoes with them.  Finally, the red sneakers add a fun pop of color to show you don’t take yourself too seriously … and they’re super-comfortable for climbing the Eiffel Tower or scouring the flea markets.  Oh, and I should note I didn’t bother with pajamas or nightie — the beach cover-up fills that role quite easily.

Let me know what you think and if there’s anything I missed!

DOWNLOAD THE PACKING LIST PDF

2 thoughts on “Two Weeks, Two Countries, 1 Bag

    1. Thank you so much! The modular approach works so well, doesn’t it? The trip is ongoing right now, and I hope to have an update / wrap-up post in a week or two. It’s been wonderful. 🙂 Thanks for the comment!

      Like

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