I’m the type of person who packs five pairs of shoes (at least!) for a three-day trip, travels with all of my jewelry, rather than a small selection, and thinks that bringing just one handbag for an entire vacation is blasphemy. I plan outfits for each day, and then throw in a couple other options “just in case.” On more than one occasion, a TSA employee has watched my bag go through security and remarked “Wow, a lot going on in there, huh?” Meanwhile, I’m standing there wondering how I’m the only one whose carry-on is reserved just for accessories.
It’s no surprise, then, that packing for essentially one month of traveling felt daunting. My sabbatical (a perk of working at Refinery29 for four years) started at the beginning of May, and beyond planning every detail of the trip, knowing what to bring proved to be the most difficult. Because when you’re into fashion and planning out your looks day by day, it can be tough to distinguish what’s actually necessary to bring on a trip, and what’s not.
My packing plan was as follows: Start early, tear my apartment to shreds, and hope my one large checked suitcase and one normal-sized backpack could get the job done. But after visiting about 13 cities in just over 30 days, I still came home with outfits and accessories that hadn’t been touched. So while I was proud of my packing restraint (yes, there was a moment I contemplated bringing two roller-bags), I still learned (yet again) that I could always pack less and lighter.
To save any fellow overpackers the headache I had and mistakes I made lugging my stuff up and down stairs and across train platforms, I’m breaking down what I did and didn’t wear on my adventures. It’s not to say any of the pieces I didn’t wear are bad or won’t ever be worn, but when packing for a month of walking, exploring new cities, and eating more than normal (hey, when in Rome!), there are some things that can wait until you get back home.
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