I’m supposed packing right now, but I’d rather write about my unadulterated loathing of it instead. Frankly, the only reason I dislike packing is because I’m not good at it and apparently I don’t even know how! You would think that after spending two months abroad and backpacking almost every weekend, I’d be an old pro. However, just last weekend I spent a frigid four days in Paris with two dresses, a jean jacket, one skirt, two t-shirts, and one pair of jeans. This was totally impractical because I only ended up wearing one of the dresses and so had to wear the same jeans and t-shirt combo two days in a row. It was even so cold that I wore my jean jacket with my jeans, which is my idea of a cardinal sin. Luckily, the Parisian chill was so bitter that my black pea coat hid this fashion catastrophe.
Now, I’ve always said that I give really good advice because I make really bad decisions—and packing is no exception. If you’re going away for the weekend and need to pack lightly, here are some of my fool-proof tips:
1. Check the weather. You will save yourself so much space in your luggage, and so much time in your selection. I knew it was going to be cold in Paris, but I didn’t know how cold. You have no idea how many times I wished my flimsy dress would just magically turn into a thermal.
2. You’re going to want a single outfit to transition from day to night with minimal effort, so basics are your best friend. Neutral t-shirts, both long and short, can easily be dressed up with a pretty necklace, scarf, or even jacket. I didn’t bring any jewelry to Europe with me, and I really regret it.
3. Be willing to re-wear your jeans. Most people don’t wash their jeans after one usage anyway, so I would advise only packing one pair. This is actually the one travel tip that I have successfully used to my advantage, and I swear by it.
4. Invest in nice outerwear. This tip is especially true as winter approaches, and most pictures will only be of you and your coat. The answer Accessorize! A cute scarf, hat, and gloves are also small pieces that will complete your comfort and your ensemble.
5. Mind your feet. I love heels as much as the next girl, but they’re not the best footwear for traipsing across cities. Obviously, running shoes are the most comfortable, but they’re also the hardest to coordinate. I’ve found a happy medium in canvas sneakers or flat boots. Thick, warm socks don’t suck either, especially since it’s November(!)
So, the next time you’re staring down your suitcase, remember these tips. You’ll spend your two to three days in relative comfort and style, instead of a denim tuxedo.