After countless hours of research, innumerable variations and multiple trials of packing, I think I’ve come up with the perfect packing list for women. For this 55 yr old woman, anyway.
My third trip to Europe is coming up soon; 3 weeks in southern Spain in April. My previous 2 trips were to Italy, once in May and once in October. On both trips I travelled with only a carry-on bag, but in both cases I came home with clothes I didn’t wear.
I am not including the following in the count: undies (4); bras (1 nude, 1 black); sport bra (1 white); socks (4); bathing suit (1 tankini); sleep wear; rain jacket (1 black packable nylon shell); lightweight running vest (1 black); scarves (1 cream/black; 1 red/white); costume jewelry (1 long silver pendant, 1 short silver necklace, 1 silver cuff bracelet, 1 “statement” necklace). Oh, and a money belt which I wear all day, every day, containing my passport, credit card and extra cash.
In addition to the carry-on rolling bag I will carry a black nylon tote bag as a day bag/purse. I’ll pack a foldable red nylon tote which will act as a second day bag/purse. I also have a tiny black wallet on a string for evening paseos. Other than the roll-a-board, all these bags are cross body. That’s what I use at home, and that’s what I’m comfortable with. I don’t think it makes sense to try out a different style of purse when travelling. I'll stuff the red tote full of dirty laundry on the way home and that leaves room for purchases made.
It all starts with the shoes for me. After an excruciating 12 month bout with plantar fasciitis several years ago I am very selective with the shoes I purchase, and especially the shoes I travel with. I have not included shoes in the count either, and I will take 3 pairs: red sneakers (Keds Pro – my orthotics fit perfectly in them), flat black Mary Janes (Ecco brand) and black flat sandals with ankle strap (Taos brand).
Our plans involve site-seeing, tapas crawling and soaking up atmosphere. Everything very low key. No operas, weddings or extreme sports on the itinerary, so no specialty wardrobe items like heels, cocktail dress or heavy hiking boots required. Other than a 3 day stint with a rental car we will use buses and trains to get around. No need to lug over-sized, heavy suitcases on and off trains.
Here are the 12 easy pieces:
1 pr jeans, hemmed for flats
1 knit skirt, black
1 pr capris, stone
1 long sleeve tee shirt, red & white Breton stripe
3 tee shirts (1 black, 1 white, 1 red print)
2 tank tops (1 black/red/white multi, 1 black)
2 cardigans (1 black ¾ length sleeves waist length, 1 red boyfriend style)
1 sleeveless, knee length, knit, black
Thanks to the magic of the “Polyvore” website and app, I have created a clothing set as a visual aid that includes all the above items. I can move the bottoms and tops around to create “outfits”, so I can visualize what I will wear. Just search for the items you plan to pack and add them to your set. Don’t worry about the price, you are just selecting items that look similar to what you own (or will shop for). Polyvore revolutionized this process for me, and it’s easier than getting out everything you own and laying it on the bed when you are still in the planning stages. I probably created a dozen sets through this process before I settled on this set. Other online resources that helped me along the way were the Vivienne Files, TravelFashionGirl, and searching on Pinterest for “travel wardrobe”.
I'm posting with the hopes it may help other ladies struggling with the concept of not overpacking, yet having the "right" outfits for each activity. This may not work for everyone, but I know it will work for me. Happy packing ladies!