I always overpack. 4 day trip? Obviously I’m going to wear both pairs of my favorite heels, two pairs of boots, booties, and 5 different flats. Going to be chilly? Definitely going to need all three of my jackets; you know, in case I get bored of one because that always happens at home (#sarcasm).
So when my husband and I were planning for our 10 day trip to Ireland in May, I knew I wanted to try to pack lighter. However, the snag in the plan came when I realized that we were visiting Ireland – the ever-changing rainy/cold climate – and not Jamaica, where you can pretty much guarantee that the weather will be mostly warm and clear. After realizing that I’d have to plan outfits and figure out items that can be worn different ways, I actually got excited that for once I would have way less luggage to lug around (let’s be honest- less for Declan)! Plus, I won’t have to stare at my suitcase for ten minutes to remember what I brought and how I can make an outfit.
The key to packing light is versatile items! Anything you can wear multiple different ways is definitely a go-to when packing for vacation.
Item #1: Comfortable shoes (a no-brainer)
Because we were going to Ireland, where it would be chilly and damp, I brought my awesomely comfortable booties. I love these because they can be worn with or without socks and look great dressed up or down. Depending on where you’re vacationing, your go-to comfy shoes could be flats, flip flops, or some strappy sandals. Because we’re going for versatility, neutral ones are the way to go, but if the rest of your packed items are pretty neutral, go for those hot pink flats! I wore my brown leather booties almost every day when we were out and about, because having comfy shoes was pretty important when we were places like this:
Item #2: The classic button-up
No matter what your style is, you will most likely have a button-up shirt in your closet. The button-up is an easy way to add style to an outfit without much thought. I have a great neutral, patterned one that I love because I can pair it with anything in my closet. Over a dress or tucked into a skirt? Open over a t-shirt and jeans? Under a sweater? The possibilities are endless! I wore this shirt at least 4 times on our 10 day trip (and would have more if we were able to do laundry).
Item #3: Jeggings
When jeggings first came out, I truly thought they were just a trend and would be gone by the next year. False. It took me awhile to cave, but I have officially converted to a jeggings-lover. Looking back, I seriously don’t know why it took me so long! I wore my jeggings on the plane (they’re ridiculously comfortable), out to dinner and pubs with heels (the dark wash makes them evening-appropriate), and even for a day of bike riding. And I would have worn them multiple more times if I hadn’t fallen off my bike and gotten them muddy (oops) – again, too bad we didn’t have laundry abroad!
In case you’re wondering, here are the items I brought:
- 1. (dotted chambray) over 13. (midi skirt) with a brown belt
- 6. (button-up) over 7. (striped dress)
- 11. (pink cardigan) with 14. (green jeans)
Your best bet in packing is to make sure you choose things that you truly like to wear. No one wants to get to their hotel/B&B/beet farm/hostel and realize that they way over-analyzed their choices and have to wear the same, boring t-shirt for half the trip. Bring some color, texture, and pattern to make your outfits exciting! Items can be multi-purpose but still you. Pieces you can layer help prepare you for whatever kind of weather you encounter. Also, keeping with a specific color theme makes it easier to mix-and-match anything you bring along. Because your key items will be worn multiple times during a trip, remember to pack some fun things- statement jewelry, patterned scarves, that lime green cardigan you love. By mix-and-matching your fun articles with your versatile ones, you’ll be able to create outfits for all types of occasions.