Updated: Jul 25
I am headed to Spain on Saturday and I cannot wait! The forecast is looking sunny, and 60 degrees is sounding divine. I really should be working on my thesis paper right now, but I just finished packing my bag... And I cannot stop thinking about how efficient I have become!
I have been trying to master the art of packing for the last three years. While I was working in college admissions, I was constantly flying around the states and living out of my suitcase. Now that I live in Europe, weekend and weeklong trips happen every month or two.
I am excited to share with you my spring women’s packing list as well as a few of my favorite products. This list can be used for any trip where you only want to have carry-ons. Comfort has become a number one priority for me. I have high arches, and thus sometimes struggle on extreme walking expeditions (I walked 14 miles in a single day in London in October), so comfortable shoes as well as a light pack makes a world of difference.
I have tried many different sized bags and different travel equipment. But so far, these are my favorites. The dynamic trio: a hard shell bag for clothes, a computer bag for work and my handy dandy small backpack—PERFECT for carry on. I do love these brands so I will share with you, I tend to buy on the more expensive side. But I don’t doubt that you could find similar items on Amazon for much cheaper. The hardshell is by Anne Klein and is part of a three piece set. The computer bag is Vera Bradley, and I must say, it’s one of my best travel cases. It is filled with pockets and a safe case inside for my computer, and most importantly, it attaches to the roller bag. And the day pack is by Colombia, it also came with a water pack that I often use. I typically always also pack a small purse for over the shoulder use and store it inside my day pack.
*be extra vigilant when traveling with a backpack, thieves are known to slice open the back while people are taking photos. If you are in a highly populated area, be sure to wear it on your front.
And ladies, I love yah, but only pack the essentials. No matter what happens, or what you tell yourself, I promise that when you travel you’ll find things to buy. You need extra room in your suitcase! I have made the that mistake way too many times. If you can't launch your suitcase 10 feet, it is too heavy. If you can't hit a dead sprint in the airport with all your junk, it is too heavy. If you can't carry your bag up 10 flights of stairs that are wet, again, too heavy. Y'all 15 pounds max, I promise you it makes a huge difference.
I also like to do yoga and run while traveling, so if you aren’t into that, just take out the training clothes below and you could have even more room.
3 bras- wire, comfy, sports
1 workout top
1 bathing suit
1 pair of shorts
3 shoes—running, everyday shoes, sandals
Now, when you are selecting clothes—choose things that are versatile. And I like to avoid crazy colors, only because they don’t blend super well. In Europe, blacks, whites and grays are super in anyways. Pick a sweater that can be cozy at night in front of the TV or go over a dress at a nice dinner. Pick a dress that doubles as a casual dress or evening dress. Pick workout clothes that are easy to wash out at night, I work out 3-4 times oftentimes, and after I’m done with my top- I simple rinse it out. It’s got to be polyester.
I love packing lotions, shampoo and face wash into the tiny bottles I’ve save from hotels. The less liquid you have on you, the better. And those Sephora face wipes are to die for!
Be sure to charge everything the night before you travel. I cannot stress the importance of a backup battery either. When your phone dies in the middle of a country that has weird outlets, and no one speaks English, you will thank me. Also this is a little push for Nook, I adore mine-- it is so tiny and I love having thousands of books at my fingertips.
Snacks *stay tuned, I may write an entire piece on snacking and travel...
Clothes soap- to hand wash things
Always, always go to the airport with an empty water bottle. And do yourself a favor and buy some of those awesome see through bags I listed. They are so great when compartmentalizing makeup, chargers, snacks etc. They will literally change your life! And too, cash, forever and always. You'll need it to tip the cab driver, and in every country I've visited I've been in places that don't take cards.
Alright, back to work on my thesis paper! But I hope you enjoyed my guide to packing. This can be used for weekend trips or trips up to three weeks long, you will just simply have to wash clothes. And forget the computer bag if you are headed out on vacation! All the links found throughout this post are products I use and love, but I am not receiving commission in any way from them, they are just honest to goodness good products. Enjoy!