Road Trip: How to pack lightly and still have enough to wear!

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A week from now, I’ll be making my way down to Pittsburgh to view some potential apartments! P and I have never been to Pittsburgh, but we’ve heard so much about it and it really seems like the right place for us. It’s a major film centre in the US, lots of good restaurants and things to do, and it’s within our budget for being a metro area! We are 99% sure we want to live there, but we wanted to take a trip beforehand just in case.

I don’t want to lug a huge suitcase around. Old me would’ve packed half my closet [don’t forget the kitchen sink!] but now I prefer the lighter method. Especially when flying; it’s much easier to keep all your things in a carry-on than it is to spend time at the bag check. I’m a planning type of gal, so I like to make my list earlier rather than later, hence the little setup above! It’s a bit easy for me to match outfits because I tend to stick to neutrals anyway, so I can mix my pieces easily.

I’m packing a total of 3 tops [a tee, a blouse, and a sweater], 3 bottoms [Black jeans, leggings, and a skirt] 1 pair of comfortable shoes, 1 jacket, a pair of tights, and a beanie. On paper, it sounds like a lot, but keep in mind that I’ll be wearing an outfit at all times, and I won’t have to cram my shoes in the bag!

Here are a few tips:

1. Forget the dresses! Pack two piece outfits- A skirt and fancy blouse can look just as nice as a dress, but you can also dress down your skirt with a tee or sweater.

2. Pick items that pack small! Leggings will roll up much smaller [yes, roll! It packs neater and keeps wrinkles out] than a pair of jeans, and short skirts take up less room than long ones! Choose to wear your bulkier items such as boots, jeans, and jackets when boarding your flight or on your way in the car. It’ll make packing your bag easier.

3. Pick your shoes wisely! Choose a pair with a comfortable fit that you could walk hours in. Avoid bring multiple pairs of heels and boots for different occasions; try a pair of booties with a heel or a pair of comfortable but nice flats. If you absolutely need two pairs, wear the boots and pack a pair of easily rolled ballerina flats.

4. Don’t forget your hat! A hat can give your outfit a whole new look. Go for a felt sunhat, a crushable wool cap, or a beanie; anything that can fold or be flattened out in a suitcase.

5. Try to pick pieces that go together! That houndstooth skirt isn’t going to match your striped boatneck tee, so why limit your outfits? A color scheme isn’t necessary, but try to imagine everything as a mix and match.

6. Liven up those outfits with makeup! Makeup packs smaller than clothes. Don’t bring your whole bathroom, but throwing a few crazy shades of lipstick and eyeshadow in your kit will give you some freedom to go from museum to cocktails in a single swipe.

7. Don’t go crazy with accessories! But try to bring a few small pieces to change up your look; funky sunglasses are a must [road glare sucks] and jewelry takes up very little space. No, you don’t need twenty belts, three purses, and a dozen scarves. Pick one of each to go with multiple outfits and you’re set!

8. Choose outfits according to you schedule! The car ride isn’t the time to wear chiffon and tights. I promise, you’ll be uncomfortable. Wear layers so you don’t have to unpack something if you’re cold, and choose relaxed bottoms that’ll give way to car bloat [you know you’ve had it]. Alternatively, you don’t want to look like a bum when you go out for sushi, so don’t just bring leggings and tee shirts for the whole trip!

The pic above is almost exactly what I’m packing outfit-wise, with some exceptions in the style [minor!]. Couldn’t find a few of my items online so I had to make do with similar things : 3 I have five outfits:

#1 Car ride to Pittsburgh! Comfy, layered, warm.

#2 Nice outfit for apartment hunting! Dressed up enough to impress new landlords.

#3 Warm, comfy outfit for exploring the city! A loose sweater paired with a flowing skirt ensures that I’m chic enough to be photographed without being uncomfortable.

#4 Party outfit! Gotta check out the local food/music scene and look classy doing it.

#5 The ride home! I am not going to care by the time I’m going home, so I just want to be comfortable enough to sleep in the car.

 

Bon voyagé!

 

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