Before anything goes in my suitcase I mentally flip through my three packing rules. Once I have a good idea of how long I’ll be gone and what the weather will be like I can get started! For this European trip I’m packing for travel days (via plane and car), business meetings, casual days with friends, a few nice dinners, and sunny Portugal.

The main goal for me is to pack things I can can mix and match easily for different looks and situations.

clothes, packing

Jessica’s Packing Checklist

  • Tops
    • Black Sweater – Sleeveless
    • Black Tee – Short Sleeve
    • Grey Tee – Short Sleeve
    • White Blouse – Short Sleeve
    • Striped Sweater – 3/4 Sleeve
    • Print Blouse – Long Sleeve
  • Bottoms
    • Dark Blue Jeans – 2 pairs
    • Black Jeans – 1 pair
  • Single Garments
    • Black Jumpsuit
    • Dress
  • Outerwear
    • Grey Duster
    • Grey Cardigan
  • Accessories
    • Pink Scarf (I use this scarf as a headband and it keeps my hair tidy despite travel or weather)
  • Shoes

Any of the tops work with any of the bottoms and I can add the duster or cardigan on top for chilly days. The same goes for my shoes and the single garments. It’s a pretty basic concept, but this system of mixing and matching will do a two great things for your trip:

  1. You will pack fewer things and have less luggage to lug around.
  2. You won’t really have to think about what you’re going to wear because everything in the suitcase is an instant outfit. This will mean less time picking out something to wear and more time enjoying your travels.

If you have questions about how to create a capsule wardrobe I recommend checking out this post. It will give you a good idea for how to go about planning your own wardrobe. I also really like the very French checklist she has put together.

This time a backpack

On our last trip I took along a medium size suitcase, a large bag, and a purse that could be a cross-body bag or shortened to a smaller handbag length. Every time we went to a new place/country I had to lug my suitcase around with my other large bag precariously perched on top all while my purse smacked against and bruised my hip.

For this trip I am taking just my suitcase (with the items listed above) and a backpack.  I ordered my Herschel backpack from Bespoke Post. If I had seen it in person, I would probably have gone with a smaller backpack, but this one does have a lot of great compartments and thoughtful pockets to keep things organized. I’m looking forward to traveling with it.

  • Electronics
    • Cameras and film
    • Battery charger
    • Phone
    • Charging cables for phone and cameras
  • Paper Goods
    • One small book
    • Pouch with: small notebook, pens, and 1 roll of washi tape
    • Room for the magazines I’ll be buying during the trip
  • Other Odds & Ends
    • One nice pouch to use as a purse
    • Chapstick
    • A few band-aids
    • Knitting roll and yarn

When packing I think it’s best to have a plan and because I love lists I think it’s a good idea to have a few of those too. I’ve been using my Notes app on my phone to keep multiple lists going: one for things I need to do before we leave, another for things I don’t want to forget to pack, and of course my packing checklists

What are your trip preparation tips?


One thought

  1. I would recommend travel packing cubes inside a backpack! It’s saved me on more than one occasion. With the packing cubes, roll your clothes for less wrinkles and it puts a stop to rummaging around looking for your headphones with all your shirts in the way.

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