2017 · single mom

pack a versatile wardrobe (in a carry-on)

Packing for a trip – either professional or personal pleasure – is challenging. Adding to the challenge: limiting oneself to a carry-on. Only. 

RomCom and I are headed to Florida (YAY!), and while he’s packing only a backpack I knew I needed a little more than my Mat&Nat bag to get me through a full week… but I sure as heck didn’t want a full suitcase, nor the hassle of checking and waiting for bags. 

With my carry-on in front of me on the bed, I hauled out all of the items I thought I’d want to wear – shoes, skirts, dresses, tops, etc. – and put serious thought to it. I knew I needed to make it easy for myself to choose outfits day-to-day, and I knew I’d be on my feet a lot so fuss-free, comfortable clothing was a must.

Pack outfits, not pieces.

Pack outfits instead of a random assortment of pieces to help make daily dressing easier. Bonus points if you make sure you’ve got lots of easily mixed pieces (think similar colours and simple shapes) to really get the most out of your pieces without wearing the same outfit multiple times.

Two running skirts, one pair of colourful running shorts and five tanks leaves me with lots of great outfit options for day-to-day, plus I can workout in any of them! They’re cute enough to pass as regular clothing but comfortable enough to hold up to a full-day of shopping, sightseeing, and ride-taking at Disney. 

Rounding out my pile of activewear is one pair of dressier shorts for when I feel I can work a button and zipper.

Pack single-item outfits, if possible.

Even though I knew I wouldn’t be doing any real “dressing up”, I knew I needed a cute dress and romper for dinner outings in the evenings. (It *is* worth admitting that the dress is lululemon and the romper is actually a beach coverup but, with an accessory, they’ll be easily dressed up.)

Think light.

I wanted to pack a great pair of platform sandals to wear, but they take up space and weigh a lot. No thanks!

I’m wearing my heaviest/biggest shoes (runners) on the plane and packing only small, slip-on shoes and my Birkenstock sandals in my bag. I’ll also layer up on the plane to stay cosy and keep my bag a little lighter. 

Make your “personal item” play double-duty.

I could carry a purse, or I could use my Mat&Nat backpack as my purse. Not only is it way easier to carry it on my back, it has space for snacks, clothes, and cosmetics (which keeps me from needing to open my carry on as I pass through security. 

Header image: Unsplash

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