Packing Light for Travel with a Capsule Wardrobe!

So we all know the old stereotype of women packing three suitcases and a bottomless purse for a two night away excursion. Because you absolutely need 18 pairs of underwear…you never know what could happen.


My job used to keep me traveling 6 or 7 months a year. Are you saying: “wow what an opportunity?!”

You my friend have then never traveled 6 or 7 months a year for years on end. There were INSANLEY amazing times! Don’t get me wrong I would never trade that time in my life for anything else. But I now threaten my husband with burning our passports any time he suggests another project that would keep us away from home for more than a month.

One of the things I learned if nothing else is the ability to pack LIGHT!

This is extreme when I go to Dallas though…don’t tell Kate, but I usually don’t pack much at all and just use her closet as my own personal mall. Thank Kate! And if my bag leaves heavier then it came…well what are sisters for right?!


If you are either on this capsule wardrobe journey, or just less stuff journey and you are now wondering what that mean to travel, here are a couple of useful tips I use every time I travel!!


  1. Pack three days before you trip.
  2. Then two days unpack and take out the things you know you don’t need.
  3. Then the day before take out the things you really know you don’t need.

If you even ended here, you are bound to get rid of the third sun hat, the second pair of tennis shoes, and three of the 11 lipsticks you packed.


  1. Don’t double up. You only need one pair of leggings, one sweater, one hairbrush, two hair ties (because there is nothing worse than one hair tie breaking and not having a spare), one…etc.
  2. Pack basics, and then splurge on a couple of ‘statement pieces’. Either shoes, bright lipstick, statement jewelry to mix things up.

Semi plan your outfits and try to reduce by re-using. Instead of brining 12 outfits for 2 nights, think through basic pieces that can be styled in different ways. Do you have a basic summer dress that with bangles and sandals is perfect for a fun touristy day around town? Can that dress double as a night outfit by swapping out a simple chain necklace with a statement necklace and switching those sandals for heels? Add a cute jacket and you are ready for an evening out! This takes more time before hand but leaves you with a solid dress plan so you’re not wasting your holiday time pilfering through you stuff and agonizing over what to wear!

  1. Don’t bring junk makeup. You know what I’m talking about. That mascara that you replaced 6 months ago, but maybe you’ll be able to squeeze a bit more out so you lug it around your makeup bag because…maybe?...Someday?? NO. It’s done. Let it go and die a peaceful mascara heaven death. Clean out your makeup bag before you go and don’t bring the stuff you won’t use! You’ll feel more relaxed and organized and your rested holiday self will thank you!
  2. Think through your shoes. What are you actually going to be doing on this holiday? Are you hiking mountains in distance states/lands? Don’t bring heels. You are not going to wear them. Are you planning at sitting at cafés and exploring museums in busy cities? Probably you don’t need two pairs of running shoes and a pair of hiking shoes for *just in case*. My favorite story of shoes and holidays is when my friend sent me a picture of her ‘shoes bag’, yes an entire suitcase full of shoes, for her trip to Thailand. The land of walking, hiking, exploring, swimming, and sitting on the back of motorcycle/elephants country. I mildly suggested she bring a pair of flip flops and a pair of hiking shoes. She politely told me I didn’t understand. When she returned she informed me she only wore flip flops and occasionally running shoes. I did in fact tell her so.


These are my top five suggestions for packing lightly. I try hard to pack for 7 days, even if I am gone for month at a time. I have learned to style and restyle and my back and brain is thankful for the lack of weight and chaos!!


What are your favorite tips?!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published