packing light for spring international travel


i think i might be a rare one, but i love packing!  ok, not always, but for big trips i do.  we have been blessed with a bit of international travel during our 16 years of marriage, and one thing we have learned is to travel as light as possible.  several times we have been stranded in another country with lost luggage, so now we do our best to just travel with carry-on luggage if at all possible, especially if there are several flights involved.

every couple years, we get to go on a big trip sponsored by a manufacturer that sean’s company represents.  these trips are really fun because we get sent places we’d never really get to go to otherwise.  this year we are heading to monte carlo, monaco and we added on a few days in greece as well.  the price of international travel when you are already in europe is really great, so we thought since we were so close, we may as well make the most of it!

a couple years ago we went to barcelona and mallorca, before that was a river cruise in france, and before that was a mediterranean cruise.

the tricky thing about packing light for these trips is that it is also a “work” trip and there are a few work functions that we go to that require us to dress up, so that means packing 2-3 fancier dresses and heels, items i wouldn’t normally travel with.  also, we always go in the off season (just before peak season starts), so the weather is a little trickier to anticipate, so i have to pack extra layers in case of cold or rain.


here’s the breakdown of what i’ll be bringing:


shirts: 1 graphic tee, 1 long sleeved b&w stripe shirt (it goes with everything), 1 tunic (could be worn with leggings), a dressy tank/tunic/short dress (for warmer days or a beach cover up), long chambray tunic for layering, and a lightweight gauzy boho shirt {similar}


bottoms: 1 pair of shorts {similar} (just in case its warm enough), 1 pair of skinny jeans, 1 pair of black denim ankle length skinny jeans, 1 pair of ponte pants/thick leggings with pockets and stitch details that elevates them just a bit from regular leggings


sweaters: 1 grey loose fitting cowl neck sweater {similar} & 1 tan loose fit shawl collar cardigan {similar}


jackets: 1 olive green field coat {similar} (goes with everything) & 1 lightweight puff coat {similar} (in case its really chilly)


2 dresses: 1 fitted sheath {similar}, 1 trapeze/a-line style.


extras: 1 bathing suit {similar}, pajamas, running clothes


accessories: 1 belt, 1 hat {similar}, 2 cross body bags, 2 scarves (great for airplane travel)


shoes: dressy heels {similar}, gladiator sandals, ankle boots {similar}, running shoes, flats {similar}

travel outfits

 these are just a few off the many combinations that i can make with these pieces! cheap true religion i like to have the ability to pack as few items as possible, but have as many outfit options as possible. true religion outlet packing items that work well together give me more options – options to dress up or down, or to add or subtract layers without looking like an obvious tourist.


PicMonkey Collage4

soon i’ll share my magic tricks & tips for packing ALL of this into ONE carryon suitcase!

packing light: nyc in the spring

packing light NYC in spring

we just got back from a family trip to NYC and it was amazing!  we were blessed with amazing weather, but we were prepared just in case it wasn’t so great.  with 5 of us traveling for 6 days, we tried to pack pretty light.  here are my outfits, and some tips!

packing light NYC in spring

for flying, i like to wear leggings for comfort, but to dress it up just a touch.  you never know when the flight attendant may need to choose someone for first class ;)  i don’t prefer to show my bum, so a longer tunic works perfectly.  i layer on a thin cardigan, and always always always wear/carry a scarf.  this can be used as a light blanket, a pillow, for a little extra warmth.  i like to wear flats on the plane, but decided to wear sandals this time.  i also tuck a pair of warm socks in my purse for once i’m on the plane – my feet always get cold!

we got into the city around 6, so this outfit transitioned well for walking and heading out for dinner – no need to change outfits!

leggings //  tunic {similar, similar} // scarf {similar} //  sandals {similar, similar, similar, similar}

packing light NYC in spring

like i said, we had amazing weather.  our first day was easily over 85*!  a tank would’ve been better, but this cotton shirt still worked nicely because it was light colored and loose fitting.  i tend to keep my outfits fairly neutral when traveling so if the weather throws me for a loop i can layer on pieces from other outfits and they’ll still work.  also, cross body bag.  a must.  i brought 2 with, both lay pretty flat.  why do i like these for travel?  because they have enough storage to fit the daily essentials, but not enough room to carry everyone else’s goodies!  each of my kids carried their own small bag for themselves (yay for big kids!).  cross body bags are great for long days of walking because i don’t have to hold my bag, i can alternate shoulders, and it is tight against my body on crowded sidewalks.

shirt {similar, similar} //   jeans //  converse //  bag

packing light NYC in spring

the next day the weather was cooler, even a teeny bit sprinkly (i think i felt maybe 10 drops).  it was still pretty warm, so an airy top with a light jacket was plenty warm.  comfy shoes are a must if you plan on walking much.  i have made the mistake of choosing cute shoes over comfort when traveling before and it was so bad i won’t ever do it again!  these boots were awesome.

shirt {similar, similar, similar} //  jeans //  jacket {similar} //  boots // bag {similar}

packing light NYC in spring

i am pretty sensitive to changes in temperature, so when i chose to wear a tank top, i also grabbed a sweater.  thankfully, my bag  is big enough to shove a sweater into if needed.

tank //  sweater //  pants {similar, similar, similar} //  converse //  bag

packing light NYC in spring

i don’t usually dress super casual when we travel, but in NYC i think you can really wear anything and fit in.  people & style watching there was so much fun!

shirt {similar, similar} //  jacket  {similar} //  jeans // converse //  bag

packing light NYC in spring

we had a morning flight out so no time for fun other than a quick walk to breakfast.  my “travel leggings” were on the bottom of the dirty clothes pile so there was no re-wearing them this time around!  jeans it was.  after having 3 kids, i have found that i prefer loose fitting tops.  i’m self conscious about my belly, so this trapeze sweater is perfect!  and again, a scarf.

sweater //  jeans //  boots //  scarf {similar} //  bag {similar}

i also packed a dressier dress, opaque tights and heels just in case, but we didn’t need them.  i also threw in a couple extra shirts in case i changed my mind.

i love the challenge of packing light!  if anyone wants to see what i’d pack for hawaii in the summer, i’d be happy to share.  all i need is for someone to send me there!