I’m no stranger to overpacking. In fact, I’ve had multiple carry-ons tear at the seams on me. For this reason, I made it a goal this year to do my absolute best to pack minimally….starting with my first travel endeavors to the Pacific Northwest for an extended weekend trip this past February. Keep scrolling for some of my favorite cold-weather packing secrets and where I’m headed off to next week!
First off, Washington is no joke in the early months of the year. It was snowing for a few days prior to my arrival – so much so that lots of flights were either cancelled or delayed. Yeah…this Texas girl is never prepared for snow. I’m no good with cold weather at all. Ha! So, I needed to make sure I created a packing list that would keep me warm and ready just in case it continued to snow.
Next, I needed a new luggage. I had no idea where to start looking, so I’m so glad you sweet friends recommended CALPAK to me! I had a hard time choosing between the Davis Carry-On and the Wandr Carry-On, because both seemed to be good sizes and I loved the features both models offered. (The Davis has a large compartment while the Wandr has a laptop compartment.) Ultimately, I needed something that was most practical for me and opted for the Wandr Carry-on Luggage for its handy, easy-access laptop compartment. I also loved that it came in my favorite color: mint. Y’all, I’m a creature of habit. I just had to get it.
When the luggage arrived a day before my trip, I was taken back by how small it was. This is the first true carry-on luggage purchase I’ve made myself, and it seemed much smaller in comparison to my others from the past. Packing with a hard shell isn’t exactly easy. Plus, packing for a cold weather trip was going to be inherently more difficult, because the pieces I planned on bringing were thicker fabrics. I had a goal to do this whole minimal packing thing, so I was gonna make it work. And I did. I was so pleased with this luggage and with my packing job on this trip. So, here are some things that worked for me on this trip:
1. Compartmentalize all your things.
I’m not thoroughly convinced by packing cubes yet to compress items and save space, but I do believe the organization factor of it makes traveling so much easier. Your loose items need a home, so they’re not flying around everywhere in your luggage. For example, I love packing neutral camis, except I don’t love how they always get lost inside my luggage. This trip, I made sure to roll them up like little taquitos and stuff them inside their own zipper compartment. Same with my underwear. I kept those in a laundry bag for easy access. CALPAK offers packing cubes specifically for their luggage, but I also found this set for half the price with an additional laundry bag.
2. If possible, wash clothes on the trip.
If packing minimally is a goal that you have too, it’s inevitable you’re going to wear some items more than once. If that’s the case, don’t be afraid to wash your clothes on your trip. Some items understandably need more care than others, but if you’re up for it, pack some travel detergent packs and do some light washing in the sink. You can always hang them to dry in the bathroom area and it’ll be as good as new the next time you wear it.
3. Mix and match basics. Dress up with accessories.
When it comes to clothing, you friends know I love wearing bright colors. When it comes to packing for a trip with a limited amount of space, I say the best way to pack is to go with basics that are easy to mix and match. You can always add fun and colorful accessories, because they won’t take up as much space. My favorite way to make an outfit more fun is with earrings or colorful scarves, especially on cold weather trips. Below are some basic outfit ideas I loved on my trip. Each outfit includes light layering pieces that are easy to roll up in your suitcase. You’ll notice I didn’t include a fifth outfit. To be completely honest, I would wear the same thing on the plane ride back to conserve space. Remember: washing is an option!
Some other favorites I purchased and brought along for this trip were this $44 oversize black thermal top and this $24 neutral sweater. They were insanely warm, comfortable, and worked well with jeans and tennies as they did with leggings and heeled booties. I felt like a mini-heater trapping in all my body heat! Surprisingly, it actually warmed up over the few days I was there, so I packed more than enough to keep me warm.
Below is a candid of me wearing my “Shopping Day” outfit browsing around one of the cutest stores on Bainbridge Island, WA: Salt House Mercantile. They had so many thoughtful hostess gifts, including fun stationary, colorful candles, cute farmers market bags, and incredible homeware. I didn’t want to leave the store!