Pack For 10 Days in a Carry-On



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Pack For 10 Days in a Carry-On

Successful packing is all about coordinating. Whether you are going on a business trip or for pleasure, stick with a theme. Believe it or not, you should be able to pack for a week to ten days in a carry-on shoulder bag and a 21″ expandable suitcase (which could be carried on if you are nervous about checking baggage). Usually when I say this in workshops, I hear groans and snickers about wearing the same outfit everyday. By the end of the workshop everyone is staring at a suitcase packed with a variety of outfits and nothing left behind. So how do you do it?

Here are 5 Keys to Success:

  • Follow a monochromatic scheme – black, navy, or neutral. If you are trying to pack all three then you have tripled the amount of accessories and shoes that you need.
  • Pack no more than 3 pairs of shoes including the ones you are wearing onto the plane.
  • If you have followed our advice in the article “Does the label make the clothes?” then you already have a base wardrobe with well-coordinated accessories. The same rule applies here – mix and match.
  • Wear your heaviest item onto the plane (blazer, sweater, or overcoat). You can always wear it over your shoulders rather than putting it on.
  • If you travel often, have a toiletries kit that stays packed with all of the essentials so you can just throw it into the bag. Use containers appropriate to the length of the trip. There is no need to take the 24oz bottle of shampoo.

If you just can’t seem to pack in anything less than a 26″ suitcase, start out by making a list of everything you think you need, then GET REAL. Make a block table that is divided into categories: Daytime, Nighttime, Accessories, Shoes, Miscellaneous (Non-apparel items) and Departure Day Outfit. If you travel often, I recommend saving a template so you can snap together a suitcase in no time. There are some items that you will need on every trip so why reinvent the wheel each time. When I traveled overseas extensively, I could pack for a trip the hour before I had to leave.

So what do you need for a 10-day business trip? Here are some base lists to get you started.

Daytime:

  • 5 bottom pieces (skirts or pants)
  • 2 blazers
  • (Substitute 2 suits w/ 3 extra bottom pieces)
  • 6 blouses, tops or shirts (these can be mixed with your weekend wear also)
  • 2 pairs of dress shoes – make sure that at least one can be worn with pants and skirts

Nighttime & Weekend:

  • 2 bottom pieces
  • 3 tops or shirts
  • 1 sweater or jacket if called for by weather
  • 1 pair of casual shoes
  • 1 more elegant outfit if you have a dressier event

Unless the schedule calls for it, I don’t recommend packing jeans. They are bulky and may not fit the social setting in which you are entering. Casual pants can be adapted more easily into any setting.

Accessories Remember we said to mix and match. Well you don’t want to look like you are wearing the same boring combo every day so change the look of an outfit by re-accessorizing. Accessories don’t take up room in your luggage): Men – ties Women – scarves or costume jewelry

Miscellaneous: Make a standard list of everything you need on a trip such as tickets, money, credit cards, cellphone, passport, CD player and headphones, books & magazines, toiletries bag, etc.

Now you are ready for your next trip. If you are flying, have your toiletries kit in your bag under your seat along with items that help you relax (books, CDs etc). Freshen up just before arriving – shave, fix makeup, comb hair, brush teeth etc. Just think how confident you will appear when you arrive off the plane refreshed and not lugging a 50 lb. jumbo suitcase. There will be a bounce in your step as you meet your hosting party. When they ask where your luggage is, you can smile and say “right here. I am ready to go.” Then watch their faces as they calculate that you will be wearing the same old clothes every day. During the week observe as each day and night you arrive in a seemingly different ensemble. I promise, you will hear tons of comments about how great you look. Bon voyage!






Pack For 10 Days in a Carry-On

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