Fast Tips for Carry-On Packing

by | Sep 13, 2017 | Gear, Lifestyle, Women Specific

So, I was packing for a 12 day trip that goes from 40 to 100 degree weather, all different climates and things I’m doing (running, working at races, going to fancy dinners, attending a trade show, hanging out… the list is insane.). And OK, black and white and gray is my go-to palette as a rule, but when I want to stick to a small suitcase, I really boil down to my favorites, and skip the colors when necessary. No joke, I have 1 pair of blue jean shorts in here, a chartreuse silk scarf, and a burgundy hat. That’s it, color-wise.

Anyway, in packing, I came up with a couple of tips for packing fast for a long trip, keeping your list to a minimum.

Layer It Up

I can’t stress this enough. I actually had a big jacket in here initially, but took it out because between a raincoat and a few merino wool layers, I’m warm in almost every condition.  This is especially huge when we have such wide temperature fluctuations—even at a race, it can be 95 in the morning, 40 when we’re leaving, so it’s nice to be able to layer versus change.

Neutral Palette

So, you would think I grayscaled this picture about. I did not. Your neutral may not be quite as Winona Ryder inspired, but I’m a fan of picking two base colors and one accent color. That way, mixing and matching is super easy and you don’t have to *really* plan for “Day 1 I’ll wear these 4 things, then Day 2 I’ll wear these 6 pieces…” I find it’s nice to write out a basic plan, but assume that mostly, that plan will get thrown out the window as weather and plans change.

Minimal Shoes

Both in terms of shoe size and the number you bring. I swapped my sneakers and galoshes to Vivo Barefoot options a couple years ago and never looked back. I personally prefer to wear the barefoot shoes and I think my feet are stronger because of it. But the added bonus is that the sneakers and the galoshes are 1/3 the size of normal ones! So they take up way less room. And on the minimal choice side, I just have a pair of flat sandals and a pair of heels in addition to the sneakers and galoshes. I wouldn’t normally have the heels, but I know I’ll want them in Vegas, so they’re in there!

Multiples That You Will Wear

I have four pairs of leggings, three pairs of run shorts—all exactly the same. This seems like a lot. Except… I wear both of those things most days. So, I don’t skimp on what I know I’ll want to have on hand. Especially when I’m not sure what I’ll have in terms of laundry. (That’s also why I bring a hefty amount of underwear. You hope for laundry but prep to not have any.)

High-Low Pieces

I’m big on double-duty pieces of clothing, like my black stretch jeans from Zara (I admit I love them partially because I can say I got them at a sale in Girona). But black jeans work great because they can get fancied up pretty easily with a nicer top, or be super casual with a tshirt. I tried to pick mostly pieces like that: simple dresses that work with sneakers for a regular day, heels for a nice dinner. (Just got this dress from Patagonia’s huge end of season sale and I am in love: so good with heels, so good with sneakers.)

And again—I’m a huge fan of having a couple of small go-to accessories that can dress up an outfit (like these earrings from Favor).

Bathing. Suit.

Despite not having a lot of space, I will ALWAYS pack a bathing suit because you just never know. (I opt for a top that can double as a sports bra, so that way I’m not adding too much extra stuff.)

There you have it! I’ll get into the mobile office gear in a later post, in case anyone was wondering! In addition to the carry-on, I have a pretty hefty backpack… And if you’re at Interbike, let me know!!

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