OK, good news! After being back in the states for just short of a week, I think I’m finally readjusted to CDT.
It was pretty brutal, though. I was falling asleep at 6 p.m., then waking up at 3:30 a.m., and then sleeping for 13 hours straight during the adjustment period.
The bad news? I’m missing Paris and London so, so badly you guys! My recent trip was almost perfect, except for that whole part where I had my passport stolen. One of the things that helped me have an almost-stress-free trip was my meticulously-planned packing list. I’m a super Type A person, and so I plan just about everything out in advance. Outfits are no exception. So, when I packed to head to Europe for several days, I figured out exactly what I wanted to wear each day prior to jetsetting, so it was one less thing to stress about while I was on vacation.
The weather was forecasted to be in the 50s and 60s for the entire trip, with a few smatterings of rain, so I knew that meant lots of layers and jackets.
Whenever I pack for a short trip, I pick a really simple color palette that’s mostly filled with neutrals. I start by picking either black or navy as a base color, and then building outfits out from there. For my recent Europe trip, I picked black.
-Gray tank top
-Burgundy gingham button-up
-Black leather jacket
-Gray wool blazer
-Khaki trench coat (OK, I kind of cheated a bit — this was my major London purchase that I didn’t originally pack.)
-Black skinny jeans
-Dark wash skinny jeans
-Black crossbody bag
Shop the pieces here: (affiliate link alert!)
Here’s how I combined the pieces to make outfits for the trip:
-Default airport and plane outfit: cognac flats + black leggings + burgundy bralette + gray tank top + gray sweater + olive scarf
-Day one: riding boots + dark skinny jeans + leather belt + black t-shirt + wool blazer
-Day two: cognac flats + black skinny jeans + black-and-white-striped top + leather jacket
-Day three: cognac flats + black skinny jeans + white tunic + chambray shirt + Barbour jacket
-Day four: cognac flats + black skinny jeans + gingham button-up + trench coat + olive scarf
-Day five: riding boots + dark skinny jeans + chambray shirt + Barbour jacket
I know a lot of people go for oh-so-totally-fabulous-Parisian-wannabe-chic when they head to Europe, but I just wanted to stick to my style, because it’s what I know best and am the most comfortable in.
A few more notes:
I’m really glad I ended up bringing two pairs of shoes. My riding boots didn’t get as much use as I thought they would, but my flats did get soaked in the rain a few times, so it was really nice to have the boots on hand to change into. Also, while I probably didn’t need four different choices of outerwear, I knew each piece would be the focus of each outfit. Plus, I just really couldn’t decide! Luckily, I had plenty of room in my suitcase.
Speaking of my suitcase, I actually don’t own one! Investing in a quality piece of luggage has been on my to-do list for quite some time, but for this trip, Mando let me borrow his beat-up old Samsonite. I had been considering purchasing this suitcase or something from here for myself, but after literally dragging, pushing and throwing (sorry Mando!) the Samsonite through mud, across cobblestone and around spiraling staircases, I think I’ll be getting something ugly but durable. Any suggestions?
In addition to the suitcase, I also had two more bags. I usually use a three-bag system when I travel. I pack a small crossbody with my money/ travel documents/ passport/ iPhone/ battery pack/ Chapstick. Then, I pack a tote — usually my Longchamp — with my carryon essentials. I slide the crossbody into the tote just prior to boarding so I meet the airline’s two-bag requirement if I’m bringing my suitcase as a carry-on.
It’s really ironic, because I was going to lay down a line about how I always prefer crossbody and shoulder bags to backpacks because it makes you a harder pickpocket target, but, well, look how that ended up. Eyeroll.
Also, thanks to TSA restrictions, I’m always really careful when it comes to packing my toiletries. I always use a thick disposable high-quality Ziploc-brand quart-size bag for my liquids. I find that it’s easy to stretch these bags out and fit a little bit more into them. I usually ditch foundations and primers and stick to powder makeup so I can pack travel-size shampoo, conditioner, lotion, contact solution, toothpaste, concealer, nail polish, Dr. Bronner’s soap and perfume. In a separate small bag, I pack the remaining essentials: eyeshadow, mascara, eyebrow powder, gel eyeliner, makeup brushes, an eyelash curler, a toothbrush, blister sticks, band-aids, makeup wipes, hair ties, bobby pins, Tide-to-go sticks, a mini-loofah, a portable lint roller, deodorant, a disposable razor, spare contact lenses, a contact case and powder foundation.
Now, let’s talk phone batteries. Every social media addict’s eternal struggle is a phone battery that drains way too fast. I ended up borrowing this charging case from Mando, and using it along with my very reliable battery pack and a micro USB cord to charge the case via the battery pack. I kept my phone on low battery mode the entire trip, and — thanks to a combination of Instagram, Google Maps and the camera app — ended up draining the phone, the battery case and part of the battery pack every day. Whoops!
A few more quick things. I have an outlet converter from Target that I always bring for international trips. It works great for charging, but I have fried more than one (exactly three) hair tools using it. If you’re going to bring a hair dryer/ straighter/ curler with you, be prepared to blow it out.
Also, don’t forget to record your international trip with the U.S. Embassy, make sure your health insurance plan covers you overseas, check to see whether you can use your smartphone and carrier abroad and let a friend/ family member back home know about your plans! I always, always share my location via the Find My Friends app with my close friends and family members back home when I’m traveling.