Fast Tips for Carry-On Packing
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.
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.
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.)
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).
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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