Like almost everyone I know, I love travelling. There are few sights more exciting than the horizon out of a plane window, knowing that you’re off in search of new experiences.
But… I hate checking bags when I fly. Waiting around the baggage claim with a hundred other tired and grimy travelers, pushing my way to the front when I finally spy my bag, only to have been fooled by a bag doppleganger and finally having to lug an extra piece of luggage around your final destination *shudder*. Ugh, no thank you!!
So, when I found out I was taking a last minute trip to England (and knowing that I would be navigating a lot of public transit), I decided to skip suitcases altogether, and see if I could make it with a backpack and my favorite tote.
I know, you probably think I’m crazy, but it can be done, and honestly, I would suggest it! All it takes is a little planning and a willingness to wear variations on the same outfit.
To start with, I set myself three rules to help me pack. 1) I only packed clothing that went together, all in shades of black, grey and blue. 2) I didn’t pack anything that I don’t wear regularly, because if you don’t like it enough to wear it at home, you won’t wear it on vacation (with obvious exceptions like swimsuits etc). 3) I got everything I wanted to bring with me out and laid it on my bed, and I put away two items (you never need as much as you think you do).
As you can see, all of the tops I picked are in the color scheme I decided on. I like the polka dot blouse and the striped long sleeved tee because they’re casual and comfy without being boring. The camis are favorites of mine too, because they’re small and easy to dress up or down. The jewelry I picked is simple enough to go with everything, but still add interest to my outfits. Because the weather’s going to be in the 50s and 60s, I opted to pack my leather jacket in lieu of a real coat.
Dark denim is a life saver while traveling as it’s a little dressier than normal denim, and doesn’t show dirt as easily. My black pants will probably serve as my dressiest pants, and my sweater dress is perfect for travel since it’s basically a blanket that is socially acceptable to wear outside the house. You really only need two pairs of shoes, booties and comfortable flats (I subbed in boat shoes), and normally, I would never bring heels while traveling because they’re just not that versatile. However, I have an event that I will need heels for and if you’re a heels kind of girl, I say go for it!
As far as toiletries, I honestly don’t wear much makeup, so I just took my usual make up, some dry shampoo (a lifesaver for long trips) and some mouthwash (ditto). I usually spray my hair with the dry shampoo and put it up in a crown braid before getting on the plane, which ensures I arrive with (somewhat) decent looking hair.
For entertainment, I loaded up my phone with podcasts, audiobooks and movies/TV shows and brought a couple books. I love audiobooks, but they’re usually so expensive, however, did you know that if you have a DC library card, you can download them for free from the DC eLibrary? They have a pretty good selection, and you get each book for 21 days. Movies and TV shows? If you have Amazon Prime, you can download the Amazon Video app and download movies and TV shows to your phone, which is perfect for times when you don’t have internet access (i.e. the 8 hour flight to England).
All things considered, I ended up being pretty happy that I chose to travel England by backpack, it makes it so much nicer when you don’t have to spend your trip worrying about a load of luggage that you never even use!
So, was this helpful? What do you bring on trips abroad? Let me know what you think!