Packing for 10 Days and 2 Continents

I am a horrible over packer and tend to bring things I will never wear. I don’t know how I justify it to myself, but somehow always end up with 6 pairs of shoes on a 2 day trip…

Anyway, for my trip to New York and then onto Stockholm and Copenhagen I decided to pack even tighter than normal. I was going to be flying budget airlines that wouldn’t allow my carry on bag unless I paid extra, and I was not about the let that happen. Plus I would be staying in some hostels along the way and wanted to make sure my baggage fit in the lockers. The tricky bit was packing for a Bachelorette trip and solo travel in one bag. I borrowed a bag from my soon to be mother-in-law who travels a ton, a small small small bag. No joke, it is half the size of a normal carry on so I was going to have to be super smart about my decisions.

Here are the guidelines I gave myself to make it all work:

  • Check the weather obsessively and only pack one winter coat
  • 1 pair of shoes to wear, and 1 pair for the suitcase
  • Makeup and skin essentials only, no extra crap you know you aren’t going to use (cough fake eyelashes cough)
  • No patterns and bright colors

Here is what I ended up bringing:

  • Champion Piece: Everlane The Cashmere Crop Mockneck in Navy. Looking back I wore this sweater almost everyday with no shame. I grossly underestimated how cold it was going to be. I now own this sweater in 5 colors and plan on bringing every single one on my next cold place trip)
  • 2 pairs of Jeans: Everlane Authentic Stretch High-Rise Skinny and Universal Thread Skinny Jean from Target
  • 1 Winter Coat: Madewell Puffer Jacket in Military Green – Similar
  • Shoes: Adidas Stan Smith’s in All White and Sam Edelman Circus Boots in Black
  • Travel Pants: Everlane The Easy Chino, I wore these on the plane, train, and in the evening before bed
  • 3 cotton shirts with no logo, good for a French tuck, bad for windy weather
  • Lots of socks and undies, I did my research ahead of time and I knew I wouldn’t have the chance to do laundry. Since they don’t take up a lot of space I was liberal with the intimates
  • Least worn items: 1 off the shoulder top for going out in NYC, 1 leopard dress, 1 white button down
  • Shame moment: I somehow forgot to bring a scarf and hat so I bought them almost immediately when I got to Stockholm. The silver lining is I grabbed them from H&M, a Swedish brand, and consider them souvenirs.

In addition, I always pack a few things to jazz up the outfit and make me feel pretty. First, I always have my nails done. Most of the time, I get Gel so no chipping occurs, if not I paint them myself and bring the same color polish to touch up along the way. Second, a nice watch. I love my Marc Jacobs leather band watches, the batteries don’t work anymore but I look fly. Third, a bitching pair of sunglasses. I almost never wear them normally but for some reason while traveling, I like having them for my people watching. Last, I pack 3-4 thin gold or silver rings. I like stacking them and moving them around depending on how I feel. They don’t take up a lot of space and add a final touch to my look.

What Would I do Differently? Honestly, not much. I was actually really proud at how I did this trip. My biggest disappointments were with the Stan Smith’s and the Winter jacket. Both are items I wouldn’t wear normally and forcing myself to wear them almost everyday for 10 days was a huge challenge. The puffer was warm but I would have been better off with something that came down below my waist as Sweden and Denmark are COLD in October (sorry I am a California weather baby). I was never a big sneaker person so buying Stan Smith’s in the first place was a strange choice. I always like having a pair of running shoes with my when I travel, since I didn’t pack them I went with bringing sneakers instead.