I always overpack. ALWAYS. But I'm trying to be better. This year's vacation posed a special kind of packing challenge. I am on the road for 3 weeks and am encountering a wide range of climates. The first challenge was identifying what to wear in the car for 3 days, because being uncomfortable in the car when you are driving from 8-12+ hours a day for 3 days in a row is a no-go in my world.
I swung into Old Navy with the intention of scoring some comfy pants that weren't sweats for the car ride. I scored on my first pick. These green pants are light weight and have an elastic waist band (I was going for pajama level comfort that didn't look like pjs). The first three days of travel in the car really highlighted the difference between my real life and the life of the fashion bloggers I follow. Their travel clothes (usually airports, not cars) are always super stylish. Mine, not so much. I wore a variation of the same outfit the whole drive (actually, I literally wore the same outfit day 1 & 2). I was also covered in UV rated material whenever the sun shifted onto my body #skincancerbegone. I was wearing a UV rated zip up from Coolibar, plus I had a UV rated blanket draped over my legs. I was not glamorous, to say the least.
The next packing challenge was having some variety for the 3 weeks, but limiting myself to half of a large suitcase (My husband got the other half- I believe in equality). On top of that I needed to be prepared for cooler temps in San Francisco, hiking gear for Yosemite, and warmer temps in L.A. for a few days. A month ago I had high ambitions for capturing cool outfit photos for the blog while on this trip. I was envisioning all of these specific outfits and the types of locations that would be good backdrops (i.e., all of the fabulous photo ops I see my favorite bloggers doing). And then I actually had to pack clothes that would be appropriate for all of the weather and activities I mentioned. This is where my good intentions for the blog fell apart. I've watched my favorite bloggers cart 3+ suitcases on their travels for shorter durations than my trip and I just couldn't bring myself to do that. There wouldn't have been enough room in the car anyway! So I began the process of whittling down my options.
I usually start my packing with a list of items grouped by category. I pull those items from my closet and lay them out and then I make myself be realistic and put a couple of items from each category back. This means I have to look at my selections and decide what can be mixed and matched the most and ditch some of the less versatile pieces. I also had to get realistic about the temps I was going to encounter- it turns out 4 pairs of shorts AND 3 rompers is not a wise move when most of your time in going to be in San Francisco (read: under 70 degrees). So I put 2 of the shorts and a romper back in the closet. I also had to bump my sweaters up from 2 to 4. Smartest move I made- as I sit under a blanket in SF working on this post. And you can see from my t-shirt selection, my last blog post was an accurate representation of my summer wardrobe. Jeans and tee FTW.
Where I tend to really lose control of my packing is my shoes and toiletries. This stuff alone took up half of the other big suitcase. That is another packing habit of mine. I like to keep all of the clothes in one suitcase and all of the other stuff in a separate case-especially shoes. I just don't like the idea of the dirt on the shoes mixing in with my clean clothes. I packed a selection of light weight coats as well to help deal with the chilly SF conditions. I tossed in a decent selection of workout gear with the bright hope that I would actually work out this vacation (I'm on day 3 in SF and it hasn't happened yet- now I feel guilty, so the odds of a workout tonight or tomorrow morning just increased). I'm not even going to embarrass myself with a picture of all of my hair supplies and whatnot.
In the end, I feel like I packed a lot, as the suitcase was bulging and reluctant to zip, but I did edit things down notably from my original intentions (so long dreams of fabulous vacation blog photos). I'll keep you posted on how many days I get through before feeling like I have NOTHING TO WEAR. You know that feeling I'm sure. You look into your packed closet and feel at a loss for an outfit that sparks any excitement. But that is another issue I'm saving for later this summer when I get back home. I'll take you on my 'Closet Redux' journey then, but for now, lets enjoy vacation!