Narrowing down what to take with you on a trip can be a daunting task. You want to be comfy, but you also want to be cute without packing up your whole closet. I just got back from a 4 day trip to NYC + DC where we did a TON of walking, and I’m so happy that I chose the items that I did. There were 6 adults and 2 kids on this trip, so I knew that whatever I took, it couldn’t be anything complicated, and because we were going to be walking at minimum 5 hours a day (one day we clocked almost 9), heels were also a NO-GO. Luckily, I didn’t wait til the last minute to pack, and I was able to fit it all in a carry-on bag!
If you’re prepping to travel soon and are stuck on what to take with you, here are some tips for creating a travel wardrobe for short trips.
Dresses + Jumpsuits
I know that dresses and jumpsuits are a given, but I can’t express how necessary they are for trips like this. Simple one and done pieces like this that are made from cotton, crepe or a jersey knits are life-saving. They pack easy (roll them up or fold them down really small then steam/lightly iron), and can be dressed up or down with your accessories.
Lush Knit Maxi Dress, $52
Madewell Stripe Jumpsuit, $138
Flat Woven Sandals
A flat woven sandal will keep you cute and comfy on the go. Flip flops are a no-no (you think they’re a good choice til you have to run through an airport so that you don’t miss your flight). They’re too casual, and they don’t offer any type of support when you’re walking for long periods of time. A neutral woven sandal (preferably with an ankle strap and light padding) works well with pants and dresses and will fit in almost any situation.
Born Mai Easy Sandal, $80
Kimonos + a Denim Jacket
Want to jazz up that dress or jumpsuit? Top it with a patterned kimono or denim jacket. Find them in lightweight fabrics (even in the Summer, the airport and a lot of restaurants blast their A/C), with pretty patterns or details (I have this denim jacket that has pearls on the sleeves) and bring it all together with your jewelry.
Do not, I repeat, DO NOT pack up all of your jewelry. If you take too many options with you, it will take you forever to get dressed. All you need are pieces that will work with multiple outfits. I packed 5 pairs of earrings (my tried and true gold hoops and 4 pairs of statement earrings), 2 bracelets that could be worn alone or layered, a few thin gold rings and 3 necklaces.
Joggers, Cropped Pants + Patterned Tops
If you don’t want to wear sweats but still want to pack some pants, linen joggers are a must. You can pair them with patterned tops, or a tank and kimono for a simple yet chic look. Cropped pants can be a fun alternative to your regular skinny jeans. Like your joggers, they can work with your tops or kimonos, and if you need to be a little dressier for one of your nights, just include a pair of strappy sandals in your bag.
In addition to those items, don’t forget to pack both a smaller handbag and a tote; depending on where you go, you’ll need a bag to store your camera, reading materials, etc., and a cute handbag to swap it out for if needed for quick dinners or meetups.