Packing for US Holiday – review

I had a terrific holiday in the US – a highlight were the beautiful sunsets in St. Pete’s Beach – and my capsule worked out quite well.  There were some successes and some learning…

 

Successes:

  • I find so much value in my packing cubes! They make life simpler, seem to magically reduce the space the clothes take up and make everything easier to find!
  • I aimed to bring about 75% of what I thought I’d actually need, rather than 100%. I ended up wearing every item packed so now wonder whether I could have managed with less – maybe aim for 50% next time.
  • My medium sized suitcase was perfectly adequate and easy to carry.
  • I re-wore many items – my travel steamer was worth its weight in gold.
  • I adopted The Minimalists’ maxim of distinguishing from ‘just in case’ items to ‘just for when’ and it worked well.
  • I’m so glad I packed a little cardigan – between the coolness of the plane and the high air-conditioning indoors, I wore it nearly every day.

 

Learning:

  • Too many shoes! I brought four pairs (a huge improvement on previous holidays) but could have managed perfectly fine with three.
  • I didn’t count on thunderstorms and torrential downpours so my most worn item was an attractive plastic rain cape!
  • I over-packed my make-up bag – it was too hot to wear much and what I did wear slid off quickly – some major down-sizing has already taken place.

This time around, my travels have not only broadened my mind but restricted my packing!  Do you have any key learning points from holiday packing to share?  Have a great week 🙂

 

Holiday Packing

Does anyone else get excited about packing for a holiday? I’m going to the US for 10 days and cannot wait!!

 

I know that, to some, packing can be a chore but I love it!

I enjoy the planning aspect – it leads to anticipation and heightens the whole holiday experience for me.

I also feel that it is compulsory minimalism and I mean that in a positive way because:

  • It’s a brilliant time to try out a capsule wardrobe, if you were thinking of dipping a toe in the water
  • The clothes contained in your suitcase comprise your capsule
  • If you didn’t pack exactly what you wanted, then it’s a chance to be creative, not an opportunity to shop!

A bit of forethought and planning can go a long way.

I have a fair idea of what the weather will be like and what activities we have planned:

  • A bit of sight-seeing
  • Dining out
  • Time on the beach
  • A lot of playing with my nephews
  • Some chill-out time for Mr. Minimal-Lol and me

So it’s just a case of finding clothes that are suitable for all these activities and that can be mixed and matched. I have no anxiety when it comes to repeating outfits or pieces, which makes it easier still.

My planning self has developed a little cheat sheet to help me plan and pack. I want to wear my clothes at least 2 or 3 times each, with some pieces, like accessories, being worn almost every day. And it’s so easy to give clothes a quick wash, if they require freshening up – my summer pieces are light and dry quickly.

I’ll bring a small suitcase – ideally I would really like to travel with hand luggage only – but I won’t for fear of Mr. M-L fainting in horror. (Some day I will write a blog post about a minimalist living with a ‘maximalist’ – he may need a suitcase for his shoes alone!!).

I have tried to heed the lovely Courtney Carver’s advice – the founder of Project 333. She advises you to pack for half the number of days you are actually away. I don’t think I’ve quite hit that mark but maybe about 75%? Baby steps!

But I will be reviewing what I actually wore versus what I packed. I do this every time I go away and have ended up with quite a robust formula for a weekend away – just need to extend this for a slightly longer period of time.

Anyone have any words of wisdom for packing? Or for travelling in the US? Have a great week 🙂

Capsule for Weekend in Madrid – Review

So, I may finally be getting to grips with minimal packing for weekends away!  Madrid was fabulous and I was able to relax and take it all in, while thoroughly enjoying the company of my very dear friends.  I wasn’t worrying about what I had brought, whether it would be enough, what clothes would be suitable or whether I had brought the ‘right’ things.  The bit of forethought and planning paid off and I was confident I could get anything I had overlooked – it wasn’t as though Madrid didn’t have any shops!

I flew into the satellite terminal of Madrid-Barajas Airport, which meant taking a train to the main terminal, then boarding a shuttle to meet my friends, who had flown into a different terminal and finally a bus to the city centre.   Hand luggage made all of this so easy.  I didn’t have to wait impatiently for my bag or worry about it not ending up on the carousel (which has happened before).

I had a small cross-body bag and all my clothes, accessories and toiletries fitted beautifully into my weekend bag.   As mentioned previously, I am a fan of the packing cube and may even have converted my friends to them.  They were victims of packing cube envy as I unpacked later on, initially refusing to believe I had fitted anything of use into so small a bag.  An added bonus of the hand luggage was that while ample, it was snug, so I didn’t go on any shopping sprees.

Madrid was a bit cooler than I had expected, despite having checked the forecast.  However, the cardigan and jacket were used interchangeably and worked well.  I wore all of the clothes I had brought and felt they were enough.  I had different outfits to wear, everything could be mixed and matched and because I had planned it out in advance, I didn’t waste any precious time wondering what to wear!  Here’s an overview of what I brought 1 jacket; 1 scarf; 1 cardigan; 2 trousers; 2 pairs of shoes; 4 tops; 1 dress and my 2 bags …..