Inspire Me Monday: Packing Light!

As you read this, I am enjoying a long overdue vacation, in Thailand! Wohoo!

During a conversation with myself (which usually takes the form of a tweet), I asked myself if I could pack for a nine-day trip abroad in just a carry-on bag.  Someone joined the twitter convo and decided to challange me… thus, here I am, proving to them and sharing with all of you, that you can indeed pack all the crap you’ll need in a carry-on! You’ll have to excuse the iphone pics, bad lighting, and crappy composition of the photos, I am afterall doing this at the airport between flights.

The  outfits were selected around this Orla Kiely bag that that D bought for me in NYC & my most comfortable pair of Steve Madden sandals. I love this bag! It is perfect for carrying around a bunch of stuff and the sandals, well, they are the only pair of gladiator-style sandals that didn’t make me gag at the height of their popularity, they are perfecrtly worn-in and totally capable of being worn for ten plus hours.

I can’t fly in pajamas or in jeans with a hoodie. Ick. When did dressing up to get on a jet-plane go out the door? I love dressing up, especially when I travel! Granted it isn’t always practical, but style takes effort and effort sometimes takes a bit of creativity. So, my jet plane outfit is below, easy peasy four-item gettup. Basic maxi dress, Afghan scarft that D got me in Afghanistan, easy-to-remove-for-securty-screening shoes and earrings… What you wear on the plane is important because you want to arrive at your destination in something that is friendly to the weather conditions there. Even though it will be in the 80s upon arrival in Bangkok, I chose a long sleeve dress to cover maximum skin- just as a respectful precution to the host country. Maybe I spent too much time traveling through conservative countries in my youth, but I tend to have a fear of not being  a “proper” woman when I travel not non-western countries, America is so much more liberal and my personality matches it, the standards everywhere else are different, and I am not about to cause an international incident (again).  Important things to note though about this jet plane outfit, the scarf is easy to carry when off and the dress will pack well on the way home.

On to the packing! As you’ll see here, I have all the basics in my TSA approved quart bag! That includes my hair washing + styling products, beauty creams, and a 1 ounce bottle of detergent to wash my clothes with during the trip. The polka dot number is my bathing suit, then my pajamas (pink & black) and a pair of socks since my feet always get cold in airplanes. Believe me when I tell you that I change into my “going to bed” clothes when traveling overnight, then I change back into my street clothes right before landing. Crazy, I know, but I can’t sleep in my clothes! next to that you’ll see the necessary power adapter thing, a luggage scale (I have been known to stuff my luggage till it is bursting at the seam and being charged for the weight…) well, if it comes to that, I will wear all my clothes (which I have also been known to do) so that I don’t have to pay the overage fees. Along with the necessities is my ipad, charger, my own pillow & blanket, and make-up basics. Eyeshadow quad which lets me change the look (travel brushes got cut off the pic), lipliner + chapstick instead of lipstick, powder with spf, mascara and eyeliner. Thankfully, my cheeks get nice a rosy in the sun, so no blush needed!


Outfits 1 & 2: Jersey knit dresses with the same belt for a little style. Both dresses are sleeveless but the navy blue one can be paired with the cardigan un case I have to go somwhere that skin needs to be covered, I read that many of the temples in Bangkok require women’s clothes to have sleeves. Both dresses hit right at the knee so I don’t have to worry about wearing shorts underneath.

Outfits 3 & 4: Same top (layered sheer blouse/tanktop combo) with different bottoms, a pair of cute shorts and the ever-so-American cargo capris. Add a little necklace, earrings, and swap the shoes and voila! Two differnt looks! All the materials are light weight, making it easy to wash & hopefully dry overnight.

Yet another wonderful pair of the All-American traveler capris, but this time in navy blue, with another tanktop to line the two very sheer and lightweight tops. Simple hoop earrings, necklace…same shoes worn on the plane. Done. Wash, rinse, and repeat.

Add some unmetionables to the mix (and a box of bandaids & misc meds) and I am ready to have some fun in Thailand!! I’ve even got a little room to spare, which was perfect for my camera and hair comb (the upside to having short hair, you can brush it with a comb!) I wish I would have wagered on this… I don’t think anyone believed it was possible for me to pack in a carry-on. Now to hope I don’t have to buy a big suitcase while I am there for the way home. The good news is that I can leave all the stuff I brought with me behind if I really feel like I need the space for something better, I have been known to do that too!

Happy New Year!



  1. Toni Geras says:

    I love Thailand! That’s where Patrick and I got engaged! Enjoy your vacation and I admire your traveling techniques. I wear the most comfy thing I own and just stay in it!

  2. Brenda,

    I am impressed at your packing skills!

    I see the secret is light weight clothes they are marvelous to travel with. I can tell you now I could never do it, because I travel with a minimum of 6 shoes and a combination of suits, gowns and the works…maybe someday 🙂

    Warm Regards,

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