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How to pack smart

How to pack smart! Especially when packing light! This is something I’ve been working on. When it comes to travel I’m known to over pack and under wear. Recently, I traveled to New York to visit a friend. I could have packed a large bag with ease!! But, opted to pack minimally and actually wear everything packed.

With that said, this was a short four day trip. A carry on was sufficient for travel. Regardless of time spent away packing smart never hurts. I am notorious for a super heavy piece of luggage and needing to reconfigure my bag in order to not be over the weight restrictions for checked bags. Such a stressor! Gotta learn to pack smarter. haha! So, here we go! I’m sharing how I packed for my most recent trip. I wore 90% of what was packed and am so happy with how the outfits worked out.

How to pack smart

First, things first. I like to focus on the shoes needed for travel. The shoes look different depending on the trip location/activities. But, for this case I knew we’d be doing some walking. Or lots of walking! haha. Along with that, we had a couple dressy occasions and casual occasions. The shoes of choice were a pair of booties, converse, and platform sandals. All three pair are comfortable enough for some walking and allow for a range of occasions.

Plan out shoes you will need based on the occasions. Then plan outfits around the shoes needed; try to choose pieces of clothing that are easily interchangeable. For example, I wore a long black cardi on the plane. Easier to not pack since it takes up quite a bit of space. I knew this would be a versatile piece. I also packed a graphic tee. One I could wear with jeans, joggers, or denim shorts. I kept my color scheme in a realm of cream, white, grey, back, with a couple pops of color for tops. 

The looks based on shoe choice

  • The booties came in handy for wearing with a dress for day wear and then were used for a dressy night out on the town in NYC. I was able to pack these in my bag with ease next to my slim converse.
  • Sneakers are a great travel choice! Especially these days. Sneakers can be worn with so many different outfits. They’re great with dresses, shorts, dressy tops, pants, workout clothes, etc. The list goes on and on.
  • I opted to wear my sneakers three times. Once with a floral peplum top and denim shorts. Then with a cropped graphic tee and mom jeans. Lastly, with a grey dress and denim jacket.
  • Lastly, on the day of travel wore a pair of platform sandals with jeans, a tee, and cardigan. Then one afternoon after getting our toes done. Finally, wore these shoes on my travel day home with joggers, a graphic tee, and cardigan.  

With the knowledge of walking and knowing how my feet are easily sore. I knew it was important to have three pairs of shoes. However, if you aren’t in a scenario where there is a lot of walking or don’t easily get sore feet it’s even easier to wear the sneakers for travel and pack one pair of shoes in the luggage.


Outfit combos:

Day of travel- 

how to pack smart

Black cardigan, white tee, mom jeans, platform sandals

Second day- 

how to pack smart

Peplum top, jean shorts, converse

Second day afternoon-

how to pack smart

Black sweater tank, denim shorts, platform sandals

Second day evening-

how to pack smart

Graphic tee, mom jeans, converse

Third day-

how to pack smart

Floral dress, booties

Third day evening-

how to pack smart

Silky tank, black jeans, booties *brought black cardigan with for when it got chilly later on that night

Fourth day-

how to pack smart

tank dress, denim jacket, sneakers

Fifth day (travel home)-

*No photo for last day. Was up at 4am for a 7am flight. hehe!

Graphic tee, joggers, cardigan, platform sandals

Pieces packed/times worn:

Sneakers 3x

Booties 2x

platform sandals 3x

Floral dress 1x

Tank dress 1x

Black skinny jeans 1x

Striped silky tank 1x

Graphic Tee 2x

Black sweater tank 1x

Peplum top 1x

White v-neck tee 1x

Mom jeans 2x

Joggers 1x

Denim shorts 1x

Denim jacket 1x

Black Cardigan 3x

Pullover sweatshirt 2x

I was able to fit everything I needed- pajamas, makeup toiletries, and two pair of pants I never ended up wearing. All in a carry on bag. It was a puzzle and there was no wiggle room. But, it all packed in and I was able to get several outfits out of minimal clothes packed. I was able to mix and match pieces from day to day and it worked out really well! 

Thanks for stoping by and reading dear one’s! Hope this helps you on your next travel venture. 


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  • Reply Betsy

    Such great tips! I am notorious for packing so many outfits and wearing two plus leggings everyday. A tote bag would do it for me! Look forward to implementing your ideas and simplifying.

    August 26, 2019 at 11:32 pm
    • Reply maccarose

      Right?! hehe! Really working on only packing the necessities!

      September 4, 2019 at 11:52 pm
  • Reply Ashh

    Such great tips. I used to travel with so many extra things but now being mindful.

    August 27, 2019 at 7:45 pm
    • Reply maccarose

      I’m with ya! Just helps to keep things simple! Less is truly more!

      September 4, 2019 at 11:51 pm

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