Whether you're headed to the beach, the mountains or just taking in the sights of a new city, packing for your vacation doesn't have to be complicated. And no, you really don't need all five pieces of that Louis Vuitton luggage, either.
In this modern age of long wait lines and delays at the airport, the old adage of less is better is even more true when it comes to a travel wardrobe. So before your next trip, take a little think time and do some planning. Here are some tips on what to pack and what to leave at home:
—Think about your destination. Yes, we all know that packing for a trip to Cabo San Lucas will be different than packing for a hiking trip in the Rocky Mountains. But you'll need to plan accordingly and think ahead. Don't wait until the last minute to pack. If you need a pair of new walking sandals or hiking shoes, build in plenty of shopping time.
—Think about making a list. If you know how you'll be spending most of your vacation time, then you can make a daily wardrobe plan. If you're going to be lounging by a pool most of the time, you'll need several swimsuits and cover-ups. You can leave some of your jeans at home, and just take several pairs of white shorts and capris. You may need one dress for dining out at night.
—Think about multitasking. Make sure your clothes can do double duty. Wear that floral maxi dress as a cover-up to the beach one day, and out to dinner the next day. There are lots of tunic tops that can also double as cover-ups too. Some swimwear, especially rash guards can also easily double as chic tops when worn with loose linen pants. And don't forget to pack an extra scarf or two. An oversized scarf has lots of versatility and can double as a sarong or shawl on a chilly plane.
—Think about color. Stick to one or two colors that you'll be able to mix and match to create new looks throughout your trip. I like to use black and white as base colors, and then add turquoise accessories, like a handbag and shoes. Then I just wear silver jewelry with everything. It keeps dressing simple and packing is much easier too. I can leave all my gold jewelry at home.
—Think about layering. If you've packed the basics, then you can always add or subtract extra layers. So start with a long tank top or T-shirt in a neutral color that will go with everything in your travel wardrobe. Then you can wear the tank by itself or layer it under shorter tops or cardigans. Dresses, vests, even skirts all offer layering possibilities. Thin fine-gauge knits work best for layering.
—Think about downsizing. Leave bulky items at home. You might be tempted to pack your latest Gucci satchel or your knee-high boots, but these items will only take up tons of space in your suitcase. Ditto for large hair dryers and large cans of hair spray. Opt for a foldable "crushable" hat instead of a huge straw one that will probably end up getting "crushed" anyway. It's time to streamline and travel light. You'll be glad you did when you're lugging it all through the airport.
To find out more about Sharon Mosley, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.