Posted: Aug 20, 2013 8:00 AM
Normally, I'm not much of a less-is-more type of girl. But when I travel, I find it annoying to deal with tons of luggage. There is a freedom in limiting your wardrobe options when you travel. Bring less, enjoy your trip more. 

When I over pack, it's usually because I didn't plan very well. I toss in whatever is clean and seems appropriate and hope for the best. But then, inevitably, I arrive at my destination without shoes for one outfit or the right undergarments for another. So now I deliberately try to pack a few days ahead of time, with a plan.

Limit your color palette

I love to wear a lot of bright colors, but if not worn correctly, one can look a little bit like a clown. For a short trip, it's just easier to stick to a few colors and not worry about it. For most people, this probably means your basic neutrals: gray, beige, white and black. If you were to pack only these colors, then they all go together in several combinations. Neutrals don't have to be boring. Bring in color and personality with jewelry and accessories.

Get creative with accessories

Most accessories are small and easy to pack, so go crazy. With the right statement necklace, no one will notice that the rest of your outfit is simple. Brightly patterned scarves do double duty as they polish off a simple dress and provide extra warmth in the car or airplane. An armful of bangles or big earrings will make you feel glamorous without taking up much space in your bag.

Eliminate variety

Another packing mistake I've made is to give myself multiple options for each day or event. There's really no need. Plan what to wear, and then maybe bring one suitable backup plan for the whole trip (a simple black dress for example). A major waste of space is to bring a different pair of shoes for every outfit. Choose wisely (comfort is of the utmost importance, cute is a close second) and bring shoes that will go from day to night. Ballet flats are especially versatile, as are flat boots.

Force it

For cost and convenience, I make myself carry my bag on the airplane, so I'm forced to get everything I need into one small suitcase and one large tote purse. Often this makes the editing decisions for me, since I can't leave the house until the bag is easily zipped. When I know I'm taking a large bag, that's when I fall into the trap of "I'll just bring this one extra thing." Limiting yourself gives you one less thing to think about.

I want to look good while traveling, but I don't want to spend time making wardrobe decisions in a hotel room. The time it takes to plan ahead is worth it not to think about what to wear when you're actually on the trip. For work or for pleasure, less stress of any kind means you'll enjoy yourself more.

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