Packing a carry on for a month of travelling may sound like an impossible feat, but it’s not! I did it last summer, and I did it well. What’s worse than lugging around a huge suitcase of clothes that you don’t love or end up wearing? And while there is nothing more exciting than purchasing clothes for a big holiday, it is so much better to buy a few items that you will cherish and wear throughout your trip, than items that you don’t really like and will end up throwing away.
Less is more
You don’t need to overpack when you’re travelling and this is a common trap that people fall into when packing. That cute dress you think you might wear? You won’t wear it. Anything that is a maybe is a no, as you will only end up wearing stuff for that you know you feel comfortable and confident it.
Pack less but pack better.
For me, this is the most important rule. Go with light fabrics that can be folded up small and don’t take up too much space. Think light harem pants, cool cotton shirts, and light t-shirt dresses. Go with stuff that’s simple and easy to throw on. Avoid clunky clothes like jeans or any sort of dress made of a thick material (this is a good rule to follow when heading to a hot climate anyway), and remember that you don’t need a different outfit for every single day that you’re away. Bring things that you can mix and match with and clothes that are versatile and work well as outfits.
One of the things that were really essential in my packing a carry on for a month of travel, was that I packed a good few bralettes. My logic here was that a bralette is perfect for a day or night out, you don’t sweat wearing one so it works well for a hot climate and as they are half the material of a normal top, they take up have space, so it is easy to take a few of these. I opted for natural colours so that they were versatile in terms of outfit matching. This way, you have more outfit options, but it isn’t taking up the all so important space in your carry on.
Pack Clothes You Will Actually Wear
When people go on holiday, for some unknown reason, they decide to throw all of their normal styles conventions out the window. Everyone buys a bright flowery dress, neon boob tubes, pinstripe dress, or whichever trend is ripe for the summer that year, without considering whether its something that suits them or that they like. These clothes get left at the bottom of your bag, and inevitably thrown out in favour of whichever bizarre trend is favoured the following year. Don’t do this, it is environmentally inefficient and financially inefficient. Buy clothes that you know you’ll love, will work with the climate and that you will actually wear. This way, you don’t end up in the trap of buying, throwing away and running out of space in your carry on.
Understand where you’re going
This is a critical rule, from the cultural to things like whether you should have a good understanding of where you’re going before you travel there. Obviously, the main reason for this is that you want to avoid the oh so abhorrent ‘Brit Abroad’ ignorant vibe, but there are other more practical reasons. For example, dress for the weather the country actually has when you go there, rather than the weather you want it to have – don’t turn up in the north of Spain in December with only bikinis and maxi dresses, and don’t turn up in Australia with heavy sweaters and jeans. The same goes for countries where certain elements of Western dress are considered offensive. For example, in Thailand, they like women to have their knees and shoulders covered when visiting temples. Make sure that you bring appropriate clothes to accord with the cultural background of where you are going.