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How To Pack For Spring Break in A Carry-On

How To Pack For Spring Break in A Carry-On

I like to think I'm a bit of a master packer. Thanksgiving break out of a duffel? Been there, done that. Two weeks in Morocco (think lots of walking around, chilly nights, camping in the desert, a resort and fancy New Years Eve) out of a carry on suitcase? Check.

When it comes to packing for break, there's no reason to sacrifice style for suitcase space. Packing light saves you all those pesky fees for checked bags and reduces airport stress (say goodbye to long lines waiting to check in) so you can hop off the plane and start the adventure right away. 

Versatility is the Name of the Game

The best way to make it all fit is to pack with versatility in mind. Look for pieces that can easily be dressed up or down and aren't too delicate. Depending on where you're going, laundry might not be easily accessible so plan on re-wearing some clothes and opt for pieces that don't wrinkle or stain easily. Think about how well pieces layer together as well to maximize the number of potential outfits you bring with you. Jackets can quickly get bulky so plan on bringing a few long sleeve shirts and thin sweaters that can be layered under sleeveless tops or dresses if the temperatures drop. 

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Be Smart About Shoes & Accessories

I'm a shoe girl through and through so trying to pick which select few come with me on a trip is always the hardest part. Shoes often take up a lot of space so think strategically about what you'll be doing on your trip and avoid wondering "well what if we end up doing [insert activity]?" Now is probably not the time to bring those vertiginious booties that yes, would look amazing for a dinner with girlfriends but probably won't be worn more than that, or cute new flats, if maybeeeeee the weather forecast stops predicting rain. Stylish comfortable sneakers are always a safe bet, with a cute pair of flats or low heels that can be worn for a day at the museum or dress up jeans for dinner, and depending on your destination, a pair of comfortable heeled booties or sandals. Accessories should be similarly thought out - you probably don't have room for a blow-dryer or ten pairs of sunglasses to match your every mood. 

Complementary Colors

Maybe you've already cultivated a closet color palette of chic neutrals where everything matches seamlessly. The rest of us could take a hint when trying to pack on a (space) budget. Try and figure out a cohesive color scheme or theme when packing depending on your plans. Pops of color, texture or patterns will add just enough variety to keep you from getting bored without hogging up your suitcase. I'm always fond of denim/navy, white, olive green and either black or tan accessories. A few colorful scarves and a bright lipstick can make an outfit and take up virtually no space.   

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Pare Down the Beauty

One of the only downsides of living out of a carry-on is that you won't be able to bring your favorite shampoo/conditioner or large liquid beauty products with you (thanks for nothing TSA). It might also be worth leaving your favorite mega palettes or skincare in glass bottles at home so they don't get break getting bounced around in your bag. You can head to Sephora and ask for a sample of your favorite foundation (I've found I can get about a week's worth of coverage out of one!) for an easy, mess-free base or transfer your favorite products to TSA approved containers. Versatility also applies to beauty products, so consider packing more all-in-one products to keep your makeup bag from overflowing. Bronzer/blush palettes also double as eyeshadow palettes and a brown eyebrow pencil can also be applied to the lids.  A big fluffy brush takes care of all of your face needs and cream eyeshadows can be applied with your fingers. 

Tough Decisions

While it's totally doable to pack thoroughly for most possible scenarios on your trip, you won't be able to bring three backup shirts to decide between and those extra pair of shoes just in case. You're going to have to make some decisions about what makes the cut and what will have to stay home this time. Your favorite scarf that doubles as a beach cover up? Probably worth chucking it in there. Those gorgeous heeled sandals that are really best for just sitting in? Maybe they sit this one out.

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