Packing for the perfect weekend getaway

D K with Pear brandyLast weekend my hubby and I had a little getaway to the Colorado Wine Country, (a very, very cool gift from my sister, brother-in-law, mom and dad!)

I’ll just admit it right now. I’m not a light packer! While I’m great at packing light and efficiently for my clients, for some reason I always panic when I’m packing and end up adding all kinds of last minute items to my bag…making it very heavy no mater what the size!

This time I made an adamant resolution that I wasn’t going to do this any more. And ta-da…my duffle bag was totally manageable! So today I’d like to tell you how I packed differently and if you struggle with packing, hopefully your bags will be lighter in the near future, too!

So the very first thing I did was decide not to over-pack. I think that alone made a huge difference. Secondly, I watched the weather forecast for our destination like a hawk for a few days prior to our departure. My problem here is that I usually don’t trust the forecast and plan for 2-3 different climates. This time, I just trusted and  it worked out beautifully!

My third step was to cheat a bit. Yes, I’m a wardrobe expert, but I love picking up tips and being inspired by my favorite bloggers. I remembered seeing a post a while back from Julia Engel at galmeetsglam.com about weekend travel packing. I really  resonated with it, so I found the post and followed her tips. I will admit, I didn’t follow her advice to a T, but what fun would that have been?!

Here are the items, all within a color scheme, that Julia recommends for a 2 night/3 day road trip:

1 Dress
1 Top
1 Sweater
1 Pair of Jeans
1 Blouse (worn)
1 Denim Jacket (worn)
1 Skirt (worn)
1 Pair of Flats
1 Pair of Wedges
1 Pair of Sandals
1 Clutch
1 Cross-body Bag

Here are the items and outfits I took and how I wore them:

Friday: En route to Pallisade (in the car). It was raining and cool until just before Vail.

  • White splendid T
  • Lightweight cropped Camouflage pants,
  • Lightweight grey, knit moto styled knit “jacket”,
  • Oblong gold hoops,
  • Delicate, gold initial necklace,
  • Gold, cross-body bag,
  • Black foot bed sandals

Virtually upon arrival and for wine tasting on the porch of the Wine Country Inn, (which I highly recommend):

  • Swimsuit
  • Cover Up
  • Black foot bed sandals

Friday Dinner:

  • Off white, sleeveless, draped surplice blouse
  • Lightweight cropped Camouflage pants
  • Oblong gold hoops
  • Delicate, gold initial necklace
  • Gold, cross-body bag
  • Tan platform wedges

 Saturday-all day wine tasting:

  • Black, sleeveless, knit, draped surplice top
  • Aqua/sapphire, plum, and black printed shorts
  • Aqua crystal/silver dangle earrings
  • Silver initial necklace (which isn’t really an initial, but a promotional “D” from Dior cosmetics. I just lucked out that I’m also a “D”!
  • Gold, cross-body bag
  • Black foot bed sandals

(We were actually able to walk to all the wineries, one brewery and the Peach Street Distillers.)

Saturday dinner:

  • White knit dress
  • Brown shrug
  • Straw stretch belt
  • Oblong gold hoops
  • Delicate, gold initial necklace
  • Gold, cross-body bag
  • Tan platform wedges

Dana Kelly Peach Street Distillery fun

Sunday, wine tasting and drive home:

  • White, short sleeved, ruched t-shirt
  • Casual, charcoal knit skirt
  • Aqua crystal/silver dangle earrings
  • Silver initial necklace
  • Gold, cross-body bag
  • Black foot bed sandals

My only “just in case” item was a plum t-shirt that goes with the printed shorts. In theory it should go with the knit skirt, but it’s just a little too long and loose to go with a skirt. I’m not 100% sure why I took it along. Baby steps!

(I’d also planned a “just in case” raincoat, but forgot it in the end. I did have an umbrella but thankfully didn’t need it.)

In case you’re wondering how I remembered exactly what I took and wore…I didn’t. Like the wardrobe worksheets I create with my clients, I also have a “Head to Toe Travel Outfit Chart” I use for all trip planning. (It’s great to use these sheets and make a copy when flying. If your luggage is lost, you have a record of everything in your bag.)

I took 21 items versus Julia’s 12; however, because the weather was really warm, my items were small and lightweight, so it worked out wonderfully. My plan so wouldn’t have worked for cold weather, as everything would be bulkier and heavier and would have required a larger suitcase (and a valet to carry my bag, lol!)

Next, as I was planning, I didn’t really see a need for a third pair of shoes and a second handbag, which cut way down on bulk and weight! (I actually might have liked to have had a clutch along, but I’m really picky about purses, so I’ve had it on my shopping list for a long time.)

What else might I do differently? First, without a doubt, I could have done a bit more mix and match. Second, for wine tasting, ideally I wouldn’t take any white shirts. I didn’t spill, and could have worn the white t-shirt twice, except the Splendid t-shirt is one of my “precious babies” a.k.a. irreplaceable and I didn’t trust it for a full day of wine tasting on Sunday.

Next I realize one layering piece would probably been enough. My knit moto “jacket” might have been fine as a wrap with my white dress for dinner on Saturday night, and although I had done a lot of prior planning, I packed in a huge hurry the night before and didn’t have time to try it on whole outfit.

If I really wanted to be a minimalist and have an extra light bag, one last thing I could have done differently would have been to plan a color scheme, to enhance the mix and match possibilities but also to limit jewelry.

By the way, this post is about packing for a weekend getaway, but you can certainly use the principles to pack for short term business trip, too!

If you’re a “maximalist” packer like me, I hope you’ve gained some inspiration and will plan your trip packing a little differently this summer and for many trips to come. As I identified earlier, it just isn’t necessary to throw in so many different options for weather. Chances are good that at most destinations, you can actually buy an emergency garment or two if the weather changes rapidly. Best of luck and Bon Voyage until next week!

As I mention below, I would absolutely love to hear your thoughts on this post. Feel free to share your best packing tips as well!

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