HOW TO PACK FOR 3 DAYS AWAY WITH JUST A CARRY-ON

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Taking only carry-on luggage for a three day city break sounds rather optimistic doesn’t it? Ahh well then prepare to be amazed….

The weather plays a big role in my capsule choices, obviously the cooler it is at your destination the bulkier your luggage will be. However that’s not to say a Winter capsule carry-on isn’t possible, it is. I’ve done it successfully many times but we’ll talk about that later in the year. For now let’s agree any temperature over 20 degrees celsius is covered in today’s post.

What you need to do first is decide on the outfits you want to wear for both the days & the nights. Why nights? I always enjoy a change for dinner because, well I like to, it adds to the fun for me. Lay everything out on your floor to get perspective of the actual amount of stuff you have. This is truly enlightening, usually there’s way more spread over the floor than you can physically wear. This is why I decide on my outfits before I pack, no chance of excess. Let’s say it’s 3 nights & 4 days (including travel) then you want 7 outfits in total but you’ll be wearing one to travel in, so literally packing 6. YOU DO NOT NEED 7 PAIRS OF SHOES. I repeat you do not need that many pairs of shoes people.

Here’s the trick, choose a stylish yet comfortable pair of flats that are a neutral colour. I like pale pink for this. They will go with every single outfit. Then I pack one pair of heels for my evening of fun dressing up. Although this time I didn’t actually wear the heels I took because the cobblestones & steep steps were diabolical & I know for a fact I’d have ended up in traction. Guess what? It didn’t matter a jot because my neutral flats literally went with everything! And to be honest it didn’t matter because I still felt rather glam & dolled up anyway, without the fear of injury teeheehee

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how-to-pack-for-3-days-away-with-just-a-carry-on

CO-ORDINATE YOUR OUTFITS BEFOREHAND

You’ll see I took a photo before we left of what I packed to show you how easily it all fit. The drawstring satin bag contains my underwear & a cozzie. Turned out I actually wore the plaited belt with my travel outfit. Neither the striped elastic belt nor Castaner espadrilles were touched in the end. A medium-sized cross-body bag does double duty for your bits & bobs on board the flight & works brilliantly hands free for daytime exploring as well as night-time dining. No fancy schmancy clutches please. Trust me if you invested in an awesome all-purpose convertible cross-body, your every need is met in one.

To travel in & save space I wore jeans & my flat shoes with this shirt dress & my M&S trench. A superb trench never looks out-of-place over any ensemble, even my outfit in today’s post! This travel outfit affords me a spare cool cotton dress should the weather become warmer & a light coat if it gets cooler. As we arrived late afternoon I went out wearing all but the trench.

Day 2 outfit Jumpsuit – Walking the Old Town wall in full sun was breezy & super cool in this jumpsuit & my flats. My outfit for the first evening, see here the Rixo midi dress & flats, was perfect for the mild conditions so I didn’t need the trench.

Day 3 outfit Leather skirt & T-shirt – Going up the cable car & exploring the town in my knee-length black leather skirt & slogan T-shirt, again wearing flats. Sorry I forgot to take a photo, whoops. This night out I wore the maxi skirt in today’s post that I previously customized, see here. Paired with my khaki silk shirt from Winser London & my very old wide waist belt from AllSaints. By the way the Winser silk shirts are so brilliant, not only are they amazing quality but miraculously they just don’t seem to crease, Hoorah!

Day 4 sadly we had to leave fairly early so I wore my jeans, the T-shirt & my trench home. Perfect as it was a little chilly in England when we landed.

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HOW MUCH WILL FIT IN A CARRY-ON BAG?

Airlines have deemed the size of a carry-on bag be 56x45x25cm (including handles and wheels) with no weight restriction. Best to check the particular airline you’re flying with although I have never had a problem using my blue bag above. I bought it for £35 at TKMaxx where you’ll always find awesomely cheap quality luggage.

Remember the liquids rule for carry-on must be in its own container of no more than 100ml (3.4 ounces) & in a clear plastic bag. This is super easy these days as you can buy anything in travel size or decant into travel containers. These bits are then shoved back into my carry-on after I’ve cleared security. When you’re going with a friend it’s helpful to share the basics like shampoo, conditioner & toothpaste. The accommodation will usually supply a hairdryer & soap but you should check, nobody wants frizzy hair on holiday right?  Finally I use the old backpackers trick of rolling my clothes so they don’t need ironing which also frees up a little extra space in the bag.

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Look at what everyone around me is wearing. Over-dressed moi?

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LOCALLY MADE JEWELLERY IS A PRECIOUS SOUVENIR FOR LIFE

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Wandering the cobbled streets of Dubrovnik Old Town we stopped at various souvenir stalls, many of which sold locally hand-made jewellery. We noticed they used a lot of stone & also red coral found in the area. Suzy bought a beautiful stone statement necklace & I decided on these pretty traditional filigree earrings. In fact the local jewellery is so exquisite & affordable, I regret not buying a pair of these earrings in gold too. The point is if you like to take a souvenir home with you, nothing beats the connection you get from a piece of jewellery. It doesn’t necessarily have to cost the earth, my earrings were £16!
I hope this was helpful. Obviously you should tweak it to suit your own sartorial style. I really wanted to show you how easily you can throw a few chic outfits together when you have already done the hard work in curating your wardrobe for life. Basically you have the key pieces so you really can’t go wrong. Besides what’s the worst that can happen? You have to buy a couple of bits when you get there or you end up wearing the same pair of shoes four days in a row? Who cares! I’m telling you the freedom of only having a carry-on far outweighs the possible fails. Not only that but when you get to your destination, look up at what can only be described as a cliff-face of steps & realise your bed is at the top….well a little carry-on is a pretty clever choice after all. Just sayin’…

Bye loves xxx

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  • Comments ( 23 )

  • avatar
    ABby@Midlifecrisisnut

    How on earth did you do that? I mean I can’t imagine packing for a short getaway. I would take way too much luggage with me as usual so forget about a carry-on. I would need to book a flight just for my luggage alone 😉 Looking super hot there in your little bun! xx Abby

    • avatar
      MT

      Oh really Miss Abby? You sound like our friend Lisa 😉 Bet you look super cute with a bun xx

  • avatar
    Suzy Turner

    You look absolutely gorgeous! I really wish I could look like you on holiday but I’m always wrapped up in a waterproof coat, chunky boots and woolly hat because it’s always winter for our hols LOL. I do try and pack the way you do though – I put everything on the floor (or bed) beforehand and then slowly whittle it down. I’m getting much better at it as I get older though 😉
    Suzy xx
    http://www.suzyturner.com
    http://www.yogadocious.com

    • avatar
      MT

      I know Suzy you’re absolutely right, it does make a difference when you holiday somewhere cold. Still I like to try to be as stylish as I can in a puffy coat & boots. Sounds like you’re getting the hang of this packing light malarkey anyway lady 😉 xx

  • avatar
    Kathleen Williamson

    I regularly pack for a 15 day trip to Italy in Spring and Summer and a 7 day trip to Venice every January with just a carry on.
    Do look at the wonderful Facebook groups Capsule Wardrobe Collective and Travel Fashion Girls. The advice here and using travel cubes has revolutionised my packing.

    • avatar
      MT

      Ah yes Kathleen I seem to recall Liz (What Lizzy Loves) writing a post about travel cubes. They do look amazing. I must go check out the FB groups you mentioned too thanks for that.

  • avatar
    Danish Pastry

    Going away for three nights four days in exactly one week. Not so glamerous as Dubrovnik though, T’bridge and W’hampton for me! I definately need to sort the packing though. One evening is a surprise party, so a little dressy is required. The main problem is finding room for some Christmas presents, all in a carry on!
    Wish me luck!

    • avatar
      MT

      Yikes don’t say the C word! I don’t envy you having to organise all that too. GOOD LUCK! Although it’s probably the perfect opportunity since you’ll be there anyway. I was in M&S today & audibly sighed when I saw all the Christmas decs out. Come on guys it’s only October! What are they doing to us? It starts earlier every year doesn’t it?

  • avatar
    No Fear of Fashion

    You look so superb in this skirt and silk shirt. Love the belt on it (and envy you for it). I like it better than with the T-shirt. Probably my old fashioned mind.
    The thing with too little pairs of shoes is that I get blisters so easily. I need to vary. But pink flats… you are right. I have a pair of pi k French Sole and they are perfect. They are beginning to show wear… darned.
    Hope you have a lovely time in New York with Lisa.
    Greetje

    • avatar
      No Fear of Fashion

      Oh and I agree about the jewellery as a souvenir. I do that and so did Catherine when she was in Amsterdam. Funny.

      • avatar
        MT

        I knew you would! What did Catherine buy? She hasn’t mentioned anything.

        • avatar
          No Fear of Fashion

          Cannot tell tails now can I?

    • avatar
      MT

      Yes Greetje I think a pair of nice trainers wouldn’t go amiss too although to be honest I’m not a fan of them. I know you have some super ones though. Thank you for the well wishes, I hope you follow our shenanigans while we’re in NYC 😉

      • avatar
        No Fear of Fashion

        I will follow you girls. And about the sneakers… I hate sneakers. The only two I like are my Essentiel sneakers and my white Ecco ones are OK. Rest of them, especially the real Nike sneakers… not a fan.

        • avatar
          MT

          Thought so! 😉

  • avatar
    Nancy Baten

    The last few times I ve managed to pack what I actually all wore! I have to remember to roll my clothing! The outfit you are wearing is fabulous! What a fantastic colors and the belt ad s some edge..

    • avatar
      MT

      Yipee well done Nancy! It feels like such an achievement to me when I get it right. Is that how you felt?

  • avatar
    sequinist

    I”m the worst packer, as you know. Why don’t you come to my house and pack for me, pretty please? I get so distracted and flustered and I always seem to forget something really crucial. The only thing that seems to help is just leaving my suitcase out for a week before I travel, so that I can pop things in it as they occur to me. I think I’m going to do that right now for our NY trip!

    You look fabulous and totally chic, not touristy at all.

    • avatar
      MT

      Hahaha I know! You do make me laugh when you say, “Ugh it’s only 20 kilos” I think crikey woman we’re only going for a week 😉

  • avatar
    Lizzy

    Fab post Michelle. I often overpack but have become more disciplined with time!!! You look beamutiful and the earrings are gorgeous. A perfect souvenir. And, today is your 50th birthday. Well, you look younger than 40 and you’re simply fabulous at fifty. Have a wonde ful day my darling xxxxx

    • avatar
      MT

      Aw thank you so much darling Liz xxx

  • avatar
    SAmantha

    Ugh! Packing is the worst! Especially when all my shoes want to go on holiday too!!! Well done to you, lovely ensembles!

    • avatar
      MT

      I know it’s very sad for them 😉

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