I posted my packing list for our recent trip to France. I found packing for that trip to be challenging as we were taking a river cruise and then going to Paris — both places where a person wants to look “nice.” It was much harder to pack for France than for Mexico, the Galapagos, or Australia, where we were did more casual outdoor pursuits or spent time on a beach. In addition, the weather in France was cooler, meaning some warmer clothes were needed.
Most advice about packing tells you to make sure all of your tops go with all of your bottoms for easy mixing and matching. Of course, this is good advice. But the thing that has helped me the most in packing light is this: you don’t need as much as you think you do. Here’s why:
1. No one cares what you are wearing. If people are thinking about clothes or shoes at all, they are thinking about what THEY are wearing.
2. You will likely see different people every day, or every few days. Thus, you can wear the same thing again (and again). (See number 1, they don’t care what you are wearing anyway!)
3. If it becomes unexpectedly hot, cold, rainy, etc., buy something you need. This is how I got some nice wool tights on sale in Melbourne. And a fine floppy straw hat in Turkey. If you pack light, you will have room in your bag for such a purchase.
4. You will feel better wearing the same three things you LOVE than hauling around a giant suitcase of different outfits that don’t make you feel great.
Here are some examples of my outfits on the France trip. Soon, I will post pictures of the clothes I packed. I wish I had pictures of all the outfits, but alas, we don’t take THAT many photos!