Travelista Top 12 Packing Light Tips

If you’re stuck on what to pack for your next trip take a look at these suggestions and get to planning. Tailor the items based on the weather and cultural norms of your destination.

1. Stick to thin, lightweight knits that you can layer.

2. Bulky clothing, such as sweaters and jeans, should always be worn on travel days so that it doesn’t take up extra room in your suitcase.

3. You’ll find people wear jeans all over the world. So pack your favorite pair. Stay away from loose, relaxed fits and opt for a flattering pair.

4. Pack a t-shirt, choose from loose and drapey to long and lean. Whatever type of tee suits you, pack it, just remember to stay away from oversize, bulky cotton t-shirts. Pair t-shirts with jeans, cardigan, and flats for a simple look. Long tunic tees look great with leggings or skinnies for a casual look.

5. Accessories easily add style. If you only bring one accessory always go with a scarf. Use it on the plane as a lightweight blanket or add a pop of color and texture to outfits.

6. Separates give you plenty of outfit options, just choose a color palette that can easily mix and match.  Pack neutrals along with one accent color for accessories.

7. Take your pick on sweaters. A drapeway flyaway cardigan, a fitted cardigan, or a comfortable pullover. Longer length sweaters can do double duty because they can help provide extra coverage when wearing leggings and give you even more travel outfit options.

8. Leggings always make it into my suitcase because they work for warm or cold weather. In colder weather I pair them with a long sweater, rain coat, and boots. In warm weather with a loose tunic or a day dress and sandals. They also make great pj’s.

9. A good day dress works well on it’s own or over leggings. Dress it up with accessories for evening. Skirts dress up nicely as well.

10. Pack footwear that is comfortable and stylish and that makes sense for the type of trip you’re taking. Pack a pair of dressy shoes if your activities require them, otherwise simple ballet flats or dress you up while being comfortable.

11. Check the weather of your destination and bring the right outerwear for the conditions. Trench coats remain a classic and timeless choice.

12. The right sunglasses always look chic.

Do you have a favorite packing tip? Please share in the comments. Bon Voyage!

* Images are not my own and are for illustrative purposes only. All clothing is from Spanish designer, Massimo Dutti. Original images can be found at and Tongue in Chic.

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  • I am traveling to Geneva the throughout Italy the first 2 weeks of May- what should I wear/pack?

  • I always like to put my outfits in gallon size freezer bags so that everything I need for an outfit is in one place. It is so great to be able to open my suitcase or dresser drawer in the morning and be able to pull out a bag with my outfit in it including the accessories and not have to to take 10 minutes hunting down that top or those earrings.

  • I collect hotel disposable shower caps and use them when I travel. My shoes fit neatly into it. I also use it for my accessories and other stuff like underwear, socks and hair accessories. it helps me keep organized!

  • I always like to keep in mind that I will being coming home with much more than I left with, so I’ll purposefully pack old shoes or others things I can leave behind, but more importantly:
    I pack with the extender zipped shut on my suitcase and that way I know I can open it up when traveling home. Alternatively, if I’ve over-packed but just can’t let go of anything, I will close my suitcase with the extender open and then re-zip the extender closed so that everything will fit (instead of doing the two-person you-sit-on-it-while-I-attempt-to-zip maneuver). I’ve also been know to pack a large soft tote that will take up little space but can use as a second bag/carry-on for the return flight (especially for delicate souvenirs that you don’t want squashed in your suitcase).

  • Love the hints,but, all the clothes shown are styled for very thin women. I am in my ’70s and am not slender anymore. I still appreciate your ideas although I don’t wear tights or tightly fitted jeans. If there are hints for older women I wou ld love to see them. I do travel with a hat that squashes and an expanding purse with a strap for over the shoulder.

  • I will be away for three weeks traveling the eastern coast and have to cut way back on what I pack. Like the previous woman’s comment, I am a senior and don’t wear clothes that are more suited for thin, young women. Just wondering how one goes about laundering when there is no place to hang things up to dry. I really don’t want to spend my precious travel time in a laundromat.