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Packing Advice – Start with a Capsule Wardrobe

Posted by on November 2, 2017

Whether you’re going abroad for a semester, for a week, or a summer, packing for your trip can be daunting.  Have you heard of a “capsule wardrobe”? Capsule wardrobes are real, and they are amazing, and will make packing for whatever amount of time, wherever you are going, a breeze. The idea behind a capsule wardrobe is that you essentially pack only the bare bones in terms of clothing and then add in small extras that make your style so uniquely you.  I recommend using Pinterest for capsule wardrobe inspiration so you don’t fall into the over packing trap!  Here are some of my other tips for packing:

  • Think Practical. How often are you really going to wear those super cute high heel shoes? If the answer is never, don’t pack them. If the answer is maybe once, don’t pack them. If the answer is all the time, think about the location you’re going to. Europe is infamous for its cobblestone streets and although your outfit may look cute, is it worth it to kill your ankles and feet? If the answer is no, don’t pack them.
  • Do your research. I studied abroad in Wales, which is renowned for its rainy climate year-round. It’s also not exactly known for its warm weather, but I had an inkling that with traveling to other countries during my free weekends, I might want to pack a warm weather outfit or two in addition to my coat and scarves.
  • Think about what you’re going to wear on the plane. I wore my rain boots on the plane. Yes, this was annoying going through security, but they were the heaviest item I had and saved about 5 lbs in my suitcase. I was able to use this extra space for clothes instead.
  • Be open to buying items. When I went to Germany and the Netherlands it was a LOT colder than I thought it would be, and I ended up buying a scarf. When I was in Scotland, I forgot my gloves and ended up buying a pair. And just like that, I had two new souvenirs.  Since most people are going to locations that have shops and essentials readily available, buying items abroad shouldn’t be viewed negatively. I ended up buying more than expected during my semester in Wales and had to buy and bring a second suitcase home.
  • Layers are key! Layering allows you to make multiple outfits with the same clothes and adjust to the temperature as the day warms and cools.
  • Use your visitors. If you’re lucky enough to have your friends or family come and visit, they can bring more clothes for you as the weather changes, and you can also send them back with clothes that may now be inappropriate for the season.

Make sure to pack light, and only pack what you REALLY need. Not what you *think* you need!

sara-bolanos Sara Bolanos
sbolanos@umw.edu
English Creative Writing Major
Bangor University, Wales

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