"Come fly with me." That's what I said to my suitcase because I HATE to check luggage. The downside of any trip is standing around the carousel waiting for my bag to not appear.
I recently made another 5-day jaunt going carry-on only and realized I've found a little pod wardrobe that's served me well on short hauls. It's so easy I don't know why I ever stressed about it.
There are exceptions. You can't be doing a lot of sports activities or attending many formal events. Your hat won't fit if you're being presented to the Queen. But for the average trip this should serve you well.
Colors need to coordinate, of course. Choose your basic black, grey, tan or navy and work around that. Bear in mind I haven't counted pjs or underwear or all those lotions and potions you must squeeze into little 100 ml. bottles.
|Pick one bag and add your...|
> 2 shirts
> 1 other top
> 1 dressier blouse
My shirts are tailored and in a soft synthetic fabric. They can be worn out or tucked in. The "other top" is a classic Breton T in summer or a pullover sweater in winter. The blouse has a bit of pattern, coordinates with everything and keeps me from getting bored.
I prefer a fabric that can look dressy or casual depending. One is not a pair of jeans, but yours might be.
This always seems to be a shirt dress, and I wear it on the plane. I really think a dress is more comfortable than pants, and I like looking a little nice for the trip. Synthetic fabric again, not linen or cotton that will wrinkle like crazy.
Blazer or denim jacket, depending on your agenda
"Coat" may mean lightweight, raincoat or down-filled according to your destination. I wear it to travel as obviously it won't pack.
Make it big enough to act as a shawl.
That's all you really need. One chunky, one delicate. Avoid packing a mess of earrings, rings and bracelets. Of course they don't take up much room, but keeping track of them is a pain.
3 pairs shoes
> walking shoes
> plus one
My flats are sturdy enough to wear all day, not those cute but floppy ballet slippers. I don't love trotting about in sneakers so have found some good walking shoe exceptions, but pack sneakers if you must. Make the "plus one" sandals or boots as needed. Wear the bulkiest of the three in transit.
In addition I throw my actual purse into a soft-sided tote that will fit under the seat. This gives you a little more room for reading matter, snacks and a traveling Scrabble game.
Think of this as a Marie Kondo "Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" for your trip, where less may not be more, but it may just be enough.