minimalism: perfecting the carryon

Beauty Fashion Travel

minimalism: perfecting the carryon

March 27, 2016
heck yes i like rainbows. gosh!**
giving sexy the slip

I’ve spent a lifetime being the girl at the airport with the overstuffed, overweight suitcase, kneeling on the germ-infested marble floor in front of the bag drop while transferring the heaviest items into my carryon in an effort to make the fifty-pound weight limit.

I can’t explain this phenomenon beyond the fact that I relish the feeling of preparedness. Uhhh…like, hyper preparedness. I’ve always packed for a three-day tropical vacation as though Beachpocalypse is a legitimate possibility. Eight bikinis, four tubes of sunscreen, four cover-ups, three pairs of shorts and several linen shirts, five pairs of sunglasses, two baseball caps, a sun hat, three pairs of sandals, three books (THREE BOOKS!), the list goes on…

And that’s just for the beach! I’ll spare you my list of evening wear.

While it’s kind of nice to have tweezers if I catch a splinter on the boardwalk, or a sleeping mask for post-sunbathing naps, or several granola bars in the event of a hanger (or zombie?) attack, or three eye shadow palettes, or numerous choices of four inch heels to pair with one of the six dresses I’ve packed, it’s also a heavy burden. Literally.

Clearly I don’t mind packing things. Folding clothes and tucking them into a suitcase is no problem. It’s the unpacking that kills me. KILLS ME! It’s humiliating to admit how long it has taken me to unpack a suitcase in the past, so I will let you use your imagination on this one. That secret dies with me and my housekeeper, who is kind enough not to mention the roller-board still tucked into the corner of my closet week after week. Then on top of all of that, of course, is the dreaded baggage claim.

However, I recently adopted this minimalism thing. Or…I’m giving it some serious effort. I want less stuff – we’ve discussed this before, remember? I have this pretty plausible theory that I can be just as happy with fewer options and a more streamlined existence – travel is no exception. I’ve practiced the art of minimalistic packing over the past few months, and I think I’m on to something.

It is blissful to stroll right past the baggage claim upon landing with a carryon, avoiding the adrenaline spike that hits when your checked luggage — full of all of your favorite things, no less! — is last to emerge. No waiting, no lost luggage, no catching elbows from frantic moms trying to wrestle My Little Pony suitcases from the belt while simultaneously clutching a baby and threatening a fleeing toddler.

To The Beach


Last week my husband and I decided to take an impromptu vacation to Jamaica, as the pace of our lives is about to accelerate dramatically for the next few months. We had a window and we took it, but I didn’t take much else. For a three-night trip to Jamaica I packed almost nothing. I didn’t even bother with makeup.

And — surprise! — I suffered not one bit.  No makeup. No hairbrush.  No problem, mon!

Of course this was an extreme case of deprivation packing, but the idea is a sound one. I’ve learned that packing light for most occasions is liberating, and it’s quite easy if one adheres to some simple rules:

  • Pre-plan activities for your trip, and pack your look for each one. Place each outfit in a vacuum bag and clearly label for its specific event. Then call a therapist because you’re having a break from reality.
    It’s a joke, get it? I couldn’t even be friends with that girl. Now then…
  • Pack separates that belong to the same color scheme, so that they can be mixed and matched. Dresses are great because they’re an entire outfit in one piece, they fold up small, and if they’re wrinkled and your destination isn’t drought-stricken you can steam them by briefly hanging them in/near a hot shower.
  • Pack multipurpose shoes, but don’t confuse “multipurpose” with boring. I have some great gold and silver glitter Christian Louboutin sandals that are incredibly versatile and pretty much live in my suitcase (some old unpacking habits die hard). If my color scheme is black/gray, I pack black sandals in summer, or black moto boots in winter. There is no need for redundancy in vacation-wear even for the most fabulous fashion goddesses. Good shoes are good shoes even if you wear them (gasp!) two days in a row.
  • For items like post-flight moisturizing masks, sunscreen, cleansers and serums, I store all of the tiny samples that I receive with various purchases in a small box in my bathroom. When I travel I take a selection of them with. Guess what – there is no risk of mid-flight explosion like with full-size toiletries, and if you use them you don’t have to unpack them when you get home!
  • Oh, and another #lifehack — for roughly the same price as checking a bag, you can go to nearly any salon and get a blowout upon landing, so skip the heavy hair products, grab your roller-board, and get your pamper on!

A few simple steps can cut your travel day down significantly. And the cherry on top? Dumping an entire suitcase into the dirty-laundry basket upon returning home.

Slow clap.


This blog was hand selected and featured by IFB’s Links a la Mode.  See this week’s other featured blogs below, and to get notifications about future Anti blog posts make sure to like The Antisocialista on Facebook!

Links à la Mode, March 31

SPONSOR: Shopbop Shoshanna, Zimmermann Dresses, Olivia von Halle Sleepwear, Piper, LIKELY, Native Gem, Spring Jackets, Beach Dresses, Designer Stickers, Men’s White Mountaineering

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