Now that you know HOW to fit all your stuff into a suitcase, here’s WHAT to pack. Or what I packed, anyway.
First, obviously, I had to consider the weather at my destination. Ireland is rainy and windy and has an average summer temperature of 65° F. I packed mostly long pants and a mix of short sleeve and 3/4 length sleeve tops, as well as a few lightweight sweaters and jackets so I could layer for warmth. Next, I had to consider the duration of my stay – 2 weeks. Since I knew I could wear my pants 2-3 times each, I packed 5 pairs. They are all neutral colors so they match pretty much anything. I packed enough tops for all days there since they are more prone to getting dirty, sweaty, and stretched (pack less if you have access to a washing machine). I packed several tops for each pair of pants (average of 3 tops per pair of pants), and most of them are simple tees that mix and match well, are breathable, pack compactly, and don’t wrinkle really easily.
I packed a couple skirts for times when I would need less casual clothes. The tops I chose for the skirts are also simple tees that I could also wear with the pants I brought. I packed 2 cardigans for layering (grey one in my carry-on not pictured here). They are both neutral colors so I could wear them with everything. I brought 2 more jackets for added layering – one a rain jacket (which I ended up wearing literally every day) and a jacket made of a canvas-y material for drier days. Lastly, I packed a couple pairs of pjs (I did have access to a washing machine so I washed them halfway through my trip).
For shoes, I packed 3 pairs and wore one. My shoe choices were based on what I planned to do while there. The white sneakers were my “ruin these” shoes – I packed them because my friend and I were planning on going gorge walking so I figured I would just toss them when we were done (we ended up not being able to do that, but I did use them as water shoes at the beach one day). The Patagonia hiking shoes were my everyday shoes – yes, I wore them nearly everyday. We did a lot of walking and climbing on rocky terrain, so they were wonderful. They also held up to the rain well, so my feet stayed dry. The last pair pictured are Toms – I brought these for less active days or inside activities. I wore my olive Toms for flying because they are comfy and easily slip on and off for security.
I hope my packing tips are helpful to you, whether you are traveling next week or next year! 🙂