travels with chelsea

There is great benefit in being friends with fashion bloggers and stylists such as Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen, Alison of DC Celine fame, Rosana at DC Style Factory and Christen, the brains and beauty behind the Alexandria Stylebook. Aside from being lovely women inside and out, they humor my angst. When I have a fashion conundrum, I can fire off a quick text or initiate a twitter conversation and get immediate advice, affirmation, sympathy.

However, there is one topic they have all opined about extensively on which I am utterly unteachable: how to efficiently pack.

I get the mechanics. Coordinate colors and pack mix and match separates. Dress in layers. Bring fabrics that easily forgive their undistinguished position in the suitcase. Assemble outfits that can survive more than one wear. Put it all in a carryon. Channel sense of ease. Voila.

But let’s get one thing straight: I like to check my bag. It’s worth $20 to not have to drag a bag through security. It’s worth $20 to not have to worry about only bringing 3-ounce toiletries or what constitutes a liquid (eyeliner? lip gloss?). It’s worth $20 to bring more pairs of shoes than I’ll probably need.

Thus, as I make my list of what to pack for my upcoming 10-day trip to California, and as I look at my standard suitcase, I realize I need to upgrade to the bigger bag. Before you roll your eyes, check out where I’m going: San Francisco, Paso Robles, Menlo Park, San Francisco, Sonoma, San Francisco. And now check out what I’m doing in those spots: wine tasting, bachelorette party activities, pool lounging, yoga, eating out with my dad and grandmother, going out in San Francisco, attending rehearsal dinner, and fulfilling bridesmaid duties. Look at the temperatures of my destinations: 50s-60s in San Francisco and 90s in Paso Robles and Sonoma (but cool at night). And have I mentioned the wedding?

Let’s just say, there’s no packing light for me on this trip, regardless of what advice my friends offer. My goal will be to not get assessed the heavy bag fee.


4 thoughts on “travels with chelsea”

  1. After losing my luggage once in Italy and once coming home from California, I’m obsessed with fitting everything into a carry-on bag. However, as a fellow fashion lover it SUCKS when I get there and realize I should have packed that extra pair of heels, that de-frizzer, another sundress, shoes that don’t rub in the same place as the ones that gave me blisters, etc. I’m just glad most hotels these days have hair dryers reducing a teensy bit of the weight in my bag!

    BTW totally geeking out about having my own tag on your blog, that’s so awesome ❤

    1. I can’t leave my hairdryer behind after once checking into a hotel to find the so-called hairdryer resembled a vacuum cleaner extension tube! Luckily, most places you can pick up the stuff you forgot/suddenly need, but I hate to be unprepared! That’s why I always have nightmares about being some place with no shoes on…

  2. So. You pack what you need. And need is relative. Until recently, i NEVER carried on. EVER. I always checked my bag, and never understood Those People Who Shove it in the Overhead. And then I nearly missed a flight.

    Getting ready to go overseas in varied temps and with children, but where I don’t look like a slob (I mean, Europe), or an American (ever since being an exchange student, I’m obsessed with not being That American), I’m hyper about my packing this time. Have already pre-packed a test run, and took pictures. Rethinking selections, changing concepts. We’ll see what ends up in the suitcase…

    1. traveling with kids, abroad, is a totally different category! And I agree with not wanting to look the part of American tourist… I will never forget this guy at the Louvre wearing a 49ers satiny jacket, white sneakers (you know the look) who said the f word really loudly in one of the halls… his wife had dropped their camcorder, but boy did I try to slink into the walls… an embarrassed American I was that day.

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