Friday, September 25, 2015

Seven days in New York City: Packing minimally for fall

I'm sitting here all giddy-- one, because I bought Space Bags for the first time and two, because in 21 days my husband and I will be on our way to New York City for the first time (side-note, this will be his first time on a plane, so that should be fun). Only 20 days until I become a wife and I'm feeling every emotion imaginable, so I figured being almost completely packed for our honeymoon would calm the nerves-- it did, but only briefly. But hey, one more thing crossed off the list.

Let me start by saying SPACE BAGS ARE THE GREATEST INVESTMENT EVER. FOR REALS. We bought two boxes of three large bags for $13.00 each at Target. I have done quite a bit of traveling in my 22 years and I never thought to use Space Bags for traveling, but now I don't plan on packing without them.

With a little research and my own travel knowledge I have come up with a minimalist NY City packing guide that will save you money, space and time, and help you look less like a tourist:

+Choose a neutral colored wardrobe, consisting mostly of blacks and grays. Dark neutrals help you (and any food spills/street dirt) blend in, make an outfit look effortlessly put-together and are easy to pair. 
+Choose pieces that all work together-- this way you can bring less clothes and mix and match. 
+ Choose no more than two pairs of shoes-- one for the plane, one for your suitcase.
+ Choose no more than two jackets/coats.
+ Choose no more than three non-clothing items, excluding toiletries (e.g. book, journal, camera). 

+ Choose a mix of thin and thick material that can be layered or shed. 
+ Choose knit sweaters-- they can be layered over shirts and dresses.
+ Choose scarves and hats-- they keep you warm and help an outfit look put-together. 

+ Again, choosing mostly a black wardrobe will make this effortless. 
+ Choose dresses and skirts. I don't mean dresses/skirts made out of tight or stiff material. Looser or stretchy dresses/skirts paired with tights are more freeing to walk miles in when you are sight-seeing all day. 
+ Choose the jeans you feel the most comfortable and confident in. I chose my black stretchy skinny jeans and my loose high-waisted Calvin Klein's.
+ Choose to test out your shoes. If you aren't sure how comfortable they will be test them before your trip by wearing them on a day you will be doing a lot of walking/standing. I tested my tall gray boots by wearing them all day at work-- I work retail where I stand and walk all day.

Pack a suitcase or duffle-bag (with wheels) that is small enough to bring as your carry-on.
+ Choose to check your airlines carry-on measurement regulations. Most airlines allow small suitcases on the plane and if they can't fit in the over-head compartment the flight attendant will have it put in a compartment on the side of the plane.
   + You'll avoid a luggage check fee-- extra coffee & food money. 
   + There's no chance your luggage can go missing. 
   + Saves you time-- no need to wait for your luggage to arrive when you land.

Space Bags!!! We all know how excited I am about these. Conserve suitcase space by packing with a large Space Bag. Here's how:
+ Divide your clothes into a top and bottom section inside the bag, leaving a space in the middle (see below). 
+ Vacuum that sucker until it's packed tight. 
+ Fold the bag in half, only made possible by leaving a space in the middle. You will not be able to fold a full Space Bag-- it's physically impossible.
+ Stick your vacuum packed clothes into your luggage and revel in the goodness. Oooo awww, so much extra space-- MAGIC. I put one boot on each side of the clothes and there was still plenty of extra space. 
It may be quiet around here for a bit, but I promise I won't come back empty handed. I will return with wedding and New York photos, accompanied by plenty of words-- I'm sure. Just give me time, I have a feeling I'm going to be exhausted. But what is life without too much coffee and jetlag?  

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