Where and Wear | Pack it Right

Oh my sad friends!   I see you on Instagram; by the Tower of London, on boat on the Adriatic, or in a North African souk.   There you are exploring the world in your travel sweats.  Even without a caption on this photo, I know what happened.  You made it to your destination but your bag didn't!  While you are having fun you will find it necessary to mention your "lost suitcase" on social media.  Thank you for explaining why you have on the same situationally inappropriate ensemble for days.   You have forever ruined the moment for yourself by mentioning the suitcase on Facebook.  At the very least it will be part of the trip narrative when you talk about it.   Now all your friends think that you wore moldy underwear for 10 days and never brushed your teeth because your things were lost. 

Packed + Matched in Europe with Waffles and Cones

Packed + Matched in Europe with Waffles and Cones

All of this can be avoided.   This only happened because you didn't follow the rules.   The Pink Frock rules of packing and being awesome on your trip.   My suitcase has failed to arrive with me on many occasions, and the trip goes on.   I am prepared, a scouts-mom and pro-packer kind of prepared. 

   Pack your carry-one carefully because it may have to last you 


Pack your carry-one carefully because it may have to last you 

If you think that what you wear doesn't matter? Then try coordinating your suitcase delivery to all of your far-flung European lodgings after it misses arriving on the Continent when you did.  Think that you can wear anything and have a great time no matter what?  Then wait until you are turned away from holy sights in Indonesia or Israel because of your bare shoulders of exposed knees.   Do you enjoy skipping the first day of sightseeing because you are trying to figure out toiletries, sanitary products, or waiting for your sink-washed underwear to dry?   This never has to happen to you again! 

I have a few tips for packing your carry-on so that you are prepared for almost anything when you land at your destination, no matter if your suitcase makes it or not.   I have my four sons pack similarly when we travel as a family.   


 A pair of jeans {skinny crop is a good choice}

2 t-shirts

1 nice top

Ballet flats

A “great shoe” or boot *

Leggings - flattering and street-worthy



Swim Suit*

Sweatshirt, Cashmere sweater, or Lulu type jacket

Scarf {this is accessory and wrap}

Under things for 2 days

Sandals and dress {optional} 

Running Clothes {optional} 


*weather depending


Here is how I travel and it never fails me.  I make adjustments for the weather, formality of my activities, religious considerations, and urban vs. other environments. 


To the airport:  

  • Jeans, cute top, blazer, and a great shoe that I will need on the trip.   If it is a cold-weather destination I will have on my boots, because the are the heaviest and take up the most space in a suitcase, and a coat.


In your carry-on:

  • Lululemon leggings and skinny t-shirt (this will be long sleeve or short, weather depending), aLulu scarf or cashmere scarf that is large enough to be used like a wrap or doubled at neck, A Lululemon jacket, cute sweatshirt, or cashmere sweater, and ballet flats.  


  • I pack 1 extra t-shirt, 2 days of under things.  You could throw in sandals and a dress if you want.   You could also probably squeeze running clothes or a swimming suit in if you had too, but walking miles and miles a day might be fine enough of your luggage was lost. 


  • Hair scrunchie, sleep mask, noise canceling headphones, socks, make-up wipes, baby wipes,and hand sanitizer. I like a sanitizer spray from EO, it is all natural, smells great, creates a sense of peace, and can be sprayed on the seat and tray table to disinfect. 


  • For long-haul flights pack melatonin tablets or Dream Water for better sleep, never Ambien.  


Also include: 

  • Jewelry, medication, camera, laptop or ipad, chargers for devices and boost pack.
  • Chocolate bars, almonds, and protein bars, gum, and lots of water.  I buy bottles of water after clearing security because I am always thirsty.  I also take a refillable water bottle, but I discourage drinking water from any airplane faucet.   


Food and Drink:

  • If I am taking a red-eye flight I only drink water and skip the Diet Coke so that I can sleep.
  • On meal service flights I order the LOW SODIUM meal.   This helps to ensure that I will fit into my clothes when I arrive at my destination. 


In Flight:

After the meal service, change into Lulu or Zella gear for comfort but cute.  You could be wearing a flattering pair of leggings, and fine knit cashmere crew neck, and have your scarf.   You will look great and be warm and comfortable without degrading yourself with an Adidas track suit. Here is where flats come in handy, for up-and-down plane aisle.  You may also need socks for warmth. 

I brush my teeth, remove my makeup, bun-up the hair in the scrunchie, pop the melatonin, and on with the mask. 


Before Arriving:

I get a jump on arrival and wind back up to the travel outfit I was wearing originally with modifications for my destination, add a coat or remove the blazer, etc.   I start drinking my water, I put on moisturizer and make-up, run a brush through my hair, use mouthwash, put my carry-on back in the overhead before the seat-belt sign for landing.


Upon Arrival:

I’m ready! I am dressed and can immediately start seeing sights.   If my bag doesn’t make it I have enough options to make it a couple of days.   I have all of my essentials with me.  

In case you need it here is a quick list of suitcase rules so that when you are reunited with your bag you can be assured that your best things haven't been lifted.  Please also remember how limited the replacement policies of airlines are.   You will never get full value for your belongings. 


Suitcase Rules

Photograph all contents and have an inventory list on your phone or cloud file. 

Include a photocopy of your passport inside and in a cloud file.

Have contact listed clearly on tags on the outside, and a copy inside the suitcase

Never Pack valuables, medication, designer clothing, anything you can't replace 

Do not pack cameras, iPads, laptops, or other electronics.   They will be "lost" even if your bag arrives.

Pack heavy things like shoes at the very bottom

Use WD40 on the wheels 

Secure all toiletries inside of plastic zip bags or waterproof travel bags

Pack clothing in airless travel bags and roll instead of folding

If traveling as a couple you may want to split half of two suitcases so your husband isn't decked out while you are in your "comfy clothes" at Tulum or The Great Wall of China. 

Posted on July 3, 2015 and filed under #FrockProjects.