Cram it all in! (Photo: Getty Images)
There are people who can travel with little more than a toothbrush and a change of underwear. If that’s your thing, I salute you. But I will never aspire to be like you.
For me, a trip is not when I limit my wardrobe — on the contrary, it’s my fashion’s time to shine. Why would I want to settle for one pair of boring walking shoes when I could bring five pairs of fabulous heels?
Who else misses the days of the elegant steamer trunk? (Photo: Getty Images)
Not that I’m advocating for the days of ocean liner travel and steamer trunks — although I can appreciate the sentiment. But you’ll never catch me sharing a suitcase with my husband, which he once innocently suggested. The horror.
My goals are simply different than those of travelers who want to pack as little as possible. Whereas some frequent fliers struggle to shove their roll-ons into the overhead compartment, I breeze to my seat with a small carry-on, having checked my bloated bags. You’re welcome.
You won’t catch me with a simple backpack. (Photo: Veer)
I wasn’t always a packing diva. I spent my college semester abroad in Kenya, with my belongings crammed into one large backpack. When I returned to the States, I trashed the few items of clothing I had worn for months on end and swore to myself: Never again.
Now when I plan a vacation, I’m prepared for every situation: A freak monsoon? No problem, I’ll just whip out my umbrella and raincoat. Last-minute theater tickets — count me in with a fancy frock. A good day for a hike? I’ve got my yoga pants and trainers at the ready.
I’m sure minimalists would argue that one pair of slacks and a shirt — not to mention hotel-provided bath products — would be fine for all of these situations. For me, fine isn’t enough. I want finery.
I pack the essentials — and then some. (Photo: Getty Images)
With this in mind, I approach my upcoming journeys with military precision. I map out each day and my plans — along with the outfits to match: shoes, bags, accessories — to the last detail. Then I add in my workout clothes, a coat or two — usually a trench and a blazer — and a pair of Ferragamo ballet flats for the plane. Oh, and I’m a practical traveler: I bring an empty, expandable bag to hold anything extra I buy along the way.
Too many cosmetics? There is no such thing. (Photo: Veer)
I don’t skimp on bath products, either. Who has time to measure out their favorite facial cleanser and hard-to-find body cream into tiny TSA-approved tubes? My toiletry kit alone takes up half my suitcase. Then I throw in the one blow drier that I would never go anywhere without.
A recent trip to New York City included outfits for an art opening, dinners, bar outings, days of exploring neighborhoods in Brooklyn, and before I knew it, I could have headed to the Big Apple with two big suitcases. I consider it a victory that I made everything fit into one.
They say you can’t take it with you. I say you can.
Claudine Zap is a writer for Yahoo. She got her start at the company tracking Web trends. Since then, highlights have included blogging the royal wedding of Kate and William, covering the 10th anniversary of 9/11, and reporting on any and all red carpet events. With family in New York City but settled in San Francisco, Claudine considers herself happily bicoastal.