Slobodanka Graham


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My 'killer' necklace - or how to pack like a travel light pro

My 'killer' necklace - or how to pack like a travel light pro


'What do you mean, you travel with carry on luggage only? How do you do that? I couldn't possibly manage with so little!'

Yes, you can! Since 2010 I've been travelling with carry-on luggage only - and I if I can do it, so can you.

Pack the Planepack way

When planning a Planepack trip, there are three things to consider: what you will need to wear when you're away; what you'll be doing while you're away; and what bag you'll be using.

So my need is to look good, be comfortable and flexible while travelling overseas. I've learnt that I can do that with a limited and considered wardrobe.

 In this post, I share my own packing list of clothes. This sees me through three weeks' holiday (in a sunny climate). If you are a light winter traveler, I'd love to know what you pack; send me your tips!

My Planepack clothes list

  • 1 pair of comfortable shoes that I love (You’ll be wearing them nearly every day so make sure they are just right; wear them in before you travel. Choose a neutral colour that works for both day and night. And no one notices your shoes, I assure you.)
  • 1 pair crease-proof black (or another dark colour) pull-on slacks. (I say 'slacks' because I like unstructured, soft jersey pants that wrap and fold easily.)
  • 1 pair comfortable shorts neutral colour - preferably without zips or pockets. I favour shorts that are just above the knee, a bit like cycling shorts.
  • 1 easy pull-on skirt neutral colour
  • 1 soft t-shirt neutral colour
  • 3 colourful tops - these are your opportunity to bring in colour and pattern, if you wish
  • 1 long-sleeve wrap in a neutral colour
  • 2 bras (one black; one flesh-coloured)
  • 5 black knickers
  • 2 pairs of socks matching in colour to my comfortable shoes
  • 1 pair dressy sandals (flat or with slight heel)
  • 1 pair thongs
  • 1 pair leggings neutral colour (worn on the plane)
  • 1 unstructured jacket neutral colour (worn on the plane) 
  • 1 crease-proof evening top - whatever suits you to go with the slacks
  • 1 killer necklace
  • 1 everyday necklace (worn on the plane)
  • 1 pair of earrings (not worn on the plane; they make wearing my headphones uncomfortable)
  • 1 ring (worn on the plane)
  • 1 silk scarf (worn on the plane)
  • 1 bathing costume (two-piece)
  • 1 beach sarong
  • 1 nightdress
  • 1 soft robe

And that's it! Of course you have to choose lightweight clothes as you'll only be taking 7 kgs in your carry on case - and that includes cosmetics, but I'll share my toiletries list in another post.

Colour me beautiful

I found that one of the easiest way to limit my wardrobe is to limit the range of colours. Over time I've learnt to wear colours that best suit me. Last year I completed a styling course - so if you want hints on what colours suit you, I can help.

By 'neutral' colour, in my packing list, I mean my own preferred neutral or core colour, which is black or grey. I add colour sparingly - usually just one other colour - apart from the three coloured tops, which add that 'pop' of colour to brighten up my monotone wardrobe. Your neutral colour might be different, depending upon your 'seasonal' colour preference.

The trick with traveling lightly is to select clothes that work together with each other piece of clothing. For example, I choose tops and a t-shirt that match in colour to every single bottom - skirt, shorts, pants, leggings. That way I can dress my outfits up or down. If I need to, I can go from the beach to an evening out just by slipping my silk scarf over my shoulders to smarten up a plain t-shirt.

That 'killer' necklace

My most important item is the 'killer' necklace. I have a 'statement' necklace that looks good worn on top of a plain t-shirt or coloured top. A benefit for me as a light traveler is that the necklace is rubber - so it's as light as anything and it even folds up easily - so perfect for packing.

I add red lipstick - 'Did you say G&T, darling?' - and before you can say, 'What shall I wear?', we're ready for an evening out on the town.

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Happy holidays: how to travel lightly and nimbly

Happy holidays: how to travel lightly and nimbly

Muscles not required! Travel light - and leave quickly.

Muscles not required! Travel light - and leave quickly.