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I am a big fan, if not militant supporter, of packing light, and with my trip to Zermatt, Switzerland right around the corner I thought this would be the perfect time to share some tips on packing for a 10 day winter vacation all in a carry-on bag. If you want to start traveling lighter, already do, or just like magic tricks, this post is definitely for you. 

The necessity for packing light, at least for me, was born from a decade of lugging crap that I didn’t need all over the planet, not wearing half of it and still feeling like I had nothing to wear. I would even end up shopping at my destination because I thought I had nothing to wear, even though my massive luggage was already overweight. (BTW, destination shopping is not a crime and is actually an amazing experience, but doing it out of stress over nothing to wear even though there is a bag full of clothes with you, means it's time to examine your packing habits.) I have so many disastrous over-packing stories. I will spare you the gory details and just tell you that several years ago I bought a really cheap hard suitcase and decided that whatever didn’t fit in it just wasn’t going with me. This was the beginning of my adventures in packing light. Although the suitcase was checked baggage, my trips in that bag gave me the confidence to change my packing ways. I starting shopping less before and during my travels, and actually felt more at ease in the process. 

Some advice on Winter trips for those who are just beginning their adventures in packing light would be, don't worry about planning out your whole trip just get the weather and general lay of the land to establish your basics. Go slightly outside of your comfort zone for one or two looks that you can use when you are getting bored of your basics. You don't need three pairs of all weather boots in different styles for a ski vacation. Choose the most practical, or the most fun snow boots and ditch the rest. Bring one practical puffer and one cute coat that will fit in your carry-on. 

There have definitely been trial and error trips, like the time I ended up in NY in August with only jeans and sneakers, was dying of heat and had nothing to wear to dinners and during fun day trips. A few similar packing less blunders led me to realize that a little planning, even for this text book non-planner, goes a long way. I don't map out entire details of my trips, because let's face it that's boring and who can really know exactly what they will be doing at all times? Not me. I am much more of a figure it out when I get there, and just want to get a little lost in the culture at the same time kind of traveler. Even without planning every second of my trips,  I have managed to map out great packing lists, all of which have led me to my first overseas voyage in a carry-on and it’s a BIG ONE. Ten days in Switzerland.

I’m really excited to wear what I packed on this trip, because I pushed myself out of my jeans and sweaters comfort zone and gave myself some fun options for evenings out. There is really no need to try and reinvent yourself before you go on vacation (trust me I've tried and failed at this approach many times) but I do think traveling is about dreaming, and I feel better at my destination when I get a little creative with my clothing. I also decided not to shop for this trip save for a new scarf from Acne. This way I will have a little extra room if I find something special to bring home with me.

My one disclaimer for this packing list is that I will be snowboarding, so I do have to check my snowboarding bag. I refuse to rent a snowboard and boots because I am too attached to my own, so I put my outers and base layers in the snowboarding bag as well as my wool socks, puffer, and waterproof boots. If I wasn’t snowboarding, I would have brought my puffer on the plane with me, switched out one pair of sneakers for waterproof boots and stuffed my wool socks inside my shoes. Everything else would have stayed the same. I tend to carry my toiletries and makeup in my personal bag, because I have a very strict skin-care routine for long-hauls and I like those items accessible on the flight.

I am not suggesting that you run out and buy all, or any of these items. The items that I packed that are the same, or very similar to the items below, I have accrued over time and mostly during sales. I am including links only in case you can't live without one or more of them, and to show you how I built my packing list for this trip.

I would love to hear any packing tips, disaster, success or any other packing stories! Click the Comment button below to share. Happy Packing! R+W


3 Sweaters (one big cozy one, one long cardigan, and one crew neck)

2 T-Shirts (one white, one black)

1 sweatshirt

1 silk top

1 dress (worn over leather pants)

1 light cashmere top

2 jeans

1 pair leather pants

2 boots, 1 heeled, 1 flat

2 pairs of sneakers 1 for fun, 1 for workouts

1 purse (converts from shoulder/crossbody bag to handbag/clutch)

1 scarf

1 hat

1 fur coat

1 pair of yoga pants

1 workout tank top

1 pair of leggings

(additional items: 1 comb, 1 hair brush, 1 round hairbrush, 1 flat iron, 1 travel lint roller, 1 bag of undergarments, 1 sleep outfit) 

1. Acne Sweater 2. Acne Cardigan (another option here) 3. All Saints Sweater (another option here) 4. White t-shirt 5. ATM T-Shirt 6. James Perse Sweatshirt  7. All Saints Silk Top 8. Silk Dress 9. Jenni Kayne Top 9, Acne Skin 5 Jeans 10. J Brand Skinnies 11. J Brand Leather Jeans 12. Iro Boots (another option here) 13. Acne Boots 14. Golden Goose Sneakers (another option here) 15. Nike Running Shoes 16. Pom Pom Hat, another option here) 17. Ulla Johnson Fur jacket (another option here) 18. Tod's Bag, another option here) 19. Acne Scarf (another option here) 20. Yoga Pants 21. Yoga Top  22. Leggings 



Christmas Day Edition

Christmas Day Edition