If you noticed that fashionipa.com has been silent for the past few weeks (thank you, if you did), it’s because I was enjoying an incredible laptop-free vacation.  My husband and I decided to take the kids to London and Paris this summer. Not only was it our first trip abroad, but the first time we’d all flown anywhere as a family.  Needless to say, I have too many photos and thoughts to fit into one post!  So my next few posts will be preparing for big city trips, my favorite places in London and Paris, and of course the details of my shopping spree! I’ll start with the packing tips I used to so that I could travel with only one carry-on suitcase and one small bag. Yes, seriously it IS possible, even for a fashionista…


Packing Tip 1: Find The Right Luggage And Bags 

I chose Samsonite for our luggage as it is a trusted brand, and the 20″ spinners were only $69.99 at our local Marshall’s.  I could only find two with built-in locks (which I wanted in case we had to check-in our bags at any point during the trip).  For the others, I bought these travel locks.  Travel tip: once you return from your trip, change the travel lock combination back to 000.  I could have sworn I knew the combination for my old lock, but after trying every conceivable combination I still couldn’t open it!

Packing Tips For A Big City Vacation

This Orla Kiely backpack/tote was the perfect size for my Nikon camera,  my make-up bag, my 3-1-1 bag, a book and my journal.  In case you don’t know Orla Kiely, she is an Irish designer known for her graphic prints.  Instead of taking my bulky camera case, I bought this insert bag which fit into my backpack.    

I also carried my Coach pouch (this one is similar) which was large enough for 5 passports, my cardholder and my iPhone 7,  but small enough that the airline didn’t consider it a third bag.  

I also packed a Travelon anti-theft crossbody/shoulder bag to carry my camera, snacks, sanitizing wipes, and wallet during day trips.  Knowing that we were going to crowded places, I wanted a bag with RFID blocking (protection against card skimmers who steal your personal data via devices.)  This bag also has locks on the zippers (to deter pick-pockets) and is made from an anti-slash material.  Travel tip: pick a neutral color travel bag in case you need your husband to carry it while you shop! 

Packing Tip 2: Pick Stylish And Comfortable Shoes

If you haven’t already read my last post,  I did quite a bit of research on stylish and comfortable shoes before our trip.  On one hand, I knew we would be walking up to 15 miles a day.  On the other hand, I wasn’t willing to succumb to the ugly sneaker trend. I wore my heaviest shoes, my running shoes, on the plane.  I packed a pair of slip-on fashion sneakers, flat sandals, and dressier slide sandals.  Packing tip: if you have new shoes, stuff them with socks or other clothes to help them keep their shape and to make the most of your space. If they are worn, use clean produce bags to wrap your clothes before stuffing them in your shoes.  Then put your shoes in shoe bags to keep them sperate from your clean clothes.  

5 Packing Tips For Your Big City Trip



Packing Tip 3: Take Mix-And-Match Clothing

I put together a capsule collection (pieces that work with several other pieces) for my suitcase.  Each piece that went into my bag had to coordinate with two others (except the dress).  Travel tip: wear your bulkier clothes on the plane.  I wore a gray long-sleeve t-shirt (still available in the same style different color here) with my Athleta La Viva lined pants (which is made in easy-wipe machine washable fabric with zippered pockets for security).  

Most of what I packed is still available online, so click on the links to see them: 

  1. Navy stretch shorts
  2. Black stretch cotton shorts (old style from Banana Republic) 
  3. Black knit skirt 
  4. Hi-low gray jersey skirt (old style from Athleta pictued below)
  5. Long black jersey skirt 
  6. Printed skort 
  7. Faux-wrap ruffled stripe dress 
  8. White tank 
  9. White textured ruffled tank top 
  10. Lace blouse
  11. Navy ruched t-shirt 
  12. Printed floral peplum blouse (old style from Banana Republic pictured below) 
  13. Printed v-neck blouse (old style from Banana Republic pictured below)
  14. Navy cardigan 
  15. Blue belted knit cardigan 
  16. Small printed silk scarf (similar one here

What I Packed For My Big City Trip









These two blouses were so light-weight, I rolled them and packed them into my new slip-on shoes.  With all the walking that we did, I didn’t end up gaining any weight, but I took this skirt with the stretch waistband, just in case!  

I  still had room for socks, underwear, a swimsuit and cover-up, two sets of running clothes, a few pieces of jewelry and a gift.  Packing tip: use a combination of careful folding, rolling and stuffing to make use of every inch of space. 

We had access to laundry, but if you’re staying in hotels, take or buy some detergent to wash your lighter-weight pieces. 


Packing Tip 4: Don’t Take Valuable Jewelry 

For me, taking care of passports, my camera, glasses, my iPhone and my wallet was enough responsibility.  I didn’t want to worry about jewelry too, so I left my engagement ring at home.  I ended up losing two earrings, and though they weren’t valuable, they were ones I often wear so I was a little disappointed.  Next time I’ll buy this McKenna Leather Travel Jewelry Portfolio to keep my jewelry organized.  


Packing Tip 5: Save Room For Shopping 

Because we were visiting family, I also had to make room for gifts including a box that was 12 X 6 X 6.  It took up almost a quarter of my carry-on, but I knew that it would leave me space to bring back clothes and souvenirs.  I ended up finding a treasure trove of clothing (which I’ll show you in future posts) so my husband and kids ended up with all of the souvenirs and European chocolate that we brought back.  Hint: Leave space in your suitcase or steal some from your husband or kids! 

Hope you find these 5 packing tips useful for your next trip! If you’d like to see how I mixed and matched my “capsule collection” follow me on Instagram.  If you’re looking for travel-friendly bags and clothing, check out my Pinterest boards for plenty of ideas.  Thanks for reading! 






5 thoughts on “5 Packing Tips For Your Big City Trip”

    1. Melody, I agree! Flats with a little bit of a platform were the most supportive for me…though, on those days that we walked 15 miles, I had to forgo fashion for function and weear my running shoes!

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