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Translating Packing Lists Into Real Life

I shared my planned packing list list for Italy, but wanted to follow up and show how it panned out in real life. It’s easy to say you’re going to pack light, but it can be harder to actually do it! Honestly, packing light takes a little more planning on the front end, but makes your trip smoother, lighter, and generally more enjoyable (at least it does for me!) Here’s what the contents of my backpack looked like!
The gold scarf at the top was swapped for a lighter weight black & white scarf.
It all fit in my 45L osprey backpack with room to spare! Here’s how it looked out on the road 🙂

What I would have done differently:
– I brought 2 dresses but only ended up wearing 1. For fall/winter, I should have stuck to 1 dress as most days were a bit chilly (even with tights). Plus, I’d never worn the grey dress before. If you don’t wear it in real life, you won’t wear it on the road. Broke one of my own rules!
– I foolishly brought suede flats for my 2nd pair of shoes. With the rainy forecast, I don’t know what I was thinking! These were in my backpack the entire time.
– 2 jackets. I wore both of them, but definitely could have streamlined down to 1 and chosen another medium weight top for layering options.

Overall, not too many regrets. And definitely not ones that were too terrible! But as per usual, you can usually pack less than you think you need 🙂

What I wouldn’t change:
– My ankle boots. They were great for long days of walking, water resistant, and matched everything! 
– Layers. I got creative with my layering, putting my plaid shirt under my black dress OR the striped sweater, wore it over the black top, or by itself. Same with the mustard cardigan! Versatile as they come, and added color to otherwise plain outfits. 
– My black shirt from Vinnie Louise. It’s heavy enough to be warm but billowy and breathable. With a belt it has great shape or can be layered under a sweater! I think I wore it on every train ride because it was so comfortable.
– 2 different scarves. These scarves were different colors, materials & weights. They instantly changed an outfit’s look, PLUS it was nice to have different weights for weather changes.
– Low profile trainers. I found these on sale a few weeks before we left (for $30 at DSW) and I’m so glad I bought them. We hiked in Cinque Terre (so running shoes were necessary), but didn’t use them again – these were half the weight and size of my Brooks running shoes, and saved me a ton of space.

Thinking about New Zealand next month, I’m trying to be smart with my packing! Here’s what I know so far about our trip.
– Hiking at least 2 full days (one of those hikes will require cold weather gear)
– Driving (clothing that is comfortable in the car without being frumpy)
– The weather will be Spring-ish. Warm days, cool nights (maxi dresses, lightweight layers, thin scarf).

We’ll also be sea kayaking, wine tasting, exploring cities, glaciers, and all sorts of crazy stuff. It’s looking like my bag will be filled with a lot of athletic wear! Similarly to Italy, we will be bouncing around quite a bit – so i’ll need easy mix & match items that pack well without wrinkling. Challenge excepted.

If anyone has been to New Zealand and has any tips on visiting in the late Summer/Early Fall, please let me know! I’m all ears!