Packing is an art, especially when you travel with just a piece of hand-luggage. I'm sure you have eventually panicked in front of an empty Samsonite asking yourself what to pack. Today I bring you my magic list for a perfect luggage: around 30 items you can mix in endless comfy and chic looks to discover any place on Earth.

Are you going on vacation? Follow the steps and tell me about it when you return!

  • 1.     DESTINATION: Where and When are you going?
A)   Get the Lonely Planet and read about the place you are going to visit, their traditions and infrastructures. You don’t want to end up wearing a mini skirt in Turkey or trying to walk the streets of India in a pair of Louboutins.
B)   Check the weather of the destination for the days you’ll visit. You might not need an umbrella in London if you are going there in August, or you might need a warm jacket for nights at the desert.
C)   Keep in mind the colors of the background. For the “beginners” I’d recommend wearing complementary colors: Fuchsia looks great at the tropical forest, turquoise on the sand and burgundy under blue skies.
D)   Luggage allowance: check the size and weight you can take and pick up an appropriate suitcase.

  • 2.     BASICS: The Top 10 
A)   Jeans: multiuse and apt for any climate, it’s a must.
B)   Pants: chose some pants in a neutral color (black, beige, gray, chocolate, white) according to the weather.
C)   Tees: at least one black and one white. Turtleneck and long sleeves if it’s cold and tank tops if hot.
D)   LBD: you need a black dress, in case you end up having dinner at a fancy restaurant, and you can also wear it casually any day.
E)   White shirt: you should have one always available, but just one, or you’ll spend the holidays ironing! 
F)    Trench: a trench is to coats what jeans are to pants. Light, wearable and stylish. It works with Converse or heels, is perfect for the rain and if it’s too cold you can wear a thick sweater underneath. You can even wear it as a dress. But if you are going to be below zero you’ll need something else.
G)   Jersey: Take one just in case, for cold weather or fresh summer nights.
H)   Navy stripes tee: this is a must for your airport look (explanation at the end)
I)     Scarf: I never leave home without it, I got used to it in India. Get a big and multipurpose scarf, you can use it to keep your neck warm in winter, protect it from AC in summer, shelter your head from the Sun, wear it as a sarong, use it as a towel/blanket/curtain/picnic cloth, improvise a dress or wrap fragile souvenirs… Better if it dries fast so you can wash it after every use! Select a neutral shade or something with a metallic shine.

  • 3.     COLORS: Basics are great, but you need to cheer them up, so choose a color to combine during your trip (See point 1.C.)
A)   Dress: Comfy and joyful. Wear it with boots in winter and sandals in summer. Set it aside for those days when you are visiting a museum or walking on the promenade, hiking in a dress is not recommended even if you feel very comfy in it.
B)   Skirt: maxi or mini (but remember point 1.1) Pick up one that you can wear to dinner or to the beach, and if the wait is elastic you can also wear it as a dress or a top.
C)   Top: you can take a blouse, sweater, tee… adjust the quantity to the length of tour holidays.
D)   Scarf: there’s a basic one already, but you should pack one more (in case you need a curtain and a towel at the same time), take a wool scarf or something lighter, but colourful.
E)   Tights: in a bright color are perfect for a happy outfit, and it wont take much space in your suitcase!

  • 4.     SHOES 
A)   Sneakers: Let’s not forget that we are packing as tourists and the itinerary will include lots of walking, comfy shoes are essential. Converse are great to walk all over the city, but if you are practicing any sport make sure you have the right shoes for that.
B)   Ballerinas: comfy, light and versatile. Black for winter and cream for summer.
C)   Boots or sandals: according to the season. Discard suede and take waterproof leather for the boots. I would choose silver or golden sandals.
D)   Heels: black pumps or silver sandals can make an evening outfit in seconds.
E)   Flip-flops: last but not least, in any season, you can use them as slippers and will save your life in not-so-nice showers.

  • 5.     ACCESSORIES
A)   Bags: You need a big one for the airport/station/port, Le Pliage by Longchamp is perfect for this: extra light, you can fill it like Mary Poppins and you can fold it back to your suitcase anytime. But take a smaller bag for exhausting days. And a clutch for party nights. Ideally you can take a clutch with a strap for day activities and remove the strap in the evening, so you only carry 2 bags, but you can also use the clutch as a beauty case to save space…
B)   Hats: Berets are great for cold weather, they add color and are flat to pack. You should take a roll-up panama to warm destinations, or wear your scarf as a turban.
C)   Belt: in leather, it’ll be great is you can adapt the size to waist and hip.
D)   Jewellery:  basic earrings for the day and chandeliers for the night. Add a fancy bracelet or a brooch.

  • 6.     EXTRAS 
A)   Underwear: depending on the length of your trip. Include socks, tights… Don’t forget your pyjama and a bikini!
B)   Toiletries: Very limited if you are not checking in your luggage: samples of soap and shampoo, roll-on deodorant and perfume in cream. If you are staying more than 4 days buy a bottle of gel/shampoo upon arrival. Forget about your hairdryer, straightener… you are on vacation!
C)   Mobile, Camera, chargers, plug adapter, passport, glasses…
D)   First-aid kit: Don’t forget your tablets if you are under treatment. Include plasters, painkillers and depending on your destination you might need help with mosquito bites, stomach remedies or motion sickness chewing gums!

If you follow the 6 steps you will gather around 20kgs of stuff for a 1.5kg suitcase. So now you need to know what to wear for your departure:
-Jeans: You need to be comfy. Jeans are perfect for hectic journeys. Make sure the waist is not too low, or else your lingerie will be exposed every time you bend down to grab your luggage.
-Shoes: The biggest/heaviest. Sneakers in Summer and boots in Winter. They should be easy to remove so things go smooth at the security check.
-Navy stripes t-shirt: The stripes is just something I like when I travel, the point is to wear something comfy, and ¾ sleeves.
-Scarf: You’ll need it under the AC, nobody wants to start their holidays catching a cold. Tie it to your bag when you don’t need it, it won’t take space away from the bag and will add a chic touch!
-Coat: You only need one, but packing it would be complicated, so wear it. I hope you got a light one, going all over the duty-free wrapped in thick wool is a bad idea.
-Accessories: I’m not a big fan when travelling, but I do wear a watch. Stay away from metallic belts and anything that won’t pass the metal detectors. If you chose a rigid hat you’ll have to wear it. And make sure you wear your glasses if you can’t read the boards without them!
-Documents: Tickets, hotel bookings, passport, credit card, exchanged money and a travel book. With all this you should be able to easily reach you destination. 

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