Stop Frantic Packing with 11 basic items

 “I’ll be there in five minutes. Grab your passport—we’re going on an adventure!”

What do you think of that statement?

Often, trips have been planned out long in advance.

You are able to spend hours, if not days, packing for your trip.

But what if you could simplify packing?

What if all you had to do was throw in a blouse, a pair of pants or a skirt and be ready to go?

Keep these 11 things packed and you’ll be ready for adventure at a moment’s notice.

1.       Quality flats.

No matter where you travel, you will spend a lot of time on your feet and walking.

Nothing will make you stand out in the crowd as an American as white tennis shoes.

Buy some quality walking shoes that look nice with many outfits in a neutral color.

A nice ballet flat works with dresses or pants. You can get many that have the same cushioning and tread as a standard tennis shoes. Some brands to check out are Naturalizer, Merrill, SAS, etc.

2.       All Weather Jacket.

No matter what time of the year that you travel, chances are that you may encounter rain. This is especially true if you go off-season. If not rain, you may find yourself dealing with snow or even sea-spray if you take any ferries. A nice jacket can double as a coat when it’s cold and protect you from the elements. A traditional trench coat with removable lining or a wool jacket are good considerations.

3.       Extra-large scarf.

A scarf is a must for travel. They have many uses—to keep you warm, to use as a beach cover-up, a sarong top or skirt. Wearing a scarf is a simple way to keep you comfortable when you find yourself exploring cold or damp spaces. Once you’re back  in the warmth,  convert it to an accessory. You can wear scarves around your neck, your waist or even tied to your handbag.

4.       Swimsuit.

Hot springs, hot tubs or pools can beckon any time of the year. Packing a swimsuit for all seasons will ensure you enjoy whatever your adventure offers.

5.       Leggings.

Once you’re back at your abode after a long day of sightseeing, it’s nice to slip into something comfy. Leggings can be worn as pajamas, under dresses, skirts or a long top as another outfit ensemble. These are good to have on hand if you’re brought shorter skirts. You don’t want to be turned away from visiting some places due to your attire. Use leggings under pants if the weather is cold.

6.       Oversized tee-shirt.

Tee-shirts can be dressed up and down. Under a jacket with a scarf. Bagged over a skirt or pair of pants. Use as a swimsuit cover-up, as a pajama top, robe from the shower. Choose a crisp white, a neutral shade, or a color like a navy or burgundy if traveling to Europe. In Mexico, India, or Africa, you might want a bright fuchsia or turquoise.

7.       Lightweight pants with multiple pockets.

You can roll up  cargo-style pants  to create Capri’s for walking on the beach. Multi-season pants work for walks on the heath or hikes along a coastline. If temperatures dip, leggings underneath the pants will add heat. They are also easy to slip on over a swimsuit.

8.       Maxi skirt/dress

It’s great when one item has many uses. A simple shift with elastic can be a full long dress or worn around the waist as a skirt. Stick to a neutral color. Add interest and variation by wearing a multi-colored scarf or a jacket.

9.       Lingerie set

You can wash a bra and panties in a sink or shower. They will dry overnight. You can wash in the evening and trade out for the one you’re wearing. Want another set? What’s better than buying some lingerie in the place you’re visiting?

10.   Flip-flops

Flip-flops take up minimal room in your suitcase. Yet they have many uses.  Wear them in the shower, as shoes in the hotel, on the beach, going for a pedicure, etc.

11.   Socks

A pair of socks are good for keeping your feet warm and even your hands in a pinch. Wear socks in place of slippers.

So there you have it—11 basic items to keep packed in your bag. Now you might want to add other items like a collapsible bag, a toiletry kit, etc. If you’re a person who always includes hikes or long walks, you might want to include hiking boots, a hat or buff.

What do you think is the #1 thing you should always pack?