Traveling light is the perfect way to make your summer vacation plans as pleasant as possible. The less you carry, the less you have to worry about, and the easier it is to make likety-split decisions to follow your whims and hop on a standby flight, change hotels or add or subtract a destination from your itinerary.
Each time I’ve written about traveling light someone has asked me to show exactly how I’ve refined my travel wardrobe. This time I photographed everything before I packed it away. Here’s everything I’m taking for a two-week combination business/TV appearance/and getaway vacation.
Traveling Light: clockwise from the upper left-hand corner:
- Four tee shirts (white, black, blue, gray). The white tee is a synthetic running shirt; the other three are merino wool/silk blends (SmartWool and IceBreaker) that don’t itch, don’t stink, and are easy to wash in the sink.
- Nike Free 5.0 Running Shoes. They’re not my favorite joggers but they have a collapsible heel cup so they fold almost flat. Perfect for traveling light and making sure I get my weekly miles in.
- To Boot lace up dress sneakers. Designed with an athletic shoe-like rubber bottom, these shoes work with jeans or a suit and are very comfortable for running through airports or wearing all night on red-eye flights.
- Electronics and accessories. Laptop charger plus adapters and auxiliary battery for my iPhone 6, projector plugs (HDMI and VGA), a Røde mic to record my speeches, a mini-foldable tripod for videos and Periscope transmissions, an Olympus 4/3 SLR with extra memory card and charger, Garmin running watch, my dad’s Bulova Accutron watch, Apple earbuds, custom earpiece for TV interviews, and a pair of folding scissors.
- Sketchbook, Pentel Rolling Writers and mini Sharpie permanent marker (for writing hotel room numbers on keycards).
- Apple Air laptop in its own slim case that I use as a briefcase for meetings.
- Half set of six harmonicas (you probably don’t need to take these!).
- Two Brooks Brothers no-iron button down shirts. One black SmartWool base level sweater. (This sweater’s great because it can go under or over the shirts and can be worn by its own or with a tee shirt.)
- Nike running hat.
- Lululemon Surge running shorts. These double as swim trunks when you’re traveling light.
- Reversible gray/blue waterproof bucket cap from Roots Canada.
- Black belt.
- Socks: Two pair gray SmartWool socks, one pair merino running socks, one pair black merino from Icebreaker. I wear them and wash them and never run out.
- Brown and black tweed cashmere sport coat.
- Patagonia crushable down puffer jacket. This little gem folds into its own pocket and takes up almost no space.
- Three pocket squares – gray linen, white linen with gray trim, navy cotton. Two Paul Stuart knit ties – mutli-brown stripes and navy with white polka dots.
- Two pair washable underwear (Saxx or Ex Officio are my favorites). They get washed every day too.
- Two pair of black and gray travel pants from Lululemon.
Besides these things in my bag (22” Tumi duffel), I’ll also wear cotton khakis, Adidas Gazelle sneakers with another pair of running socks, washable underwear, and a navy polo shirt and carry my iPad.
Why no jeans? They’re heavy, take up a lot of space in luggage, dry very slowly, and aren’t that comfortable on planes.
Why the choice of ties and pocket squares? They instantly change a look even if you’re wearing the same basic colors underneath.
Why the puffer jacket in the summer? Mountain nights can be chilly and airports and planes can be freezing cold. A collapsible jacket like this one is a great comfort and can double as an in-flight pillow.
Why the bucket hat and running cap? Water resistant headwear is great when it rains and is also a terrific way to block the sun when you’re outdoors. And they’re a lot easier to carry than an umbrella.