When it comes to business trips, I would consider myself an expert packer. But for some reason when it comes to leisure, the carry-on is out the proverbial window and in comes the trunk. The even more insane part is, I likely pack the same amount for three weeks in Japan as a long weekend in Miami. I attribute this to pre-planning. For business, you have a general idea that you have to be “work appropriate”. Laying out a suit and a day-to-evening dress both of which match your black pumps is a hell of a lot easier than a long weekend when you need beach attire, clothes to walk around in, gym clothes, pjs and evening clothes and forget it, if it’s shoulder season.
Which brings me to my best friend’s bachelorette party in Los Angeles. A long weekend, mostly leisure, with a couple business meetings added at the end. Beach wear- check, brunch clothes- check, pjs (I usually prefer to sleep naked, but the rest of the bridal party didn’t seem as open-minded)- check, workout clothes- check, business appropriate attire- check and evening clothes- check. Even more annoying is that the weather ranges from the high 50’s to 90’s in the same bloody day.
I was determined to make the carry-on work. Having a general idea of activities, color scheme and laying out your outfits for the various occasions is helpful in cutting back. And let’s be honest, most hotels have dry cleaning/laundry services.
-2 bathing suits, obviously you can’t be caught in the same bikini two days in a row
-2 beach cover-ups
-1 pair of jammies that are appropriate for sharing a room with female friends and our gay friend (though he is totally fine with me being naked)
-Workout clothes: 1 t-shirt, 1 sports bra, 1 yoga pants and 1 running short. The yoga pants and t are also good for bumming around in or pjs too and don’t forget the socks
-The plane outfit can be worn both there and home. Jeans, tank, light sweater, leather jacket and a large travel scarf (black or tan if you want to be practical)
-A few t-shirts or tanks that can be worn with jeans or your yoga pants
-2 sundresses or rompers for casual weekend wear
-2 evening outfits. The less complicated the better. I prefer dresses because they are squishable and don’t require extra adornments
-The shoes always take the most space. Nike makes some great lightweight sneakers that don’t take too much room (but you really shouldn’t run more than 3.5 miles in them). A pair of flat sandals or ballet flats (perfect travel shoes). 1 pair of evening shoes- must match both outfits! 1 pair of wedges for brunches, shopping or a pit stop at the nail salon. And always have a pair of flip-flops handy for warm weather destinations
-Bra and panties: ideally you can get away with 1 or 2 bras and matching panties. To save a little extra space, you could also free ball it too. -Always throw in the emergency strapless bra to avoid wardrobe malfunctions
-Your toys. If you are going away by yourself or with a lover, a vibrator and some porn downloaded on your i-Pad are ideal. When you are sharing a room with someone you aren’t sleeping with, this could be a tad odd. I’d suggest packing your kegel balls. No one ever has to know you have them in. And while I hate to admit it, download “50 Shades of Grey”, it’s more socially acceptable to be caught reading this on the beach or in your hotel room...
Other helpful space saving tips:
Liquids: you can pick up travel size bottles at your nearest drug store, but I actually use my old contact cases and label them for: shampoo, face wash, lotion, etc
Pick a color scheme for your clothes and shoes. It translates into the 1 jacket, scarf, evening bag and your shoes matching everything
Rag&Bone for jeans and t-shirts- high quality and very packable
I get about 90% of my lingerie and kegel balls (I am a huge fan) from my local lingerie store: Marc & Max in the West Village of NYC.
For kegel balls or luna beads, I highly suggest Lelo—they make some great vibrators too. They even have travel size.
The Louis Vuitton never full is somehow never full. The best carry-on bag, turned chic purse or beach bag I’ve located to date and it matches everything
For bachelorette parties, pick up a football by Urban Mercenaries. The metal suitcase comes inclusive with handcuffs, martini shaker, shot glasses, dice, headache medicine and more...
Must Hit Restaurants & Bars:
Tar&Roses: Nuevo American, don’t forget to make a reservation
Huckleberries: A casual bakery café
The Misfit: For food and/or drinks. The décor insinuates French bistro, but as in most things southern Cali the menu boasts Ahi Tuna Burgers and Kale Salads
Mercado: for delish and chic Mexican
Afternoon drinks into dancing til 2pm at Fairmont’s Bungalow
The rooftop at The Huntley for dancing
Brunch at Gjulina’s on Abbot Kenny in Venice
Must Stay Spots:
The two-bedroom suite at the art-deco Shangri-La
Oceana for fancy private beach bungalows
Both are just across the street from the beach and down the road from the Santa Monica pier
Not all of us who wander are lost