Packing. Some people love it, others hate it. Some are motivated to pack as little as possible and avoid those pesky baggage fees. Others just don't want to carry around a ton of weight. Regardless of your end goals when it comes to packing, figuring out how to plan for different climates is a nightmare. Packing for one is stressful enough, two is just insanity. Well, guess what? It's possible and I just did it! Not necessarily extreme climates but different enough that the wardrobe was effected. Here's what I learned...
1. Stick with neutrals. Don't color-coordinate your outfits. One or two are fine depending on the length of your trip but neutrals will allow for easy mix and matching and they're simple enough to wear more than once. Use scarves for a pop of color or at least bring colors that coordinate well all together.
2. Layer up. Since you're sticking to neutrals, layering should be easy. Bring pieces that you can accommodate to warmer weather and colder weather. By doing so, you'll be able to minimize the number of items you bring as each outfit will be versatile and re-usable. 4 shirts and 2 sweaters equals 8 different outfits. 4 shirts and 3 sweaters equals 12 different outfits. Get where I'm going with this?
3. Don't stock up on shoes. Shoes will easily take up a large portion of available packing space so don't bring more than necessary. Wear the pair of shoes that would take up the most space while you're traveling. That way, they're on your feet rather than in your suitcase. Make sure you have a good pair of walking shoes and a pair of fancy shoes if you'll need them. I personally travel with a pair of gym shoes, a pair of ankle boots that are comfortable to walk in and a pair of flats. I make sure that the booties and flats can go with any outfit I wear as well. One is brown, the other is black. These 3 pairs of shoes will take you through ANY climate unless you're hiking. That requires it's own post though.
4. Don't sweat it too much. Traveling to different climates sounds much more stressful than it actually is. I went from Texas to San Francisco last year (which are way different in temperature than they might seem) and survived with a lightly packed suitcase and one other bag. I made it from Boston to DC recently and packed for 40 degrees and rain as well as 80 degrees and sunny. If your destinations are more extreme like Alaska versus Florida, these tips still apply just a little more dramatically. Increase your layers. Instead of pairing shirts and sweaters, pair tank tops, long-sleeved shirts and heavy sweaters. Wear your coat while you're traveling. Items for warmer weather will take up less space so pack smart by layering as many warm-weather items as possible to save room for the heavier items. Stay away from dresses if you know it will be too cold in one destination.
5. Ask yourself if you really need that poncho. Like any other packing strategy, narrow it down to the must-have items. If you don't see yourself wearing something, if you're even questioning it, don't bring it. Take your favorite items because chances are you'll feel much better wearing those outfits repeatedly rather than something you're less comfortable in.
Traveling to different climates is less stressful than it seems. All it takes is a little layering, smart decisions and narrowing it down to a suitcase that makes sense and doesn't cost you a pretty penny for being overweight. What are some tips that you have? Tell us in the comments below.