Travel & Packing

Packing for LA

Happy day, dear reader!

By the time you read this, I will be in LA, hanging with my best friend, her sisters, daughter and cousin for a few days. These women feed my soul and have been rocks through thick and thin. They are there with love, laughter, and a reality check, but always one delivered with love. We don’t agree on politics, and we don’t have to. We love each other wholeheartedly. I’ve been blessed by their sisterhood (I’m bio-sibling free.) and adoption!

A trip naturally begs the question, “What shall I pack?” If you are looking for some basic advice, you might want to start with Things I Always Take When I Travel, and Things I Never Take When I Travel. Beyond the basics, throwing random items in your suitcase is likely to leave you with few outfits you like, and under- or over-dressed for your holiday. Now, if your vaycay is at an all included beach resort, you may not need to be any more dressed than a bathing suit and cover up, but for most other trips some thought may be in order. To prep for any trip, I check the weather, ask about our activities/itinerary, and start with the shoes. There is a reason I start with shoes… It’s hard to have a good time when your feet hurt! Next, I choose the clothes for my travel days, and after that the rest! Last, I’ll grab some scarves and jewels.

Weather and Activities

It’s LA, people! It will be sunny and in the mid-70’s, right? Not this time. Clear with temps in the upper 50’s to low 60’s is our forecast. Maybe some sprinkles. No worries, I’ll just need to remember a jacket instead of shorts or a swimsuit! At present, the plans include beach walking, a kick-butt exercise class or two, poking about in shops, buying groceries, hanging out, drinking wine, cooking, cocktails at a roof-top bar (Brrrrrr!), some shopping, and a museum or two.


This is where I get into trouble… I could pack a suitcase full of shoes and accessories, and little else. I will need PT shoes for the exercise adventures. I’d love to pack my Chacos for the beach walking, but will more likely bring flip-flops to wear as slippers and walk barefoot on the beach. Sand polish pedi! I want a pair of heels in case we eat somewhere nice, or for that rooftop bar evening someone has been raving about… My original thought was my Blue Suede Strappy Sandals, but not if the temps are only in the 60’s! Unless I feel like Popsicle toes. (If you are interested, Popsicle Toes is also the name of a great silly-sweet jazz number.)

So far the plan is: (1) White Booties to travel in and wear for almost anything. They are really comfy and can go for miles. (2) Flats of some kind. (3) Running Shoes for the aforementioned torture sessions, and (4) a Pair of Heels which is as yet undecided!

Travel Clothes

Generally, I travel in a Top, Bottom, and Topper. I prefer to travel in a blazer. I imagine (I have a vivid imagination!) it makes me look more like a grown up, and it certainly makes a better impression than pajamas when you need to negotiate with a gate agent for a new flight. I’ll wear a scarf, ideally largish, that can double as a pillow or a blanket. I always wear closed shoes to fly. I don’t need cold tootsies, and can’t imagine an emergency evacuation in sandals or flip-flops. Yes, I know this sounds paranoid, but my retired Navy flier husband doesn’t play with safety. Buy me a coffee (or a beer) and I’ll tell you about our son’s 9th birthday airplane flight present, and kitting out for the adventure. Yup. We were ready.

Now’s the time I wish for a cream colored sweater that wasn’t ridiculously oversized! I’d rather a sweater than a blouse for the travel days. The cream sweater in my winter capsule is tunic length. I bought it as an inexpensive “trial run” to see if I’d like having a cream colored sweater and get good use out of it. The answer is yes, but the tunic will be passed on as soon as I find a sweater in a better length for me!


I’ll go for a Travel 6-Pack (a term coined by the lovely Janice Riggs of The Vivienne Files). My standard 6 are One Bottom, Three Tops, a Topper, and a Dress. If I am packing for somewhere really warm, the topper may give way to an extra top, or if extra relaxed like the beach, the dress might morph into another bottom like a pair of shorts… Right now it looks like this:


I’ll take some silk scarves, because this is me, peeps! Scarves pack a wallop of style in virtually no luggage space. I’ll pack a small box of jewelry into my carry-on as well, because it’s another way to mix things up with little effort. Space isn’t as much of a premium as on my last flight; this time I’m on Southwest. They allow you to check bags for free. Did you get that? Free. It’s such a lovely surprise not to be nickel-and-dimed for absolutely every bit. And no, the no-assigned-seating thing doesn’t bother me. Bonus: Getting onto the plane is less stressful when you aren’t jockeying for overhead bin space with everyone and their brother.

I’m still on the fence about the white jeans. I may take my blue skinnies instead. For now this is the plan. I’ll let you know how it plays out in a debrief after the trip, and whether I changed my mind about anything as I was flinging my clothes into the suitcase! Does this look like too much, or too little for you? Let me know in the comments below!

Stylishly yours,

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