Don’t panic. Buy a jacket!

Anyone who travels extensively is likely to tell you “PACK LIGHT!” but what does that really mean? While there are blogs dedicated to the topic of what to pack when you travel I thought I would add my voice to chaos, with a two pieces of universal advice. First:

Don’t Panic.

I think I spent the first six months before I left for my year living in Spain, plus many weeks before my first few trips when I was there, worrying about what to pack. I would bring too much or the wrong thing, but with time and help from Ryanair’s strict restrictions, I learned to pack better, lighter, and for versatility. In then end it was always ok. So, breath, evaluate, and when necessary spend the money.

Which leads me to my next piece of advice.

Buy a Jacket!

I brought 5 jackets to spain with me and that was two too many. I had a wool coat, beautiful, but unnecessary for the weather southern spain provides. I lugged a dress jacket for a work place that turned out to be more casual than business casual. Than there were the three jackets which saved me in every situation I ever encountered.

The everyday jean jacket.

The everyday jean jacket.

First a well structured jean jacket goes with everything. It is like jeans, but for your arms. For a dress/skirt lover it was a staple piece, but my love for this coat is for another time.

Practicle, but not always the cutest jacket

Practical, but not always the cutest jacket

The next two coats went together. The first I had a “lovely” blue fleece. It was warm, it was water-resistant. It was great for the out-door. Most importantly it went under my staple. The one jacket I still love and which I wore almost every day, at least when mediterranean paradise was not an adequate description for the weather. This jacket was a splurge.


Layering done right in Upsala, Sweden

I bought the REI La Selva rain coat on sale, so it is a less standard color, but it is still one of the most expensive things I own. When I bought it I thought I would regret spending more than 100 dollars on a coat. I have never regretted it. I discovered in fact, that you should spend the money on this kind of staple. It was warm enough, when layered, when I wore it in November in Sweden, and cool enough to wear as a wind breaker in the city. It was tough and cute and durable. This jacket is in almost every album I have from when I traveled.

Your jacket ideal may not look like mine, but consider investing in a jacket which is versatile, all you, and layerable. I promise that if you listen to your gut and go for it you will not regret the purchase. I know I never did.


Don’t Panic, Buy a Jacket and Wander On!

Bonus Blogs:

Here are a few of my favorite packing blogs for women.