How to Pack Light for 10 Days: Tiny Closet in One Carry-On

Do you know how to pack light for 10 days and still have a different outfit everyday? This is a great example of how a capsule wardrobe can work wonders. By carefully choosing a set of 10 clothing items, you can pack a tiny closet plus some more into ONE carry-on. Here are the steps to help you pack light for your upcoming trip:

1. Check the weather

A couple days before you leave, check the weather forecast. Make sure to cover the lowest and highest temperature for the places you are visiting. Pick out clothes that are suitable for the range of temperatures and weather conditions.

2. Think about what you will do and where you will go

Plan for outfits that will be great for the activities you are doing and the locations you are going.

Just exploring the cities and hitting the touristy spots? Casual outfits will do. Going to fancy venues or dine at fine restaurants? Be sure to include a dressy look. Hiking, yoga, camping or doing other sporty things? Bring a set of your favorite sportswear.

3. Shoes: wear a pair, and bring another

While you are there, are you traveling mostly on foot, by car or by public transportation? Consider what shoes to wear for most of the days.

Bring one additional pair of shoes to create other outfits that are different from your home to airport looks. If you are wearing sneakers mostly (like these waterproof sneakers from Blondo), then maybe in your suitcase, bring a pair ofย natural rubber flip flopsย for the beach (ditch the plastic ones!), high-heels for a night out (like these heel sandals from Treasure & Bond), or low-heeled booties for city sightseeing (like theseย Sam Edelman Petty Boots).

4. Spot cleaner and compact hair dryer

Sometimes you only need to spot clean the item, then you can wear it again. To help drying your clothes quicker when you need to, bring a compact hair dryer with you. I have been using a foldable travel hair dryer from Vidal Sassoon for 5+ years now. It takes little space at home and comes handy when I travel.

5. A simple formula

What are these 10 magical items? They are different for everyone, but as a general guideline, look through your closet and select out:

  • 3-4 tops
  • 2-3 bottom
  • 1 dress/one-piece
  • 2-3 outerwear/layering

Remember this as a guide and not a rule. Also, the more overlaps these categories have the better! For example, a top that is also a layering item (like a button down blouse), or a mini dress that can also be a top (tuck into skirts/pants).

If you want to exclude the sportswear outside of the 10 items like I did. Do so! If you want to bring a couple more tops, feel free to do that as well! However, since this post is about how to pack light, let’s try to stay as minimal as possible.

Here are the 10 items for my upcoming Seattle/Portland trip:

I’m expecting the temperature to fall between high 50 F to low 80 F. I will meet with some friends, walk around the two cities, and try some casual local restaurants.

Thank you for reading and don’t forget to follow along my trip on Instagram, and I will be sharing my travel outfits there.

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