How To Pack A Carry-On For Two Different Climates

Packing is one of my favorite things to write about because it's all about adding the perfect ingredients to your suitcase to ensure you'll be stylish and successful on your next adventure. 

It can be tough to find the exact recipe that suits your mood and activities on the trip, and this time I'm taking on my biggest challenge yet. 

Next month, I'm heading out of town for three weeks to vacation in Cape Cod and attend a wedding in Maine. These two stops mean I'll be juggling a suitcase filled with options for the beach and cooler weather activities in Maine. The forecast is predicting both highs in the upper 70s and lows in the 50s. 

If your vacations take you to places with both mountains and water, like Colorado or Oregon, this one's for you.

A couple things to know 

For this trip, I'll have access to a washer/dryer the whole time (unlike my Europe trip), which is allows me to pack less and continuously utilize essential pieces over and over again during the trip. 

My clothes and accessories will all be going in my carry-on, but I'll also be taking a tote to carry my computer, wallet and miscellaneous items I'll need on the plane and for daily adventures. 

How I'm doing it

First, I'm conceptualizing my special event outfit. This trip only requires one, the wedding outfit, so that will be the easiest part of the pack. For this, I chose a top and pant set similar to this one. To finish the look, I'm adding black platform heels to dress up the outfit and Beaded by W mustard tassel earrings to pop the pattern of the set. Below is the set I've chosen. 

 This is the top and pant set from Nordstrom Rack that I'll be wearing to the upcoming wedding in Maine. I'll finish the look with black platforms and statement earrings to pop the warm neutral pattern. 

Next, consider the vibe of where you're headed, then pack a handful of pieces that play into that atmosphere. Cape Cod has a classic/preppy/retro feel, so I packed light-colored tops to mimic the laid-back, beachy mood of this seasonal spot. This step is really your time to inject the pieces you love that you'll be really excited to wear. 

Finally, get practical. Add in all the elements you'll need to do all the activities you want to do. In this step, I'm adding a sweatshirt, a swimsuit, a cover-up, and workout clothes -- all items I will definitely need during my travels. 

The breakdown

shoes

Vince slides, black platform heels, Tecovas cowboy boots

 From left to right: platform heels for the wedding, Vince slides for the beach, Tecovas boots for the whole trip

From left to right: platform heels for the wedding, Vince slides for the beach, Tecovas boots for the whole trip

tops

spaghetti strap grey blouse, Rails striped button-down, Rails Hawaiian printed top 

 My Rails striped shirt is perfect for the retro vibes of Cape Cod. 

My Rails striped shirt is perfect for the retro vibes of Cape Cod. 

 I've decided to pack this heather grey spaghetti-strap top, because it's an easy throw-on for layering or by itself on the beach. 

I've decided to pack this heather grey spaghetti-strap top, because it's an easy throw-on for layering or by itself on the beach. 

bottoms

white jean shorts, ripped jeans, cropped flare jeans, black leggings

 From left to right: Mih cropped flare jeans, Topshop white jean shorts, Forever 21 ripped jeans, black flat-brim hat

From left to right: Mih cropped flare jeans, Topshop white jean shorts, Forever 21 ripped jeans, black flat-brim hat

outerwear

black sweatshirt, black puffy coat

 From left to right: Champion black sweatshirt, Mountain hardware black puffy coat, flat-brim black hat

From left to right: Champion black sweatshirt, Mountain hardware black puffy coat, flat-brim black hat

accessories

black flat-brim hat, pink bandana, mustard Beaded by W tassle earrings, gold Mango hoops, black round cocktail ring, black long cocktail ring, wooden bangles 

 Clockwise: wooden bangles, Mango gold hoops, black cocktail rings, Beaded by W mustard tassels, black flat-brim hat

Clockwise: wooden bangles, Mango gold hoops, black cocktail rings, Beaded by W mustard tassels, black flat-brim hat

the extras

3 gym outfits, wedding outfit, sleep wear, Rails striped beach cover-up, bathing suit 

 Private Party one-piece custom bathing suit, Rails bathing suit cover-up

Private Party one-piece custom bathing suit, Rails bathing suit cover-up

How I'm layering

My puffy coat can work over any of the tops I've chosen, and I can also add the sweatshirt between the two layers if it gets extra cold. 

I've also packed my go-to Tecovas boots to make the transition from warm to cool seamlessly. I wear these boots year-round, so they'll be perfect with my white shorts and striped Rails top or with my ripped jeans, sweatshirt and gold hoops in Maine. 

In addition to the outerwear, I've added my wool hat to the mix, which adds a touch of style to my warm weather looks and a bit of warmth to my cool weather outfits. 

And remember, keep it simple. Don't overthink this. Your style is all about you, and if you're sticking within your color palette, individual style, and shapes that fit your body type, pieces in your wardrobe will naturally flow together. Understanding these key parts of your style will make it easier, less time consuming, and more fun to pack in the future. 

Want me to help you pack for your next trip? Let's chat. Your wardrobe and style are unique, and I would love to help you fill a suitcase with outfits you'll love throughout your whole trip.