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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

6 Days. 32 Degrees. 1 Carry-On.

Biaggi Foldable

As a travel expert, one of the questions I get asked most frequently is "how do I pack?"  And now that airlines are charging for checked bags, the follow-up is "how do I stuff everything into a carry-on?" Now, if you are a woman with a shoe fetish traveling to the Great White North in December for 6 days, you likely believe the latter feat is impossible. But, if you read my answer to the first question posed, you will learn that you can travel to Canada for 6 days in the winter solely with a carry-on bag (plus a purse/tote).

To show that I walk the walk, let me detail what I am taking this week to the freezing cold (literally) city of Toronto. Above is my 22" Biaggi Foldable Carry-On ($229). Let's see what's inside.

It starts with my three pairs of shoes rule. You rarely need to have more than three pairs of shoes for any trip, and if you are a guy, you can probably get away with two. For women, my rule of toe is one pair of heels, one pair of comfortable flats (for walking) and one pair of sneakers (for working out). However, on this trip, I am flip-flopping from the norm. I am bringing a pair of Cole-Haan loafers, one pair of knee-high  flat boots, high-heeled ankle booties, and one extra item to boot (details in paragraph below). Normally, I would wear the bulkiest footwear on the plane, but in this case, I am packing both pairs of boots, and wearing the loafers on board.

In case I want to work out, I am bringing yoga pants and a built-in-bra athletic top. If I opt to go to the gym instead of using my iPad yoga app, I figure I can just do it in socks...or thongs (as in flip-flops, friends--yes, I know--breaking the three-shoe rule, but they are oh-so-tiny). Speaking of socks and lingerie--here's an accounting of what's packed in the suitcase. One bra, five pairs of socks, two pairs of tights, and six pairs of underwear. For sleeping, a pair of flannel pajama pants and a t-shirt.

During the day and into the night, my outerwear wardrobe, which is highly mix-and-matchable, will consist of the following:

1 dress
1 wool skirt
4 sweaters 
2 pairs of pants
One short-sleeve shirt
One tiny purse
One pair of wool mittens and a hat
As aforementioned, two pairs of boots....

and a partridge in a pear tree.

Actually, no partridge, but other little odds and ends that every woman needs (sunglasses, vitamins, energy bars, etc.)  And that's the Biaggi bag.

Instead of a purse, I am carrying on a nylon expandable tote. The reason for the tote--I will need the extra room to stow the Canadian version of Monopoly I plan to purchase (thus adding to my 30-plus game international collection). Plus, I may purchase a few other odds and ends. For the outbound trip, though, the bag will be nearly empty. It will contain items that need to be whipped out at security, along with valuables (camera, iPad, phone) I don't want to stow in the overhead compartment. I will also toss in seeds and reads.

Rodechi Hazelton
Hybrid Scarf ($185)
Because I will need a winter coat, I will wear that on board to save massive space (even though it is currently 70 degrees in Washington, DC). I will don my loafers (with socks so that I don't pick up yucky germs when I go all Shoeless Joe through security); a pair of jeans (with which I have to wear a normally-not-recommended belt, as these are low riders and ride low they will without some form of suspension); a lightweight shirt; and a fashionable Ralph Lauren sweater hoodie. I am also testing out the Robdechi hybrid scarf, which does septuple duty as a hat, a money belt, a passport holder, an eye mask, a neck pillow and a micro-fiber cloth to clean your iPad and iPhone (the latter of which you can conveniently store in one of the scarf's many hidden compartments).

Voila, my six-day Canadian wardrobe. Canuck believe it?

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