How to Pack As a Plus-size Traveler – Capsule Wardrobe

what to pack

Time to answer the age-old question… What to pack, what to pack, what to pack?

It is official. 4 days til I am on my way to New Jersey. I have been really taking into consideration what I wanted to bring on this 2-week vacation. It needs to be functional and work with what I want to do on my vacation bucket list.

Prepare, but don’t OVER do it

I am such a planner. Last year when we drove from Florida to New Hampshire was a shit show. It was the first vacation I had taken since I was 16, I am 34 now. So Last year being 33 I wanted to make sure we had everything we needed.

I did so much research: reading blogs, watching YouTube videos. Anything you can think I was doing it. On our way up there I thought we need all this. You would have thought there were no stores where we were going… That is the natural blonde coming out and I got a giant brain fart.

Photo Credit Consumer Reports

We somehow bought paper towels and napkins… It’s the same freaking thing. We bought small trash bags for trash or if something got wet. Never touched those either. While we were in New Hampshire, we bought 12 packs of soda for us while at the campsite. You know the store brand that’s 4 for 10. Never touched those either.

It’s crazy how much stuff we bought and didn’t use it.

If you won’t use it, don’t pack it

Packing to come back home was a whole other story. Over half of the stuff we bought was never touched, never even opened. Plus we ended up buying a folding table while we were up there. Don’t judge me! It came with 4 chairs too. (the prices between Florida and New Hampshire is crazy)

That table if bought in Florida would have been easily 50-100 bucks USED… We bought it for 13 dollars. For our small home, I wasn’t leaving it.

When packing to come home we didn’t have room for a lot of things. All the stuff we didn’t touch I found someone 2 stops over from us at the campsite in an RV and asked them if they wanted it. I would leave that stuff behind in a heartbeat, but not my table! At first, they refused but ultimately accepted. We also offered another guy there if he wanted a case of water.

Lesson learned about over packing

Because of that trip, I learned a lot. Since it was in the 40s and raining we didn’t really change our clothes that often. That’s what happens when you camp. We didn’t have to pack as many clothes either.

Although this time is different. I am flying not driving. Still applying all the lessons I have learned. I was very cautious about the clothes I picked out for 2 weeks. As I said in a previous post, I had been just throwing things I thought I “might” want to bring.


Since I leave in 4 days. I started going through everything I put in my suitcase. The wheels started turning and made me think am I really going to wear this? I had to be really honest with myself.

Taking time to create outfits

I started with the pieces I knew right off the bat that I felt good in. Items that made me excited to wear them. I knew that was going to make things easier. It was a good base to start at.

Photo by Chelsea Francis on Unsplash

Try on pieces

I then followed that up with trying on pieces that I was unsure about. I had to ask myself the following questions:

Did it fit me well?
Does it go with anything else I am bringing?
How often would I wear this with the other items?

What to pack in my suitcase?

I ended up choosing the following:
6 Pants
6 Shirts
3 Cardigans
1 Leather jacket
3 Pairs of shoes
3 Bras
2 PJ Sets
8 Socks
8 Underwear
This includes the outfit I am wearing to the airport.

From there I looked at the items I chose and sat at my computer. I wrote myself a list of all the ways I could wear each item. I am only going to be gone for 14 days. So, my goal was to pack 1 outfit a day for 7 days.

I mean 6 shirts and 6 pairs of pants are really good. Which gave me 12 outfits. I will also be able to do laundry. 12 outfits aren’t bad for mixing and matching all the items. I don’t mind repeating outfits. I am not picky.

The biggest issue is now done and out of the way, for now.

What about the other essentials?

First thing first, when it came to beauty products… I am a minimalist. Because I am staying with family, my cousin, and her daughter. I figured I wouldn’t need shampoo, conditioner or body wash. They will have it, if not I can buy it at the store.

I have a simple makeup routine that I can do in 10 minutes if I decide to put makeup on. Its primer, foundation, concealer, eyeliner, blush, eye shadow, mascara, and loose powder. BAM DONE!

I have watched a lot of “pack with me” videos on YouTube and some of these girls go crazy. Straighteners, blow dryers, and curling irons… I am so glad I am low maintenance. Stuff like that I don’t want or need weighing down my suitcase.

I mean if you enjoy that kind of thing good for you, please come teach me how, but as for right now, I don’t need it. It’s family time, not going to New York Fashion Week.

What to pack in my beauty bag?

Face wash
Dry shampoo
Makeup remover
Feminine hygiene products
Razor and a refill

This is packed in my checked suitcase. I am bringing just a laptop bag and my backpack as my carry on.

What to pack in my laptop bag?

Laptop & Charger

What to pack in my purse?

Some Make up
Reusable Water Bottle
Facial wipes
Baby Wipes

Now that I have figured out what I am bringing I have been slowly packing everything. Not too much since I don’t leave for another 4 days and we have a family event we are going to tomorrow night on the 20th.

In the end, it doesn’t really matter

Yes, I quoted Linkin Park…

All in all the only advice I can give on packing is to make sure you bring things you are going to use. Not things you “think” you will use. I know we all want to look good on vacation and have all the Instagram worthy posts. It all comes down to functionality and comfort. Don’t use vacation as the time to try new looks or beauty products.

Vacation is about having fun and exploring. Make memories to share, because I think what matters most is what you have to share rather than what you were wearing.

I hope you all enjoyed this post and remember to check back. I will be sharing a travel Day to-do list (more like a what-not-to-do list).

Until Next Time, Have a Great Day!

what to pack

24 thoughts on “How to Pack As a Plus-size Traveler – Capsule Wardrobe

  1. This is really important to learn as a traveler. I used to pack a lot of things and it was really uncomfortable. I read a lot of articles like this and I learned a lot. This is really helpful and beginner travelers should read about this.

  2. This list so helpful, I sometimes having a hard time packing stuff. I will bookmark this for reference.

  3. I am definitely an over packer but I agree with you that making outfits is a great way to keep things organized when you pack and helps to eliminate taking clothing you won’t wear.

  4. I love this idea of if you won’t use it, don’t pack it! haha Sometimes we just do too much and project to much into the future.

  5. I love to pack almost everything I need.and it’s my very bad habit..this article is very helpful.. thanks for sharing…😇

  6. I am a huge over-packer, but gradually learning to keep it simple. Now, I and my husband manage to share one huge piece of luggage for both our belongings, with enough space for any travel purchases.

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