Skip to main content


25 Halloween Costumes w/Your LBD

The easiest way to create a last-minute or inexpensive Halloween costume is to start with things you already have. I do it every year, because I get so frustrated with how expensive yet poorly-made most Halloween costumes are. I'd rather use what is already in my closet, or spend a little extra on accessories or a new dress that I can wear anytime of the year. A little black dress is the easiest way to use what you have to create a Halloween costume with a few inexpensive accessories and other accessories you probably already have in your closet.Pictured Above: Halloween Black Mesh Dress

1. Black Cat - This is the easiest way to use your little black dress on Halloween. I know it's pretty much the most generic costume in history, but for good reason - it's just so easy and affordable. It's the perfect last-minute costume for women, because you could really use any black outfit even if you don't have a little black dress. Pair it with your black flats or heels and a…

6 Tips for Packing Light and Looking Great on Vacation

It’s always exciting to plan a vacation, but it can also be stressful at times. One of the biggest challenges I’m asked about is packing. If it isn’t about what to bring, it’s how I pack everything I need in just a carry-on, because “I can’t even get all my shoes in that little bag!” I used to be a chronic over-packer, who brought a complete outfit – and shoes – for every day of my trip. Then airlines started charging crazy prices for checking a bag, I tromped around the whole of London with too many suitcases trying to find my hotel and my bag with 95% of my vacation clothing flew to Washington, D.C. when I was standing in Nassau. Pictured: Kore Leto One Piece via Free People

I decided that I needed to change how I packed in order to save money, be able to carry my bag up a flight of stairs myself and make sure I always knew where it was. I jumped on the carry-on bandwagon and I haven’t looked back since. I won’t lie. It wasn’t easy at first, but with a little practice, and a lot of trips, I’ve learned exactly what I need to pack for trips and what can stay home. Here are my six best tips to help you pack light and not feel like you don’t have enough with you.

Mix and Match

Choose a color palette and use that to pick a travel wardrobe. If every bottom matches every top, you’ve already expanded your outfit selection. I tend to choose neutral bottoms – tan and navy go with just about everything – and then pack more colorful tops. My formula for packing anywhere for any length of time is five tops and three bottoms, plus a day dress. That gives you 16 separate outfits, at the very least. Remember that the clothing you wear on the plane can also be thrown into the rotation, so dress with that in mind.

Wind Down By Washing Up

I know you’re wondering how you can wear all 16 of those outfits when your clothes are dirty. Well, like it or not, you’re going to have to do some laundry. As horrible as that sounds, it’s not that big a deal. Plan some downtime into your schedule to relax and do a load of laundry. It’ll save you money in the long run, because you don’t have to pack extra clothing and pay those ridiculous baggage fees.

Limit Your Footwear

This is the hardest for a lot of ladies. You’ll want to bring five or more pairs of shoes, because you love your footwear. Honestly think about what you’ll be doing on your trip and ask yourself if you really need that many. I have gone on more vacations than I can count with just two pairs of shoes, one of which I wear on the plane. You want to be comfortable, so bring your best walking shoes that match your color scheme and then either a nice pair of sandals or ballet flats that will go with everything and look great on a night out. After walking all day, you’re not going to want to put on those tall heels. Sure, they’re pretty, but they aren’t comfortable and you’ll just end up being miserable.


You can dress up even the plainest dress or tank with accessories. They take up little space in your bag, but go a long way. A cute belt, a chunky necklace, a scarf and even those sweet little flats you brought can transform an outfit from blah to wow! There’s no reason to waste valuable carry-on room with items of clothing you’ll only wear once or not at all. While you may regret packing that sparkly top, you’ll never feel bad that you stashed a couple of your favorite pieces of jewelry in a side pocket. Pictured: Design Six Statement Necklace via ASOS

Downsize Your Toiletries

I’m still surprised when I talk to people who say they check a bag so they can bring their shampoo and conditioner. What? Have they never heard of travel bottles? For some reason, a lot of them think they need a month’s worth of haircare products when they’re going to be gone for a week. If you can’t find travel sizes of your regular toiletries, then invest in a set of 3 oz bottles to decant your products into. You only get a one-quart plastic bag per person to carry all your liquids though airport security, so plan wisely. If I’m going away for a weekend, I’ll throw in a few of those one-use trial packs of shampoo and conditioner, but more often than not, I keep a solid shampoo and conditioner in my bag, because it isn’t a liquid and they last forever. They also come for all different hair types, so no matter what your issues, there’s one out there for you.

Bring Multipurpose Items

Not only can you bring electronics that do multiple things (your tablet can play movies, hold a whole library, allow you to play games and music and get online for emails), but you’ll want to find fantastic makeup items that do double-duty, too. I leave a lot of my makeup at home when I travel, since I never want to spend a ton of time getting ready and I like to simplify. I wear a tinted moisturizer, setting powder, tinted lip balm that I can use on my cheeks (Fresh Sugar has great colors as does Stila) and swipe on some mascara. It’s perfect for summer, because it’s not heavy and gives you a natural glow. You can usually get some of your regular products in travel-size, so you can keep your bag packed and leave your full-size containers at home.

Even though you can pack small with these tips, you can still make a big impact and look fantastic in all your travel pics. Fewer items don’t have to make you feel like you’ve left everything you really wanted to bring at home. You’ll have enough variety to keep from getting bored and be able to use those baggage fees for something more fun than getting your stuff with you to your destination.

About the Author: Shereen is a travel writer at and the Portland Budget Travel Examiner. Find her on Facebook / Twitter
Buy the Shereen Travels Cheap book on CreateSpace or Amazon.


  1. All good advice! I learned to pack light a long time ago, and it makes life so much easier.

    I once went to a writers conference with a newspaper reporter. I swear, she had one very large suitcase just for her shoes!


Post a Comment

Popular Posts