Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Packing Light & Stylishly
Author: Anna Newell Jones

Hello And Then We Saved readers! Megan and Sarah here again from Hello Holiday, and this is another installment of our monthly column where we feature money-saving style tips and fun diy’s. we’ve been traveling a lot lately to prepare for the launch of our shop and in the process we’ve become very efficient packers. Today we’re sharing some of our tips for packing light while remaining stylish!

We’ve found that the more we travel, the less we pack. Earlier in the month we went to Las Vegas, and we were able to save baggage fees and travel lighter by fitting all of our clothing into our carry-on bags and sharing basics and accessories. Some airlines charge up to $70 per checked bag (depending on your destination) so the money you’re not spending on checking bags you can put to better use. Take a look at this site called airfare watch dog for current checked-bag rates.

Here’s what we packed, followed by 7 easy tips that will help you get the most out your limited carry-on space!

packing for las vegas

Megan’s bag above: 1: A versatile shift dress made of breathable cotton; doesn’t wrinkle easy plus it’s comfortable both inside and oustide. 2: Keds! 3: Straight-leg jeans. 4: Cotton blouse in a bright poppy color. 5: Crew socks to cut down on blisters. 6: Favorite comfy tee. 7: Swimsuit. 8: A cute bag to roll everything up into. 9: Polyester-blend pleated skirt (looks expensive and never wrinkles! I got this one at JC Penney). 10: Flat shoe in a cute print. 11: Small shoulder bag that goes with everything.

Sarah’s bag below: 1: This lace-top dress offers lots of options–you can wear a tank or bandeau underneath it, or pull a sweater over it. 2: Swimsuit! 3: Sundress in a lightweight fabric doesn’t take up much suitcase room. 4: When it comes to Sarah’s signature accessory, two sets of sunglasses are better than one! They add instant freshness to any outfit. 5: This black tank can go under anything or it can be worn alone. 6: Another easy-to-wear top. 7: Sarah always gets compliments on this unique bright orange bag. 8: Neutral flats with a special detail, and of course socks to prevent blisters. 9: Can’t forget a few favorite accessories–we pack our jewelry in a hard-shell sunglasses case. 10: Cotton pencil skirt rolls up and packs easily. 11: Roomy but lightweight bag which is easy to carry around the airport!

packing for las vegas II

And Now, Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Packing Light and Stylish – 7 Easy Tips!…

1. When you travel with a friend, consider sharing a suitcase and accessories. We share jewelry, belts, hosiery, sunglasses, purses, anything with a little stretch…everything we can to keep us from over-packing.

2. Before you travel, talk to your friends about their comfort level and budget for things like food and transportation while you’re on your journey. We are both thrifty ladies–we’d walk miles to save money on cab fare, and we pack snacks and sandwiches on every trip so we don’t have to spend at the airport. It’s important to have a travel companion who is on the same page about this stuff–you’ll avoid a lot of arguments! (see this related post on the social side of cutting back)

3. Plan a packing list in advance and don’t pack things “just in case.” We’re learning to do more with less, and you might be surprised by your ingenuity!

4. Polyester is your friend! You can roll it up easily into your bag and it won’t crease like other fabrics.

5. We love to bring dresses that can be worn with another top or skirt over them–it’s an old trick to make more outfits out of fewer clothes. Pull a pencil skirt over a shift, or a blouse over a slip-dress.

6. Opt for the smaller purse and empty it out each day so you are only carrying what you really need.

7. One thing we’ve learned is to always pack socks! They make an outfit you’ve already worn look a little different, and help to prevent blisters. Nothing is worse than getting a blister on day one!

Traveling with friends is a great way to see the world on a budget, and packing light, doing without, and working with less are all part of a thrifty and efficient lifestyle that we’re trying to embrace. Being able to travel with just a carry-on lifts a weight right off our shoulders–we’d say about a 50-pound suitcase’s worth of weight!

Happy Travels! xo, Meg + Rah


We’d love to hear what your tips are for traveling light while keeping your style in check… 

Hello Holiday, a new resource for style and shopping, is launching in September at hello-holiday.com.


in Fashion & Style, Practical Solutions, Societal Pressures, Things To Do, Travel Cheap


  1. Lauren @ L Bee and t // September 13, 2012

    Love this post-I’m the queen of packing light among my friends but you guys outdid me. I’ll have to take these tips to heart.

  2. Kylica // October 3, 2012

    It’s a really great tip for girls saving money on baggage fees. And love the ideas that you show above with you girls’ bag. I worry about my baggage fees every time when I go back to Australia for my education. So your tips are really useful for me.

  3. Elle // October 11, 2012

    My husband and I have been traveling for the past twenty years and have been all over the world. When I pack for a trip, I always pick a color scheme among my favorites so everything coordinates and accessories and shoes work. I like to get excitement with patterned scarves and wearing different layers together in different ways. This year I am making several unattached collars, both in material and crocheted in yarn. I am thinking in navy blue, green, yellow and maybe a little pink and/or red. Neutrals, of course, in black, white, and gray.

  4. Vanessa // November 25, 2012

    I’m learning more and more to only take items that fit perfectly and i feel good in- even if they cost a bit more. There are less than perfect items I’ll wear for half a day here at home but when you travel and reuse things constantly, you’ll really notice an itchy waistband, a skirt that’s half an inch too short, a blouse that slightly tugs open depending on how you move. Dress for the body you have and the comfort level you have, not the one you hope to discover while on the road.

  5. Leslie // January 9, 2013

    I love these tips. They go really well with the “do more with less” theme that I’m trying to embrace (so glad I found your blog!). Another reminder that I don’t need to keep buying new things in preparation for an upcoming trip…I wouldn’t want to pack it all and lug it between hotels anyway! Not to mention I’ll have more money to actually spend while traveling. Like you, I want to focus on people, relationships, and experiences and to train myself to want less (it’s so hard! I really like stuff! Especially clothes!). THANKS!

    • Anna Newell Jones // January 11, 2013

      Traveling with less is even more important now. I just found out that some airlines are charging over $40 to put a carry-on in the over-head compartment. Can you even believe that!?

  6. Jenny // July 8, 2014

    I just got back from a 3 week trip in Europe with only carry on baggage. Accessories are great for making an outfit look completely different or taking it from day to night. I prefer to take items with me that I know are comfortable.

    • Anna Newell Jones // July 9, 2014

      Such a good point! And accessories are light, and usually don’t take up much room. So perfect for travel!

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  • Anna

    Hi, I'm Anna! I paid off close to 24k in debt in only 15 months & it completely changed my life! I want you to have a debt-free life too so here you'll be able to read all about: How to do a Spending Fast®, saving & making more money, DIY's, & a lot about living awesomely with less. Also! We're building a Tiny House and we're going to be on Tiny House Nation. Follow along!!

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