Four countries.  Two weeks.  One carry-on bag.  One backpack.  How to pack for Summer travel with color, variety and flair.  Here is the breakdown of how to begin the process and pack.  A follow up blog post will show how and why the outfits worked.

First, I brought out everything I was thinking of packing.  The trip would involve being in European cities that are a bit more formal, walking on uneven surfaces (i.e. stones), working out, going to the ballet, several family dinners.  Flying to Scandinavia, taking a train to Russia and all of the buses, trams, cars and stairs along the way - I wanted everything to fit into a carry-on suitcase and a backpack.  I selected lightweight shirts, t shirts, pants and jackets.  For the ballet, the idea was to purchase a dress during the trip.  It would be a solid excuse to visit the local shops.  

My current styling does not involve scarves, but for travel they can be everything from a travel blanket to a coat.  

Reality check.  Next up came a tight edit.  There were moments of anguish, but I took out what was without purpose or redundant.  Gone were the extra pants, the fanciful or bulky tops and extra shoes.

Variety of color, lightness of fabric and the ability to layer guided the edit.

Final choices:  three scarves to mix and match.  I went with the blue and pink hues as they would work well with the pink, blue and white t shirts as well as the blue and white jeans.  Natural fibers also came into play with the choices.  Synthetics do not layer well as they trap moisture, feel nasty and begin to smell.  The two blue scarves contain silk and or cashmere.  The peach scarf is all cotton.

It all fit in one side of the tiny suitcase!  I folded the garments long and flat with the shoes on the bottom.  I wore the heaviest shoe for travel days and kept flip flops in the backpack so that I could change into something lightweight and flexible during the long flights (11 plus hours).

This is how it translated at the airport.

Weleda products to stay clean and hydrated.  Stowed in the backpack, they would be my friends for the next 12 hours.  The day to day toiletries were also in the backpack in a clear, zip-top bag.  More on that in the next post.  The toiletries caused some drama going through security in Finland.

Next up:  How it worked, how I wore it and how to look stylish in freezing rain.