Travel Capsule for New York and DC in Summer


So I’m leaving winter tomorrow and heading to summer and I can’t wait. I’m not a cold weather person, I find it painful (seriously I ache with cold sometimes) so I’m looking forward to leaving this long winter and enjoying some serious heat in New York and Washington DC.

My trip is part holiday, with my husband and part AICI International Board meetings and AICI conference, so it’s not as easy to pack as if I was just holidaying as I am presenting two session at the conference and have 4 days of conference to attend plus 2 days of board meetings as well, so basically need a week of work clothes, and a week of leisure/sightseeing clothing options.


Packing for a holiday in  Summer in NY


What I’m Packing in my Travel Capsule and Why

Travel Capsule for New York and DC in Summer – Now I’m not going strict small carry on travel capsule as I have two very different sets of clothes that I need to be able to wear.  I need outfits that say business, in an image consulting way, I need evening wear for fancy dinners, I need casual clothes to walk and sight see on the streets of New York and DC in the hot and humid summer sun, and I need clothes to wear to visit galleries and restaurants and something to put on if I decide to visit the hotel pool.

Shoes – You may notice that I have a number of shoes, and I don’t love travelling with lots of them, but I also know, from past experience that my feet swell up when going from a cold climate to a hot/humid one, and shoes that are normally comfortable suddenly become uncomfortable.  I know that I need options on the footwear front so that I can change my shoes if they start giving me blisters (and after my soles of the feet blister torture that I experienced on my trip to Hawaii a couple of years ago, I never want to go through that again!).  We always do heaps of walking when I’m on  holiday in a city – we love to walk the streets and look at architecture and get to know the place on foot, so comfort is key.

Accessories – well you may notice that I’ve packed a bunch of necklaces, bracelets and belts as I like to accessorize.  None of them are heavy as I know this can be uncomfortable in summer heat.  But some outfits really need those accessories, plus I can change them up for variety.  I did try on all my outfits with their accessories so that I know that they work together.

Colours are within a range – blues, pinks, turquoise, black and white so it’s easy to mix and match

You will notice that I’ve chosen a number of items that have patterns.  This stops me from getting bored too quickly.

Laundry – Will I get to do any laundry while I’m away?  Well I’m really not sure, so it’s something that I’m hoping to get done towards the end of my first week so that I know I have more options for the second week.

Try it all on – I’ve tried everything on to make sure there are lots of different mix and match options within this wardrobe, another lesson that has been learned the hard way when discovering that the pants I’d brought along with me on one trip were just way too tight!  Plus having spent a few minutes trying everything on together I know there is a good range of outfits I can create from what I’ve chosen to bring.

Fortunately all this fits easily into one side of my suitcase, as I have to bring lots of tools to use during one of my workshops at conference which is taking up a lot of space!

Make a List  – When I was thinking about what to take, I sat down and wrote out a list of days and activities, what I’m planning on doing (where I know what I’m doing) so that gave me a guide that there will be many days where I need to change in the evenings for events and the like and how many work outfits I really needed.


Check the Weather – I’ve been obsessively watching the weather forecast and it seems to be around 30C/86F at the moment, which means it’s hot and night temperatures don’t go down much below 20C/68F which is really not cold.

I’m also aware that it may be hot outside, but air-conditioned inside, so need layers to put over the top of my outfits.

I’m bringing a bunch of camis, this means if the hotel airconditioning is a little too cool, but maybe not cold enough for a jacket (or too cold and I need and extra layer), I can easily put one on under a blouse or top, or just use it under a shrug or jacket as my top if I don’t want to add too many layers.

With what I’m packing I’ve more than enough outfit options for my 2.5 week trip, so I shouldn’t get bored or feel that I’m starting to hate my clothes as I’m wearing the same thing every day and I don’t have to worry too much about finding laundry facilities (which is not what I want to be doing when I’m on holiday).

As with all travel experiences I find that I may not wear everything I take, but I should wear most of it (and it’s often weather dependent, something you can never really know til you get to your destination).

Join Me for Lunch

I’m lucky enough to be meeting up with some readers in New York and Washington – if you’d like to come to lunch please do email me!

New York – Sunday 16th August

Washington – Sunday 23rd August


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  • Great capsule! Of course, you could just bring an empty suitcase and fill it up here. Chicago has had beautiful weather between 77 degree F and 86. The humidity has not been too bad. However, the next three days are suppose to be 90+ degrees with a high humidity level. What usually hits Chicago, heads to NYC next. A drop in temps will follow.

    A fabulous Frida Kahlo exhibit is going on in NYC. It is getting rave reviews. I hope you get a chance to see it. I really wanted to get to NYC in time, but I have too many trips planned.

    Have a fabulous time!

  • I have learnt a lot from your various travel tips. I always try all items on. One thing I also need to do is write down the actual outfits with accessories and note if they are casual or dressier options, otherwise I open my suitcase in the hotel and stare blankly at the contents trying to remember what outfits I had created back at home. This also helps to ensure I have outfits for all activities. Hope you have a great trip.

  • This looks a lot like the packing I have to do. I even have that exact kaftan. I am pleased to see someone else who doesn’t stick to the same old neutrals. You can travel with colour and pattern if it is in the same colour ways. Have fun.

  • Good luck for your trip, it sounds great. Writing each outfit down is a great idea or take a photo. I find that I take too many then wear the same pieces all the time. On a recent trip I went minimalist and took 3 pairs of earrings, 1 necklace, 1 watch. In hindsight I should have added a bangle and ring and just the 1 pair of earrings. For my up coming trip I am planning the same parred back accessories, as I didnt have to decide what to wear with what, nor keep track of where the pieces not in use were. Now If I could only decide on which handbag is the best/lightest/most travel friendly. I have to agree with you about the sore feet, the heat and comfort.

  • You should be able to find laundromats all over NYC. Ask the concierge at your hotel. Have a great time! I was in NYC at the end of June and, as always, I loved it!

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