A Genius Packing Tip for Your Honeymoon

My friend Susan Cernek (who also happens to be the Fashion Development Director at Glamour) shared the best tip with me the other day: Pack in a single color scheme. “For my two-week honeymoon around Italy, I packed all blue and white pieces,” she told me. “That way, I could pack more efficiently, and mix and match.”

A bonus tip? “Pack a red dress,” she says. “Red always looks dramatic in photos, even if you’re lost, like I was here.”

P.S. A travel uniform.

(Via Conde Nast Traveler)

  1. cate says...

    I travel a lot for work and for fun and I am a huge believer in the two color with an accent approach. Blue and white works especially well for summer. I love the red dress, but any accent color will do – hot pink ? bright yellow? and the fun thing is you can change out the accent color and stick to the blue and white basics from season to season. In winter I try to stick to a black and camel scheme again with the red accents, but you can do a dark green and look great too!

  2. Love the red dress and minimal color scheme idea. We always pack carryon only – even for 12 days in China. All about rolling clothes and thinking through choices — such as color schemes.

  3. Oh I love this! I’ve got my honeymoon coming up in 3 weeks and this is such a good idea! Any my honeymoon is in Italy :)

  4. Yup, very smart indeed :)

  5. This is such an obvious but genius idea! Love it. Thanks for sharing- will definitely be on the lookout for a great red dress for my trip to Switzerland over Christmas.

  6. Beauty and excitement found only here already

  7. I’m using this advice on a week long trip to Paris next month :) Probably the best packing advice I’ve ever recieved

  8. i always thought i was crazy for doing this.

    and i have a confession to make: i sort of try to LIVE in a single color scheme.

  9. This is so genius!!

  10. This is one ingenious idea! I would have never ever thought of this. I ALWAYS overpack for holiday.

    Thanks for passing on such a great tip!!


  11. Great idea! I’m always packing black shoes+handbags *AND* brown shoes+handbags to go with all my evening outfits on vacation and it really fills up my suitcase fast…

    Another tip I’ve learned is to pack dresses for dinners out. You’ll look put together in all your photos, and a dress takes up A LOT LESS room in a suitcase than an entire outfit. Plus it’s so easy to throw on a dress and head out. No thinking or outfit planning involved!

  12. Kelly R says...

    I LOOOOOOVE that blue and white stripey dress!

  13. great tips. We’re planning for a honeymoon later this year and will definitely be taking your advice!

  14. smart girl! will definitely be doing this on future travels. thanks for sharing.

  15. I think, you don’t have to bring all thing you need for travel because you can buy it somewhere else.

  16. I say, pack everything! I don’t really mind lugging around a ton of bags and honestly, I haven’t yet met a woman who does. haha

  17. Great tip!! she looks fresh and relaxed and super happy! i heart Italy…

  18. wonderful! i’ll be honeymooning in 6 weeks! eek! :) i haven’t even thought about what to pack!

  19. Mo says...

    Ooh, that’s a great idea. Will def keep that in mind :-)

  20. what a brilliant idea!!!

  21. great tips! will pass on to my soon to be married lady friends :)

  22. Great idea! I’ve been dreaming up what to pack for my honeymoon, although its still 7 months away ;)

  23. Ha! I did this in September when we went to Scotland (minus the red dress…love that)! Everything I took was black or grey (even my unmentionables), and to add color I wore a crimson scarf. It worked out really well.

  24. This is such a simple but fabulous idea that I will definitely be putting to use this summer. We’re spending two weeks on the West Coast in June and I’m already freaking out about what to pack. I guess now I can move on to freaking out about something else ;)


  25. Anonymous says...

    Lots of coordinating separates makes sense! And then a red or any favorite color dress. I love the shirt Susan is wearing!

  26. I don’t get it… Why would you only pack two colors? Isn’t that going to run the risk of getting boring?

  27. jenny says...

    The single color scheme is actually a great tip for packing for any trip. My husband is a frequent business traveller (as well as being something of a dandy), and he always packs with a limited color scheme so that he can mix and match anything in the travel wardrobe.

    I do love the red dress tip, though!

  28. I do this on ALL of my trips! It’s a good tip. Usually I dress in all creams, tans, whites, and browns on vacation and just bring some colorful jewelry!

  29. Brilliant tips! I’ve always been that tragic over-packer who can’t fit her luggage into the car….This will be so helpful!

  30. Great idea!!

    Sherry – the view of the Eiffel Tower is taken from the Trocadero….just cross the road & walk straight ahead to get there, it’s not far :)

  31. hello! sorry for the off-topic: something is VERY wrong with your image gallery (when you click one photo). can you fix that? :) cheers!

  32. Remember those new yorkers who wear only one colour? lol this reminded me of that

  33. Thanks for the timely post. I’m going on my two week honeymoon to Italy in May. I have been so focused on wedding details that packing for the honeymoon had slipped to the bottom on my to-do list. I think I might try a blue, white, and gray combo since that’s what I already have. Cheers!

  34. Anonymous says...

    BTW, cute clothes and beautiful woman her.

  35. what a great tip!! just in time for my honeymoon in two weeks. it will definitely make my life easier

  36. Awesome idea! I’m going on my honeymoon in May and I always have trouble trying to figure out what to wear everyday in order to pack. This is going to make it so simple and lots of fun to do. Plus it makes vacay pictures look that much more amazing. Thank you lots!

  37. That’s such a good tip! Too bad the majority of my clothes are black. Looks chic in LA, but anywhere else in the world (except maybe Berlin) would definitely steer clear of me!

  38. It really works!! I pack this way all the time. One color scheme and an accent color. Another tip, even if you’re going somewhere warm, always throw in a pair of basic white athletic socks. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been glad to have them in a cold hotel room at night. They work as slippers or to protect precious treasures from scratching on the way home:)

  39. What a great idea! I LOVE the blue and white dress–any chance of telling us where that one’s from?

  40. What a great tip for any trip! And I love her red dress!

  41. I already do this but it’s usually either brown or black. I decide if I’m bring black shoes or brown shoes then I work a color around that so it’s only one, at the most two pair of shoes.
    Love the red dress idea – so many possibilities :)

  42. that’s crazy! last year on our honeymoon (we left february 21st!) i packed a blue, red, and white wardrobe. and yes…it worked wonderfully! honeymoon or not, this is a great idea.

    p.s. i always pack a black dress too!


  43. Excellent idea! I love all your little tips and tricks that I would never think of. Thanks!!

  44. that third blue and white striped dress is to die for!!!

  45. that is the best idea i’ve ever heard of, seriously. wish i’d had this post 5 days ago when packing for vegas- would’ve made my life so much easier. putting this is my brain archive for next trip- thanks!!

  46. Tracy says...

    I just did this for a trip to Hawaii. I packed only navy, white/ivory, with bits of black and blush pink. I jokingly called it “nautical ballerina” and it worked amazingly well. first time I have ever gone on vacation and not gotten frustrated by my limited outfit choices.

  47. Susan is my new style crush, thanks to your posts on her! I saw in another writeup on her where there was a Kim McCarty watercolor in the background…cool. (Susan’s old Glamour posts crack me up too, in a good way.) (I’m still debating the dickey.)

  48. i always take basics like black/white/blue or pastels – so that i can mix everything :-)

  49. K8 says...

    This is a trick I use for every trip I take. I love it, and it makes life so much easier!

  50. Anonymous says...

    Great idea to pack just a couple of coordinating colors. I also need to pack way less than i usually do!

  51. That’s an awesome idea!!

    p.s. it looks like she had a great time! :)

  52. I love this idea! And not just for honeymoon vacations. I think this is brilliant for any vacations! Thanks for sharing Jo!

  53. now if only I could get Susan to pack FOR me *dreams* haha – I am trying to pare down my honeymoon shopping list to maximize what I already have. I think a red dress is getting bumped to the top of the list! We are bouncing around Europe for 2 weeks, so I want to keep things as light as possible (something my fiance highly doubts I can do ha)

  54. love this! she looks so put together :)

  55. such a fantastic idea! That way all your accessories can go with any outfit!

  56. great tip and beautiful pictures! making me very jealous especially on this dreary nyc day.

    i love her blue and white stiped dress! any chance of her sharing who that is by?

  57. Emily says...

    Ooh this looks like Sorrento! In fact, i’m pretty sure my hotel was the one to the right of her in the third pic!

    Your friend is beautiful and I love the style tip, so so chic x

  58. Love this tip! I think I’ll try this on my next holiday :)

  59. haha. I always pack a red dress, and your right, it does look good in photos.

  60. I tried to do the one color scheme for my daily life, not just travel by sticking to only blacks/grays as basics. Alas, my love of browns made this impossible. However, love this tip for traveling.

  61. i love this! like having a theme for your trip. and think how lovely the photos would be!

  62. Such a brilliant idea. Why have I never thought of this?!

  63. Aw! What a good idea! I wish I had thought of that for our honeymoon! This makes me inspired to try dress up more often. :)

  64. I went to your romantic post…where is that picture of the Eiffel Tower taken? What is that large area called & how do you get there? Thanks!

  65. We have yet to book our honeymoon almost 6 months after our wedding but I plan to keep this tip in mind when we eventually do! Honeymoon destination tips are very welcome!

    Maria xx

  66. She looks so chic. Love the red dress. Great tips for any trip! xo.

  67. This is a great tip/reminder! When we lived in London, I got very good at packing in a LeSportsac tote bag for weekends away or even long holidays (LOVED the amount of vacation time-off we got for work over there … sigh) — I quickly got over the ‘ick’ of repeat wears and typically went with gray/black for cold destinations and blues for warm (also how my wardrobe tends to play out anyway).

    The tip I pass on to friends for comfort and flexibility is to wear leggings with dresses for flights and then if it’s a warm locale, you can take the leggings off when you arrive. So much more comfortable than jeans on a plane and more pulled together than sweatpants, in my opinion.

  68. That looks like Hotel Minerva Sorrento. We stayed there about 5 years ago. It’s a very cool hotel. The breakfast each morning was so good and set up so beautifully. Sorrento wasn’t too shabby either.

    I love your blog!

  69. Such a great idea! It looks like she packed mostly dresses, which are so much easier to throw on when you are on the go. I would love to know where some of her fabulous ensembles are from!

  70. Love it, a fabulous tip!!

  71. Nice tip! You have the coolest friends!

  72. Genius!!!…that is all…oh and <3


  73. Wow, nevermind the great packing tip. I’m stuck on the two week honeymoon in Italy! Very fab. Thanks for sharing the great tip!


  74. That is a great tip! I’m already thinking about how to pack for my wedding and honeymoon in Oct. Getting married in the Czech Republic, then touring around Europe afterwards. I need a wedding dress that packs easily and clothes I can wear in many ways to last me a month! My color scheme might be gray and black – to hide the dirt, haha. Just kidding, kind of. ;)

  75. Great post and so true. A year ago my husband and I went to London on our honeymoon and he packed with mostly greys and blacks and I went with black and white with different color scarfs. We were mostly covered up anyway with the high being in the 40’s eachday. It was so mcuh easier to pack…I left the packing for an hour before our rehersal dinner! That I wouldn’t recommend at all.

  76. Fabulous idea! I LOVE that last picture, she is so right about the contrast of the background vs dress… You have the coolest friends! Love it… :)

  77. Ruthann says...

    What an awesome idea! I will definitely use it. We’re heading to Seattle and the San Juan Islands in June!

  78. I have never heard of that, but it totally makes sense. Ill have to try it for our upcoming Hawaii trip!

  79. Ooh so smart. Thanks!

  80. Great ideas and what a beautiful set of photos.

  81. Cute idea! Though I think maybe my clothes are too much of a mix to be able to do that… Love how glamorous she looks in all the photos, too.

  82. hannah, i’ll keep an eye out!!! how fun that you’re doing a family trip to NYC. it’s a great place for kids. if you want, check out my friend sharon’s blog, NYC Taught Me. she writes a lot about family-friendly activities in the city. xoxoxo

  83. oooh perfect timing, we’re going on our honeymoon in march! (antigua!!! can’t wait, obvi) such a good tip!

  84. That is brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Really a good packing tip for any trip, right? I am going to do that next time I travel! And I think my next trip is to NYC anyway, first time flying alone with Baby Lulu. Maybe I’ll run into you! Okay, probably not. I know NYC is rawther large.

  85. thanks for the fabulous packing tip! love those photos too…a new place on my list of spots to visit :)

  86. oooh, nicole, how fun!! where are you going???

  87. What a brilliant idea and it totally makes sense. I totally agree about the red dress part. It works like a charm and the rule applies to red lipstick as well. It photographs beautifully:)Have a great day. xo

  88. That is a WONDERFUL idea! I’m going on my honeymoon in September and was just thinking about this the other day! Thanks for posting!