What Is and Isn’t Working in my Travel Wardrobe

I thought I massively over packed for this RV trip but am finding there are plenty of things I should have brought and many I could have left at home. At the 4 week mark, there are too many things that have never been worn and now that we’re heading home, they never will be.

I brought a lot of scarves to change-up my look but seldom wore them. I did wear scarves over my head for hat hair damage control and wind protection.

dressed for rv travel

I only brought one pair of blue jeans. What was I thinking? I wear jeans multiple times a week at home and life is very casual while traveling in an RV. I tried to wear them yesterday but discovered I’ve been eating way too much and there’ll be a diet in my future.

Suede shoes. Yes, we’re parking on paved sites but suede shoes seem like a frivolity for this RV trip. I packed 4 pairs, 3 of which could have stayed home.

Pajamas… I brought one pair. Seriously dumb because it means I have to do laundry often. They take up no space and I should have brought several pairs.

Sneakers… I packed one pair and could have used several… see suede shoes above.

Socks… I packed one pair which is as dumb as the PJ mistake above.

wearing a hat for sun protection

Hats… I packed 6 straw ones and have worn them all. I didn’t bring a warm hat that covers my ears and there have been many times I’d be grateful to have one with me.

Cashmere poncho. Getting worn…all…the…time! I toss it on as a bathrobe to take the chill off my mornings and again in the evening as the sun goes down. I brought the only poncho I own and will be watching for more at the Nordstrom anniversary sale.


T-shirts… I packed 6 and have worn them all. One tank, one short sleeve and one long-sleeved in both black and white.

Eileen Fisher black pants. Wearing all the time. If I’d brought more jeans these might not be so irreplaceable but they’re so comfy and survive commercial washers and dryers.

RV travel wardrobe

I wore a tremendous amount of black and white this trip, which made getting dressed very easy. Every trip we take in our trailer,  I learn something new and overpacking is not always the answer.

What do you take too much of when you travel?


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Kate Spade is offering ab extra 30% off with the code SUNNY.

Neiman Marcus is having their biggest sale of the season, up to 70% off.


Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Affiliate links in this post may generate income for AWSL.




  1. I rarely think about packing until a few days before I leave. So dumb! That’s the biggest “packing” mistake I make. This fall I’m going to Italy for 2 weeks and am finally thinking ahead. Cashmere poncho! Great idea. Must find one. Thanks, Brenda

  2. Bonna Nichols says:

    I have cloths that are for the RV only, those go right back in when we get home and I get the laundry done. Those are basic jeans, jackets, tee’s, underwear, socks, and bra’s. Then I only have to pack cloths for “the trip”. I also have learned that if I buy a garment and love everything about it I buy another and place it in the RV. Many short trips all I have to grab is medicine, and makeup. I have to admit I am very lucky as I have a washer and dryer in my RV and that helps so much. You will soon learn what to take and what to leave home. Glad you had a safe and fun trip.

    1. That’s brilliant Bonna!!! Packing and unpacking the trailer takes way too much time. I’ve been thinking about just what I’d like to leave packed in it but I’ll have to buy doubles, as you have.

  3. Wendi Meyer says:

    I love this so much ! When I was visiting my son in San Diego, I would bring TWO suitcases for 5 days. Oh, for Pete’s sake, was that a blunder ! Like you, I pared down to black and white interchangeable outfits, with silver, red or hot pink accessories. I will now search for a poncho, what a great tip.

    Thank you for guiding me in the right direction for looking great. What a fabulous blessing you are to so many women. I especially enjoyed your candor regarding what did or did not work for you on your latest trip. So honest and unabashed ! Blessings to you and your family for the Fourth.

    1. I love your color combo’s Wendi! I’m so happy to help in any way I can. There’s no point in not being candid because we are all here to share and learn. I’m on the lookout for a brighter colored poncho this time…perhaps turquoise or lavender:) Happy 4th of July!!

  4. I’m almost finished packing the trailer for our upcoming 6 week trip and you’ve been so much help! I was reconsidering my decision to pack 3 pairs of jeans and thinking about leaving one of them at home, but after reading this post, they’re all staying in! I’ve packed lots of socks and underwear and several pairs of pyjamas because I’m not sure how often we’ll be able to do laundry. I’d almost forgotten to put in a warm hat though. Thanks for the reminder!

    1. You are most welcome Elaine!! Have a fabulous trip and travel safely.

  5. Shoes, tops, jewelry… okay​, everything.

  6. Cheryl Ann says:

    Jennifer, I have enjoyed your fun trip along with you because I’m so homesick for the northwest. The colder weather sounds so good right now. Thanks for sharing! You look fabulous my friend!

    1. Thanks Cheryl Ann! I adore the Pacific Northwest too. Cool and green with majestic beauty everywhere. I’ll take that any day over beastly hot or humid weather.

  7. Hi Jennifer,
    I make mistakes all the time in packing for trips and say to myself afterwards what was I thinking. The cashmere ponchos are now one of my favorite garments and I think I have 5. They travel so easily, keep you warm and dress up an outfit. Of course living on the Monterey Peninsula where it is cool is perfect weather for them. Happy 4th and thanks for sharing your travel adventures!

    1. You live in a gorgeous spot Annette! I am a new convert to cashmere ponchos and will be adding to my collection. They’re effortless to wear and not too hot but keep you warm. Perfect!

  8. Great post! i keep thinking I’m packing smarter and then comes the unexpected – usually weather.

    We spent 7 weeks in Europe last fall – Belgium, Germany, Swiss Alps, Italy – with backpacks. I was prepared for cold rainy Europe. Turned out to be the hottest autumn. No rain. Ever. Mostly 80 and 90 degree days. Did I take any summer clothes? Not one thing! And the stores only had winter clothes by then.

    I finally found one little cotton skirt at H&M and wore it every day. After 4 weeks as we got to Italy, we shipped our good jeans, jackets and rain gear ahead to our last stop and donated other warm items to lighten our packs.

    But I am wearing the same skirt and t shirt in almost every photo. Good thing I don’t write a style blog!

    1. That’s hilarious Marian! Thanks for sharing. I think this falls into the Murphy’s Law book. No amount of planning could have prevented your problem so you just rolled with it. You’re a great sport!

  9. Can you help me? I have nevered traveled but recently go the opportunity to tour Italy for 14 day in September. I’m so stressed over not knowing what to pack or wear that I’m not sure I can do this. I’m 66 years old 5’10 and 165 pounds. How do I start? Can you help me or point me in a direction

    1. You can do this! Plan on packing 2 colors only. Put together outfits that interchange. Please email me and we’ll figure this out together so it’s easy and you feel confident!

  10. We travel in our RV for weeks at a time too. We have driven up to Alaska twice and BOTH TIMES I didn’t pack enough jeans! Why didn’t I learn from the first trip? The good thing is that you can wear a pair of jeans over and over without laundering, but still…

    1. And that’s what I did Barb, until they became too tight to wear:) I needed pull on jeans and fewer meals out:)!

  11. Jennifer, you honestly crack me up! You are such a girlfriend, with your honesty about your “foibles!” I forwarded a recent email of yours to one of my best friends, and I recommend your blog ALL THE TIME because of your great sense of humor and honesty about “women our age.” Thanks – and have a wonderful Canada Day and a glorious Fourth!!

    1. Thanks so much Candy:)!! There’s always challenges and they’re frequently easier to handle wearing pretty lipstick. Have a wonderful holiday!!

  12. My husband and I are really enjoying the information you share about your RV trip. We am always looking for better ways to pack our trailer and would love to see or read about how you store your clothing, accessories, and cosmetics in your RV. I love the black topper you are wearing in the photo. Where did you purchase it?

    1. I’m glad you’re enjoying them Lori!! I’ll take some photos of my cosmetics and clothes storage. It’s pretty cramped and it took me awhile to figure out to make them easy to store and use.

  13. You definitely have a quite a learning curve on what to pack for traveling in a RV. Sounds like you have picked up on what worked and what didn’t. Your next trip will be perfectly packed! Safe journeys…

  14. At least you are open to learning and sharing your lessons here! Sometimes it takes me too long to finally pay attention, but now that you are traveling more, it is prudent to pay attention quickly. The shoe issue is a huge one…happy feet are important on a trip. Thanks for sharing your lessons.

    1. I totally agree, Pam. I’d rather have too many shoes than too few!!!

  15. Every trip is different. I never wear shorts, except in the U.S. And I would think, oh, I need another pair because I’m having to do too much laundry, and I shouldn’t have brought so many sundresses. Then the next year, I would wear the dresses all the time and not the shorts. Depends on the activities, the weather, my mood at that time….The only thing that because sure was when my parents were both in wheelchairs, I needed to wear jeans or khakis to hide the dirt from folding up the wheelchairs and getting them in the car trunk. That also meant skirts and dresses were a bad idea.

    1. You’re so right, every trip is unique. I haven’t worn shorts in over 30 years but see how easy they would be to wear! I get moderation in all things and laundry when needed. There is no perfect mix!

  16. Dorothy Fitzmaurice says:

    I travel for work and use the capsule wardrobe approach. That way, everything goes with anything and I’m not constantly sending out laundry.

    1. Capsule wardrobes are the best for organization and streamline packing! I did that on this trip but then tossed in way more extraneous things that I didn’t need or wear.

  17. I’m learning to avoid overpacking. Since I am often away for a longer period of time, laundry is a necessity. It is often difficult to pack for uncertain weather. I used to pack too much dressy clothing for the length of a trip or for my companions. My husband and most of my friends dress very casually but I tend to “overdress” a bit. I do travel with jewelry and scarves. Sticking to a colour scheme really helps with the packing.

    1. I usually unpack when flying anywhere but being in the trailer gives me more options and space. This proves more is not always better to me. Have a great weekend, Joanne!

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