Social Media Editor of The Augusta Chronicle, previously features reporter for two years. I'm the fearless leader of our awesome Xtreme Teen Board and also edit Richmond County Neighbors and North Augusta Today. I'm a fan of fashion and technology, and I write about both. You can catch my budget-conscious fashion blog Shopgirl online or in Thursday's Applause, and I give tips for social media and tech in a Sunday column, Social Savvy. Before coming to Augusta, I started my professional career as a general assignment reporter at the TimesDaily in Florence, Ala. and am a proud graduate of Auburn University.
Posted May 13, 2010 12:09 pm

Travel in style without bulk

Pack your bags in this Vera Bradley bag, a large duffel in "Sitting in a Tree," for versatile traveling in style.

It’s that time of year when people start heading out of town for graduations, weddings, and vacations. Here’s a few items that will take you through roadtrip season without a sore back from an overstuffed bag.

I’ve collected more than enough duffel bags from bridesmaid gifts, but often I end up packing three or four different bags to carry everything because they’re all fairly small. One large carryall bag that can carry everything from shoes to toiletries is a good purchase if you don’t have one. My favorite I’ve seen is the Vera Bradley large duffel. It retails about $80, and it’s large enough to fit what you would need for a short trip. Better, it’s small enough to be a carry-on if you’re traveling via plane.

I have a bad habit of over packing, so I’ll be prepared to dress appropriately if plans change. After lugging around what seemed to be equal to my body weight on plane, train and automobile to Chicago last summer, I’ve learned my lesson.

Here are a few tricks of the trade. A flattering solid-color dress in a light material not prone to wrinkles (such as jersey) can be thrown in your bag and will work for a variety of occasions. You can wear it with sandals and a summer scarf and straw fedora for a daytime casual look or with heels and dressier jewelry for a nighttime look.

A good example of this is the Empire ruffle dress at Banana Republic. It costs $79.50 and is made of Rayon and Spandex. It’s a flattering cut and has elastic at the waist that could be dressed up if covered with a belt.

Another way to go is vintage: many polyester dresses of yesteryear won’t wrinkle and classic looks can be dressed up or down easily. When choosing what else to bring, pick items that can be mixed easily.

Try staying within the same color groups or pack neutrals that can be spruced up with accessories.

Another tip is to limit the number of shoes you pack. Trendy sandals are versatile for summer.

I saw some cute beaded sandals from Steve Madden that would also work for day and nighttime outfits. With coordination and the right bag to throw it all together, you’re on your way to an easier and stylish time on the road.

Tell me: what is your fashion piece that you take with you when you travel?