International travel can be difficult- especially knowing what and how much to pack. And if you’re trying to keep a minimalist mindset, planning is key.

As a born and raised Floridian planning a trip to Iceland in the middle of winter, I knew I had to get creative with packing. Since we were only going for a few days, the goal was to fit everything into a carry on. While this sounds easy for any seasoned minimalist, it’s quite the opposite for someone working in the fashion world.


Normally I pack a different pair of shoes for each outfit and make sure every accessory matches perfectly. I knew this wouldn’t be the case in Iceland, where you could see rain/sleet/hail/snow and sunshine all in the same day. From all my Pinterest searching and Googling, I knew I needed to bring mainly moisture-wicking material and focus on layering.

As a Floridian, I own more winter apparel than you’d expect; but, I still wasn’t equipped for Iceland. I ended up borrowing a lot from friends and family, which was a lifesaver when it came to my vacation budget.

Here’s what I packed:

The only additions I would make to my packing list are a heavier waterproof outer layer and an extra pair of winter socks to wear while the others were drying. Due to weather, it was difficult to re-wear items. There wasn’t enough time at night to dry everything out before I had to get dressed again the next morning.

In order to fit everything into a carry on bag, I had to get creative again. I purchased a box of 2 gallon sized Ziploc bags and packed an entire outfit for one day in each. This way, I could easily pull a bag out of my suitcase and be ready.

The best feature of the Ziploc was that I could get all the extra air (taking up space in the suitcase) out by using a straw. Zip up the bag and leave just enough open space for a straw. Place the straw halfway in the bag, suck the air out, then zip it up. You can even sit on the bag to get that last bit of extra air out. This is a game changer, I promise.

All in all, it was an amazing trip and my outfit planning was well worth the effort.

Look out for another post with a day-by-day itinerary for our quick 4 day trip to Iceland in January.