A Lady: WTF. Seriously. I take a big purse, and that’s it. Fin. (I mean, hell, I take a big purse and a small duffel for a WEEK. IN THE WINTER.)

D: AMEN. I mean, Jesus Christ on toast, I am in the midst of the travel marathon for work at the moment, and this is absurd. WHO CHECKS LUGGAGE FOR A THREE-DAY TRIP? I had to do slightly more than a big purse (although heeeey, that leather bag you made me is so best for work travel needs) since this is a Professional Fancy Times travel itinerary, but for REAL.

A Lady: Do we even have to get into why this is absurd? DO NOT CHECK LUGGAGE. Wear the big things, pack the small ones. Wear: jeans, tank, cardi, sandals. Pack: shorts, tank, dress, swimsuit, heels, underthings. Pack makeup, one hair product, travel brush. Jesus. Or leave Jesus, because then you might have to check.

D: Plus, if we're 90% water or whatever, Jesus will probably violate the 3 oz. or less of liquids rule.

And if you're traveling anywhere citified, you know that you're probably going to end up buying a significant amount of clothes there, which means you’ll pack for like 2-3 days less than the duration of the trip. And NO ONE needs to bring the entire makeup bag, c'mon. Especially if the vacation is beachy. You're going to end up wearing waterproof mascara, sunscreen, maaaaaaaaaybe powder for non-swimming times, and some sort of tinted lip balm with SPF. Maybe lipstick for evening.

I mean, I packed for 10 days in Peru in a single carry-on. And I didn't end up wearing half of what I brought, either. (Sum total of makeup packed for Peru: mascara, powder, tinted lip balm. I ended up wearing only the tinted lip balm. Shoulda thrown in another tube of sunscreen, though.)

A Lady: And’s let’s not even get into when you’re going home/the S.O.’s home and you’ll have easy washing machine access. In those cases, it’s entirely appropriate to take a week’s worth of clothes—again, a small duffel—and know that you’ll have the ability to wash all your basics. Also, no one at home will care if you wear the same thing three days in a row. (Or at least, they might care, but they definitely won’t comment.) Long weekends, I seriously just take a big purse/small overnight bag and fill it. Oh, also: roll your clothes! Fewer wrinkles, less space. Oh, and a foldable (!) lint brush is good. Or one of those mini travel rollers.

D: Ok, current contents of my work-travel bag. This is for three days, and I really should’ve pared it down better (the flats were unnecessary. Shoulda just done heels + sandals), but I did have to be ready for a fancy work thing (hence the lint roller).

Shift dress (nonwrinkle!), tank top (didn’t even wear this), multivitamins, stripey shirt, cutoffs, iPod, laptop + sleeve, professional-like black dress, book, business cards, work documents, huge tangle of cords and makeup bag. All inside the leather duffel. The purse got folded up and put inside the duffel and held travel docs, phones, wallet, sunglasses, etc. Shoes: black heels for work, flats worn on plane, sandals worn everywhere else. One bag to schlep. And this felt like WAY too much for three days, honestly. God, wish I’d taken a photo of my carry-on for Peru. I brought three swimsuits (because I like options?) and ended up wearing only about 80% of what I packed. For ten days. In a carry-on.

A Lady: Oh, def. When I went to Mexico, ditto the three swimsuits—and that was just for five nights—two sundresses, two shorts, wore jeans and a sweater, a couple light linen beach shirts and tanks, flat sandals, and a pair of heels for dinner. Wham, bam, you’re welcome. I seriously think my makeup bag was as big as the rest of the stuff I packed. And amen to slipping the purse into your bigger bag. That’s also a way to get around the one carryon/one personal item role: take a carryon, a big purse/small duffel, and put your regular purse in the latter. Take THAT, airlines.