What’s In My Carry-on: Summer Work Trip

Next week I’m traveling to the East Coast for work and for a quick visit with my in-laws. I prefer to travel with just carry-on luggage: a small suitcase and my Cuyana tote. Although I’ve never had a checked bag not show up at its final destination, I’m always wary that it’ll eventually happen and I like to get out of the airport as quickly as possible and on my way. Plus, I generally eschew driving to the New York-area airports, so a small suitcase is more manageable on the subway.

Here’s what will be in my suitcase for 5 days of work and after-work events, plus 3 days of leisure. Packing in a single color palette helps cut down on needing to pack multiple items since I can mix-and-match. Note: Since I’m packing items that have been in my closet for years, some of these pieces are approximates.

Summer Work Trip Packing Guide


Jersey wrap-dresses are basically work-appropriate pajamas and transition to drinks and dinner seamlessly. This sleeveless wrap-dress will get worn twice – once at work and once on the weekend while sightseeing.


I can re-wear these two silk blouses with shorts on the weekend and with the pencil skirt at work. (I like to pack this no-rinse detergent for hand-washing items as necessary.) A lightweight cashmere cardigan will keep me comfortable on the plane and in my office, which loves to blast the AC.


I only recently started wearing shorts (I’m self-conscious about my chicken legs) and I think this white pair looks a little more grown-up than a bright color. If I was headed anywhere other than sweltering New York, I’d probably opt for white straight leg jeans instead. I also have this blue pencil skirt which pairs nicely with both blouses for the office.


I’ll be on my feet a lot of work on account of teaching five days of coursework to graduate students and I love walking in New York, even if a restaurant is a mile or two from my hotel. A pair of nude wedges and black ballet flats work with my outfits and will keep my feet happy. I’ll also toss in these %

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Carmel-By-The-Sea City Guide


Two weekends ago, I went on a couples’ trip to Carmel-By-The-Sea, which is about two hours by car from San Francisco. Carmel has been on my list of places to visit in Northern California since moving out here last July and it didn’t disappoint! Below I’ve rounded up some of my recommendations based on our visit.


For breakfast, we stopped at Patisserie Bechler, which is actually located in Pacific Grove. Even if you’re staying in Carmel, it’s worth the 15 minute drive! The owner is from Alsace and the interior of the cafe reflects that. The Nutella croissant was a highlight for me. For lunch, we tried Basil Seasonal Dining, which featured locally sourced fare and Dametra Cafe, which is a Mediterranean cafe, both located in Carmel. At both restaurants, some dishes were winners and others unmemorable. For dinner, we ate at Passionfish in Pacific Grove, which we all agreed was delicious. I also appreciated that they value sustainable fishing practices.


Point Lobos is a state reserve where you can hike, or if you choose, just drive around. We saw a lot of wildlife here: sea birds, seals, sea lions, otters, and so forth. I recommend paying the $10 to drive and park there; not only are you supporting the park, but it also makes it easy to go from point-to-point, which is clutch if the weather takes a turn as it did for us! We also did 17 Mile Drive through Pebble Beach, but I think Point Lobos was a much better spent $10; we saw a lot more wildlife and saw better views… although the real estate porn along 17 Mile Drive was mind-blowing. In the town of Carmel, we meandered with no real agenda, but two boutiques stood out: GIRL BOY GIRL (trendier – IRO, ALC, rag & bone) and its sister store, Paloosh (more casual – Equipment, Joie, Bailey 44). And although we didn’t hit it on this trip, the Monterey Bay Aquarium makes for an awesome afternoon, too.


Finding a place to stay was a challenge for this trip. Many of the B&Bs or hotels in Carmel either had a two-night minimum on weekends or were beyond our budget. Airbnb featured just a few selections, but they were either too expensive or too small for two couples. That’s how we wound up staying in Pacific Grove, at the Gosby House Inn. The town is only a 15 minute drive from Carmel and is on the ocean. The Gosby House Inn has some nice features: large rooms with a sitting area and fire place, complimentary snacks and wine, and breakfast.

To see some of the pictures I took on our trip, follow me on Instagram, at lindsay.jill.

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Prepare for take-off

Whether you know me or not, I think one thing will become abundantly clear from the theme of this blog: I love to travel, both for work and for leisure.

I work remotely, from San Francisco, for an education non-profit that is based in New York City. I feel fortunate that I get to experience the best of both coasts on a frequent basis. My job also takes me to other cities: Washington, D.C., Boston, New Orleans, and so on. Needless to say, I’ve picked up quite a few frequent flyer miles over the past few years!

Between frequent travel for work and endlessly scheming about my next vacation (Hawaii in September!), I’ve learned a lot about planning travel efficiently and within a budget. And so this blog is an act of self-indulgence of past, current, and future travel.

I hope you’ll continue on this journey with me (pun intended) as I chronicle my latest adventures.

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