This is the very same packing list I use before setting off on a trip (well, not the sundress or feminine hygiene stuff), whether it's a six-night jaunt or a six-month research trip. The only thing extra I bring is a laptop for work purposes.
The five cardinal rules of traveling clothes: 1) Nothing white; 2) Nothing that wrinkles; 3) Clothes you can layer; 4) lots of pockets; and 5) Very few. Clothes take up the most space in your luggage, so don’t pack many. Just get used to doing a bit of laundry each night or two in your room.
Parisians dress pretty snappily—not necessarily in the latest Armani suit, but well nonetheless. While you should travel in whatever wardrobe makes you feel comfortable, you’ll probably be happier fitting in, so save the Bermuda shorts and sleeveless T-shirt for that trip to Hawaii.
Note: In the major churches there is a strict dress code that forbids shorts, skirts above the knee, and bare shoulders. Pack accordingly. (A shawl packs tiny, works as an emergency skirt or shoulder coverup, and doubles as an extra blanket during the plane ride).
Minimize toiletries spillage disasters by storing everything in resealable
plastic baggies. Maximize the tiny space inside a bathroom bag/toiletry kit with sample sizes and by putting shampoo and detergent into small, screw-top plastic bottles—bonus, this makes them TSA safe.
Keep toiletries and cosmetics to a minimum. Perfume or cologne on the road become vain deadweights and spills waiting to happen (imagine everything in your bag drenched with Chanel no. 5). And for women, trust a touch of red lipstick to be formal enough for any occasion.