Whether for a holiday or work trip, or any other kind of travel – it’s so easy to overpack and also to under pack. How often do you forget something that’s kind of essential, yet have a bunch of clothes or shoes in your luggage you never get round to wearing?
Packing can be tricky!
1. Check the Weather
Even if you check the weather of where you’re going to, unless you’ve been there before you haven’t experienced that version of the weather. I can tell you a winter temperature of 15C in Melbourne is nothing like a Spring temperature of 15C in Sydney – and that’s in the same country! They feel so different! How humid it is, how many hours of daylight you’re having at that time (so how much time the sun has to warm things up), to the overnight temperature and the difference from nighttime to daytime all impact on how a place feels.
Plus there are other aspects, such as how cooled or heated indoor places are where you’re going to! NO airconditioning in a summer environment is very different from artic breeze air conditioning that often is the case in many places with lot s of hot weather outdoors!
2. What are Your Style Standards When Travelling?
Jill has a “style standard” that she’s come up with for her upcoming trip to Northern Central Australia. She’s created her holiday “uniform” that will be both practical, suit the relaxed holiday lifestyle and location but she’s come up with a third piece, in a patterned kimono duster or caftan style that she’s planned to wear over her denim shorts and a cowl neck tank top outfits that she will be wearing!
Jill always wants to feel stylish, no matter where she is and what she’s doing!
3. How Much Variety Do You Need?
When travelling, do you need as much variety in your wardrobe? Do you need to feel like you’re wearing something different every day? Or are you happy to be wearing the same thing or something very similar each day?
Jill uses different colours and her third pieces to make her feel like she’s wearing something different.
For me, I find I can happily wear pretty much the same thing each day provided that it’s clean! As I’m out and about experiencing the new environment – and once I’ve figured out what is the ideal outfit for me to wear for that location, climate, culture that also affords me the right level of comfort, then I will happily wear that for the entire trip!
This, of course, may vary depending on the reason for your trip. A business trip that has you mixing with the same people for multiple days may need more variety in your clothing than one where you are travelling for pleasure.
For a business trip, I will usually take slightly more than I would for a holiday, as I may feel that what I’ve brought and had thought I’d want to wear is not appropriate for some reason, whether it’s the air conditioning in the hotel is set to “arctic” and so anything without long sleeves and layers isn’t working for me, or just my mood for what to wear changes, I like to have a couple of options in these instances to be able to mix and match and do something different from what I’d originally planned.
This is particularly important when I’m “on show” as a speaker or presenter. In these instances I may, because of what I’m teaching, want to have a variety of outfits that explain different concepts that I’m training about – such as colour and value contrast, body shape, line and design … It can be really useful to be able to adjust my own clothes to show how “where a hemline hits change how slim you can appear” or some other image concept.
There also may be an expectation from my students that I will not be wearing the same thing every day. Which requires me to pack a little more.
Using a capsule wardrobe concept can often be a good way to provide enough options and different outfits without having to pack my entire wardrobe and pay excess luggage!
Remember to take twice as many tops than bottoms! Neutral bottoms with different coloured tops make you feel like you’ve got many more options and are wearing something more different each day. Plus we don’t usually need to wash bottoms as frequently as tops.
4. What Washing Facilities Are Available?
How often will you be able to wash your clothes? This can be particularly important as it can mean you need to bring more (or less) clothing depending on how easy and how frequently you’ll be able to wash your clothes.
For example, if I’m training in colour analysis, I like to wear mostly white outfits as this way my clothing doesn’t interfere with the colours I’m draping with. But of course, white gets dirty easily, so needs to be washed after each wear! Meaning I need to pack more clothes.
A stain removal pen or spray may be a useful addition to your suitcase, along with a wash on the go bag like this one!
5. How Many Shoes?
The perennial question as shoes are a bulky and heavy item to bring, so you don’t want to be bringing too many pairs, but you also don’t want to bring too few and discover that your shoes have caused blisters on the first day and now you have no shoes to wear. I speak from experience here and have had to go and purchase a pair of shoes to wear because the shoes I brought with me have become seriously uncomfortable which can often happen when you go from a cold climate to a hot one, and your feet suddenly swell up making shoes that are normally fine into a blister factory!
If you’re travelling somewhere where there are lots of cobblestones, and you plan to do a lot of walking, a thicker rubber sole is a really important feature.
And of course, before you pack – check that your shoes you’re planning to take actually work with the outfits you’re taking too!
6. What Are the Local’s Wearing?
Do you want to blend in or stand out and look like a tourist (making you a more likely target for thieves)?
Me? I prefer to blend in. So will often look online at what people wear. It’s not too hard to find an article about the local sartorial dos and don’ts that will give you a bunch of tips.
7. Try it All On
This I’ve learned the hard way, assuming that something I’ve thought would work together and then have got to the destination and discovering that the items I was planning to wear together just don’t go.
Or that I’ve put on weight and a garment no longer fits! What a waste of packing space.
8. Document Your Outfit Options
Once you’ve tried it all on, document (photos or written are both fine) the whole outfits, so you can easily remember what combinations you’d thought of, right down to the accessories. This will make it so much easier for you in the morning to decide what combination to wear that day.
What are your packing tips?
Please do share your packing tips here in the comments!
More Packing Tips
More tops than bottoms? Is that what you meant?
Yes I did!
Other than within the United States I only go to the Philippines which is where the majority of my relatives live. I though am not able to dress like they do. Most pants slip off of me when I move; I pretty much have the largest bust of everyone I know (34HH in UK sizing and 34L in US sizing), and I’m even taller than most of the men so their local clothing doesn’t fit me. For instance my mother was 4’11 most of her life but in her mid seventies she shrunk to 4’9 and I’m 5’4. I mostly wear fit and flare dresses or a fitted top with an ankle length skirt. When I visited them last year no one tried to target me. Probably because I’m not very fashionable and even my bags aren’t designer nor look designer.
Great thanks Imogen and Jill. Good idea for more tops than bottoms and definitely comfy shoes for the environment. Jill – my sister loves that kimono! Would you mind sharing where you got it from. Thanks
Great video gals. I love you two! I have done a lot of motor homing and find that I’m most comfortable in a skirt and top, with plenty of jewellery and scarf options. We travelled in the UK for 3 months at a time for several years. I travelled with long sleeved light weight tops (4) and warm stockings (3), a couple of cardigans, one or two trousers for really cold days, some short sleeved tops (5), one down coat and my staple skirts (2-3), all non iron. That got me through the change of seasons. I found pants very uncomfortable while travelling. They gave me all kinds of “girly issues”. I had a couple of pairs of slip on flats and one pair of hiking boots ( only for hiking ). Because I was wearing skirts I felt I couldn’t get away with joggers which I feared made me stand out as a tourist, particularly when we took to van to the continent. Now back in Aus, I’m putting together the same kind of uniform as, like Jill, I like to look put together even though I’m motor homing. This will include 3 skirts, 6 tops that all go with the skirts, 3 cardigans, 1 trousers, several scarves and plenty of jewellery to mix it up