Many of us know we only wear a fraction of our wardrobe – 20% is the frequently quoted figure – but did you realise this applies to our travel wardrobe as well? If you’ve ever lugged heavy suitcases around the world on holiday only to bring them back with most clothes untouched, you’ll know what I mean. The majority of us overpack for our holidays.
I read that the average woman needs 57 items for a two-week holiday and 79% of women pack closer to 150 items.* Over enthusiastic packing at its worse can result in hefty excess baggage fines. And that’s no way to remember a holiday.
So here are my top ten packing tips to help you select just the right clothes to help you create versatile holiday outfits. Follow these tips and you’ll be guaranteed that any one item you pull from your suitcase with go with everything else AND you know you’ll look great and feel comfortable in it.
1. Start planning early.
Clever packing is 80% planning and 20% packing. One of the reasons why we overpack is that we can’t make calm, rational decisions especially when the flight leaves in a few hours. Give yourself ample time to decide what you need to take and why.
2. Determine what you’re going to do and how you need to dress.
Many of us do the basic research about the weather, local dress codes and activities we’ll be doing. These form the criteria for which you’ll pack your items. Always come back to these if you can’t decide what to leave behind.
3. Know your baggage allowance.
They vary by airline, cruise line and destination. Know what your limits are and pack to 80% capacity so you’ll avoid repacking at the check-in counters.
4. Choose your outfits from the bottom up.
Shoes are the bulkiest and heaviest to pack. Decide on the shoes you’ll wear and work upwards to mix and match your outfits.
5. Choose a limited palette.
Build your holiday wardrobe around a few well chosen neutral colours (white, navy, black, cream, beige) and accentuate with a 1-2 colours in your tops and your accessories. Choosing a limited palette ensures that each item will go with another.
6. Lay everything out and play.
With your short-listed items, mentally decide on how you will mix and match your clothes to do the things you’ve decided on in point 1.
7. Find multi-purpose items.
Choose clothes you can wear differently e.g. a shirt dress can be worn as a dress, belted, unbelted, as a beach cover up or over shorts or pants. You can also significantly lighten your load by choosing multi-purpose toiletries. For example, a BB or CC cream can replace the need for primer, foundation and sunscreen.
When you’re done short-listing all your items, challenge yourself to remove 1-2 things.
Rolling your clothes allows you to pack more into your suitcase. Invest in some travel cubes and your can group your clothes for easy access.
10. Pack a smart carry-on.
Lighten your wallet and leave all the cards you don’t need at home. Scan all travel paperwork onto an iPad to reduce paper clutter. Use plastic sandwich bags to pack your toiletries. This limits what you take onboard and makes it easier to pass through security. Include foldable slippers if your feet swell inflight.
If you’re interested in geting more out of your permanent wardrobe, contact me for a Wardrobe Rejuvenation experience. You’ll be amazed how much potential you have in your existing wardrobe. I can show you how to wear 80% of your wardrobe.