Everybody loves travel to your next amazing holiday destination. Yet it can be stressful if you leave the holiday packing till the last minute, especially when you have to pack for your family as well.
We can all relate to packing too much.
Coming from a family who chronically pack way too much, I needed a system for packing “just right” instead of “just in case”. I decided holidays were not the time to road-test new clothes I never loved wearing at home either.
I work hard at getting the travel wardrobe just right so I feel great in anything I wear for any situation.
This week I am leaving on a 2 week trip to visit friends and family in The Netherlands so here are some of the outfits I have put together plus the 5 rules I live by.
1. Break down your trip in detail
I spend a lot of time googling what weather I can expect at the time of travel from the beginning to the end of the trip.
The trip I am going on is to The Netherlands and its summer there but not crazy warm forecast so I have eliminated some high summer pieces that I probably would not get to wear.
Rain is in the forecast and about 22 degrees on average so I have packed a sporty raincoat as well as my trusted trench coat I love. Of course I have added a great jeans jacket for the layering.
What will you be doing during your trip? Is it laying by the pool and eating out at night, backpacking around small villages or is it a combination of sight seeing and having nice dinners at night?
My trip will be a combination of visiting friends and family, dinners out, a wedding and a bit of kids entertainment plus a lot of exercise to keep up my fitness. I don’t think I will be hitting the beach but I have packed a bikini just in case.
I will most likely change for dinner so I need to pack multiple mix and match outfits and especially some fun shoes.
Luggage allowance can fluctuate depending on the flights you take. It can range from 25 to 30 kg for long haul flights but when you combine them with budget flights you are very likely to have a 20 kg limit.
We are lucky to have 30 kgs + 7kgs hand luggage so I packed the kids scooters and soccer ball to keep them entertained at their grandparents and away from the iPad.
I have bought new American Tourister luggage which has lots of smart compartments to prevent from moving and are super light and easy to roll. I will be on my own with 2 kids so I need Yasmine and Valentino to be able to roll their own suitcase.
The hand luggage is matching and will fit my pashmina, head pillow, spare clothes, hydrating skin care samples and iPad. I also packed our Monopoly and Game Of Life into zip lock bags so we have some entertainment during the 23 hour journey.
I am traveling in comfortable jeans and t-shirt and will change into comfortable active wear during the flight so I can get some sleep. I always pack thongs so I can quickly go to the toilet as I will drink plenty of water and green tea. I will pack empty water bottles we can fill up and an empty travel tea mug and some sachets of herbal tea. Just before we arrive at Schiphol airport I will change back into my clothes and add a splash of make up.
2. Pack Early
I started buying and sorting for this trip about 8 weeks ago so we have no stress last minute.
And I emptied out one big drawer and a section of my wardrobe to hang my clothes and as I saw the weather getting cooler in The Netherlands I swapped different layers. Even after documenting my outfits for you, I made final changes and eliminated a few pairs of shoes and pants.
Not wearing certain items a few weeks prior to our trip will save me last minute washing and ironing.
3. Be Very Selective
Last week I photographed all the outfits and I went through them with a fine tooth comb. I love this process, I love all my clothes but some more than others, some shoes are more comfortable and travel proof.
Packing for a trip is not the time to start wearing your shorts that don’t quite fit, the top you are not sure off and that belt that you love but really does not go with anything.
My Selection criteria were:
– Do I love it?
– Does it fit?
– How much does it go with?
– Will I wear it?
I am so blatantly honest in this moment so my suitcase will deliver amazing mix and match options that will work a treat for any occasion.
3. Do a Pre-pack
You may well have your best ready to pack but if it does not fit in your suitcase or if it is over the weight restrictions you need to be more selective. Do a Pre-pack a few days before your trip so you don’t have any last minute stress about this.
I have my suitcase packed already since last week and just need to add the final toiletries and underwear! We are ready to go.
If all your items fit, make sure you weigh your suitcase and allow for your toiletries. You could also leave room for souvenirs and a spot of shopping.
4. Bon Voyage
By now you know it all fits and you know what to bring so this is simply a quick pack and a final weigh.
We are now ready to have a fantastic time, knowing we packed your best!
5. Shopping Overseas
I will definitely have a look at the Dutch trends, colours and patterns. But will only buy what I know is missing in my wardrobe and it must be a 10 out of 10.
Some ladies love shopping in America, Asia or Europe whilst on holidays and tend to take a fairly empty suitcase.
If that is not you but you do love buying the odd thing, I would recommend that you still apply all the same tips you have learnt in the past, especially the one “only buy what you love”.
Overseas thickness of fabric can be too hot here in Australia and what is totally working there does not necessarily work here. I have made those mistakes a few times. They are expensive items that don’t get the most wear.
Answers to Frequently Asked Travel Packing Questions
“I always pack too much and it’s mainly for business trips. Especially shoes are a challenge to complete a look. How can you best pack high heels?”
Touching on a question from a busy working and traveling mum above who always packs too much. I know this client quite well and I know she has to do lots of international travel. Sometimes up to 2 weeks at a time.
My advice in this instance is to focus on packing a suit that has a jacket, pants and skirt in a fabric that travels well. Creating more options with a nice jersey dress, another skirt and 5 easy tops.
This will already give her 17 different combinations and 5 casual outfits. A smart accessory in the neck and earrings will make any top look great. In meetings the upper part of the body is where the focus is.
She might need an award night dress. Also, she might like to feel relaxed in jeans and one of the 5 tops after work. Maybe she will also need an overcoat if the weather is cold as well as at least 5 pairs of really nice stockings.
Add a bathing suit if the hotel has a pool or one pair of gym tights, sports bra and sneakers so she can have 2 forms of exercise to keep her energy up.
To take the stress out of the packing she could have a dedicated travel wardrobe. Positioned to the side of her wardrobe and not worn closer to her trip.
She also mentioned overpacking of shoes. If you select a basic pair of nude and black heels they will go with any outfit and jeans. Patent leather always looks elegant.
To pack them safely you can wrap each shoe individually in hotel laundry bags or soft shoe bags. Pack them amongst your clothes and they will not move or damage anything.
“Tips on folding that reduces the need to iron“
When you travel there will always be some element of creasing. I would suggest regarding the pieces that crease the most to pack those on the top of your bag. Taking patterned items or items in non-crease fabrics will make creasing less obvious as well. Unpacking straight away and using the hot steam from the shower will also bring out the creases.
“How to streamline an on-the-road wardrobe that has to cover formal work situations, casual work, leisure and fitness, across different climates and temperature extremes.”
Each trip will need to be packed for as per the notes above. Where are you traveling? Who are you meeting? What are you doing (presenting/attending/meeting)? When and why are you traveling (to close the deal/mediate/educate)? How are you traveling? These are all questions I recommend you prepare the answers for.
When you travel I know you love natural fabrics the most. When there are extreme temperature differences simply pack layers like a jacket, elegant cardigans and scarves. Short sleeve tops won’t show underarm sweat marks. Patterned tops also work best for this.