What to pack for a summer holiday

Somehow I’ve managed to master the act of “packing light”. It stems from my first overseas trip. I was 12 when my mom and I went for a month long holiday to America visiting 6 cities.  We quickly learnt that that two large 40kg suitcases between 1 and 1/2 people, wasn’t how to travel in style…at all! Only 2 cities into our trip, we bought 2 backpacks, packed the essentials and couriered our suitcases back home to South Africa!

A lot of us dread packing, including me! I guess that’s why we often leave it to the last minute. To make packing for your summer holiday easier, here is what I learnt from my travels.

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Your itinerary

First, think about what you’ll be doing on holiday and make sure that you take along clothing that will help you make the most of each occasion!

Another thing to remember is to chose items that you wear at home. If you don’t, it’s unlikely you’ll wear it on holiday, like that cargo pants that you keep for hiking trails…that you never wear!

Colour palette

The key to packing light is to pack items that can be worn 2 or 3 ways. One way to do this is to decide on your colour palette for the trip e.g. red, black and white. 90% of what I pack are neutrals and the rest are two colours. The other tip is to pack simple items that can be worn differently, like a sarong. It can be worn as a dress, skrit, top or just a scarf.

The mix

On my summer vacays I’ve always found 7 key items very useful – 1. Pajama pants (neutral/soft denim), 2. Basic tees and vests (two white, one colour, one print, one black) , 3. A pair of shorts (neutral/soft denim), 4. A black body con dress 5. A shirt dress that can double for a beach cover up, 6. Skinny jeans and 7. A light jersey for those cool summer nights.

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In addition to your swimsuit, pack accessories! They add variety and help change the look of the 7 key items. The key accessories are 1. Sunglasses, 2. Hat, 3. Leather flat sandals 4. A couple of necklaces and 5. Two or three scarves. Included in the scarf category is a sarong of course and there a 4 innovative ways on how to tie it!

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If you only pack the items on this list, you’ll have everything you need to put together a variety of outfits for a two week summer week holiday! Each item can be worn 2/3 times in different ways. For example, the body con dress can be worn on it’s own or as a skirt with a tee In the evening, pair it with a light jersey for dinner. You’ll notice that all the items go well together because they have the same colour story – Blue, pink and neutrals.

Packing tips

I’ve managed to pack A LOT in a suitcase…I went to London with a suitcase packed to the brim and came back with the same suitcase, but this time it had extra weight – 8 coats, 3 hand bags and 3 pair of shoes…I don’t know how I did it but I think those hours playing Tetris payed off!

  • Multi purpose  – Once you have all your items, lay them out. If you can’t wear every item more than once, replace it with an item you can.
  • Roll clothing instead of folding –  It saves space. I also like to roll “like items” like tees or pj’s together to make it easier to find.
  • Shoes – Pack shoes on the sides of the suitcase. Limit them to 3 pairs.
  • Large items – Pack larger items at the base of your suitcase to get the bulk out of the way. Save the smaller items for last, they are much easier to squeeze into gaps.
  • Toiletries and makeup – Always an after thought and can be tough to fit in. Keep it simple, you only need the basics on a summer holiday – mascara, blush/bronzer, sunscreen, lip gloss. Use smaller travel size toothpaste, shampoo etc. as well.

That’s all folks! Hope packing for this summer holiday is going to be a breeze!

Until next week, stay stylish!



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