Welcome to another SIGNATURE STYLE blog. This month Cindy, Kim and I will be talking travel. But before I do, if you would like to comment, simply press on the title now and a new page will open up with a commenting section at the end.
Whether your trip be close to home or far away, why not enjoy the ease of traveling with minimal luggage only? (I’ve already written about my love of it when I talked about Resort Wear here). And with the current chaos associated with checking it in, and the very real possibility that your bag may not make it to where you’re headed, to me, it makes perfect sense to consider packing for carry-on only. Of course, all this hinges on the cabin baggage allowance. It does vary from airline to airline domestically/internationally and which end of the plane you fly in. Also, how long you go for.. But for me, it’s definitely all I really need for a 4-14 day warm weather trip (trust me, I’ve done it six times already and once was 2 weeks in Greece and Istanbul 😳)… so here are my tips on how to nail it 😂
- Firstly, when buying a carry-on cabin bag, research the size and weight requirements for domestic/international flights. Then invest in the lightest and most durable you can afford. Mine is the Antler Juno case (above) and qualifies size wise for dom/int’l and weighs in at 2.7kg before I add anything. (It’s since been discontinued and replaced by the slightly heavier Clifton.) And think wisely about colour, you want an easily identifiable bag in the aircraft, most definitely on a carousel and especially if it does get lost! So best to avoid black. Also ensure it’s fully labelled (inside and out) and take a pic of it for your records. And for piece of mind Air Tag it!
- Secondly, track the weather in your final destination a week or two before your expected stay (temperature, humidity and rainfall) so you have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Know your accomodation ammenities. I always check if there is hairdryer/dressing gown/washing facilities available 😉 and think about the activities you’ll be doing. All this will save on packing those “but I might need” unnecessary items.
- When it comes to how many outfits to pack, my rule of thumb for a 4-14 day trip is: total the number of days you’re away, then half it and add a travelling one (for there and back). But no more than 7. So on a 4 day trip, I’ll take 3. On a 14 day, 7, no more. Plus I’ll wear, 1 coat OR jumper/cardigan OR jacket. Denim is good. And it’s no secret that sticking to a colour palette in which everything mixes and matches is your best bet. I keep scarves (one can double as a sarong) and accessories to a minimum but interesting enough to mix up what I wear.
- Shoes and bags can weigh in heavy, so choose wisely and base your travelling outfit wearing the bulkiest. This is when a gym shoe doubling as a comfortable sneaker comes in handy 😉 and ensure you wear as many of the accessories you are taking as you can (necklaces/bracelets/scarves) – for what I’m travelling in, retake a look at the top picture 😉. Remember…they weigh your bags, not you! And no more than 2 other pairs (I usually do a sandal and a spare). Heels rarely make the cut 😂 And it’s 1 tote, sometimes a clutch and always 1 crossbody bag. Even better if the crossbody strap is detachable, so it can double up as a clutch. Again, these are chosen to coordinate with my clothing colour palette, that way they will go with everything!
- I pack 1 set only of workout gear, 1 swimsuit, 1 hat (packable) and 1 sleepwear set. These I find so easy to hand wash and dry in a hotel room. And don’t pack the lulu lemon if you’re not planning on using it!
- Forget full size toiletries and makeup (this really is a no brainer). Invest in small refillable light plastic bottles. Remember, with carry on, check requirements. Even think ahead and save old clear makeup tubs and bottles or free sample creams for your holidays. And consider a cleansing bar as opposed to a liquid. I found at Christmas time, travel sized versions of my favourite haircare that I now refill. (I’m sorry, but my hair just can’t do the 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner tip, but if yours can, yay for you 😉). And I have the most amazing refillable travel perfume atomiser that siphons straight from your own bottle. I found it at my local discount chemist, but there are bound to be plenty of alternative options out there. Make up is usually a BB cream, mascara and lip to cheek (its the only time I use a finger application), I wrote about my lipsticks here, and ditch the fancy makeup bags. I travel with the basics only and in clear ziplock bags. This is the idea… obviously not fully packed yet (and I probably couldn’t take that razor) 😉.
Let’s continue with a few images and explanations of clothing with a specific example. I’m (we are – Mr Style et moi) heading away next week and I am looking forward to 8 days of warm weather in Far North Queensland. It’s an intentionally relaxed holiday (my favourite kind), no events to attend (although I have made note of a couple of markets to visit), no high end restaurants, and we have zero plans for sightseeing other than riding along the beach, as we’ve been there before. Just lots of walks, bike rides, reading by the pool, makeup free and messy hair days, and that’s just me 😂- my husband will be golfing all day, so I’ll be on a retreat of sorts 😉 The weather will be 17-27 Celsius, with high humidity and occasional showers (🤞🏻for none at all). The hotel has all the amenities and facilities I need. Easy! So here’s what I’m packing to travel light …
Five airy dresses in cool cotton and relaxed linen. And the palette I’ve chosen is warm and muted. If it suits me in the cooler weather, why not the warmer? I didn’t actually have the right shades needed, so instead of buying new, I simply dyed two vibrant dresses to create it. Using DYLON Expresso Brown, I split the pod contents in half and completely changed the look (I dyed them separately). One thing I’ve learnt, is you never quite know how the dye will take but I’m pretty happy with the results 😊 I’ll be sure to share pics of them styled when I’m away (you can see those on my Instagram). Until then… here’s a peak of the before and after.
The remaining I already had (I EVEN MADE ONE 😳 – see below), except the current olive dress on the far right. Nothing resort like, just casual, interesting dresses that can be worn loose with messy hair, beads and a tote during the day or belted with my hair pulled back, big earrings and a clutch at night. I’ve gone for 2 maxis, 2 midis and a shorter kaftan (this doubles up for beach/pool/bike)…so I have plenty to choose from. I also find the longer hems, higher necklines, and adjustable sleeves a great way to keep sun exposure to a minimum. And I’ve decided to take a linen duster (that I found secondhand – but this and this are nice) instead of denim jacket because there is a bit going on with all the patterns.
And with these, the natural and neutral accessories mix below works best.
This is what I’ve come up with so far. Again, curated from new, secondhand or made by me, all but a few are current. Those being the trainers, sandals and sunglasses. I’d swap out the tan sandals for my Havianas if my dog Billy Ray hadn’t chewed them 😩 and I’m still undecided on the crossbody/clutch, so I may change my mind, in fact, this one has caught my eye… but you get the idea. Not a lot, but enough to mix and match with my dresses. It’s really just what they call a “travel capsule”. And it can so easily be created with minimal cost by using pieces from your “curated closet” (I really must write a blog on how to do this), and some planning.
And that’s it. I’ve never been packed so ahead of time 😂 but before I zip up, I’d be really interested in knowing if you have any light weight travelling tips to add, if so, feel free to comment below (remember, press the title of the post to open up that section 😉). And of course I’ll be paying attention on what Cindy and Kim have to say. So join me in reading that now:
Great post and tips Sarah! I like the idea of cutting the items in 1/2, based on the days you’ll be gone. And I’ve never thought to dye my clothes, brilliant! Another tip I find to be helpful is to put all the pieces I’m planning to bring in a seperate room – away from my everyday closet. This allows me to edit throughout the week; and the day before, I add it all into my suitcase. For some reason, when the suitcase and piles are in my bedroom it creates stress – similar to an incomplete to-do list. I also find packing cubes to be helpful when organizing my bag. Have a wonderful trip! xx Suzanne
Absolutely brilliant packing tips!! Shall be using all of them 🙂
That sounds like a great plan. When u literally know the weather and pretty much what you are going to do it’s quite simple. I no longer pack my “good stuff” like I use to when I was younger. I’m far more practical. Best of luck!
You’ll never look back!
Sarah these tips are spot on. I agree about hand washing. It has taken me years to figure that one out. Why drag several pairs of anything that can easily be hand-washed. Airtag-I need to get on that one. As usual you nailed it. I have had a hard time finding a summer crossbody that I like as well.
Thanks Cindy. I spent last night seeking your Lily skirt 😂 and out search continues for that bag..
I am obsessed with the blue striped dress that you dyed brown – Looks like a Guatemalan dress or Mexican or ethnic. Where, pray tell, is that dress from? Love!
Hello Dianne. It’s very old season by a company that is no more. Inspired by the Pippa Holt Kaftans I think. If you google mooleii kaftans you may find one secondhand. Good luck!