Get your dream vacation off to the right start and avoid overstuffed suitcase dilemmas with these no-fuss packing tips.
Stick to easy mix-and-match items. Colour coordinated separates in a neutral colour scheme of black, white and tan with a couple of hits of colour or patterns are guaranteed to look sharp. For a seven- to 10-day trip pack one dress, two pairs of pants, two skirts, five fitted t-shirts, two dressy tops, one cardigan sweater and one cropped lightweight cotton jacket. Steer clear of the stereotypical tourist garb of a logo’d tee, shorts and running shoes. Skirts or cropped pants look more polished than shorts; and a cotton blazer is a sophisticated alternative to a jean jacket.
Pack pieces that will work double-duty like a sarong that works over a swimsuit at the beach but can be dressed up with sleek pants and heels at night. A pashmina wrap keeps you as warm on the plane as a blanket, but looks great as an evening wrap with a dress. Pack a tunic top to wear as a beach cover-up or wear it in to town with white jeans. A top-quality, sleek swimsuit in a dark shade looks surprisingly sophisticated when paired with evening slacks.
The right shoes, jewelry and bag take the simplest clothes from casual to dressy in a cinch. You’ll need four pairs of shoes – one pair of evening heels (metallic gold or silver tend to go with most outfits), one pair of polished walking shoes, one pair of flip flops (they’ll work with your beachwear or with a skirt or cropped pants), and one pair of running shoes (if you plan on exercising or taking long hikes). A small evening clutch keeps jewelry organized in your suitcase and also dresses up a basic dress or pants and top. Sparkling chandelier earrings look great with everything from a t-shirt and jeans to an evening dress.
• Pack shoes in shoe bags to prevent soiling your clothes, use lingerie bags to separate dirty laundry and try a water-resistant toiletry bag to protect against shampoo spills or leaks.
• If you’re tight on space, roll all of your clothes. Otherwise lay items flat starting with pants and skirts, then knit sweaters, shirts and blouses. Finally, place fragile pieces like dresses and jackets on top. Tuck belts and small accessories in spaces between clothes.
• Place heavy items, like shoes and toiletries, on the bottom of your bag.
• Line easy-to-wrinkle items like jackets and shirts with tissue paper.
• Once you arrive, hang clothes in the bathroom and run a hot shower for the steam to remove wrinkles.