As far as a holiday goes, soaking up the sun in a sarong or rugging up in boots and a jacket to keep the cold at bay will determine what you pack in your luggage. The allure of taking your whole wardrobe so you have an outfit for every day may seem like a good idea, but isn't exactly practical. Here are a few tips and hints to help you pack smartly and don't leave something behind that you'll desperately need.
Packing for a tropical holiday:
- A set of warm clothes: Pack at least one warm jumper or cardigan and a pair of long pants for unexpected chilly nights (this can also be of use if you need to cover up to enter temples or religious buildings with dress codes that require covering up)
- Keep cool: Breathable fabrics that wont cause you to be dripping with sweat the moment you leave air conditioning is a must in a tropical or warm location. Think cotton, linen, hemp, rayon and denim. Keep it to 3-4 singlets or t-shirts, 2 pairs of shorts, 1 pair of long breathable pants, a maxi dress or skirt and your underwear and swimwear. Remember you'll probably want to buy unique items you spot at markets or shops when you're there. Pack at least one outfit that can go from day to night in case you head to a nice restaurant or bar.
- Splashing about: Bikinis or swimmers are an essential on a tropical getaway. Remember ladies that a basic halterneck or tube bikini top can be worn under sheer tops and as an alternative to bras.
- Hats off: A hat is a must on a sunny vacation. Pack something that wont matter if it gets squashed in your luggage. Peaked caps, fabric brimmed hats and straw hats are great (although straw hats are probably better to carry on with you to avoid getting crushed).
- Traipsing about: A pair of thongs and or sandles are a definite on a tropical getaway. These pack well as they are flat and can slide in anywhere (even in the front pocket of your luggage or carry on). Also a pair of canvas shoes or lightweight runners are great especially if you want to do a bit of walking or hiking.
- Keep it dry: Dry bags not only keep damp, wet or dirty clothes from soiling the rest of your luggage but can also be handy to put any liquids in.
- Save your skin: Sunscreen is an obvious one, but if you want to keep the weight down on your way to your holiday, just buy it when you arrive. Pharmacies and convenience stores sell sunscreen just as much as they do an ice cold drink. Buying at your destination will ensure that you don't use your precious space and weight restrictions on lugging around heavy bottles of liquids. This also goes for toiletries. Unless you have specific toiletries you need or wish to take, buy them at your destination and try to buy them in smaller sizes so you don't need to bring them home again if you can avoid it.
- Shady days: Sunglasses are a necessity. You can get duty free sunglasses on your way to or from your holiday and can save on designer brands whilst doing so.
- Bag it up: A backpack or tote bag that can double as an everyday bag is a smart way to have an extra bag on hand that you can use for shopping or use as a day bag.
- Sarong/kaftan: Super comfy, lightweight and can be dressed down or up depending on your mood or occasion. Sarongs can also have a second use as a shawl to cover your shoulders or head in places that require it, a decorative accessory or even use it as a shade cloth.
Remember the less you pack the more you can buy if you wish....
Packing for a cold climate holiday:
- Layer it up: The key to packing light for cold weather (and any weather for that matter) is layers. Think pieces that can all be worn together when its cold but can also be mixed and matched, as well as worn individually for differing temperatures, weather conditions and different activities. Think flannelette shirts, long sleeved tops, thermal camisoles, singlets, cardigans, lightweight jumpers a denim jacket. If you choose your layers well, you’ll have less bulk, more outfit options, and be just as warm.
- Follow your feet: There is nothing more uncomfortable than cold feet when your'e walking around in a cold climate. A good pair of insulated and waterproof shoes is a must especially if there is snow or rain on the horizon. Boots are probably the most practical solution with an extra pair of dress ankle boots for good measure. Remember to wear the heaviest and bulkiest boots on the plane so you save space and weight in your luggage.
- Top to toe: A beanie, scarf, gloves and woollen socks are a must in cold weather. These items can add that extra bit of comfort and warmth when needed and don't take up too much space.
- Accessorise: Instead of taking multiple coats or jackets, just pack more hats, scarves or beanies. You can seem like you have more than one jacket when really its the accessories you've changed.
- Down below: Jeans, leggings and corduroy pants are all great options for cold weather as are tracksuit bottoms. Leggings can be worn instead of stockings, worn under pants to keep warm or as pyjama bottoms. Thermals may also be a requirement so buy good quality items that can be washed easily and dry quickly.
- To top it off: If the climate is super cold you may need to take a jacket or coat to keep extra warm. Take this with you on the plane as it will save space in your luggage. You can also use it as a pillow or blanket if need be.
- Rolling and squeezing: When packing your suitcase, its best to either roll all of your items so they are far smaller, or place into space bags and suck or squeeze the air out. This will maximise space in your luggage for items that cant be minimised. Pack items inside shoes or boots to utilise all space needed.
Wear your heaviest items on the plane (don't go overboard so you overheat and pass out) to avoid using up precious space and weight allowances.
Remember if it's not vital then leave it behind. Happy packing...
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