Very soon I will be boarding a plane and heading to the States for a holiday and I can’t wait.  As with everything I do, my packing process is very structured and organised.   I don’t leave anything to chance.

It is important for me to know that I am prepared and whatever I pull out of the suitcase is going to make me look and feel great.  There is nothing worse than being in some fabulous holiday location but feeling bad about yourself.   I try to avoid that feeling at all costs and holidays are no exception.

I start with my itinerary and work from there. For this trip I have a lot of touristy things to do, shopping, pool time, dinners out and a daytrip to the horse races.  Packing a fascinator for the races is going to be a bit tricky.

The aim is to pack as light as you can but give yourself enough options to be able to create many different looks from a handful of key pieces.

My essentials:

You don’t want to arrive looking like an extra for the “Walking Dead”:

Packing tips for a stylish holiday

Find a great travel outfit that is going to be comfortable, yet stylish.  This year I have purchased a Witchery light weight jumper that I can wear with some stretch black capris and cute flats.  It doesn’t hurt to have a pashmina or scarf in your carry on bag to wrap around you while on the plane because sometimes the air conditioning can get quite chilly during a long haul flight.

You also need to consider your arrival outfit.? I know that after eating, sleeping and sometimes dealing with travel sickness for 17 hours or more in the same clothes, having a new outfit to put on makes me feel so much better. Your arrival outfit has to be something that doesn’t take up too much room in your carry-on bag and doesn’t crease.? I usually choose a stretchy pencil skirt and cami or t-shirt dress.

Do “Tourist” with Style:

Packing tips for a stylish holiday

The touristy outfits for me are the hardest – I don’t usually do casual.  Running around a city to see the sites requires an outfit that is breathable, lightweight and includes comfortable footwear.  It isn’t always easy to find something to wear that looks good with runners, especially when you are over 40.  I stick with simple black leggings, singlet top and a cap.

Swimwear you want to be seen in:

Packing for a Holiday

Swimwear that makes you feel good can be a challenge but so worth your time and effort.   Leane wrote a post just before her Bali holiday about how to find the perfect pair and look great.  Lucky for me, this year I did find a sexy pair that I am excited about wearing.  It makes all the difference.

Shopping & Dinner Outfits:

I stick to my usual palette of black and white which makes mixing and matching really easy.  Usually I take a couple of stretchy dresses (I don’t want to feel too constricted while I am enjoying all that great food.. hey, you only live once!), some skirts and tops and they all work together to make a heap of different looking combinations.  I don’t want to have to think too hard when I am relaxing.

Packing tips for a stylish holiday

The Holiday Outfit Plan:

Leane would say that this step is ‘taking it to a whole other level’, but being the control freak/stylist that I am, I can’t do it any other way.

I create a “Holiday Outift Plan” that matches my itinerary.   This plan includes pictures of all my outfits.  I can tell you now that with this plan I never forget to pack anything, I have every possible scenario covered and I know I will feel and look my best.

I am not just over the top with my planning but also my packing.? I always use the Space Bags for travel.? They give you more than double the space in your suitcase which allows you plenty of room for all your purchases while you are away.? These bags are great as they have a special zip lock system that vacuum seals without having to use a vacuum cleaner.? It also enables you to keep your clothes organised and if something from your toiletries spills out, your clothes will be safe.

packing tips for a stylish holiday

Last but not least, don’t forget to give your carry-on luggage as much attention.? I treat this as my “emergency” bag and ensure I have enough spare clothes, underwear, toiletries and make-up to last at least 2 or more days, just in case they lose my luggage.? I am so paranoid about that, now I wish I hadn’t said that out loud.