I’ve been lucky enough to travel to a few countries with varying climates (as well as living in one – hello Canada!). What to pack is probably my most researched topic when preparing for a trip. Here are a few tips when packing, no matter the location.
The first thing I check is the weather. Will it be hot or cold? Rainy or sunny? Is there sand or snow? I normally Google what the temperature will be in the time period I plan on visiting and go from there. Living in Canada, I have a pretty good sense of what makes me comfortable in varying weather conditions. Wearing layers is a great idea when travelling because you can always take off items of clothing if you’re too warm but it’s harder to get warm if you didn’t bring enough.
Next, I look at the baggage policies for the airlines I will be travelling with. Personally, I avoid paying a fee for a piece of luggage whenever possible so knowing how much luggage space you have definitely changes what I pack. If you only have a carry-on, bringing a second pair of shoes or another winter jacket could mean leaving other layering pieces behind. On the flip side, knowing that you like to have a variety of outfits for different occasions would justify adding a piece (or two) of luggage to your plane ticket in advance.
Are you going hiking or a similar outdoor adventure? Do you have reservations at a restaurant that requires a nicer outfit? Can you get away with running shoes for every outfit? I don’t suggest wearing a dress to go hiking or winter boots to a bar so it’s good to know where you’ll be going and what you’ll be doing.
If you’re limited on space, a clothing capsule is ideal. Basically, you pack items that can be worn multiple times and each item can be worn in multiple outfits.
Colours: I try to stick to three or four colours that all work together and are easy to wear multiple times. (My trip in March I stuck to black, red, yellow and white).
Fabric Type: I tend to shy away from fabrics that easily wrinkle or don’t look good wrinkled.
Layers: Packing layering items is ideal for travelling to a new location. You can peel off layers when you get warm or add layers when you get chilly. Tank tops, light t-shirts, button ups and sweaters are great for layering. Bring a pair of leggings to wear under jeans if you think you’ll need the extra warmth!
If you’re tight on space, this is a must! I always find my ideal packing list is much larger than the space I have to fit it in. About a week before I leave, I pack my luggage (including toiletries) to make sure everything fits. If it doesn’t, I take out the least necessary items until I can zip it up. Don’t forget to leave space if you plan on buying gifts or souvenirs! Some specific tips on saving space:
1) Roll. I roll all my clothes tightly: I find it helps save space. You could also fold everything on your way over and roll on the way back to make space for souvenirs.
2) Filling Space. If you’re packing extra shoes or a hat, you can fill the empty space these items leave with socks, underwear or light shirts.
3) Pack Travel Size. For toiletries, definitely pack in travel size containers. Take only what you need and leave the rest.
FYI: I have a 24″ luggage*and a 20″ carry-on from Atlantic Luggage. I like my hard case luggage, which has so far been more durable than my old fabric luggage. For a carry-on, I use a backpack that I had when I was in university. I’m looking for a new one that has a camera compartment so if you have any suggestions, please comment below or send me an email!
*Disclosure: I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. All opinions expressed are my own and items have been previously purchased by myself.