Things to Consider
- Are you heading for a city, beach or countryside – what sort of activities do you have planned?
- Your clothing choices will depend on the likely weather conditions – take lighter and shorter layers when it's hot, thicker and longer ones for cooler months.
- Clever layering is the best way to cope with changeable conditions – e.g. wear or carry a jacket, over a fleece, over a t-shirt.
- Are there any cultural obligations in the area? See our destination pages for more advice.
- Pick generally smarter pieces which you can wear out for dinner, then wear them for activities the next day.
- Choose one outfit to travel in – wear your bulkiest clothes and shoes where possible, and pack one or two other key pieces in a small bag or case.
- Pick a simple colour scheme of neutrals plus one or two statement shades. Make sure all your clothes co-ordinate so they can be mixed and matched.
- Download our complete packing list below for all quantities and a checklist of items.
- Also see our Weekend Away Capsule Wardrobe for Men
A shirt (long or short-sleeved) in your favourite colour would work well here – smart enough for evenings but suitable for day wear too.
Suggested buy: Chambray Shirt by Joules
A smart cardigan will keep you warm on chilly days, or dress up your outfit for evening – choose a colour that goes with your tops and dress.
Suggested buy: Kate Spade 'Somerset' Cardigan by Nordstrom
Fleece or Light Sweater
Even in hot weather a breeze can make it feel cool in the shade, whilst inside the air-con can also be chilly. A fleece is light and cosy, or take a smart sweater if you prefer – choose something that rolls and packs well.
Suggested buy: The North Face Womens Glacier 1/4 Zip by Amazon
Casual Trousers or Shorts
These should be practical for days out. Choose fabrics that dry quickly in case of rain. Styles with detachable legs are a good option for varied temperatures. You might opt for shorts instead for hotter climes, but trousers are good protection against the sun.
Suggested buy: Royal Robbins Zip N' Go Pant by Amazon
Smart-Casual Trousers or Jeans
A flattering pair of dark jeans works well, but depending on the climate you may want to swap these for a floaty pair of lightweight trousers. Dress them up for evenings with pretty shoes and a nice top.
Suggested buy: NYDJ Straight Leg Denim by Amazon
Choose something versatile that you can wear sightseeing, but also dress up to dine out in by adding accessories. These Karina dresses are very flattering and they pack brilliantly – no ironing ever needed!
Suggested buy: Audrey Dress by Karina Dresses
Some statement jewellery can really set off an outfit and takes up very little room in your case. Costume jewellery works just fine, and it's often better to leave your valuables at home.
Suggested buy: Multi Row Statement Necklace by Nordstrom
A ‘must take' item for any holiday as they are just so versatile: cover your shoulders at religious sites; add an instant touch of style to any outfit; put round you if there's a chill (or air-con) and keep cosy on the plane.
Suggested buy: Large Soft 100% Twill Pashmina by Amazon
Walking Shoes or Trainers
Whether you're heading for city or countryside, you'll need some comfy and practical shoes for walking around. Wear them to travel in too, and add in just one smart pair for evenings.
We love: Chase II Sneakers by Hotter
Pack one stylish pair for evenings. Opt for heels if you like, but for a relaxed setting or areas where high heels aren't practical (cobbled streets for example) then low wedges or ballet pump styles are a good alternative.
Suggested buy: Pruce Ankle Strap heels by Nordstrom
Essential for sun protection in hot weather, or choose a woollen style to keep out the cold and wet in cooler climes.
Suggested Buy!: Packable Sun Hat on Amazon
The sun (or snow!) can be bright even in winter, and if you're out all day it can be a strain on your eyes – especially with lots to see.
Suggested buy: Ray-Ban Original Wayfarer by Amazon
Good sunscreen is essential in hotter climes, and don't get caught out on cloudy days either – you can still get burnt. Remember that water will reflect the sun's rays too. Choose a product with a high SPF (protects from UVB rays) and also look for the star or PA rating which indicates protection from UVA.
Suggested buy:: SPF 30 PA+++ Water Resistant Sunscreen by Murad
Pack if you're heading to the beach in summer, or if your hotel has a pool or spa that you plan to use.
Suggested buy: Speedo Shirred Tank One-Piece by Amazon
A light packaway raincoat is a good idea to carry with you on days out – it's ideal in case the weather changes quickly or you experience a sudden downpour. You can layer up underneath for warmth if necessary, or opt for a more substantial jacket in cooler climes.
Suggested buy: : Charles River New Englander Rain Jacket by Amazon
You'll need a lightweight bag for all your sightseeing essentials. Our packaway day sack folds up into itself and fits easily in your suitcase when not in use. It's surprisingly roomy, showerproof and light to carry – even in hot weather.
Suggested Buy!: Fold Away Day Sack on Amazon
Choose a simple clutch bag for evenings – the Baglett is light and easy to carry with just the right amount of room for your essentials. The strap can be detached and worn as a belt, too.
Suggested buy : : The Baglett by Amazon