10 Packing tips for the stylish traveller

You’ve booked your ticket, your accommodation is locked in and departure day is fast approaching. You’re beyond excited, but the thought of packing fills you with dread! How are you possibly going to fit all your fabulous finds into one itsy bitsy carry on (note – any suitcase is too small for a fashionista) and still look effortlessly chic at the final destination? Today I’m sharing my savvy tips for effortless, stylish packing for travelling!  

ONE | Plan + make lists

Planning is the easiest way to reduce the stress involved in any activity, especially those that you dread. Depending on your destination and how long you are staying, my advice is to start planning at a minimum one month before you go.

Things you need to consider include, what will the weather most likely be like, will there be any events you will be attending that requires different attire, what gaps are there in your current wardrobe, do you need to buy anything, are there appointments you need to make closer to departure i.e. manicure, hair appointments.

Currently my go to app for list making is Wanderlist. It allows me to add items on the go into separate categories and set reminders. I love being able to keep track of my to do list and tick items off once completed. 

TWO| Flatlay 

For as long as I can remember (yep, long before Instagram), I have always laid out my clothes before packing for any trip. I start with laying out everything I would like to take (aka my ‘wish list’) onto my bed. Usually in piles, tops, pants, skirts, dresses, underwear etc.

Having your pieces laid out, allows you to see the cohesion between pieces, colours and quantity. Some pieces I know straight away will be packed (aka my ‘non-negotiables’), other pieces I need to try on again, mix and match with other items, to see what works or doesn’t. Building the ‘looks’ I am after before travelling, allows me to get dressed quicker while I’m away. 

For a weekend getaway, my general rule is to pack enough outfits for each day, plus two extra looks. This doesn’t include what you wear on the plane (bonus). So if you are going away for three days you need five outfit options (+ your travelling look). 

Travel-tips_looks5

LOOK ONE | Striped tee + boots + sunglasses + clutch LOOK TWO | Jeans + long stripe tee + long black cardigan + boots + tote

Packing tips for the stylish traveller / www.heidiandcoco.com

LOOK THREE | Black dress + heels + clutch + necklace LOOK FOUR | Patterned dress + white blazer + slides + ring

THREE | Keep to classic pieces + a minimal colour palette

If you are limited to just carry on luggage, keep to classic pieces in a consistent colour palette. Think of hues that work together and pieces that can be layered. Neutral tones of white, black, grey and blush work well together and stripes are a classic staple that never goes out of style.  Other staple pieces include tanks, tees, denim, knits, cardigans and blazers.

Travel-tips_looks1

LOOK FIVE | White tee + denim skirt + slides + scared + sunglasses LOOK SIX | Blouse + midi abstract skirt + slides + ring + clutch

FOUR | Edit

Aim to pack light, only take items that you think you will truly wear. Remember you have to lug around what you pack and wash everything when it comes home. Only take pieces that fit, this is a deal breaker. Nothing is worse than being on holiday and not being comfortable and confident in what you are wearing. You do not have your whole wardrobe as a back up, what you pack is what you have to wear (of course, you can go shopping but in my view that’s just another reason to edit and pack light).

FIVE | Break down your packing tasks

I like to break down my packing requirements into 4 categories. 

  • Outfit for the plane – keep this look classic yet comfortable, wear layers and some of your bulkier items i.e. jacket/boots. 
  • Handbag – packed the night before and includes all my valuables and essentials for the flight, wallet, passport, sunglasses, phone, camera etc.
  • Suitcase – packed the night before, make sure you leave enough room for your beauty case.
  • Beauty case – pack toiletries the night before and your make-up the day of departure. The easiest way to lighten your beauty case it to replace your bottles and jars with samples! You know, all the freebies you pull out of your favourites magazine. Now is this time to use them!
SIX | Protect your delicates

Place delicate clothing, jewellery and shoes in cloth bags or tissue paper to prevent catching or marking any of your other pieces. You don’t want to arrive at your destination and find your statement necklace has caught on your silk dress! 

SEVEN | Sneak one piece back in 

This is purely for peace of mind. You know (and I know) you won’t wear it but you will be happy and relaxed knowing you have everything you need and want, including your ‘just in case’ piece. 

EIGHT | Double Check

Go pack to your lists (tip ONE) and check that you have packed everything you have listed. Think about the items that are easily forgotten, such as sunglasses, belts, headphones, a beach towel… 

NINE | Treat yourself

Get to the airport with plenty of time to spare, nothing is effortless or chic if you have to run through the departure lounge to make your flight! Enjoy a coffee, peruse the shops and get excited, you’re going on a trip. My travel ritual is to pick up a magazine and/or book at the airport for the pending flight.

TEN | Enjoy

You should now be on the plane, relaxed ready for take off, with all your essentials at your fingertips. Have a fabulous trip! 


Do you have any tried and tested travel tips? Share in the comments below >>

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  • Great tips Chantal! Especially the colour palette – I made that change on my last trip and it made it sooo much easier! I also wouldn’t travel anywhere again without one outfit that could be dressed up for something more formal. I made the mistake of travelling without it one time and got unexpectedly caught out – I couldn’t enjoy myself feeling so underdressed! Lesson learnt! x

    • Thanks for sharing Andrea. I love your tip on having something that can be dressed up! Great advice. Chantal x

  • Can I have all of these looks for my normal wardrobe? Seriously though, I need to work on my editing skills. I always take too many outfits and it is such a pain to fit everything back into the suitcase (+ shopping/souvenirs) at the end of the trip x

    • I know that feeling Lily! I agree things never seem to go back in the suitcase the way you originally pack it. Editing is definitely key! Chantal x

  • Loved this Chantal, good luck with the competition xx
    Also a pack of stylish sneakers if you’re going on a trip to Europe –because you spend all day walking;) so hard to find though.
    Chantal can you pls help with what to wear at a networking conference – (when youre a creative not a business type person) struggling a little bit with this one:)
    Love your site xx
    Melinda
    New blog coming soon;
    http://www.abeauthome.com.au

    • Hi Melinda, thanks for the feedback and post idea. I have some great ideas for what to wear at a conference, so watch this space. Can’t wait to see your new blog and space! Chantal x