Updated: May 13, 2020
Your holiday is booked, you have your passports and travel documents ready to go, all you have to do is pack. Let me share with you a packing list that never fails for trips 7 days or more to dry climate areas... we're talking North America, Europe, Northern and Central Asia, New Zealand and the southern parts of Africa, Australia and South America. Though I have detailed some simple alternative suggestions for humid climate areas too!
Before we get started on this handy little checklist, a few general little tips when choosing your colour palette and style.
1. The first thing you should keep in mind is versatility and the best way to achieve this is to keep with a relatively neutral colour palette. Blacks, whites, greys, browns, nudes and any other other shades that compliment your tone. You should be able to grab anything at a minutes notice to go pair with any other item. Try to also pick items that can be casual or dressed up for your evenings or classy experiences.
2. The second thing to remember is to go for low-maintenance wear such as crinkle-free and lightweight clothing. Lyocell, denim and polyester are best, but if cotton suites you better, you can always roll your clothes when packing instead of folding as this eliminates most wrinkles and saves SO much space.
It is advisable to pack a selection of tops with sleeves of varying length. The longer sleeve length will keep you warmer on the cooler days and are a bit more conservative if you’re planning to visit sites where modest dress is required. If some of the cities you are visiting are likely to be very hot, ensure that you also include a few tops that are made from a light, breathable fabric. If you're traveling to cooler climates, go for thicker items made of flannel, polyester fleece etc.
2 x SLEEVELESS TOPS (these are handy for wearing under other items of clothing)
2 x TANK TOPS (in winter, you may want to substitute tank tops for thermal tops)
2 x T-SHIRTS
1 x BUTTON UP SHIRT
1 x CARDIGAN (even in warmer locations, cardigans can come in handy in the evening)
1 x JACKET (you might want to consider a water-proof jacket depending on the season)
Bottoms depend on the temperature once again, instead of 2 pairs of shorts, you could go for 2 pairs of jeans. Leggings are great for travelling as their stretchy waistband and fabric make them really comfortable, and they can be paired with virtually anything. Black is good colour to use as your base as it’s forgiving with dirt and you can easily throw on a neutral shirt or a dress to freshen up in no time. A pair of lightweight jeans or capri pants can add further comfort and style to your wardrobe options. It’s a good idea to throw in a pair of shorts too regardless of weather, just in case.
1 x LEGGINGS (you might want to consider a 2nd pair if you plan to work out on your trip)
2 x SHORTS
2 x SKIRTS (go for at least 1 mid-length skirt for visits s to places of worship)
2 x PANTS (full length or 3/4 length jeans or trousers)
OTHER ESSENTIAL CLOTHING
Normally, I would suggest that if you're headed to a summer spot, instead of taking extra woolies like beanies, winter jackets, boots and stockings, you would swap them out for lightweight scarves (that can be used as accessories, sarongs or head-wraps), sandals and a wide-brimmed hat. Scarves are a great accessory to include in your suitcase: not only are they extremely light and compact to pack, but they also add a bit of warmth and bring colour and personality to your outfit.
1 x CUTE FEMININE SHOES (sandals or flip-flops)
1 x COMFORTABLE WALKING SHOES (flats such as ballet flats)
1 x ATHLETIC SHOES (for hiking, running / working out)
2 x LIGHTWEIGHT SCARVES
2 x DRESSES
2 x BRAS (consider one sports bra if you intend to work out during your trip)
3 x PAIRS OF SOCKS (particularly handy when inflight to keep your body temperature normal)
7 x DAYS OF UNDERWEAR
Try to keep your accessories to a minimum always. Though, I cannot recommend scarves enough for each and every trip. They are a great accessory to include in your suitcase: not only are they extremely light and compact to pack, but they also add a bit of warmth and bring colour and personality to your outfit. Scarves can also double as a sarong or headwear.
2 x SCARVES
A SUN HAT (essential on sunny days to protect your face and keep you cool)
SUNGLASSES (to protect your eyes... and allow you to people-watch inconspicuously)
LIGHTWEIGHT JEWELLERY (nothing too fancy, a universal set you wear each day)
CUTE CROSSBODY BAG (appropriate for day and night, think slim lines and neutral colour)
These are often a matter of personal preference, though here are some of my recommendations:
MINI SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER (unless your hotel provides this and you can go without)
FOUNDATION (or an SPF tinted moisturiser is a good way to save time and pack less)
BRONZER & BRUSH (because sometimes all you need is a little bit of colour)
ROSEHIP OIL (great for maintaining well-hydrated skin)
DEODORANT (I highly recommend Sukin's Natural Deodorant Spray100ml)
TOOTHBRUSH & TOOTHPASTE
A FEW BANDAIDS (just in case)
SAMPLE SIZE FACE CLEANERS
MEDICATION / VITAMINS (and any other personal essentials you cannot go without)
CARRY ON / DAY PACK
Pack everything else in your suitcase but keep these items and your accessories in your cabin bag to take on board your flight. I never recommend to pack jewellery or any cosmetics of value in your luggage bag - you really just cannot trust baggage handlers these days. You might want to consider having most of these items in your Day Pack as well as they often come in handy day to day.
HAND SANITIZER (to minimise your odds of picking up a bug on your travels)
ROSEHIP OIL (for dry skin and cuticles)
TINTED LIP BALM (keep lips moisturised and add a hint of colour - BERTS BEEZ are great)
LOTS OF WATER (but wait until after you have cleared immigration to buy this)
BOOK / IBOOK / IPOD (playlists and books will keep you entertained on a long flight)
PONCHO OR COMPACT UMBRELLA (you cannot take your umbrella in your carry on)
TEA TREE OIL (my #1 travel must: Tea Tree is a natural antiseptic that can be used for blemishes, cuts, rashes, bites and to clean surfaces with a tissue - to name a few. Whilst Lavender Oil is another good option for relieving headaches and inducing sleep.
COCONUT OIL (it's a great one-stop shop also: you can use it on your skin, hair and hands, and it even can be used for a shoe/boot shine. Coconut oil is my moisturiser when I travel). If you are also a fan of essential oils and natural products, I recommend small sample size bottles for your tea tree, rosehip and lavender oils. I recommend coconut oil to be in a sturdy spray bottle for ease of application. I recommend COCOLIFE 100 ml spray).
And FINALLY, don't forget your...
CAMERA & LENSES
You're now ready to go... Bon Voyage!