Summer holiday packing
This post is inspiration for an Instagram follower who is going on holiday to a Caribbean island this summer. If you’re heading off on a summer holiday this month you’ve probably spent some time planning your holiday wardrobe. Packing for a summer trip should be really easy, in theory – summer clothes are much more lightweight than winter ones, so you shouldn’t have to wrestle with a suitcase that is bursting at the seams. But just because the clothing is lightweight that doesn’t mean you should take more! You may feel like adding that one final pair of shoes/shorts/top “just in case”, but it’s really important not to get too carried away; there’s nothing more pointless than travelling with surplus clothing that doesn’t get worn. A bit of pre-holiday planning and styling will ensure that your luggage is kept to a minimum and that you only take things that will actually get used. I try to keep shoes and bags to a minimum and only take neutral colours that will match every outfit. For clothing separates, try to have some sort of colour theme going so that everything can mix and match easily. Or, if you have heavily patterned/multi-coloured separates, make sure you have the right basics to match with them, e.g. black or white tops.
The way you pack will also make you feel more organised on arrival so that you can quickly locate the things you want and head straight to the beach! Keeping the small things organised really makes a difference so that they are not lost amongst larger things in your case. Phone chargers, plug adaptors etc can be kept together in a zip-lock bag – easy to view and find. I always pack underwear in zip laundry bags to keep it together and organised. Mine are from Cath Kidston, and I also have a couple of flat zip canvas bags that came with freebie toiletries on a flight once that I use for packing underwear. Cath Kidston doesn’t have any in their current range and the only similar thing I can find available now are these bags by Ted Baker. I wish more retailers made something like this – how does everyone else pack their underwear?! I can’t imagine packing it loose after packing like this for so long.
If you are travelling with multiple suitcases it is often worth considering having your luggage sent ahead. You may think this is a luxury service but the costs are lower than you may think – often lower than the airline charges for extra baggage. You won’t have the hassle of having to transport your cases from home to the airport, or of waiting for the suitcase at your destination airport, so it’s worth considering if you’re travelling in a large group or for an extended period of time. Sendmybag.com is a popular one that will transport your luggage from door to door and operates within 100 different countries.
Here are my recommendations for a Caribbean capsule wardrobe alongside tips for packing.
Hats are the trickiest thing to pack, so unless you want to carry/wear it en route, it’s best to get a hat that is foldable. The panama hat company sell foldable panama hats and tubes in which to transport the hat to make packing even easier. Remember this is just meant for short periods of time – folding any hat for long periods, or storing the hat in this way, will damage the shape of the hat. Floppy hats, like this one from Marks & Spencer, are also easier to fold and pack.
I really like the personalised basket bags by Raefeather. I find that when my initials are on something it ties me to it even more! You can also choose the stripe colour. The canvas shopper style would be the easiest style to pack, but I also really like the long leather handle basket, if you have a little more room in your suitcase. For a bag like this that doesn’t fold, you could fill it with smaller items to make the most of the space. Accessorize also have a great budget packable straw tote.
Streamlining your accessories is the best way to avoid suitcase overload as these are the bulkiest items in a summer wardrobe. For the day time, this round raffia cross body bag from Zara is a great summery staple. This woven embroidered seashell clutch from & Other Stories is a fun bag for summer eves – a neutral base with multicolour embroidery, so it would match many different outfits. Or for a fun addition to the Caribbean capsule wardrobe, how about this watermelon clutch by Sensi Studio.
I’m quite ruthless when it comes to packing shoes. The reality is you will probably be wearing your flip flops most of the time, so there isn’t much point in transporting your entire shoe collection around the world with you. A tan sandal for day and a metallic sandal for eve would be the minimum I would pack. I have some tan sandals similar to the ones pictured here but with a slight embellishment from Dune last year and they’re really comfortable. Anything too strappy I don’t like for daytime as they end up rubbing and causing blisters if you walk a lot. A heeled espadrille is also good, if you want a dressier look.
I think you’ll be guaranteed sunshine in the tropical climate of the Caribbean. Mosquitoes are a pain in places like this, so some long and loose clothing is advisable, especially in the evening and if you’re travelling during the rainy season when humidity is high.
I really like off-the-shoulder dresses for climates like this – they look good for day or evening and I like the way you can adjust the sleeves – wear off the shoulder Bardot style, off the arms, bandeau style, on the shoulder for a little cap sleeve coverage, or even one shoulder up, one down for an asymmetric ruffle!
Travelling to the Caribbean is a great excuse to embrace colourful tropical prints – here are some of my favourite tropical inspired pieces available now:
Tropical print maxi dress, Dorothy Perkins.
Tropical leaf maxi dress, Biba.
Tropical maxi playsuit, New Look.
Red bandeau maxi dress, New Look.
Dusky blue floral trousers, H&M.
And some tropical print bikinis from H&M:
Costume jewellery is a great way to jazz up your holiday wardrobe – I wouldn’t risk travelling with too much expensive jewellery – it’s just one more thing to worry about losing! Some statement earrings will dress up any of these maxi dresses for a summer evening outfit.