'I'm a fashion writer. Here are my 5 rules for packing for a holiday.'

This article is not about how to fit everything into your carry-on (if that's what you're after, read this). This is about packing the best possible holiday wardrobe.

I recently returned from an overseas trip, and when arriving home my first thought was, 'I did pretty good with packing this time'. 

I wore basically everything and didn't forget one single thing. 

There was no, 'Ah, I should have brought this!' Or bugger, 'I had some earrings that would look great with that but forgot them'. 


Some people would call me an over-packer, I would just call myself prepared. These are my five 'rules' for packing for a holiday.

But first, here's how to be a woman in 2023. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

1. Accessories are more important than clothes.

I used to be someone who, when packing for a warm holiday, would just grab all my favourite summer clothes and shoes, dump them in a suitcase and be done with it.

But last year, I thought through the accessories I would bring more carefully — what jewellery, what sunglasses and which handbag (or two) — and it made all the difference.


Think about it, what elevates any outfit? Accessories. That doesn't change just because you're going on holiday!

After laying out all the clothes I want to take, I think about what jewellery will go with each outfit. Then which sunglasses and handbag.

I might just be wearing a white T-shirt and denim shorts, but I'm also wearing chunky gold earrings and cool oversized sunnies; a woven beach bag if we're going down to the pool.

Accessories are something we often forget when packing (at least I did for a really long time). 

Now it's the one thing I always remember — because you can buy a new white tee, but you can't always replace your favourite sunglasses or necklace.

2. Sets are your best friend.

Our lifestyle team has said it before, but I'll say it again: sets make getting dressed (whether on holiday or not) that much easier.

I always take one or two with me on tropical holidays that I know I can wear together and with other pieces I'm taking. 

I recently took my casual shirt and shorts set from LMND, which I take whenever I travel, and a new one from Petal & Pup, which I've been told looks way more expensive than it is (the very best compliment).

2. Don't take your nice shoes unless you really need to.

This completely depends on where you're going, but I usually leave my good shoes at home. Same with handbags.

They might be two of my favourite things, but at the risk of ruining or losing them, I instead take shoes I still love but don't mind roughing up.


Also, leave the white sneakers at home. 

You either won't take them out of your suitcase (in this case, don't bring sneakers at all) or get them dirty (just take your old pair!).

4. Take a mental (or physical) picture of your outfits.

My go-to holiday shirt is a blue and white striped oversized cotton shirt. I know it works really well with my brown bikini and oversized sunnies.

It also pairs nicely with my blue bikini. And my denim shorts. And my brown sandals.

Whether it's a mental note or taking photos before you leave, know what pieces work together — especially for more than one outfit.

It takes away any stress of 'putting together a look' when you get there because you know that one dress goes with those shoes and accessories.


5. Always take a power board and an empty shopping bag.

These are a must.

The power board is something I never used to think of but will never travel without again. All you need is one adaptor and a place to plug all your things in.

No dead devices on my trip.

As for the empty shopping bag, that's just for your dirty clothes. It hides the stench and makes it easy to take out and throw straight into the wash when you get home.

Alternatively, packing cubes would work for that too, while also separating outfits for different occasions. I'm yet to try them, but I've heard great things.

Besides all that, just pray it all fits in your suitcase, and you're good to go.

Do you have any packing tips for me? Let me know!

Charlotte (Charlie) Begg is Mamamia's morning editor. For more beauty, fashion and homewares recommendations, read her articles here and follow her on Instagram.

Feature image: Supplied/Charlotte Begg.

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