Tuesday, 1 September 2009

How to Pack for a Warm City & Beach Break

Image thanks to von schnauzer

As you are reading this, I'm lucky enough to be jetting off to Milan, so I figured the least I could do was share a few packing tips, right? The problem is, not only will I be scouting around the city, I'll also be spending time at the beach in another area of Italy called Bari, meaning I have had to pack suitable wear for both! To add an extra twist, I'm limited to a carry-on case only. Here is how I'm packing for a warm city and beach break:

Clothes. When it comes to what clothes you’re packing, it’s a good idea to include a mix of plain, versatile basics, keeping to an easy-to-wear colour scheme with the odd eccentricity to add that dash of personality. I’d recommend: 2-3 plain tank tops (or a mix of tanks, t shirts and halters), 1-2 pretty tops or blouses, 1 evening top, a light cardigan, 1 pair of shorts and/or a playsuit or romper, 1 skirt, a pair of long trousers (I prefer white linen as they are good for both day and night and easy to match with a variety of tops) and/or 1 pair of jeans, 1-2 day dresses and 1 evening Dress.

Top Tip: I always like to carefully consider what I wear onto the plane, as this can potentially be a staple outfit for your week. If the country you’re leaving is cold and wintery, don’t accidentally wear two jumpers and big boots which you won’t need whilst away. Layer up your warmer-weather essentials instead and brave a slightly chilly trip to the airport to save yourself the sweaty trip on the other side. I’d recommend a fairly light pair of jeans, a tank and a cardigan or light jacket, with a Pashmina if necessary, and a coat only if you must. Jeans will be useful on holiday in the cooler evenings and for a comfortable journey to and from your destination.

Shoes. You want to keep shoes really minimal as they are probably the bulkiest thing you’ll pack; I’d say three pairs at the most for a city break no longer than a week or so. As much as style may be paramount to you on a city break, don’t substitute at least one pair of comfortable shoes as you’re likely to be getting around by foot a lot. I’d recommend a pair of Keds trainers as they’re small, light and comfortable, but also sturdy, and can be mixed with pretty items as well as more casual outfits.

For those romantic evenings or short strolls, a pair of ballet flats is an elegant and versatile option, plus their size makes them small-suitcase friendly! If you can exclude heels from your packing, then do, they take up too much room and you’re unlikely to wear them enough to justify it.

Finally, a pair of flip-flops for the beach or better quality sandals for more demanding day trips. I was once told by a chiropractor that flip-flops are the worst kind of shoe for your back (as comfortable as they can feel) as they offer literally no support, so walking long distances in them is not advised (nor particularly stylish).

♥ Clockwise from top left: 1.Tanks all from Topshop 2. Bag from Yes Style 3. Flip-flops from Piperlime 4. Bikini from Debenhams 5. Earrings Juicy Couture 6. Towel from Land's End 7. Necklace from Fantasy Jewellery Box 8. Cardigan from Oli 9. Keds from Piperlime 10. Shorts from Forever 21 11. Ballet pumps from Topshop 12. Linen Trousers Miss Selfridge 13. Floral blouse from Wetseal 14. Cream collar blouse Miss Selfridge 15. Dress Ruche

Jewellery & Accessories.
I find that one or two statement pieces of jewellery is always enough; jewellery is something I tend to take less seriously whilst on holiday as I find it too fussy for scorching days and balmy nights. Just one or two easy to wear necklaces, a pair of day earrings and an evening pair, and any signature ring, watch or bracelet you wear, all preferably waterproof to avoid any beach fiascos. One pair of sunglasses is also an essential, but if you’re the type to lose them then an extra, cheap pair might be good back-up.

One or two bikinis or swimsuits are obviously vital if you plan to go to the beach or you’re hotel has a pool, but be realistic, you’ll never need more than two pairs, so even if you own a rainbow collection, don’t clutter your suitcase.

If you’re really trying to pack light, then one big tote bag should be enough to see you through a city break – spacey but not too big – but if you’re planning a few glam evenings then a smaller handbag or clutch will be of use.

Not only should you be scant with your clothes, all those extra ‘essentials’ can add up to a lot of space in your suitcase:

Toiletries. Although it’s a pain that on most airlines you can now only take liquids in 100ml amounts on as carry-on, this is actually a blessing in disguise as it encourages you to pack light in an area where it’s easy to go overboard. In your toiletries bag, I would recommend a face wash or cleanser, light moisturiser, sun cream, deodorant, lip balm, tooth paste and toothbrush and only your essential make-up items like a good bronzer and waterproof mascara.

Top Tip: An optional, handy item is a pack of face wipes to keep in your handbag; if you have the facility then keep them in the fridge overnight so that they can be a cool indulgence whilst you’re out and about in the heat.

1. Pink Samsung Digital Camera 2. Journal and Pen 3. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Miscellaneous. You’re not going to want to forget some other important items like: a towel, your camera, a good book, a journal and pen (also useful for postcards), a couple of hair ties and/or clips, a body spray or perfume, plus any ‘emergency’ items you might need like tampons, plasters, dehydration tablets or paracetamol.

Top Tip: As you pack, you’ll undoubtedly throw in few items ‘just because’ but be sure not to stuff your suitcase on a city break as shopping is bound to occur and you want to have room to bring extra items back!

And that's pretty much it! If there’s anything you think I’ve left out then please add it in the comments.

More, more, more...

♥ Check out The 10 Commandments of Travel Fashion at HiFashion.

♥ Also, take a look at How to Pack a Suitcase from Miss G Darling.


Leia said...

Thank you for these lovely tips. I hope you are having a wonderful time! :)

LauraCassidy said...

great post! Hope you enjoy your trip!

Rosie Unknown said...

Great post! I find that the best way to spice up a pretty basic outfit is with statement jewelry, so I tend to bring quite a bit, but I totally agree about how hard it is to wear jewelry in the heat.

Jennifer said...

Great posts and tips, I would love to see more packing help posts!


kaitlinpaigeallen said...

great tips, very helpful!

marry said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dubai Stylista said...

MILAN! Fabulousity! :D

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