Planning and packing for a trip can be almost as much as the trip itself. Well maybe not the actual packing- the stuffing of the suitcase and waiting with bated breathe to see if its overweight part, but definitely the planning part. We recently went on an 18 day trip to Europe during the winter. To 4 countries, 4 different cities with 3 bags between the two of us. And it definitely took some planning. I thought it might be useful to share some of the tips I picked up.
Do your research
It sounds obvious but its absolutely the most important thing. Most people spend hours researching places to see, hotels and where to eat while planning a holiday but often forget do find out what the actual weather is going to be like where they are going. And trust me, you will not have any fun if you are freezing no matter how beautiful the place is. Same goes for warmer climates. The clothes you wear during the summer in London might not at all be useful for summer in India. No point lugging a suitcase full of clothes across the world and then again having to buy new stuff when you get there.
For us specifically, since we were traveling from India to London during December, I knew we would have to get some serious winter clothes. I read travel blogs, watched Youtube videos, even looked at packing tips on Pinterest to get an idea of what people wear there during winter, and what I already had and what I would need to buy. It turned out to be mostly coats, hats, scarves and gloves that I had to buy.
Make a list before you start shopping
This is probably a good idea for any shopping trip, but it is absolutely essential while going shopping for clothes you will probably only wear once in your life during your holiday. Holidays can get expensive and there is no point in spending that money buying tons of winter clothes that I will never be able to wear again (no matter how cute they are). Keep that money to spend on your holiday instead. So make a list and stick to it. For us it was something like this:
- Wool socks – 2 pairs
- Hats/Beanies – 2 each
- Scarves – 2 each
- Black winter coat
These were the things we didn’t have and needed to buy brand new. We got two of each because we knew we wouldn’t really be keen on doing laundry frequently on holiday.
Check the prices before hand
A winter coat is an investment no matter where you live, and is probably not going to be cheap anywhere. But what I realized is there are way more options and different price points to pick from in countries where coats are a staple rather than a place like India where they are not really essential.
For instance when we went shopping for a coat for my husband, we went to a few stores and even checked online but we couldn’t really find anything nice. We ended up ordering something online that later didn’t even fit him properly. Then we went back to H&M and got a black coat just because we had to. The smarter thing to do would have been to wait till we got to London to buy one. We saw the same coat there in H&M and it was cheaper! And there were so many others to pick from too.
The reverse is also true in some cases so thats why its important to check before you buy. For example the scarves and beanies I got were cheaper here in India than in Europe, even a flannel shirt I picked up from H&M here was cheaper than the H&M in London.
What to pack
Now that we have the planning out of the way, lets come to what to actually pack. The most important thing to remember is you cannot take your whole wardrobe with you not matter how much want to. Also there is nothing more annoying than having to lug up a huge suitcase up a narrow flight of stairs after hours of travel, when all you want to do is just lie down. So just pack what you need. Prioritize and plan your outfits before hand. It can be daunting but there is a lot of help available that will make this easy and even fun.
I used this app called Smart Closet on my phone to plan out all my outfits. These are screenshots from my phone of how this looks with all my clothes in it. I cannot tell you how much this helped. First this meant I could see what I had brought without having to open my big suitcase every single time, and then such I had planned the whole outfit, I could just pick those things instead of trying different things to see as I would do at home.
Literally the most annoying thing to me on the trip was opening and closing the damn suitcase everyday. In some places we stayed at, Paris for instance, the rooms were so tiny. And these suitcases would literally take up all the space to the point that there wouldn’t even be place to walk. So this app really helped me out not to make a mess and be able to pick just what I needed from the bags. Highly recommend it. Also packing cubes are your best friends. Pack similar things in cubes so thats the only thing you will have to open. I did scarves and hats in one, sweaters in one, coats in one, then all my tops and blouses and then bottoms – skirts and pants in a separate one. Cannot tell you how much time it saved! Also keep one spare to put your stuff for laundry or what you don’t plan to wear anymore on the trip.
Pack items you can wear multiple ways
Since we travelled in winter, we had a lot of bulky items like coats and thick sweaters to pack. So I tried to keep the rest as minimal and light as possible. I also didn’t want to look like I was wearing the same thing everyday so I carried some options and planned out 18 different outfits on the app before I started packing. Things you can wear multiple ways are really useful, like a jumpsuit that can double as a top or pants, and a dress that can be used as a skirt or a top. This saves a lot of space and is also useful for layering.
Hope these are helpful when you pack for your next trip. If you have some tips please share in the comments, we would love to know.
Also, have you checked out our new collection of saris yet? They are each unique and one of a kind, and they come with a perfectly matched blouse piece and petticoat. As always come say Hi on our Instagramor Twitter, we would love to hear from you! Till next time 🙂