How to avoid over-packing for your holiday

Are your thoughts turning towards your next holiday?

Something I frequently hear is how challenging packing can be. Especially if you’ve got a city or UK break planned as you’ll need to pack different things to a beach holiday. When travelling in the UK, the weather is unpredictable, so it feels much harder to pack!

If you typically pack more than what you need and only wear a handful of the clothes you packed, here’s some tips from me.


Like most things in life, an element of planning will ensure you feel prepared for your travels. Without a plan, you run the risk that you’ll leave something behind.

Your suitcase is simply a capsule wardrobe for holiday, and you can follow the same steps each time you go away.

Searching for a ‘list of items to pack’ is easy to do, if that’s what you need. But, if you’re anything like me, having some practical steps to follow to help you pack successfully will make life a little less stressful!

What to pack

Knowing what to pack for your holiday is dependent upon the type of trip you’re going on. Often, you’ll pack different clothes for a beach holiday compared to a city break, a cruise or a skiing holiday.

Check the weather report so you’ve got an idea about whether you’ll need a raincoat, umbrella or just your sunglasses.

Do you know what activities you’ll be undertaking whilst you’re away? When you know how you’ll be spending your time, it’s easier to pack what you need to wear. Sightseeing, laying on the beach, visiting ruins or climbing a mountain will generally speaking, require different clothes.

Get them out

Once you’ve identified what you’ll be doing and roughly, what you need to wear, get them out. I find laying them out on the bed, or on a rail makes it easier to see. Often you can spot any gaps and what accessories and underwear you’ll need need to pack too.

You’ll also be able to see how easily garments combine together. Creating more outfits from less items means a lighter suitcase. Packing that one top ‘just in case’ when you’ve got nothing to wear it with, will often come back unworn.

Once you’ve had a colour analysis, you’ll find that your clothes will naturally combine together easier. So, when it comes to your travels, limiting how many colour options you take will help too.

Whilst it may feel time-consuming, trying on your clothes is well worth doing, especially if it’s been some time since you last wore them. You don’t want to feel uncomfortable and unhappy whilst you’re away.

Whilst tempting, it’s often not the best time to experiment with a brand new look or shoes that you’ve never worn! At the very least, remember to pack the plasters!

If you have found a gap, a carefully planned shopping trip is next. Panic buying and impulse shopping rarely ends well. Shop with purpose.

Packing tips

Are you a roller or a folder?? I’m more of a folder, but either way, it’s about being savvy.

Use all available space! Put underwear or chargers in your shoes, jewellery in your handbag. I roll up anything which doesn’t crease and fold the rest.

Packing bags and cubes can help to organise your items, but keep one for your dirty laundry.

Magnetic compact

I prefer to use travel sized toiletries and decant any shampoos, conditioners and creams into reusable bottles as they take up far less room and weight in your case.

Do consider a capsule cosmetic collection for your travels too!

These magnetic compacts are ideal because you can personalise them to suit you, and fill them with all the eyeshadows and a blush/highlighters you’ll need whilst you’re away.


Planning your outfits and what you’ll wear means you’ll be less tempted to overpack and when you get into the habit, it becomes less of a chore!

All these tips and more, are included in my Holiday Capsule Wardrobe Workbook. It’s an 18 page guide which I created as a practical way of helping you to create a capsule wardrobe for your holiday. It includes Itinerary pages, outfit planners and checklists to keep you on track!

It isn’t a list of items you need to pack, but it will help you pack successfully for your next, and future trips. Get the guide and follow the stages laid out here.

If you’ve been lusting after a capsule wardrobe, it’s also available as part of the Capsule Wardrobe Masterclass as well as a stand-alone guide.

Get it here:

  • Knowing what to pack and why you need to leave those ‘just-in’case’ pieces behind when you go on holiday is all in the planning.

    Using this workbook, you can follow the stages involved to help you create a travel wardrobe that works for you.

    This workbook is a digital guide which you will work through on your own.

Virtual guides – how to create a capsule wardrobe that works for you

It’s been over two years since I ventured into the virtual world offering online service and support. I continue to offer this alongside my in-person consultations and appointments.

I’ve found the services I offer do need to be adapted for an online world. (I covered the differences between online and in-person colour analysis in the frequently asked questions here.)

This has meant that I’ve been able to work with people all over the world which is pretty pleasing if I’m honest. It’s amazing how many more ways there are to help and support people – locally or not.

Having worked with clients over a number of years, the term capsule wardrobe was always coming up but I wasn’t a fan of what you read in the glossy mags. They didn’t often align to my own thoughts and advice to clients so I decided to create my own guide!

Introducing my capsule wardrobe workbook

Initially I created this workbook to accompany my Capsule Wardrobe Workshop in November 2020. Since then, I’ve run the workshop many times and received fantastic feedback. (Visit the next event here.) I updated the workbook for my 2022 workshop earlier this year.

The workbook allows you to do-it-yourself at a speed and time to suit you. It walks you through the key stages involved in creating your own capsule wardrobe.

It’s a practical way of approaching the task. Your wardrobe is something you use every day so it needs be designed in a way that works for you.

Having been asked by people who couldn’t join the live workshop if they could received a copy of the guide, I decided to make it available as a stand-alone guide.

What’s included in the capsule wardrobe workbook

  1. Learn how to calculate the true cost of an item and why it’s important.
  2. Use my strategy to audit your wardrobe simply.
  3. Understand how to analyse your wardrobe and contents.
  4. How to plan and create a wardrobe that works for you.
  5. The difference between investment buys and fashion buys.
  6. When to use neutral and accent colours.
  7. Learn about the versatility of items.
  8. What to include in your capsule wardrobe (including an example).
  9. Checklists allowing you to identify the items you have, what gaps you have and what you need to buy.
  10. Capsule cosmetic checklist.
  11. Top tips.
  12. Discount against a consultation.

To get your hands on a copy of the workbook, you’ll find it here:

I’m working on other guides but if there’s something you’d love to get your hands on, do let me know:

Watch the video: Introducing the capsule wardrobe workshop