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.

Tips on packing for a beach holiday

As summer solstice has officially begun (astronomically speaking), I wanted to share my tips to help you pack for a beach holiday.

How many of you have packed more than what you needed?

Simply put, think about holiday packing, almost like a mini capsule wardrobe.

It’s all in the planning.

Make a list

List out each day and what you’ll be doing roughly speaking (sight seeing, boat trip, beach, shopping etc). When you know how you’ll be spending your time, you’ll find it easier to pack what you need. Research the weather so you know whether you need to pack a rain jacket or an umbrella.

Get them out

You want to lay everything out that ideally you’d like to take and put them out on say a bed so you can see everything. When they’re all laid out see how easily they combine together in terms of colours and how many outfits you have.

For example, do you really want to take that one top if you’ve got nothing to wear it with when you’re over there? Leave it at home.

Interchangeable pieces

These are items which you can wear differently or use differently or wear for both day and night.

For example, your handbag that you travel to the airport with, could that also be used for the beach?

Another idea is a pashmina, which you might have as like a coverup for the evenings if it does get a little bit cooler, but you can also use it as a sarong.

Shoes and bags

How many of you take too many pairs of shoes? What I like to do is restrict my footwear, which is a challenge I have to admit.

And, I take one bag. I choose on practicality and ideally in neutrals or metallic colours so they’ll combine easily with other items.


In this video, I’m sharing what I’m packing for a four night break to Spain.

Watch the video here


Planning your outfits and what you’ll wear means you won’t overpack and when you get into the habit, it becomes less of a chore!

If you are finding that there isn’t enough outfits then this is where a carefully planned shopping trip can help. Because you’ll know the specifics of what you’re doing it will also make it easier to shop with purpose!

Help is available! Whether it’s shopping or identifying the right colours and styles for you, don’t struggle alone.

Get in touch today: