8 Tips On How To Pack For Two Different Seasons

Packing for an overseas trip can be stressful as it is. Packing for two different seasons, however, can throw your week into a spin. Where do you start? Thankfully, I tackled this dilemma before we traveled to tropical Hawaii for 2 weeks before heading off to New England for one month in October. With some careful planning, it’s not as hard as you think. Here are some helpful tips:

1) Pack Ahead Of Time: Remember that packing for two seasons takes double the organization of packing for one, so avoid packing the day before departure at all costs. Planning your wardrobe at least three days ahead of your day of departure means better coordination and less impulsive choices. A week before is even better. The likelihood of taking unnecessary pieces with you, or forgetting something important, increases exponentially when packing is done at the last minute.

2) Write Out A Packing List: Take the trouble to write out a packing list and stick to it. A packing list will force you to think your choices through, help you to stay disciplined, and reduce the chances of taking any ‘just-in-case’ items along.

3) Work Out Time Of Year & Activities: What time of the year will you be traveling? Check the average temperatures in the region that you will be traveling to and pack accordingly. 

What part of the world will you be traveling to? Are you familiar with the local customs? Ensure that your wardrobe choices adhere to the local customs. 

What will you be doing? Will you be strolling through art galleries? Hiking? Lying around on the beach? Pack with your activities in mind. 

4) Condense Your Color Palette: Use a monochromatic color palette (e.g. black, white and grey), with a third color as a highlight for all your basic wardrobe items. This ensures that all the pieces in your travel wardrobe coordinate. Keep lighter colors as tops rather than skirts or pants for practical reasons.

5) Easy Care Fabrics Only: Leave your woven cotton or linen pieces back home. They are harder to maintain and to keep looking fresh. Easy care fabrics, such as knits and/or synthetic blends, are the way to go. Low maintenance and easy-care fabrics mean less ironing and easy wash-and-wear on your journey.

6) Be Ruthless With Your Choices: Remember when you’re putting your basic travel wardrobe together that each piece needs to earn its space. If a particular item cannot be coordinated 3 or 4 times, leave it behind. Part of the pleasure of travel is all about the purchases that you make along the way, so keep your basic travel wardrobe lean so that you can add to it with some great overseas finds. Your multi-seasonal wardrobe should look like this:

Cool Weather Wardrobe:

* 1 x Quilted jacket/ trench coat
  • 1 pr Jeans/ everyday pants
  • 1 pr Evening pants or skirt
  • 3 x long sleeve T-shirts
  • 3 x sweaters (1 for evening)
  • 1 pr Walking shoes
  • 1 pr Evening shoes
Warm Weather Wardrobe:
  • 1 pr light pants
  • 1 pr shorts
  • 1 x skirt 
  • 1 x light basic dress that you can dress up or down
  • 3 x T-shirts
  • swimsuit + sarong
  • 1 pr walking sandals
  • 1 pr evening sandals

7) Add Color With Accessories: Only packing wardrobe basics in a monochromatic color palette need not mean a boring wardrobe. Make good use of your accessories, such as scarves and wraps, for that splash of color. Shawls and pashminas are every woman’s must-have item when traveling. Because they are light and you can carry several with you in different colors. They serve as cover-ups for your head and shoulders when visiting churches, synagogues, mosques and temples. They are a convenient throw-over when the temperature drops in the aircraft or when sightseeing, and they’re a great way to add a splash of color to that dress for an unexpected dinner.

8) Ziploc Bags: Re-sealable zip-up storage bags are every travelers dream and, in my opinion, the best thing since sliced bread. Your underwear can stay separate from your T-shirts, shoes, sweaters, and accessories. Dirty and wet clothes can go into a separate bag too. This ensures that your clean clothes stay clean, folded, and organized, and you’ll never have to scrounge through all the layers of your luggage to find your favorite item of clothing again.

Check out our fullproof travel packing checklist in "Travel Bible For Women".