Once we have put a deposit down on a trip, I begin my research. I research where are we going, what is there to do there, climate, etc.
I start checking the weather at my destination a couple of weeks in advance of the actual trip. I would prefer to be prepared with my clothing. I will alter my tops to fit where I am going. If it is expected to be cold, I will take a heavier jacket, maybe polar fleece or warmer. If it is expected to rain I will take a light rain coat, something I can layer a sweater underneath. The rain coat doesn’t have to be a heavy coat, it can be a shell type of waterproof windbreaker. Coats can take a lot of room in a suitcase, I wear/carry mine on the plane.
Another thing to consider when you are packing is what kind of excursions you like to take. And of course, where in the world you are. Have you ever been to an Italian church where your shoulders and knees must be covered? They will escort you out if you are not properly attired (that’s why the jacket is at least elbow length). Vatican tours require shoulders and knees are covered – that’s for men and women last time I was there. I have seen some paper type of clothes for sale at the Vatican for those not properly attired.
If your excursions tend toward hitting the beach, don’t take the sneakers, sandals would be great, and take more swim suits. You might also remember to take some sort of cover up. Not all cultures or destinations find walking around in your swimsuit acceptable. Even shorts and a t-shirt, sundress, long tunic or even a pull on skirt may be enough to cover you and look presentable.
I pack the same way for a one week cruise as I do for being gone 3, 4 or 5 weeks. Basically I take one week worth of clothes. I make sure everything is washable. If I have to wash it in a sink, I could. Granted, that may not work for everything. One of the formal jackets I take is a black one of fine silk and needs to be dry cleaned. That’s why there are two. If I mess one up, spill something on it, etc. I still have another one for a formal night if needed. And the jeans might take a while to dry if hand washed. But that’s why I have a spare pair of pants. And yes, if I only take one week of clothing and I’m gone longer then that I expect to do laundry somehow. I may wash stuff in the sink, use the on ship laundry services (for a fee) or find the ship laundromat.
In looking for ideas I came across a blog, The Vivienne Files. This blog has some great ideas for putting together clothes for trips. These wardrobes are mainly for women’s clothes but she has some great ideas. I’m thinking about changing up some of my packing after viewing her ideas. Her wardrobe include shoes and some accessories to go with the clothes. I highly recommend taking a look at her website for ideas.
Another place to look for ideas is by checking out capsule wardrobes. These are minimum amount of clothes, but trying to get the maximum amount of wear and possibilities from those items. Think 15 outfits from 10 pieces of clothing. Just do a search on Pinterest for capsule wardrobes. For an idea of my items, take a look at my Pinterest page.
Additional items of clothing include: bras, panties, night gown, swim suit, hose if needed, socks. Once I have clothes picked, then I pick jewelry and scarves to go with the items. I may also add a bug shirt, but I am a bug magnet so I need it. Not everyone does.
Notes for overseas/long haul travel
Nov. 2014 we did a cruise aboard the Queen Mary 2. I have put up some information about this cruise – what I had to take, etc. The Vivienne Files has some great ideas I incorporated for this trip.