Packing for a summer holiday

Our step-by-step guide to packing for an enjoyable – and lightweight – trip


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Summer holidays are an occasion to kick back and relax and not think too much about anything. One of the best things about summer travel is that it generally involves packing light – no heavy sweaters or coats but instead a good combination of interchangeable staples and essentials.

But knowing what to take is only half the battle. Packing to maximise space and not succumbing to the urge to over-pack takes a little forethought, self-restraint and sartorial editing. 

Lay it all out

Whether it’s a weekend in Byron Bay or a week in the Bahamas, putting all your clothes out on the bed before packing allows you to take stock of what you’re taking.

It also allows you, if you’re so inclined, to pre-style your outfits. This might sound particularly fussy, but it can also prevent doubling-up on items such as denim and shorts. A lot of space and luggage allowance can be saved by spotting identical, thus redundant, garments. Besides, depending on your destination, the bulk of a summer getaway is generally spent relaxing waterside, which means your go-to daily outfit is going to be bathers and sunblock.

Roll, not fold

Once you’ve got your summer wardrobe sorted, it’s time to actually pack it. Packing your clothes by folding is second nature to most of us, but it also guarantees that everything will have creases by the time you arrive at your destination. Instead, individually roll your garments.

Rolling will not only decrease the chances of crinkled clothing on arrival, but also creates a more compact, space-friendly bag which means you can pack a little more if you absolutely must.

Keep sturdier items like jeans or shorts at the bottom and lighter delicates at the top and save space by storing things like socks, underwear and even belts on the side of shoes.

The right bag

It would be remiss to discuss the art of packing without touching on the very thing that can make or break the entire process: the bag.

Whether a casual duffle or more structured carry-on, your bag should have at least one separate compartment for footwear to keep your shoes away from your clothes. If it doesn’t, cotton shoe bags will help keep dirt from the soles of your footwear away from your clothes.

Tips for packing for a summer getaway

Lastly, there are some key points to remember when packing clothes for travel regardless of destination:

  • Always check the weather before you travel. Is there a surprise cold snap on its way? Or a heatwave? This will impact what clothes you need to take.

  • Minimise your grooming – most hotels have essentials such as hairdryers.

  • Leave room for some for the inevitable purchases for family, friends or even yourself.

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