Whether you are a fan of the stay-cation and travelling around the UK to various towns, cities and villages or perhaps you’re going further afield to somewhere abroad with a sunnier climate, having a travel capsule wardrobe will keep your luggage as light and easy as possible.
Think pairing country clothing classics with summer essentials to find the perfect mix between country staples and beach chic. Mixing comfortable items with trend pieces mean you’ll always be in fashion, at home or abroad!
First of all, think of the activities you’ll be doing on your holiday. If you plan to sit on a beach or by the pool for an entire week, you probably won’t need a strong pair of walking boots. However, if you’re going camping or expect to do a lot of walking or hiking, you should definitely travel in a pair. Similarly, don’t pack swimwear or shorts if you’re going on a UK cottage holiday in the middle of winter.
The key is to over pack and then remove some items. Don’t wear items that you’ve never worn before because they will return home with the labels still attached. Wear clothing that you love and feel comfortable in.
We’ve created our ultimate packing list that can be perfect for a mixture of holiday types. Add in extra items and take away from our list by all means but we’ve added in the basics, which are suitable for most holidays.
Flowy blouse – Whether it’s short sleeves or long, a flowy, floaty blouse is the perfect starter point for any summer outfit. A blouse can take you from day to night, simply by adding some accessories and changing your shoes!
Country checked shirt – Another top-half option that you can dress up or down. You can even wear a vest or camisole underneath and leave it open as a thin, outer layer for beach vacations. Opt for a pretty, pastel colours that will match the rest of your wardrobe.
Classic striped Breton top – Stripes never go out of style so you should always have a couple of options in your wardrobe anyway! Depending on the time of year or type of holiday it is, you can go for short sleeves, long sleeves or somewhere in between. Go classic with white and a bright colour for a summery feel or stick with classic navy and white instead.
Casual dress – Finding the perfect casual dress can be tricky but when you do, it can cover you for all seasons. Picking a darker colour that is not black can add some colour to your wardrobe and takes you from daytime to evening by switching flats for heels or fancy sandals.
Fleece jacket or gilet – Even if you’re on a beach holiday abroad, you might need an extra layer for night-time. A fleece can be the perfect thin layer for chilly, casual evenings, whether it’s a gilet or jacket style.
Waterproof jacket – Especially if you’re going on a UK stay-cation, a waterproof jacket is a necessity, whether you’re away in July or November. You might prefer a lighter, cag-in-a-bag style during the summer if it is a little warmer or a thicker version if there’s due to be a lot of wind and rain during your holiday. Always check the weather before you travel, just in case!
Skinny jeans – Skinny jeans are a staple for any country lady’s wardrobe, whether at home or away. Whilst dark washes, such as indigo or black, are the most flattering, bright colours and light wash denim look great during the warmer months, especially against a holiday tan!
Loafers or deck shoes – Flat, comfortable shoes are essential for all holidays, whether they’re a vacation to warmer climates abroad or a UK city break. Try them in a neutral colour so you can wear them with as many outfits as possible or use your shoes as the trend piece of the outfits in bright colours or patterns.
Canvas trainers – If you prefer a more casual, comfortable shoe, canvas trainers are the way to go. Even better, you can throw these in the washing machine if they get dirty too! Make sure to break them in and wear a few times around the house before going away in them. There’s nothing worse than getting blisters from new shoes when you’re away on holiday!
Small cross body bag – Carrying around a huge bag on holiday is a big no-no, unless it’s a planned excursion and you’re taking a picnic. A smaller bag for essentials is a must-have, ideally with a long strap to wear across the body.
Floaty scarf – If you take plain-coloured clothing in your capsule wardrobe, chances are you’ll need to accessorise it. Whilst jewellery is always an option, it can be difficult to store it in a suitcase. A floaty scarf can be worn so many ways to give a plain T-shirt a lift. You can always tie it to your handbag handles if you prefer!
Hair accessories – Another accessory option is putting something in your hair instead. It can also save you between washes too! Scrunchies and headbands are light enough to take a few options in your luggage and you can take an array of colours and patterns to liven up any outfit!
Country checked shirt – A checked shirt can be worn during the day or night, making it the perfect item for a travel capsule wardrobe. If it’s a summer holiday somewhere hot, wear the shirt open with a vest or T-shirt underneath for a version of a jacket!
Classic polo shirt or crew-neck T-shirt – Simple T-shirts and polo shirts will never go out of style so taking them on holiday won’t be a mistake! Have a selection of colours to hand (brights, pastels and neutrals) so you can mix and match during your trip.
Fleece jacket or gilet – Just like the ladies, it can get chilly on a night so consider taking a fleece jacket or gilet away with you. Try a version that’s thick enough to be a jacket but not too thin that it won’t keep you warm at all!
Waterproof jacket – Always a necessity on UK stay-cations but it can rain abroad sometimes too! Whether you go the lightest style available or a thicker, fleece-lined version, look at the weather before travelling before you decide which option to take!
Chinos or jeans – Even if you’re going to warmer destinations, you should still take one pair of longer trousers. A pair of chinos or straight-leg jeans will always go down well; both types of trousers mix and match well with so many tops and both can be worn on an evening out too.
Loafers or deck shoes – Comfy shoes are a must for any kind of holiday, whether it’s a beach break or a UK city break! Loafers and deck shoes are the perfect option for summertime trips. Choosing a pair in a neutral colour, such as brown or tan, means you have endless outfits to go with them.
Canvas trainers – If you prefer a casual shoe, canvas trainers are an alternative option. These are perfect for day trips where some, but not lots, of walking is required. If you know you’ll be doing more walking than any other activity, get your walking shoes or boots packed as well!
Umbrella – For abroad holidays, you can probably just buy an umbrella whilst you’re away but if you’re staying in the UK, an umbrella is a must. When it rains, it pours and trying to buy an umbrella when you actually need one tends to be a difficult task. Be prepared and leave one in the car or at the bottom of your suitcase, just in case.
Travel mug/water bottle – More cafes and coffee shops are offering free water refills and discounted hot drinks when you take your own flask or bottle with you. You can even take an empty water bottle to the airport with you and fill it once you get past customs.
Belt – A belt can often be the one item you forget when you go on holiday and unless you’re travelling with a friend who’s the same size as you, you probably won’t be able to borrow one from your travelling companion, whether that’s your other half or the kids!
Canvas bag – Canvas bags take up very little room but can also be used to store dirty washing in separately from the rest of your case. They can double up as a day bag for ladies, but equally good for days out or shopping!
Rucksack – There’s nothing worse than having to carry lots of items for an excursion and not being able to carry it all. A rucksack is the best type of bag for a family day out. With the weight spread across your back, it is so much easier to carry! Buy yours in a neutral colour and you can take it in turns as a family to carry it too!
Creating a packing list for yourself will save you so much time on every trip. Of course, some items will vary depending on location and season but most of us take the bulk of our items on every holiday we go on!Clothing should be the easiest of areas to pack yet we all tend to either over pack or forget the simplest items, such as socks or underwear. By developing a travel capsule wardrobe, you’ll always take enough items that will all mix and match. You’ll easily be the best dressed person, couple and family wherever in the world you’ll be visiting.