Vacation Packing Tips from a Pro - URBANETTE: Lifestyle Magazine & Blog


Vacation Packing Tips from a Pro


My upcoming beach getaway marks my 25th destination vacation, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still get stumped when it comes to packing efficiently for whatever a trip might bring. For example, what pieces can take me from beach to tropical safari and dinner??

Vacation Packing Tips from a Pro

Learn to pack like a pro, no matter what your destination

Enter organizational and shopping expert Suzanne Colmer, who helps the elite stay on-trend and streamlined at home and abroad. She breaks down the packing process based on the getaway, and shares her fail-proof tips:

Vacation Packing Tips from a Pro

Suzanne Colmer selecting her client’s must-have pieces


Whether you’re headed to a Caribbean resort or a wild Bali escape, it’s easy to fall into a slump while lounging in the hot sun. The key to staying stylish is to pack glam pieces that will transition from sand to sangrias.

Vacation Packing Tips from a Pro

Stylish beach picks

“Pack a dress that you can throw on over your bathing suit during the day and put a necklace and wedges on at dinner,” suggests Suzanne.


Hiking up to Machu Picchu or discovering the ancient ruins of Cambodia’s Angkor Wat? There’s no reason why you can’t do any exotic trip while still looking Instagram-worthy:

Vacation Packing Tips from a Pro

Stay stylish while exploring ancient ruins

“If you are heading outdoors for an exotic holiday, I suggest bringing pieces that layer well. A cardigan, light coat and scarf are not only functional, they also allow you to look pretty great in a selfie!”


Walking on the cobblestoned streets of your favorite European capital or shopping on 5th Avenue, your city excursion of choice requires a selection of high-fashion pieces. Look up the trends in the city you’re planning to visit so you’ll be as stylish as the locals – when in Rome…

Vacation Packing Tips from a Pro

Pack and dress like the locals

“Big city vacations are my favourite. Depending on where you’re headed you may want to pack a special outfit that only ‘vacation you’ would wear. When I’m in Paris, I wear hats. Barcelona? I wear bright colors. Pack your basics that mix and match well, but also throw in a fantastic outfit for a special night out.”


For a quick bed-and-breakfast trip close to home, you need the essentials plus a little something extra – and as Suzanne points out – all of this can fit into one luxury weekender.

Vacation Packing Tips from a Pro

Weekend packing in one bag

“If you’re just getting away for the weekend you’ll want to pack light. Lay out your three favorite tops and a pair of pants that goes with all of them (or skirt). Now add a few accessories and voilà – you are done!”

Suzanne’s last and most essential packing tip is to plan your en route outfit wisely because what you wear on the plane can lighten your luggage and heighten your style.

“No matter where you’re headed, make sure to wear your jacket on the plane, rather than packing it. And never wear yoga pants – instead put on a pair of pants you’ll actually wear when you get to your destination.”

What are your packing tips? Tell us below!

After obtaining her Honors B.A. and postgraduate journalism degree, Pegah has written and researched for a variety of magazines and newspapers, with celebrities, fashion and travel being her topics of choice. Now settled in Toronto, she has lived in many corners of the world, including the U.S., Switzerland, and Japan. In her spare time, she divides her love unevenly between her poodle, chocolates and shopping.


  1. pasty Clin

    Love this article 🙂 🙂 this article give me lots of ideas for vacation packing. usually i go for vacation i suffer so many problem regaring packing your article help me a lot.

  2. Monika Smith

    Great! article. i will surely apply this when i go for vacation . this is very helpful and useful. thanks for writing this article. good job

  3. Rosemary Robles

    i think i’m going to try this and see how it works, good luck to myself!! lol 😀

  4. Cornelia Green

    Wow Pegah, you did a very thorough job here. This is a great post. I cant believe how much description is in here, really going to help me with packing my things. Bookmarked and will always be using this as a resource whenever i’m going to pack. Thank you very much.

  5. Jenny Garett

    Very helpful post. I have just made a print out of it. So that I can read this comfortably! 🙂

  6. We tour a lot, and when we travel are often are moving from city to city. I use zip lock bags with clothes packed in outfits for days or evenings. Keeps me from having to reorganize my whole suitcase every time we stop in a city. Just did it again this trip (traveling for more than a month) and it worked better than ever. Two sets of shorts and tops with underwear in a gallon bag, or (2 sets) jeans, underwear, socks, top, etc. Casual dresses in one, dressier in another….I take a small spray bottle with a little downy which I fill with water and spray my clothes (if there isn’t an iron or steamer) to help with wrinkles. I roll the zip lock backs to get the air out (you can actually suck out the last bits of air if you want them really flat). Works great! Easy to recognize whats in the bags

  7. Monica CONOVER

    I 100% agree with your tips! Thanks for sharing these amazing tips and tricks.

    I use packing cubes, which are absolutely terrific. They come in various sizes, and I always roll my items and place them into the cube. Also, when you get to your destination, you can just leave many of the items in the cube which fits nicely into a drawer. As I am avid cruiser, this works great for me.

  8. Thank you for such useful tips! I also would like to add if you are going on a longer trip I use the rule of three when packing (I roll and use packing cubes) Pack three tops and three bottoms that all go with each other and get at least 9 differnt looks this is easy using a neutral color or two for slacks and a skirt and 3 tops that go with both. If doing some more formal events add a dressy top or shawl.

  9. These are great tips! I’m packing for my trip to El Nido, Palawan and we’re doing a budget travel ocular for our travel startup.

    One tip I would add: take half as many clothes as you think you’ll need. Stick to a single palette or “color story” so that all your bottoms, all your tops and all your accessories will work together in whichever combination you choose. For most destinations, two pairs of shoes will do: wear your heavier pair on the plane, along with the pair of jeans you’re otherwise going to sneak into the bag.

  10. Camila Hilhorst

    This is the best post on packing I’ve seen! If I may give an adive that would be that, I try to lay out everything I want to pack, including cosmetic bag, etc., then live with it, at home, for the amount of time I’m going to be gone. Anything that doesn’t get used doesn’t go in the suitcase, and it’s an easy way to see if everything fits together. Takes discipline to do this, but it’s a good reality check.

    • That is dedication but if you do it once, you can keep reusing the same things for future trips. Great tip! 🙂

  11. Andrea Mitchell

    Loads of helpful stuff there – thanks! Bookmarking this and will be using a few of these tips for my next trip. 🙂

  12. Danielle Wilson

    Awesome tips! I am leaving for London on Wednesday for two weeks with my school, and these tips will help me pack and lower my anxiety over it! (: Thanks so much for this blog post, I really appreciate it! (:

  13. Lana Urie

    Great tips! This is really going to help me this summer other thing when you make a list make sure you check off the important things first like start off with carry on luggage essentials any way this is my favorite site to go to when I’m having trouble packing oh almost forgot!! make your luggage noticable by putting ribbons and shoelaces so that way you would not have to worry when you get to the airport 😉

  14. Amazing tips, Pegah!

    I like to carry a backpack on the plane for all my stuff. Instead of dealing with a purse AND a backpack, I just put my necessary purse contents (wallet, smartphone, meds, etc.) in the backpack and pack my purse in my suitcase.

  15. Grace Stirling

    i’m really not good when it comes to packing and don’t mind wearing wrinkled clothes,you can say that i’m really lousy. lol xD

  16. Esther Earl Harris

    Thanks for the tips! i will follow these on our next trip. whenever i’m packing my son’s clothes i’m always rolling his clothes instead of folding them to save space and avoid wrinkles. I’ve tried it a lot of times and The rolling method is very easy. I’m always making sure that there’s always a medicine bag in our baggage. i have to agree that you should always bring a jacket with you specially at the airport.

  17. Heather Strobel

    this is really helpful! i’m always stressing out when it comes to sorting and packing.

  18. Hazel Collins

    A really good read and helpful one. also never forget to always bring your money(not extra money) and your id’s with you because they are really essential. Gadgets and devices are the second most important things in your travel, just in case you got lost or you need to contact your friends or loved ones. Never forget to bring medicines like pain relievers with you and it is also important to bring toiletries. It is better to be well-prepared than waiting for the worst to happen and you can’t do anything, right?

  19. Ashley Moore

    Two Thumbs Up! Great Article.i know how hard it is to sort clothes and pack what to bring and leave because i have a lot of clothes. Whether you are planning on travelling locally or internationally it is advisable to travel light. Pack the things that you are really going to use and do not over pack. Don’t carry your entire closet because you are going to travel and not moving out(lol).

  20. Wendy Hearn

    Awesome tips! I am making my plan for London and these tips will help me pack and lower my anxiety over it! (: Thanks so much for this blog post, I really appreciate it! (:

  21. Christine Muchoe

    I always overpack for weekend trips! It’s so hard to decide in advance what I’m going to feel like wearing once I’m there. In reality though, no matter which skirt I brought I’d probably wear it and be fine so there’s really no need to pack 3 different ones. I love the statement piece idea and the dress you can wear to the beach or to dinner. It would really help me save space in my bag!

  22. Totally agree with the scarf thing – I’ve always thought it looks so sophisticated (just not in the evening, because it covers up cleavage, and that’s not nearly as sexy — if you’ve got it — FLAUNT IT!!)

  23. Courtney Watson

    Great tips! For me, “smart packing” is very crucial. If I forget an essential item, I’m left disappointed and I’d be in a hurry to find the nearest (and affordable) store. If I pack too much, I end up disorganized and burdened with heavy bags. Not to mention the “expensive” airline baggage fee that I’d have to suffer.

    This is a really helpful article!

    • Ansley Barrington

      My work requires a lot of travel and yeah, “smart packing” is very important! It’s very hard to be disorganized while traveling!

  24. Is she wearing a kimono robe in the City picture (on a bike)?? That’s fabulous! Where can I get that one, or one like it?

    • Pegah

      Yes! Kimono robes are very on-trend and they’re everywhere from designer brands like Kenzo to everyday brands like H&M and Zara!

  25. I need to get sooooo much better at packing light. I always worry I won’t have what I need, then pile my whole life into my bags. Not the smartest idea, yet I continue to do it. Need to break the cycle of insanity. Hoping this article will finally slay the over-packing dragon in me!!

    • Pegah Aarabi

      I’m the same way, I always over-pack which is why I needed the expert help.

  26. You are a life saver. I am always traveling for different reasons, like over the weekend to a friend’s or across the country. So I keep changing and repacking every now and then. Your tips will help me save a lot of time. Thanks 😀

    • Pegah Aarabi

      Glad the tips can help!

  27. Pegah Aarabi

    Angela – I roll everything – it was a tip I received years ago and I’ve never folded again!!

  28. Pegah Aarabi

    Great suggestion Zenab! Francis, I combined the suggestions and packed a beach to dinner dress with a light cardigan.

  29. I think, for me, the best packing tip I’ve gotten is to roll everything. You’d be amazed how much more stuff fits, and how much less stuff gets wrinkled.

  30. Francis Woods

    You didn’t answer: For example, what pieces can take me from beach to tropical safari and dinner??

  31. “When I’m in Paris, I wear hats. Barcelona? I wear bright colors.” I’d love to read an article about what fashionable items are in style and should be worn in what cities… Accessories or fashion tips that can make you look like a local.

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