Recently my husband and I discovered that going on a cruise is not as expensive as you might think, and thus within our realm of possibility before retirement. Like way before retirement. We started planning a cruise getaway for THIS YEAR, with two of my sibs and their spouses. UNTIL. I read the words “pregnant women over 24 weeks gestation are not allowed on this cruise.” Whether they have the mother and baby’s safety in view, are concerned with her level of food intake at the buffet or simply didn’t want to confuse the whale watchers, our target cruise line wished the pregnant ladies to stay at home, rubbing their bellies. Turns out, most cruise lines hold the same rule.
Only depressed for 2 minutes at the stump in our vacation plans, we quickly began planning an alternative getaway. Something local that didn’t require getting on a ship. Kyle and I had gotten away to Whister, British Columbia last summer for our 5th wedding anniversary and simply ADORED it.
So we booked a condo, pitched it to the sibs, and started planning. Not necessarily in that order. There was one range of dates that worked for everyone’s busy schedules (we’ve got an engineer, a fire fighter, a marketer, and a student midwife in the mix): August 31-Sept 3. When it came time to pack (i.e. a few hours before leaving), this very pregnant lady needed to decide what to take in the little duffel bag her husband provided. The weather forecast was cloudy with rain and breaks of sun possible throughout. And fewer clothes from my regular maternity capsule were fitting anymore.
The task appeared tricky. But here’s how I broke it down to create a very flexible mini travel capsule for shifting summer/fall weather.
The Whistler Sliding Center in Canada, where the 2010 Winter Olympics were held.
Before You Start Packing
Love what you have in your wardrobe? If so, then skip this section and jump to “How to Pack.”
Aren’t happy with the clothing options in your closet? Keep reading this section.
If you feel overwhelmed by the thought of packing, it might not be because you don’t know what to put in your luggage.
It might be that you don’t feel you have any suitable to wear in the first place!
This is a problem with the clothes you own, not with knowing how to pack.
Customers of our style guides have found that once they actually refresh their wardrobes with the right pieces, packing becomes a breeze!
So before you even think about what you’ll take on your trip, download our capsule wardrobe checklist to make sure you’ve got the basics.
Download the capsule wardrobe checklist you need based on your upcoming trip
I design each wardrobe checklist to help you buy pieces that mix and match with what you already have.
Need a casual wardrobe? (at home, leisurely vacations, etc) Download this checklist.
Need a business casual wardrobe? (office setting, meetings, business events) Download this checklist.
How to Pack a Simple but Flexible Travel Capsule Wardrobe
Whether or not you’re a mom, these steps will help you have fun while you plan and be proud of your finished result!
#1 Write down how many days you’ll be away
Don’t forget travel days!
#2 Check the forecast
Write down the 2-3 types of weather you might encounter.
#3 Write down the activities you will be enjoying
Make note of:
- Travel days (road tripping? flying?)
- Dressy events (dinner out, a concert)
- Casual/comfortable events (a day at an amusement park, an afternoon at the beach)
- Active events (working out, hiking, long walks)
- Work events (business casual or business formal)
#4 Choose clothing pieces
Take each category of clothes (like tops and bottoms) and find 1-2 items from your wardrobe that you love. One should be warmer (or cooler) than the other. The categories are: Tops, Bottoms, Completer Pieces, Dresses. Of course, you may skip the dresses. It’s your preference.
Here are some tips for choosing your pieces:
- Choose neutral colors for most items, and add color with 1-2 items.
- Try to pick tops and bottoms that are 100% interchangeable (each top can be worn with each bottom for high mix and match opportunity). If you’re taking a casual dress, choose one that can be worn with one of the tops over it, and with at least one of the completer pieces.
- Pick shoes based on planned activities.
- Choose accessories. Depending on weather and outfits you want to create, this might include a scarf, a belt, a hat, special purse/bag, and jewelry. For jewelry, I recommend 1-2 necklaces (think about the necklines on your tops), 1-2 bracelets, and one pair of classic earrings (such as pearl or diamond studs).
- Add underwear and pajamas.
- You can download the free checklist below for planning your getaway wardrobe by clicking the button below. (It can be filled out as a PDF on your computer or in print.)
Missing some items of clothing that you’ll need?
I almost always need to order a couple of items to fill in gaps when I travel.
Sometimes I just want something new to wear on vacation.
Sometimes I’m traveling to a very different climate and need specific pieces I don’t already own.
As you have thought about the weather + the events you’ll participate in, use the back of your packing printable (download below) to write down what you might need to buy.
Go online and get those items ordered! I love shopping on Amazon because items ship fast and most can be returned for free. This allows me to get several options in various sizes at my doorstep within a couple of days and return unwanted items for free.
Some quick tips for shopping for clothes on Amazon
After using the search bar on Amazon, filter the results by “womens fashion” and by “4+ star” ratings. I also like to filter by “Amazon Fashion: Our Brands” because Amazon’s own brands have always been excellent quality.
Then read reviews and verify free shipping is available before you add something to your cart.
Get items in a couple of sizes since you’ll be able to easily ship back what doesn’t fit.
#5 Plan a few outfits
Create your own outfit planner, so to speak.
One by one, take each top from the pieces you chose and see how many of the bottoms it combines with. Write those outfit formulas down in the Outfit Planner (download below).
Do the same with your dresses… what completer pieces does it combine with? Write those down in the Outfit Planner.
Tuck the list into your luggage.
Download the free worksheet to make these steps a breeze!
Example of Mini Capsule Wardrobe for Summer/Fall
What I packed for our getaway to Whistler, British Columbia.
Dates: August 31-Sept 3
Nights away: 3 nights, 4 days
Weather forecast: 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit, Cloudy, Rainy, Breaks of sun
Events/Activities: Road trip, Casual dinner out, Hike, Walks in village/touring, Pool
Not pictured: Swim suit, sneakers (for hike), unmentionables, pajamas
Outfits: 7 outfit combinations
(much more than I needed, but it was nice to have options!)
Now it’s your turn…Download your planning printable
Then start planning your next simple travel wardrobe! Just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s boring! It’s all about picking the right pieces to create ultimate flexibility!
This PDF is interactive and can either be filled out electronically or printed and filled out by hand.
Are you looking forward to any trips in the next few months? Share with me in the comments below! And don’t forget to download your checklist to have handy when it’s time to pack.