Holiday Travel Style Guide

The holidays are officially a week away! With events and family gathering quickly upon us, the airports will be bustling and the highways will be bumper to bumper with all of the holiday travelers trying to make it to their destinations in time. This year, I will be among those travelers! My husband and I are flying home from Knoxville to Detroit next weekend to spend the holidays with my family and in-laws. With icy and snowy runways all over the country, I have my fingers crossed in hopes of an on-time departure.

Traveling always raises the question of what should I pack to wear? Whenever I am packing for trip, I am very guilty of over-packing (I’m sure many of you, fellow fashionistas, can relate!). Everything that I think I may need ends up in my suitcase. If there is a 5% chance it could be useful, I pack it. My suitcase is always bursting at seams with enough clothes to last a month and it’ s only a five day trip! I start out with just five complete outfits packed in my suitcase, but before I know it, I have a third jacket, rain boots, four extra pairs of pajamas, 20 bottles of nail polish, more jewelry than I can wear, and a sequin dress (because you never know when a glamorous occasion might arise). Once I return home from my trip, I unpack item after item that was unworn or unused and wonder what I was thinking when I insisted on packing it in the first place.

The holiday season makes over-packing an even larger issue because you are most likely also transporting Christmas gifts in your luggage! If you pack too many clothes and fashion items, there is no way you will be able to fit in all of the Christmas presents for your family and friends. I know what you’re thinking… what if I l”accidentally” forgot a few gifts? Then you would definitely have enough room for the 2 extra sweaters and all the makeup you really wanted to fit in your suitcase.  No way! You already bought the gifts. There must be a better way to pack everything you will need and still have enough space for all of the gifts.

In order to keep your luggage light and avoid over-packing, every item you put in your suitcase should have a identifiable purpose. What you need to pack varies depending on the destination and length of time spent there, but there are several things to keep in mind in order to avoid packing extra things and breaking your back hauling unneeded items. Here are a list of questions to ask yourself before you pack something into your suitcase for this holiday travel season.


Can I wear it more than once? Focus on items that are versatile and be worn more than once over the course of the trip. Simple basics that can be mixed and matched easily to create multiple outfits. Some examples include plain tee-shirts, dark bottoms, a casual dress that can be easily dressed up or down for any occasion.

What is the fiber content of the clothing? Try to pick breathable, comfortable fabrics, such as cotton. Also, consider packing knits or clothing with spandex in the fabric because they are less likely to wrinkle after being stuffed at the bottom of your bag for several days straight.

Is it appropriate for the weather? Check the expected weather forecast for your destination and pack appropriately. If you are unsure of what the conditions will be like, pack items that are good for layering. This way, no matter what the weather ends up being, you are comfortable. For example, pack a light weight jacket or hoodie that can be worn over t-shirts and add warmth.

Does it follow the rule of 3? Pack accessory items in groups of three. For example, when packing shoes, you may pack one casual shoe, one dressy shoe, and one practical shoe. This will force you to limit the number of similar items.

Does it take up a lot of space? Instead of a heavy, bulky winter coat, consider bringing several layers to stay warm and save the space. Instead of a long maxi dress with a lot of fabric, save space by packing another alternative that is less cumbersome.

Will I wear it? More often than not, you pack clothing that never gets worn. This could be for any number of reasons including it was not appropriate for the weather, occasion or your mood that day. Before allowing it to take up extra space in your suitcase for the whole duration of the trip, ask yourself if you honestly picture yourself wearing it.

Is it a necessity? It seems like the most obvious question, but is one that is often overlooked. For example, do you actually need a jacket in the Caribbean? Yes, it does fit the above specifications, but it probably isn’t at the top of the list of important items to pack for the destination.

Were you able to answer yes to this questions? Anything that doesn’t fit this criteria, should be put back on a hanger and tucked away for another time. After determining what items to pack and what items to put back in your closet, here are some other tips for traveling light and making the most of the small space that you have.

  1. Roll soft garments such as underwear, camisoles, yoga pants, pajamas, etc.
  2. Fold stiff garments to avoid wrinkling them. and lay them in layers across the suitcase.
  3. Pack the clothes you expect to wear first on the top. I always pack pajamas on the very top layer because they are likely the first thing I will need to wear after arriving at my destination. Also put dressy garments or items more likely to wrinkle towards the top.
  4. Pack the heaviest, bulkiest items at the bottom, such as coats and packages.
  5. Use the inside of your shoes as storage for small items, such as socks, toiletries , or small gifts.
  6. Use your clothing to wrap around fragile items to avoid things breaking in transport. This is a great suggestion for Christmas ornaments and similar fragile items.


After reviewing those tips and tricks for packing smart this holiday travel season, I know I will be ready for my upcoming trip! I am looking forward to spending time with my family and friends this holiday! What are your plans for the holidays?

Stay tuned for my tutorial this week on sketching sequins soon to come on Tuesday!

Until next time,