Hip, hip hooray, not only can we plan trips away, we can start planning what to pack for a winter weekend escape. Or, dare I say it, an extended holiday somewhere that’s not at our homes.
Sure, international travel is off the cards and not all borders are open but we are free to travel within our own states and that makes me very happy. And it will certainly make tourism operators who’ve been hit hard by the shutdowns very, very happy.
Another upside of this time (I’m constantly looking for them!) is that I’ve been looking at Queensland travel destinations through the eyes of the international tourists and travellers who cannot visit them. I think I’m guilty of getting caught up in the idea that we’ve got to fly half way around the world to experience something really amazing. We have so much on offer here – and often within driving distance of our own homes.
This whole idea of re-emerging after hibernation is also something I’m very much looking forward to. I’m in need of some down-time. I’ve been lucky to keep working through this period but running a business – and keeping it going – has been stressful. The first month I felt like I was running on adrenaline alone and would collapse each night exhausted. I know I’m not alone and I also know there are people and situations worse than mine but I’m glad we had this annual leave booked long before COVID showed up.
We usually take a break mid-year but strangely (for me The Planner), I didn’t have a destination booked. I’m glad. In January I could not have known how much I’d want to spend time at the beach – simply because we weren’t able to for so long. And I might not have booked a beach holiday because it’s not something we’d traditionally do in winter.
Next week we’re off to Noosa for some of that longed-for vitamin sea, staying in the same accommodation that we had to cancel at Easter.
It’s been so long since I’ve had to pack so much as an overnight bag, so I’m relishing dusting off my packing skills.
Noosa will be mild, weather wise, in terms of a winter escape. That will not be the case in other parts of Australia, so I’ve put together two mini capsules to potentially suit.
When it comes to any kind of packing for trips, there are a number of key things I always suggest (full list in my e-book). If you follow just a few of these tips, then you’ll avoid the overwhelm that can happen when deciding what’s going to make it into your luggage.
What to pack for a winter weekend escape
1. Track the weather at your destination. Do this in the weeks leading up to and then track it more closely nearer to the planned escape. I do this to work out how warm or cold it will be, so that I pack the right types of clothes.
2. Think about what activities you might do while away. What you pack will be very different if you’re planning to do not much at all, go out at night, do long walks etc.
3. For a weekend escape, plan out an outfit for each day/night. I start by making a list – usually on my phone – and then I put the clothes out on our bed. This visual gives me an idea of whether it’s too much or not enough. And if it’s a longer stay, I can see at a glance if I have included pieces that work back with each other, giving me more outfit combinations to keep things fresh.
4. Winter is all about layers. Yes, even a Queensland winter beach holiday will have you reaching for layers each afternoon. And you’ll need to peel them off each morning. My southern Style Sisters will start with our Queensland morning layers and add more if venturing outside. Never underestimate the versatility of jacket or coat that can be worn with multiple outfits. And thermals are always a good idea – they take up next to no room but can make the difference between being able to wear an outfit or not due to the cold.
5. Driving escapes equals zero luggage restrictions. Well, in theory. Anyone else have childhood memories of the family car being back around you? No need for a neck cushion because you couldn’t move your neck – or any part of your body. HAH. What I don’t worry about so much is putting everything into one suitcase. For a weekend, I’ll maybe take two overnight bags and leave any crushable clothes hanging.
Creating a packing capsule
The main idea of creating a capsule is that you pack items that mostly work back with each other, so you have options to change up your outfits. To get the most out of what I pack, I stick to a neutral colour base and add in accent colours to suit the time of year, the destination or simply my personal preference. Think about what colours you want to make sure you pack and work your neutrals back from there.
I’ve included two packing capsules below but you can deep dive on my blog for lots of packing guides. Use them as complete road maps – or a starting point – to your packing efforts. The exact pieces might not be to your style – or available to buy – but you can substitute in similar from your wardrobe.
Mild winter weekend escape capsule
If you are heading to the beach, add in a swimsuit if you dare. I doubt I’ll go swimming but I will pack mine to sit on the beach. I love this time of year when I can slap on my SPF50+ and sit for hours without burning. I’ll also pack activewear. I love exercising when you don’t feel like a sweaty mess in five minutes.
1. Midi dress
3. Graphic tee
6. Denim jeans
7. Jogger pants
8. Denim shorts
9. Denim jacket
10. Longline cardi
Cold winter weekend escape capsule
Most accommodation in colder destinations will most probably be equipped for the cold with heating and/or a fireplace. It’s when you head outside that you’ll need to be prepared. A weekend away is ideal for trotting out a statement coat but you could substitute a long puffer coat.
1. Knit dress
6. Denim jeans
7. Black jeans
So, are you planning an escape soon? Tell me where?
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