Planning a weekend or longer escape? My tips for what to pack for an autumn escape are adaptable for any destination in Australia and New Zealand.
The weather plays the biggest part in planning what you’re going to pack for an autumn escape because more than any other time of year the temperatures and conditions can be so variable. AND. When you take in all corners of Australia, there are huge variations in what you might experience. On any one day at this time of year, you might be travelling somewhere where the days a tropical and balmy while another person will be rugging up to stay warm because it’s snowing.
And now that the Australia-New Zealand travel bubble is happening (hip hip hooray), that includes destinations across the ditch too. No matter whether you’re taking a weekend trip to Sydney to see Hamilton, a Queenstown winery escape or a week cruising in the Whitsundays, my packing tips remain the same.
Watch my IGTV video where I talk you through my packing and planning process.
The full list of my tips can be found in my Confessions of a Reformed Over-Packer e-book (now free to download HERE). If you follow just a few of these tips – especially those listed below, then you’ll avoid the overwhelm that can happen when deciding what’s going to make it into your luggage.
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 – hang up on a rack. 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. Autumn is all about layers. Yes, even a south-east Queensland autumn beach holiday will have you reaching for layers each afternoon. And you’ll need to peel them off each morning. Never underestimate the versatility of jacket or coat that can be worn with multiple outfits. And thermals and puffer jackets 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 three 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.
Add in activewear, swimsuits, raincoats and/or umbrellas, pyjamas and underwear to suit your planned escape.
What to pack for an autumn escape – city
Exploring a new city can be a whole lot of fun. Think about what you want to do in that city before you pack so you have the right mix of casual and dressy clothes, should you want to go to a show or out to dinner as well as sightseeing.
1. Spell gown | 2. Styling You The Label shirt dress | 3. Bohemian Traders tee | 4. Boho Bird blouse | 5. Will and Bear hat | 6. Add to Cart scarf | 7. Decjuba jeans | 8. Styling You the Label ponte joggy pant | 9. FRANKiE4 Footwear boots | 10. FRANKiE4 Footwear sneakers | 11. Bande leather jacket (what I’m wearing in the video) | 12. Boho Bird knit
What to pack for an autumn escape – country
Light that fire and cosy up after long walks at a rural or hinterland destination. The appeal for doing such a trip at this time of year is high.
1. Bohemian Traders dress | 2. Decjuba puffer coat | 3. Spell tee | 4. Styling You The Label long-sleeve tee | 5. Fallen Broken Street hat (via Ada and Lou) | 6. Add to Cart scarf | 7. Decjuba jeans | 8. FRANKiE4 Footwear boots | 9. FRANKiE4 Footwear sneakers | 11. Decjuba rib tee | 12. Bohemian Traders cardi
What to pack for an autumn escape – beach
Depending on where your beach destination is located, you might still be packing summer items. For a visit to south-east Queensland beaches over the next few months into winter, still pack light layers for when the sun goes down.
1. Bohemian Traders dress | 2. Styling You The Label shirt dress | 3. Betty Basics long-sleeve tee (via Birdsnest) | 4. Styling You the Label tee | 5. Will and Bear hat | 6. Add to Cart scarf | 7. Bohemian Traders slim mum jeans | 8. Styling You The Label cropped pant | 9. FRANKiE4 footwear sneakers | 10. FRANKiE4 Footwear slides | 11. Indigo Tonic denim jacket (via Birdsnest) | 12. Boho Bird knit
This post contains affiliate links. If you buy after clicking through to a website, I may receive a small commission. You’ll not pay any extra.