How To Pack a Suitcase: 3 Easy Steps To Perfect Packing

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Guest Posts, Shopping, UK Staycation, Women of the world, Worldwide Vacation



Do you love holidays but hate packing? Guest blogger and super-stylist Ruth Keel shows you how to pack a suitcase like a pro and look super-stylish on holiday!

We’ve all been there. Busy day at work, rush home to pack – you think you’ll pack the suitcase in 2 hours but you’re still at it at 2am for a 5am flight. Panic stations!  Everything gets chucked in but you still have nothing you want to wear when you get there.

On my first foreign holiday to the Balearics aged 17 with my best friend I took 24 pairs of strappy shoes. For a 14 day holiday! Yes, I know, ridiculous! I never made that mistake again.

This type of packing is a recipe for mismatched mayhem and a grumpy start to the holiday so let’s create some calm.

I’m here to give some foolproof packing tips on how to pack a suitcase perfectly, yet painlessly!

Step 1: Remember The 5 Golden Rules:

1)      You always need less than you think; if in doubt leave it at home. Your clothes won’t thank you for being taken half way across the world and flown back again.

2)      You may (ok, let’s be realistic girls – you will) buy clothes and accessories when you are away.

3)      You will probably wear your favourite things twice. Two words: travel wash.

4)      Radical I know but the suitcase does not need to be full! If it was 10ft. by 20ft., you’d still fill it, so pack based on the length of the trip, not the size of the suitcase!

5)    A good mantra is ‘Be free of your 9-5 and wear things that make your feel vibrant and alive’. Ditch the black and leave it at home!

Step 2: Choose A Colour Palette

The most important thing to do is decide on your holiday colour palette. A colour palette is a selection of colours that go with each other and tie your look together. Here are some examples. Which one do you like?

Tribal: Oranges, greens, browns, gelds, okra, reds, sand.

Nautical : Navy blue, white and red (or substitute red for hot pink for a twist)

Jewels: Emerald green, ruby, sapphire, burgundy, gold, burnt orange, citrine.

Pastels: Peach, dusky pink, taupe, white, lemon, baby pink, baby blue.

Spice Colours: Paprika, turmeric, cinnamon, warm ginger, cumin, chilli.

Warm Matches  Teal and purple, rich red and mustard yellow or orange and electric blue.


You may notice that the majority of your wardrobe already fits into one of these palate themes and once you’ve decided on the colour palate the rest is easy peasy. You just pick clothes that go with that theme and then all your clothes will match and you won’t be left with 7 odd things that don’t match with anything else.

To the left is a good example for a summery city break. Great colours. Little bit nautical with some splashes of pastel colour thrown in.



Step 3: Follow My Fail-safe Summer Holiday Packing List:

  • 1-2 pairs of glamorous shoes, one pair of flats, one pair of shoes for exploring or walking around cities or up hills and a pair of flip flops.
  • 2/3 bikinis or swimsuits. More is just overkill.
  • 3 lovely dresses to show off your tan or light summer trousers and smart tops if you don’t do dresses.
  • 1 pair of light weight jeans or linen trousers.
  • One light cardigan, jacket or fine knit jumper ( for chilly evenings)
  • 3 big scarves/ sarongs ( think Pashmina  size) These can be used as sarongs, as arm coverings to keep you warm on flights, as scarves for chilly evenings and on the beach lounger as a pillow.
  • 2 tops to interchange with trousers – one smart, one casual.
  • One summery skirt.
  • Jewellery to change the look of each outfit.
  • 3 funky belts to dress things up.

and very importantly:

  • The Wild Card – One outfit that feels really holiday special – if you can’t wear it on holiday, when can you?
Packing a suitcase like a pro

Laying everything out on the bed helps you to pack light

Now lay out everything you are planning to take on the bed. It saves you forgetting anything and helps you see if you are taking too much. You can you see how the colours all work together in harmony and you can see what outfits you can put together while you’re away. Panic over!

So, Happy Holidays! Don’t forget the factor 15 – and remember what looks good on holiday often looks very odd at home, so don’t buy too many sparkly belly dancing tops or saris  but have fun wearing them whilst you’re away!

What are your packing issues and dilemmas? Feel free to leave a comment!


Ruth helps busy mums look and feel great

Ruth helps busy mums look and feel great



Ruth is a super-stylist for busy mums. Her personal styling service empowers women and gives them the confidence boost they need to feel good about themselves again, tackling the issue that mums have of feeling they have nothing to wear. Happy Mums = Happy Children.

To get loads of free styling tips for busy mums go to and sign up on the first page. 

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  • Rachel

    This totally worked! Was dreading packing for my 3 week trip to South East Asia but picking a colour palette made things much simpler. I actually wore everything I took which is a first!

  • Kknight

    What a excellent post – I hate packing for holidays! Like most I always over pack and take things I don’t wear or need!! Also I always stack my clothes when packing but next time I am going to lay them out on the bed and see what I have. I always really like the colour matching you mentioned, about making your outfits interchangeable! Thanks!

    • savoirthere

      I’m glad you both found the post so useful – I agree laying your clothes out on the bed is a brilliant trick for making sure you’ve got a selection of items that work together, meaning you’re far more likely to wear everything. My favourite quote is “Radical I know but the suitcase does not need to be full!” This has become my mantra!

  • Sarah

    Great post! I also try and roll my clothes to try and avoid creases. Another thing I do is I wear the heaviest/bulkiest clothes onto the plane. It’s usually cold on there anyway.


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