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How to Plan Your Travel Outfits

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How to Plan Your Travel Outfits

Planning your travel outfits ahead of time is super necessary if you want to save yourself time, money, and stress.

I’m sure many of you are just as bad as I am when it comes to overpacking unnecessary things and under-packing things you didn’t know you needed.

The first time I visited Iceland, I didn’t pack enough warm socks so I had to layer clean, thin socks under my wet, dirty warm socks (lol #glamlife).

During an extremely hot summer in Montreal, I packed way too many mini dresses and ended up having to purchase Bixi bike-appropriate clothing while we were there.

Moral of the story is to always plan out your outfits ahead of time for any possible situations.

Even if it’s just a plain tee and denim shorts, life is so much easier if you plan your travel outfits ahead of time.

This way, you won’t be panicking every morning while you’re on vacation trying to figure out what to wear!

Here are my tips on how to plan and pack your travel outfits for a vacation.


Quidi Vidi, St. John's, Newfoundland

1. Consider the weather of your destination

This one may be a given, but it’s easy to forget.

I definitely could’ve skipped on packing pants for Hawaii, and I definitely should’ve packed more cold weather clothing for Iceland.

If you’re going somewhere warm, you’ll want to wear as little clothing as possible, or at least as light clothing as possible.

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The Ultimate 7 Day Iceland Itinerary

If you’re going somewhere cold, you’ll probably be wearing a coat over all of your outfits.

As much as you might really want to wear a certain outfit at your destination, if you’re going to be picking your sweaty wedgie or shivering in your lack of clothing, it ain’t worth it.


Ziplining at Kualoa Ranch in Oahu, Hawaii

2. Plan outfits around activities

Will you be spending a lot of time walking around a city?

You’ll probably want to wear a comfortable pair of sneakers that’ll match the rest of your outfits.

Are you going to be doing a strenuous hike up a mountain?

You’ll want to pack athletic wear and hiking shoes so that you won’t have to worry about being uncomfortable while hiking.

It’s super helpful to plan outfits around the different activities you plan on doing during your trip, so you won’t have to buy something last minute while you’re there!


What to pack and what to wear in Hawaii's hot weather! We spent 10 days in sunny Oahu, and I've included photos of all the outfits I wore during our vacation.

3. Choose a colour palette

If you want your Instagram feed to look ~cohesive~, you’ll want to pick a particular colour palette for your outfits.

For a trip to Paris, I’d probably wear more neutral colours to go with all the historic architecture.

For a trip to Morocco, I’d probably go with more bright colours that match the colours of the buildings.

When I went to Hawaii, my colour palette was pink and green to match the architecture!

For inspiration, look up the geolocation of your destination on Instagram and see what other people are wearing there!


Búðakirkja Black Church, Iceland
I packed this outfit just to get this photo and didn’t actually wear it because Iceland is freezing even during the summer.

4. Pack outfits you’d actually wear

Okay, so maybe that flowy dress will look adorable on the ‘Gram, but it ain’t going to be efficient when you’re trekking through a forest.

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If you’re going to be comfortable, then by all means, wear whatever the heck you want.

But if you want to pack efficiently, pack clothing that you’ll actually wear on the trip – not just outfits that’ll look good on your Instagram feed!

When it comes to travel, I’m definitely more of a function over fashion kinda gal.

You can still look cute while being comfortable! 😉


Lunenberg, Nova Scotia

5. Write a list of your outfits

I always write a packing list for my trips, which includes the clothing I plan on bringing.

I typically like to write and plan out my travel outfits out in the Notes app on my phone, and I separate them by the day.

It’s best to start by figuring out any outfits you’d like to wear during the trip, then adding the specific clothing pieces to your packing list.


Outfit planning for your travel itinerary

6. Take photos of you wearing the outfits

Ever put together an outfit idea in your head, tried it on, and decided maybe it wasn’t something you’d wear in public?

Once you’ve planned all your outfits, try them on and snap a mirror pic to see how it actually looks!

This also helps visually for when you’re deciding which outfit to wear each day while you’re on vacation.


Queen's University Belfast, Ireland

7. Pack staple clothing pieces to mix and match

Sure, you could pack 7 pretty dresses for a 7 day vacation.

However, you may have a hard time stuffing all your dresses into your carry-on.

To make packing more efficient (and save space in your luggage), you should re-wear clothing pieces multiple times if possible.

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The Ultimate 2 Week Iceland Itinerary

For example, you can just pack a single pair of denim shorts or jeans for a week-long trip!

It’s not always possible (aka if your clothes get drenched in sweat or ocean water), so it’s also worth packing some extra clothes just in case.

If your Airbnb has a laundry machine, even better!

When it comes to packing clothing to mix and match, you’ll want to pack basics like neutral t-shirts and simple pants.

However, even a more statement piece like a floral maxi can be worn with a simple white t-shirt, strapless crop top, and bright coloured off-the-shoulder top!


Anne's Lane in Dublin, Ireland

8. Spice it up with accessories

A plain tee and jeans every single day can be a bit boring, so spice it up with some fun accessories.

Wear a neck scarf and aviators one day, then tie your hair up and wear a plaid shirt around your waist another day.

Even just switching up your jewelry can make a difference – pack a mix of simple and statement jewelry!


Carry-on travel essentials that you probably didn't know you needed to pack.

9. Roll your clothes and use packing cubes

How to make packing clothes for your trip more efficient?

Roll your clothes (instead of folding them) and use packing cubes (instead of just stuffing them into your luggage).

Rolling your clothing will give you more space than folding, so you can either make room for more clothes or more necessities.

While packing cubes may seem like an unnecessary expensive, they make packing so much easier.

You can sort your t-shirts from your underwear so that you know exactly where everything is!

Plus, packing cubes help to keep everything organized.

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Banff, Alberta

10. Wear your bulkiest clothing pieces to the airport

Got some bulky clothing pieces that won’t fit into your luggage, or take up a large amount of it?

Throw it on and wear it to the airport instead.

As annoying as it is to wear a bulky down jacket and heavy winter boots on the plane, it beats having to stuff it into luggage and cry when it doesn’t fit.

Another hack is tying an extra sweater or shirt around your waist!


How to plan your travel outfits:

  1. Consider the weather of your destination
  2. Plan outfits around activities
  3. Choose a colour palette
  4. Write a list of your outfits
  5. Take photos of you wearing the outfits
  6. Pack outfits you’d actually wear
  7. Pack staple clothing pieces to mix and match
  8. Spice it up with accessories
  9. Roll your clothes and use packing cubes
  10. Wear your bulkiest clothing pieces to the airport

I always plan my outfits for trips ahead of time so I don’t have to worry about it each morning.

And, so I can plan my Instagram photos ahead of time 😛

Do you like to plan your travel outfits before a trip? Do you have a go-to travel wardrobe? I’d love to know in the comments!

Planning your next trip? Check out my other posts on travel tips:

Be sure to keep up with me on InstagramTwitter, Facebook, and Pinterest if you aren’t already!

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The Ultimate Carry-On Packing List

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Jessica Lam | Toronto lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and travel blogger | Diary of a Toronto Girl, a Canadian lifestyle blog

Planning an upcoming vacation? Here's your ultimate guide on how to pack outfits for your trip, including tips for packing and how to put together a capsule travel wardrobe!

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