The thought of packing for a summer weekend away can be intimidating even if it’s only for a car journey and not a plane trip. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Always pack ahead of time, not at the last minute when you are supposed to be actually getting in the car, this common-sense tip is the one that most frequently skipped by people. I write a list, which helps me organize exactly what I need to take.

Sorting out what you are going to wear each day is a must, then you can select the most versatile items that will take you from morning to evening with maybe only having to change up your accessories or adding a sweater or scarf. While there may not be much overlap between your poolside bikini and your out for dinner clothes, there are accessories and makeup products that will easily do double duty. And by writing it all down you will focused on the items you NEED, not the items you may think you NEED.

Depending on your destination, even during the summer, 2 seasons in one day are possible so I always pack a spare set of jeans & sweater or denim jacket and pashmina just in case. Don’t forget an umbrella and have 1 pair of shoes which are wet weather appropriate.

This weekend sees us heading to Blue Mountain for 3 full days and 2 nights, so my list looks like this

2 Pairs of Jeans – 1 white, 1 blue denim
(depending on my mood or the weather these can be dressed up or down for day or evening with heels)

2 T-shirts, 1 Basic Tank Top, 1 Tunic Top, 1 Sparkly Tank

2 Pairs of Shorts

1 Lightweight Sweater

2 Lightweight Sundresses – 1 black midi length, 1 multi coloured maxi ankle length
(depending on my mood or the weather these can be dressed up or down for day or evening)

1 Swimsuit, Sarong or Cover Up

2 Workout/Exercise outfits

Lounging & Sleeping outfit

2 Scarves/Pashminas, 1 Pair of Sunglasses, 1 Denim jacket, Leather belt

1 Pair of Sparkly Earrings for evening & some Bracelets for summer chic

1 Clutch that can double as your make up bag inside your Tote

1 Tote Bag,  for the summer this normally means my woven straw Market Basket

2 Pairs of Flat Sandals or Slides,  1 Pair Workout/Wet Weather appropriate shoes, 1 Pair Stacked Mid Heels

I separate my clothes into piles including my intimates (these always have their own mesh packing bag with a plastic ziplock inside ready for the dirties), socks & workout wear, swimwear & poolside (plastic ziplock bag included), daywear and night out. Each pile has its own cloth laundry bag (I actually made these myself with a drawstring top), after wearing I place the dirty clothes inside the cloth laundry bag and repack in back into my suitcase. I chose to make cloth bags as they are easy to launder after each use. All of my bags have been embroidered with the names of the contents to save confusion.

My foolproof plan for shoes is to always wear the bulkiest pair to and from your destination, if possible, as shoes take up the most room in your suitcase. Saying that, no one wants to be wearing their “kicks” with their sundress but you get the idea. Sometimes taking workout clothes & shoes isn’t part of your schedule so those bulky shoes simply disappear from your planning but this weekend I will be spending some time exercising outside so they are a must for me.

Your daytime tote bag can always carry a few extras for the car ride that you can empty out at your destination into the closet. Only pack what you absolutely NEED: reading material or e-reader with charger, a small make up bag filled with the essentials but don’t forget the sunscreen, water bottle, umbrella, sunhat and scarf.