The vacation suitcase checklist

Summer is already in sight. Time flies when you're having fun! Have you already booked your holiday, or are you still in the "everything-is-possible" stage? Camping with the kids, a romantic get-away with your sweetheart, hiking with your sports buddy, yoga with your ego, sorry of course we mean eega haha. Whatever type of vacation you choose, the great common denominator is that ★♯&*^%$ suitcase to pack. The theory (anticipation, coming up with fun outfits) and practice (I am only a part-time minimalist, and why don't elastic suitcases exist?) Are often miles apart.

We took a deep dive into the matter and consulted Google and our own inner circle. We have listed the best and most useful tips to making your suitcase vacation-ready. Here it comes.



Pretty obvious, but still. Put a pair of pants / a skirt on the floor or on your bed, and put the tops that match above them. A nice division is 3 tops on one bottom; then you can make 3 outfits with 4 items. Did you know that collections at fashion brands are also built up in this way? 3 to 4 tops are designed on 1 base. Purely because people simply buy more tops. #funfact

But now back to the topic. The sets for in your suitcase. Make a few of those sets - depending on the length of your vacation - and you are good to go. In terms of bottoms, at least shorts and/or a skirt. Then a skinny or leggings for the trip itself, nice and stretchy to prevent your leg muscles feeling like they turned into wood. And then loose-fit pants or nice dress, to grudge the mosquitoes that all-you-can-eat buffet. With the same thought in mind, you also pack 1 or 2 items with long sleeves. Cardigans and blouses are great for layering.

As for shoes; flip-flops for the beach, sneakers for day trips. And if you really can't live without heels? One pair max. That's the art of knowing how to set limits :-). Are you traveling by plane and do you really need a jacket? Or that one warm hoodie? Then carry it on board, it is a shame to spend your limited luggage-space on it.

See below Nic's favorite travel outfit

Bretonse strepen en panterprint




Number 1 is of course nothing without number 2. Everything has to fit together, depending on your taste and style (admittedly, the hysterical bird of paradise look has its followers but the majority of the blog readers are a little more low-key). We once read about someone who only took black and white items on their travels, so that everything automatically fits together. That may be a little too pragmatic (says Ilse who wears only black) but they do have a point. If necessary, add a few bright colors if you want to go crazy, after all, you’re on vacation. That being said; this minimalist strategy won't work for crazy control freaks.

We read about an influencer who pre-checks the destination on Instagram and takes items that contrast with the locations to be visited. She was able to outshine the Taj Mahal with her bright yellow jumpsuit. Can you imagine...



There are those items of clothing that you can wear in multiple ways. We are all familiar with the "bathing suit as a top". But what about the maxi skirt? Pull it up to your chest and finish with a belt. Or wear your V-neck T-shirt back to front for a chic back décolleté. A long top or tunic can be worn over your skinny or leggings, but also solo as a (beach) dress. It's no rocket science, but every addition is welcome. This trick is for advanced users that you may have seen more often on the beach; the large shawl or pareo can be made into fun dresses with a little practice.




Underwear. We almost forgot. Count out your underpants, or take half of them and do some laundry in between. It works fine with that stiff hotel shampoo, which is not just there for decoration.

Fill up the cups of your bras. Put a sock in it. This way they stay in good shape too. Or buy one of those hilarious looking bra travel cases. Obviously a Chinese invention, as so many other pointless-yet-entertaining life hacks are. (When browsing for appropriate footage, we came across a few more hilarious examples that are inappropriately off-topic but too fun not to share with you).



Nowadays there are many garments for sale made of fabrics that are referred to as "travel quality". What does that mean? It means that they do not wrinkle (or less), are lighter in weight, dry quickly and have good breathability. How come? Because "travel quality" is almost 100% synthetic. No, don't make that disapproving face right away; today's synthetic qualities have nothing to do with those Terlenka one-size-fits-all pants from your grandmother. (By the way, those are coming back into fashion #funfact). Synthetics is certainly not a dirty word when it comes to yarns and fabrics; in many cases the properties are even better than those of 100% natural materials. The fabrics are highlights of high-tech ingenuity, developed by specialized technicians who have perfected all properties down to the last detail. The fact that many fabrics have been developed under the banner of Italian fabric houses, indicates that they also pass the fashion factor test. Most travel fabrics are made of jersey (a fine machine knit), which you do not always see with the naked eye, but which benefits the wearing comfort. Add a little lycra/elasthane and tada, it gets the properties of a good shape-restoring capacity fabric that we can add to the list. Stretch to match. Shop around, some of those indestructible items in your suitcase will pay for themselves in uncomplicated wearing pleasure.



Some travel essentials don't fall under the clothing category, but still deserve a place on this list. Cosmetics, the travel pharmacy, electronics. . . the modern traveler carries a lot with them to appear a little stylish-functional. Cosmetics and related products are dangerous, bottles can leak.

#tipfromilse : A piece of plastic foil over the opening before you screw the cap on can save you a lot of gunk.

Ziplock bags are also handy to take with you, carry your bottles/jars in them to prevent leakage, keep your socks or underpants dry when it rains, or use them to separate your foreign currency when you visit multiple countries outside Europe. We once gave a Thai taxi driver the day of his life when we paid him out of the wrong division of our wallet. Ka-ching (and no, that wasn't the driver's name).



Choices made? Piles in order? Then we dive into the suitcase... yeahhh. The crux is in using the available space as efficiently as possible. The smartest way to do that? Well, the opinions are divided. In team 'folding' and team 'rolling up' to be exact. The Japanese Marie Kondo, the guru of tidy and organized by life, swears by a combination of those two disciplines. She folds on YouTube & Netflix - shiny polished and with a slightly maniacal smile - straight origami packages of jeans, sweaters and shirts. If the end result can stand upright on its own, the mission is successful. She rolls up items that are somewhat more sensitive to wrinkles as if they were sushi. The folded items are placed in the suitcase like books in the bookcase, the rolls are placed upright - the result looks suspiciously like a sushi-maki box. Miss Kondo's cultural baggage is undeniable. And we are already getting tired of writing down the sequence, let alone actually executing it.

Mini potjes voor op reis

Not willing to skip your Matcha shot on the plane? Or do you really want
a bit of SPF50 during your pit stop at a gas station? You can buy mini
versions for traveling at the local drug store. Is your spread not
available in mini format? At the same drugstore they also have mini
bottles and boxes. We have photographed a few for you.



When you buy your favorite scent at the perfumery: ask them to fill a tester-sized bottle with your scent. Then you don't have to take that beautiful but heavy bottle with you on a trip. The small tester bottle can simply be carried in hand luggage.

Have we been able to help you on your way? With a little common sense and the intention to make decisions, that suitcase will be filled with ease. Holidays are to be enjoyed, so don't over-analyze packing. If you forgot something; buy it on the spot. Do you have too much with you; give something away to the locals. Make friends!



See you next time!


Nicole & Ilse


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Blogger duo Nicole and Ilse. They became colleagues and sisters in crime in their previous jobs and still work together a lot; they share an unbridled love for / knowledge of fashion & lifestyle. Opposites as they are - dark versus blonde, classic beauty versus rock chick. Momboss Nicole, mother of three kids versus freelancer copywriter Ilse where even a pet is not even negotiable. It is that duality (they are not a duo but a dua :) with which they bring out the best in each other. Nicole is the proud owner of PLEIN PUBLIQUE and makes amazingly good collections, Ilse writes as a freelance copywriter for (fashion) brands and web shops. Together they "knit" a monthly blog about fashion and trends. They like it. And hopefully you do too.