It’s finally time to leave the house, you guys! 2022 is the year for travel, and I could not be more excited. Our 2020 trip to Scotland has become our 2022 trip to Scotland, and it’s just weeks away. My extended family of 16 (including my parents, siblings, and nieces and nephews) will be descending on our very own castle for a week, a lifelong dream my sister and I have had since we were little!
I will be posing as a princess and posting a bajillion scenic Scotland and castle pics on my Instagram, so if you don’t already follow me, go do it now. Seriously. Even if it’s just to see me try to assemble family members from ages 5-78 on the lawn to get a decent family picture. In plaid.
Anyway, all this talk of travel has me dusting off my travel essentials and discovering new ones. This is a general list of pieces that I feel work for almost every type of trip, from a casual getaway to a city jaunt with lots of fun and fancy restaurants. You just adjust the formality of the items you’re taking.
One of my favorite jobs as a personal stylist is helping clients pack, and I’ve assembled hundreds of travel wardrobes and packed just as many suitcases.
If you love to travel and travel tips and travel fashion as much as I do, stay tuned, because I have videos coming up on what I’m packing for Scotland, as well as what to pack for a beach trip and a European trip.
And now, my 10 travel essentials for (nearly) every trip. Everything in this video and post can be found in the catalog.
This is one of those cliche items that really lives up to its reputation. It can double as a blanket, a head covering, and of course, a shawl to cover your shoulders in chilly restaurants and places of worship. Choose a lightweight one, like the famous Bleusalt wrap (which comes in 1, 2, and 3-yard versions) for warmer climates, and something cozier for cooler temps. Find more options here.
A slim knit top that protects your blouses and sweaters is a great basic to take along. You can wear it on its own, as a tee or a sleep shirt, or use it to protect fine fabrics and stretch the time between washings.
This double-duty piece is the perfect cozy layer. Button it up to wear it as a sweater or layer it over sleeveless items as a cardigan. A dark neutral gives ultimate versatility and looks better longer.
Dark Neutral Dress/Jumpsuit
A dark neutral midi or maxi dress or jumpsuit is one of those versatile pieces that can be dressed up or down and worn to a variety of places. You’ll never regret packing it. Pair it with pretty sandals for dinner or sneakers for sightseeing. The dress below doubles as a vest and can be worn a couple of different ways, while the wide-leg silk jumpsuit from LilySilk offers more coverage and versatility in a chic silhouette.
A pair of dark neutral pants is more versatile than jeans, which will always appear more casual, and usually more comfortable. (Although I definitely recommend a pair of jeans as a second pair of pants, if you have the room). I love a silky pair in warmer weather, and a stretchy or cozy pair in cooler weather, but all of these pants transcend the seasons and give you so many options.
This is possibly the most controversial item on the list, but I adore a strappy top even if you never wear it alone. I just love the feminine touch that it offers, and the way that it can dress up all of your casual bottoms. Pair if with your dark neutral pants or jeans and add a cardigan or blazer on top for a chic look. This Magnolia cami from LilySilk stole my heart, but you can also go with a classic sleeveless blouse.
A pretty blouse is an instant elevater. Not the kind you ride. You know what I mean. It upgrades everything you pair it with. I prefer to wear washable silk because it’s so elegant and makes you feel right at home in a fancy boutique or restaurant but also pairs well with jeans for sightseeing. It’s breathable and dries quickly and is so versatile.
This is another one of those cliche items that proves to be very useful. I pair mine with the dark neutral pants and my wrap or cardigan for travel, and it works throughout the trip as everything from a layering piece to a casual top to a sleep shirt.
A clutch that doubles as a wallet is essential in my book. It allows you to take all of the essentials with you in a portable and chic way, and then stash it away in your main bag. You can use it as a wallet, stick it in your purse, and put the purse in a tote, or travel lighter with just the clutch and tote. Either way, this is an item you won’t regret taking. An alternative to this is a chic belt bag. You can also check out the Bandolier bags, which double as cell phone cases.
A chic tote, preferably in leather or vegan leather, doubles as a carry-on (or personal item) on the flight and a purse on the trip. It’s also chic enough to go with everything in your travel wardrobe. A nylon tote is also a good option, and can be folded for easy storage.
Which of these essentials do you already pack? And what would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments!
Nada Manley says
Ooh great tips! Thank you so much!
Nada Manley says
Thank you Bonnie! This is SUCH good feedback! This is NOT my packing list, just so you don’t worry. These are just a few of the items I think are important on any trip. Not comprehensive at all!
I never travel without a hat!! No matter what temperature I will encounter.
I usually take two, foldable ones.
And scarves! They don’t take space at all and can add color and style to any outfit.
I’m able to pack for a week-long trip with just a carry on and a tote. So, coordinating the wardrobe is essential.
Thanks for the tips.
Bonnie Boyd says
Nada, How Fun to be going on this trip! And to stay in a castle should be so Romantic! I HOPE YOU will enjoy this trip! But, heads up(!), your list here seems inadequate. It is COLD there, windy, and can be damp!
I would like to share my experiences of Scotland’s weather and more, with you. First you need correct adapter plugs ( more than one kind!) to use your American items that need electricity- Hair dryers, flat irons, electric razors, etc. AND, you need throw-away washcloths as they are usually not provided anywhere!
AND, It is COLD for a Floridian. I didn’t like using my wool poncho wrap, because the cold air would blow in under it. Keep tight layers for warmth! The clothes I wore the most were of cotton due to the chill, even my wool coat wasn’t the warmest, which surprised me. The castles we visited were definitely cold, and there was sometimes a dampness in the air, inside or out. I was glad to have a heavier thick lined anorak coat that I could tighten a bit. My polyester/rayon blend dress pants needed warm socks and tights under them. I wore a v-neck sleeveless silk underwear vest under my clothes a lot; and, it didn’t show! I also wore a knit midi skirt or wool blend skirts and nylons and poly/wool socks a lot. NO NYLON- Nylon items hold the cold! My smooth, brushed cotton corduroy pants were great for warmth. It is colder than you think. I was glad to have a scarf and gloves and knee high boots, as well as short boots. I will post some pictures in our group of clothing I wore there, since I don’t know how to add them here. …// Temperatures could range from 45 to 63 degrees.
– I just pulled this online info for you: Spring. You can expect average maximum temperatures to range from approximately 7°C (45°F) to 13 °C (55°F) during the months of March, April and May.
Summer. June, July and August are normally the warmest months in Scotland, with average maximum temperatures ranging from approximately 15°C (59°F) to 17°C (63 °F). Scotland’s high latitude means that we enjoy lovely long summer days and often an extended twilight..
I hope this helps and doesn’t discourage you! BBoyd