Tanya Carlson’s weekend getaway packing tips

13 July 2016
By Fashion Quarterly

model carrying suitcase on runway

More often than not, you’ll get back from a trip away and realise you have only worn half of the items you packed.

Some careful planning and wardrobe editing can help to avoid a heaving suitcase and a plethora of redundant clothing items.

New Zealand designer Tanya Carlson learnt to pack light when travelling through Europe for a month with nothing but a small backpack. “I managed to take with me a selection of my favourite pieces but they were on high rotation throughout the trip,” she says. “My packing skills have been further honed by my stylist friends who regularly help out with selecting the perfect holiday/weekend getaway wardrobe. And now that I’m the proud owner of a beautiful Holden Cascada, there’s another little something I have to take into account when packing my weekend essentials.”


So with that in mind, we asked Tanya to share her expert tips, because heading off for a long weekend carrying only the essentials, surely means more room for those must-have holiday finds, right?

Tanya’s top packing tips:

Plan ahead! This is a sure way to prevent over-packing.
Pack nothing that needs pressing. After too many bad experiences I’d avoid using a hotel iron…
Take a drawstring bag (like a shoe bag) for laundry
Zip lock bags – for everything – to avoid spills, leakage and ensuring everything is easy to find
Take baby wipes for spot cleaning clothes, shoes and freshening up, but don’t take the whole pack – put what you need in aforementioned zip lock bags
Take a lint roller, especially if you plan to wear wool and dark colours
I prefer a leather holdall for a long weekend over a suitcase.

tanya carlson holden cascada boot
Designer Tanya Carlson’s boot, packed up and ready for a weekend away.

So what do I take if I’m going on a winter road trip? A capsule wardrobe, of course!

Only two pairs of shoes – trainers and a short stacked-heel ankle boot
Luna Dress (black merino polo neck tube dress). This can be worn on its own or layered with boots or flats
Oversized scarf
A beanie. If you’re travelling in a stylish convertible like the Holden Cascada, you’ll need to keep that head of yours warm when the roof’s down (the seat warmers will look after the rest)
A plain one-piece bathing/body suit that can be worn in the spa or as a layering piece
Sunscreen. It might be winter, but that doesn’t mean you’re out of harm’s way when it comes to the sun. A crisp winter’s day means the roof down in my Cascada and a face covered in sunscreen
A pair of merino joggers – the Carlson Vespa Pant would do the trick
A georgette dress like the Carlson Elaine Dress
One pair of jeans
A pea coat or anorak
Two lightweight fine knit tops
Leave your handbag at home and take a small, cross-body bag that fits just the essentials
A handcrafted slipper sock
One statement necklace.

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