Packing hacks for a long holiday

THULE packing hacks for long holiday

By Renate Engelbrecht

Monday, Mar 25

On our recent road trip to the Cape – the Garden Route to be exact – I had to be very clever about my packing as we (our family of four) were driving down without a trailer. Needless to say, I had to pack carefully for the three weeks.

My very own Mary Poppins bag

Some might say I cheated with my packing due to the sheer size of my bag. In my defense, I packed my clothes, as well as my vanity case and the kids’s swimming towels in this 110L THULE Chasm Wheeled Duffel Bag. I still had to consider my outfits carefully, making space for the most important items and keeping in mind that the Garden Route’s weather can often be rather unpredictable.

Travel with THULE

I loved using this bag as it boasts ample packing space. The fact that it is not a hard body suitcase was a bonus, as it gives way for items as you pack the car. The compression straps on the sides assist to loosen or tighten the bag even further, keeping things together inside, but also increasing or reducing the size.

Inside, it has ample mesh zipper side pockets for small items like underwear, socks or dirty clothes.

Little did I know that this bag would also come in handy on my travels in the first quarter of this year. The bag is weather-resistant, which makes it quite handy for when your bags are transported on open safari vehicles en route to your lodge, or when your destination is Club Med Seychelles on St Anne island and you can only get there by boat.

From bush to beach THULE wheeled duffle bag packing

With that in mind, its polycarbonate back panel most certainly helped absorb a lot of the impacts of travel. It’s been on buses, trains, boats and planes and it’s still good as new.

Packing Pants First

Jeans can be worn more than once, so I opted for long and short jeans as my preferred bottoms for the holiday. The benefit of investing in a capsule wardrobe has already started to reap benefits as I now not only have blue jeans, but also a white and a beige jean to pack, allowing for way more styling options. I also added a pair of light-weight cotton trousers for those super hot days, as well as a versatile black wrap skirt.

Mix and Match While Packing

I picked two tops to pack with each bottom option, opting for the ones that could fold up as small as possible. White and black T-shirts are possibly some of the most versatile out there, since you can style them with jeans, but also with wide-legged trousers, a wrap skirt or even a suit. With the capsule wardrobe, most items fit together and it is becoming easier and easier to mix and match all my clothes, which I love. This brought my travel wardrobe to about 12 outfits already.

P.S. I can highly recommend the capsule wardrobe course by Curated Style in Pretoria.

For cooler weather, I packed my very versatile black leather jacket and one light pullover in beige, which goes with pretty much anything.

Most of the jeans and tops work together, so with a bit of mixing and matching, it was easy to pull off a different look each day. I also brought along one silk scarf to play around with, which made some outfits look different in an instant.



Dresses That Do The Trick

The few dresses I own, I love. Therefore, I don’t mind wearing them more than once over a three-week-long holiday. Especially if I wear them in the first week, and then again in the last week.

My classic, white cotton dress was packed for special occasions like birthday dinners or the odd date night. Then, I also packed a maxi dress for ice-cream strolls on the beach. Another floral dress, and that brought me to 15 outfits – more than halfway through three weeks.

Packing that white cotton dress


I packed underwear and socks for a week or less and merely washed them in the shower. Lightweight tops also worked well for this. These items, I merely rinsed and hung overnight.

These Shoes Were Made For Packing

When it comes to shoes, I try to take one or two pairs that are really versatile. One pair of sandals (which I will in future replace with Havaianas that work for both the beach and birthdays) and one pair of all-purpose sneakers like these ones from Soviet. (I just got them in black and white).

I knew that I wanted to do some exercise down at the coast, so I did throw in my Nike tekkies as well.

Nike tekkies packing

In winter, I would replace the sandals with a pair of comfy, but classy boots.

Bag it, Compress it, Pack it

The rest, like pyjamas and sportswear, I put in two THULE compression packing cubes, which work wonderfully for packing with a plan. Plus, any electronic must-haves like chargers and power banks, I popped into my THULE Subterra Power Shuttle.

There was still ample space for my vanity, which means I travelled with one bag and a handbag – something that works wonderfully not only on road trips, but also on the plane!

Slowly, but surely I am succeeding in packing more cleverly and while it seems like a long shot, soon enough I might just be travelling with merely a duffel bag in hand!


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