How to pack for multiple seasons in one trip

In Travel Tips, I share regular updates based on lessons I’ve learnt through my travels to help you better plan your next adventure. In this instalment, I’m covering how to pack for a variety of weather or seasons in one trip.

When you’re travelling from the Southern Hemisphere to the Northern Hemisphere or covering a lot of ground in your trip, it’s likely that you’re going to experience a range of weather conditions which can make packing effectively quite challenging.

With a quick break in Thailand before a few weeks of travel around Europe from March, I’m expecting to experience weather from 4 degrees up to 32 degrees. Initially unsure how to approach packing for such a wide variety of weather, plus everything to move abroad, I completed some research and identified the steps below to help you pack effectively for a trip with various weather conditions.

My definition of packing effectively means taking a well-curated selection of items that will all get used with some items serving multiple purposes to save space.

Research the weather

Check what the weather will be in each destination during your trip. I take note of the average low temperatures, average high temperatures and the average temperature throughout the day. Taking note of how the temperature varies throughout the day will also help you plan how to dress for different parts of your day in each destination.

Identify how you like to dress for certain weather

If you know what the weather you will be travelling through feels like, identify how you like to dress for this weather. This is particularly important if the temperatures will be different to what you’re used to at home. For me, that means having plenty of thin warm layers to wear under jackets and jumpers when we hit the cooler parts of our trip because I’m not acclimatised to cooler climates, though I hope I will become acclimatised very quickly!

The most important factor in this part of the process is to focus only on what you like to wear to feel great in certain temperatures. There’s no point packing something you think you should wear if it’s not going to make you feel great about yourself.

Note how you’ll be spending time during your trip

When you’re at the packing stage of planning your trip, you’ll likely have a fair idea of how you will be spending your time in each destination. Take note of what you will need to pack for the activities during your travel. Think of all the different items you’ll need such as airport and travel outfits, exercise gear, outdoor gear, swimming gear, comfortable walking shoes, casual day clothes, hats and dressy outfits for dinners or going out.

Shop your closet

Once you have taken note of the weather in each destination and how you will be spending your time, don’t race to shop for new items before shopping your closet first. Look at what you have in your closet, take all items out that will make you feel great and serve their purpose while you travel and sort these items into piles based on your travel activities.

Try everything on

Once you have sorted your items into piles for each destination or travel activity, try your outfits on. Walk around in the outfit, sit down, do a few squats, dance a little or whatever it is that will help you make sure all the elements of your outfit fit nicely and make you feel great. There’s nothing worse than planning a great outfit only to realise it’s uncomfortable to sit, stand or walk around in once you’re out and about!

Review and edit your selection

While you’re trying everything on, layer items that will work in warmer and cooler destinations. Do you have dresses that can be worn casually in a warmer destination but dressed up with tights, a jumper, a jacket and a scarf in a cooler destination? Alternatively, if there’s a particularly bulky item that will only be suitable for one destination and the same level of warmth can be achieved through layering other items in your closet, pack those instead. The more items you pack that can be worn as base pieces across all types of weather, the easier it will be to ensure you don’t over pack.

Get packing!

Once you have narrowed down the items that will keep you warm or cool each destination, pack your things with the heaviest items at the base of your luggage (when standing upright).

The steps above have helped me figure out what items I need to pack for my upcoming travels and moving abroad. Going through everything carefully helped me identify pieces that weren’t going to serve me at all while surprising me with items that will serve multiple purposes saving room in my luggage and frustration on the road.

How do you pack for different types of weather in one trip? Let me know in the comments below.