In my Suitcase: What I’m packing for the Maldives

what to pack for maldives
what to pack for maldives
what to pack for maldives

I love a good packing post, so today, on the eve of our (much belated) honeymoon, I thought I’d share what I’m packing for the Maldives. I usually tend to take a ‘minimalist’ approach to holidays, and packing in general. I start by planning out my holiday wardrobe months in advance, so that I can narrow it down to the bare essentials; a selection of core pieces which mix and match really well. For this trip, I threw that approach directly out the window. Not only are we away for ten days, but it’s our honeymoon – the last thing I want to be doing is thinking about laundering any of the items I’ve brought with me. So, I took a more ‘maximalist’ approach to packing – something for every occasion. Keep reading below to see what I’m packing for the Maldives…

WEATHER

The weather during our trip in the Maldives is going to be hovering around the 27-31 deg C mark, with thunderstorms anticipated, which by my best estimation means that we can expect it to be sticky and hot – nothing we aren’t used to during a Sydney summer. It’s a little cooler in Hong Kong, around 25 deg C, and while it will be humid, I don’t believe we’ll be struck by rain during our trip.

TOPS

I went for a mix of fitted crops, loose tees, and slinky silk tops with a little bit of personality. I know it’s going to be hot, so I wanted to pack things which I knew would be easy to throw on with a little denim mini, or my favourite pair of shorts. My favourite has to be this recent addition from J Crew – it adds a much needed burst of colour to my rather ‘chromatic’ holiday wardrobe (and it’s on sale!).

SKIRTS & SHORTS

Summer vacation is all about the denim for me; I packed my two go-to denim skirts, in addition to my favourite white denim shorts (which are a no-brainer come summer). I also opted to add in a polka dot midi skirt, and this absolutely s-t-u-n-n-i-n-g accordion pleat tiered skirt from Stella Jean (on loan – I wish this had a permanent spot in my wardrobe!).

DRESSES

I tend to try and keep the number of dresses I pack for a holiday to a minimum – they might be a whole outfit, but they limit your options, and your valuable luggage space. I opted to take four with me; two are light and airy linen dresses – one from Grana and one from Stelen – a polka dot midi length dress as a more dressy option, as well as a classic LBD (my favourite is from Bec and Bridge).

OUTERWEAR

This is the one area that I’m keeping to a minimum – it’s warm in Sydney, and it’s going to be warm in both locations we’re headed, so I don’t want to burden myself with anything too cumbersome, if I don’t need to (I’ve already got a backpack stuffed with a drone and two cameras that’s doing that job for me!). I’m just taking one faux leather jacket as a throw on piece, and depending how I feel when we’re headed off tomorrow morning, I might also take a lightweight cardigan – nothing fancy, just in case it gets cool in the evening.

what to pack for maldives
what to pack for maldives

SWIMSUITS, SHOES, BAGS & ACCESSORIES

I went a little swimsuit mad, though as these take up the least amount of space out of everything in my suitcase, I figured this wasn’t such a bad thing. In addition to four bikinis, I also packed a one-piece swimsuit which I thought would be ideal for when we go snorkelling, or do any other more intensive water activities.

For shoes, I decided to go with four pairs; a pair of flat sandals, some black heeled mules, a pair of high heeled strappy sandals, and some simple white converse sneakers.

My final accessories that I decided to pack include a couple of different clutch options for the evening, a nice straw hat, a couple of bandanas and one pair of oversized sunglasses.

As usual, I did share a whole video featuring what I’m packing for the Maldives on my YouTube Channel, however I have rejigged things a little bit. I’ve added some workout clothes and a pair of sneakers into the mix, dropped a few things including a pair of sandals, a linen shirt and a maxi skirt, and switched out the dress I’m intending to wear while in Hong Kong. I figured it was worth taking a page out of Coco Chanel’s book, and instead of removing something I’m wearing before leaving the house, I removed a few things I planned to wear from my suitcase.

Packing light: What I packed in my carry on for five days in New Zealand

We’ve just returned from a five day trip to Auckland, New Zealand, and while I’ve shared a bit of a sneak peek into my suitcase here, I thought I’d download a little on what I’m glad I packed into my carry on, and what probably could have stayed at home.

WEATHER FORECAST

For those of us residing in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s the early end of winter, which as you can imagine means frosty mornings, bitterly cold winds, and rain – plenty of it, too. I used the weather forecast in Sydney as a bit of a guide, as I knew it was going to be a good few degrees cooler once we hit NZ shores. Temperatures ranged from 9-14 degrees Celsius every day, with plenty of winter sunshine, and just one day of rain, so I think it’s safe to say we got pretty lucky.

ON THE ACTIVITY LIST

Our trip across the ditch was a bit of a birthday present for Luke, as it’s been a few years since we have been back to Auckland to stay with his family, and catch up with some of his friends. Rather than jam pack our itinerary, we kept things fairly relaxed; a nice dinner out in the Auckland CBD, some casual brunches, coffee dates, a spot of shopping, and a drive up the road to Matakana to drop by Sawmill Brewery (a must if you have a rental car – it’s only an hours drive from the city!).

WHAT I PACKED

For trips that span over a week or less, I try and get a little creative, so that I can travel with carry on only. I’m a serial outfit repeater and given most of my wardrobe is fairly complementary, I don’t find it too difficult to pull together a travel ‘capsule wardrobe’ of sorts. It probably won’t surprise that I opted for mostly greys and blacks, large oversized sweaters, and some comfy trousers.

TOPS & JUMPERS
Grana white pocket t-shirt
Brandy Melville black stripe tee (similar)
Uniqlo charcoal ribbed merino turtleneck
Uniqlo black heat tech crew neck top
Glassons black merino top
See by Chloe striped top
Country Road black mohair sweater
Country Road charcoal chunky knit sweater

SKIRTS & TROUSERS
Willow black leather skirt (similar here and also here)
ASOS blue wash mom jeans
Uniqlo black slim fit trousers

DRESSES
Bec and Bridge black dress (also in white)

JACKETS & COATS
Helmut Lang blazer
Topshop coat (short version)

SHOES, BAGS & ACCESSORIES
Everlane black day heels
Everlane black leather chelsea boots
ONA black leather Capri tote
Celine black leather trotteur bag
Acne Studios grey Canada scarf
Uniqlo charcoal cashmere gloves
Prada sunglasses

WHAT I’M GLAD I PACKED

I recently decided to invest in a couple of knitted sweaters during one of Country Road’s 25% off sales, and the chunky charcoal funnel neck sweater was by far the stand out; this just looked great with everything, and was super cosy. I’m also glad that I brought along the slim fitting trousers from Uniqlo, which have fast become a favourite. These are lightweight, practically crease proof, and look really smart – plus they’re pretty warm too (though I’d get some heat tech tights for underneath if you’re going to a colder climate). Lastly I’m also pretty chuffed with the Celine small trotteur bag I splurged on just last week. This is the perfect size for travel, is an elegant and timeless design, and worked with every outfit that I wanted to wear – both casual and dressy. My only complaint is that the leather on the holster has already rubbed from the interior screw of the chevron plate closure, though thankfully this is pretty minor and not noticeable when being worn! The

WHAT COULD HAVE STAYED HOME

I’m prone to having cold hands – always – so it came as a bit of a surprise when I opened my bag this morning and realized one of the few things I didn’t reach for were my cashmere gloves from Uniqlo. Granted these are a godsend for if it’s a little nippy but given we were outdoors too much, I never really felt a need for them (that winter sun tho!).

The only thing I wish I’d brought with me were a pair of flats; typically, this would be a no brainer but I had to get creative just to fit my dads RM Williams boots into my carry on (which took up about 1/3 the total space!), and they were the one thing that didn’t make the cut.

I’m planning to share some video, as well as some of my outfits from the trip in the coming weeks so make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out! x

What I’m Packing for Dallas

minimal carry on what to pack for dallas travel short trip
what to pack for dallas travel short trip

It’s been a good eight years since my last major solo international trip. I was 21, fresh out of uni, and on a mission to see as much of Europe as possible – with luggage to match. And instead of packing what I wanted to wear, I packed what I thought I should wear; so rather than a closet full of clothes with nothing to wear, I had a suitcase full of clothes I wish I’d left at home.

These days, I’m all about traveling light, even if it’s just to leave a teeny tiny bit of space in my suitcase for the odd souvenir… And with just a few hours until I jet off to Dallas for a whirlwind four-day trip (and the first overseas trip on my own since my early twenties), I though I’d share what I’m planning to take with me, all of which fits neatly into my carry-on suitcase!

– TOPS & JACKETS –
Everlane black silk cami
Grana white silk cami
Everlane white cotton tank
Brandy Melville black/white stripe tee (old but similar here)
All About Eve white distressed ‘cherry’ tee
Brandy Melville white ‘it’s lit’ tee
Hansen & Gretel pleated cami
Madewell Courier shirt
Gorman quilted cotton jacket (old but similar here)

– DRESSES –
Bec & Bridge black pencil dress (also comes in white)
Acne Studios paloma silk dress
Tobi black maxi slip dress

– SKIRTS & TROUSERS –
RUBY khaki a-line skirt
Willow a-line leather skirt (old but similar here)
ASOS farleigh mom jeans
Grana denim chambray trousers (also love these)

– SHOES, BAGS & ACCESSORIES –
Lover black crochet swimsuit (old but similar here)
J Crew peach paisley bandana
Charlotte Olympia kitty flats
Vaneli slingback pumps
Maje black strappy sandals (similar here)
Charlotte Olympia blush feline pouch
3.1 by Phillip Lim beige mini pashli
Kate of Arcadia black leather pouch (old but similar here)

I – unsurprisingly – decided to play it safe and keep my colour palette as neutral as possible; even though I’m only away for a few days, if you’re a girl who likes to have options, then this is definitely the way to go.

Aside from the casual trousers from Grana that I’ll be wearing on the plane, I’m taking a couple skirts and a pair of jeans with me, opting rather to mix it up with some tees, camis and a punchy bandana so I can get the biggest bang for my buck.

I’ll be heading to a couple of evening events so I’ve packed three dress options, which range from more relaxed to formal cocktail attire. Realistically, I’ll probably only find myself wearing two of the three dresses, the maxi from Tobi and the Acne Studios Paloma dress both pack down small so I reasoned that it would be silly not to, right?

I typically always struggle with narrowing down my shoe options (I think I took SIX pairs with me to Europe last year), but given the lack of space, I’ve cut it back to three pairs, which I figure will see me through any situation I find myself in. There’s the dressed up kitty flat, for getting lost in central Dallas in, a low heeled two-tone pump which are perfect for dressing up some distressed denim, and a strappy black sandal for evening events and cocktail parties.

See you in Dallas!! x

A peek at some of my travel beauty essentials

packing for an overnight trip caileur
packing for an overnight trip caileur

If there’s one thing that is pretty much guaranteed, regardless of how long I’m travelling for, it’s that a quirky pair of flats will find their way into my suitcase. Wardrobe typically follows suit of some denim, a striped top, a sweater or cardigan in case in gets a little chilly, and my favourite midi skirt. Three years of capsule wardrobes have essentially taught me the fundamentals when it comes to packing.

Beauty on the other hand, is another story. The drawers of my vanity are bursting with some of my favourite eyeshadow palettes – I can never pick just one – and the shelf on my bathroom seems to have more facial cleansers than I can count. So when it comes to a short overnighter, or two-night stay away, I’m often at a little bit of a loss as to where to start, particularly where my skincare routine is involved.

With our wedding fast approaching, I decided to let Caileur do some of the work for me, and take the guesswork out of what I need to bring. My travel kit included a pack of Cleanse by Lauren Napier facial wipes, a Malin + Goetz facial moisturiser, a shower gel from Diptyque, and a toothbrush and toothpaste set from Marvis. The travel kit I ended up with (which all come in TSA approved sizes) has me only needing to add in a cleanser (in a pinch I’ll usually grab my Biore charcoal cleanser) and a toner (I’ve been following up my skincare routine with the Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant).

So I guess the only thing left to do is narrow down the shoes. Two pairs or three?

How to pack for a four week holiday away

how to pack for a four week holiday vacation
how to pack for a four week holiday vacation

In just two days Luke and I will be hopping on a plane for a long-awaited holiday travelling around Italy and the US. To say I’m excited is an understatement; it’s been a good four years since I’ve travelled beyond Australia or New Zealand, so this trip away has definitely been a long time coming.

We are spending just shy of four weeks abroad, and it probably comes as little surprise that one of my biggest concerns is: what do I pack? Or perhaps more importantly, how much should I pack?

I’m definitely not planning on being as optimistic as the time I took a mere 13 items away with me for a six week holiday (let’s just say that a lot of shopping was necessary), but I also don’t want to overpack. While I might not be planning on doing much shopping, if at all, the last thing I want is to be standing at the airline counter worrying about whether my bag is going to be a lot heavier than it should be.

I’ve had the good fortune of taking a number of extended vacations in the past ranging anywhere from 3-6 weeks away, so I wanted to share some of my top tips for packing your suitcase like a pro for a long trip abroad…

KNOW WHAT KIND OF WEATHER TO EXPECT
Let’s start from the very beginning. It’s counterproductive – to say the least – to not have some semblance of what kind of weather you’ll be facing once you reach your final destination. I recommend adding all the cities you’ll be travelling to your phone’s weather app so you can keep an eye on the weather trends in the lead up to your trip. This will help you to plan and map out exactly what types of clothing you’ll need to bring with you, and help you to avoid any situations where you find yourself without a jacket or a pair of shorts right when you need them.

THINK ABOUT WHAT YOUR HOLIDAY IS GOING TO LOOK LIKE…
Will you be spending most of your time by the pool? Sightseeing? At the shops? Hiking through the bush?

Before you actually start packing your bag, thinking about how you will be spending your time. If you’re by the pool most days you’ll want to make sure to bring at least a couple of swimsuits with you. If you’re planning on going on the occasional hike, pack some leggings, a loose fitting singlet and some sneakers to get you by. A little like how I would plan my capsule wardrobes, I’ll get a broad idea of what my holiday will entail and then pack accordingly.

ADOPT THE 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 PACKING STRATEGY
A while back, I stumbled across this packing concept on A Pair & a Spare, and I have to say, I think that the inverted triangle concept works perfectly for anything from a week to an entire month (or more!) away. What I love about this concept is that it helps you to maximize your options, while increasing the functionality of what you’ve packed away in your suitcase for your trip.

This means packing more tops than bottoms, more bottoms than dresses and shoes, more dresses and shoes than swimsuits and bags, and more swimsuits and bags than other accessories (think hats, sunglasses and watches). Trust me when I say, this, works. As you’ll spy from my own ‘packing list’ below, I’ve adapted it for the length of my holiday.

START WITH THE BASICS
When I’m mapping out my vacation packing list, I always find it easiest to start with the basics; pieces like a staple pair of jeans, lightweight tees, a loose sweater, a comfortable pair of shoes and a light jacket. By approaching packing this way, I can plan the rest of my holiday wardrobe around those essential key pieces that I’ll be reaching for first, more often than not.

I find that this is also a great time to start planning your travel outfit. I tend to work in layers to make sure that I’m not doubling up (while making the most of my precious suitcase space), and I’ll always pack an outfit to change into for when I land.

BUILD IN SEASONALLY APPROPRIATE PIECES
Next, I’ll start to build in items that are seasonally appropriate; if you’re travelling to a country that is in the throes of winter, you’ll be packing things like chunky knit sweaters, sturdy leather boots and an oversized scarf. At the opposite end of the spectrum, for a summer vacay you’ll want to bring along denim shorts, pretty sun dresses, swimsuits, and a pair of sandals.

This is also where I’ll think about any statement pieces that I want to bring with me, and work it around the theme and colour palette which has organically presented during this process.

And if there’s one thing I can’t recommend enough, it’s to make sure that you pack at least one nice going out dress. Even if all you have planned is a week sitting by the pool, you never know what’s going to happen when you’re on holiday and I figure it always pays to be prepared.

RATIONALISE YOUR ACCESSORIES
You all know I’m addicted to shoes, through and through, so I find this the hardest part of packing for any holiday. For four weeks away, I’d typically pack about 5 pairs of shoes – this gives you enough options so you won’t get bored, and you can switch up your footwear if you start getting even a hint of a blister.

Take the time to also think about how many bags you’ll need; will you need an evening bag for going out? Do you want to take a small crossbody for exploring? And also whether you’ll be bringing along any jewellery, scarves, sunglasses or hats. I try to keep these to a minimum where possible – accessories (and my travel beauty kit) tend to weigh down my bag the most!

KNOW YOUR GO TO LOOKS
This is one of the more fun parts of packing… trying everything on! I like to have a few go to looks that I can just throw on; my main focus while travelling is to get out and explore, so I don’t want to be stuck in my hotel room fussing over what I’m going to wear. Take a couple of photos so that you can then refer back to the ‘looks’ while you’re travelling.

PACK YOUR MUST HAVE MAKE UP
As someone who used to travel with just a bronzer, eyeliner and mascara, I know all too well how much a bulging make up bag can weigh you down. Where possible, pack multi purpose products – like a cream blusher you can also use as a lipstick – and try to narrow it all down to the bare essentials. My weak spot is hands down eyeshadow palettes and lipsticks – I always have a hard time trying to settle on my absolute essentials for a trip ahead.

One tip; bring along a bold red lipstick – it’s one of the few beauty products that I can’t leave behind and easily dresses up even the simplest of looks.

ORGANISE YOUR TECH
The final thing to organize – aside from your passport, itinerary and currency, of course – is your tech. I always tend to travel a little tech heavy; as someone who shares part of their life online, it’s hard to avoid. I find that the best way to narrow it down is think about what you can’t live without, and pack accordingly. Also, don’t forget to make sure that you’ve picked up the necessary plug converters for your final destination – that’s something that you definitely don’t want to forget.

As you’ll see from my own packing list below, I’ve kept things p-r-e-t-t-y neutral colour wise, adding in a bit of colour with my accessories.

Obviously there’s the odd piece missing, like my Nike Roshe Runs, my gym gear, and a couple of samples that I’ll be shooting while I’m away, but for the most part, this is everything that is coming along for the ride with me. The one thing that I couldn’t manage to cut down? Shoes. Let’s just pretend that there aren’t seven pairs of shoes sneakily stuffed into my suitcase. I guess we all have a weakness….