Confession #99: I’m a chronic overpacker when it comes to travel.
Being pretty notorious among my travel buddies as the shoe lady jet-setting with three pair of shoes for a weekend away, I’m probably not the best person to teach you how to travel light. But perhaps there’s a thing or two I could say about travelling in style especially to cities like Melbourne where locals put in a great deal of effort to look polished to blend in with the arty street scene.
If you haven’t been to Melbourne and you’re heading that way during springtime, you’ll probably think bikinis, beach shorts and Havaianas – after all, these are the images that conger up on Tourism Australia Facebook page, right? Don’t be fooled. Having visited Melbourne for a few times, I know its weather tendencies quite well. If you’ve ever heard the song ‘Four Seasons in One Day’ by Crowded House, this is exactly how lady Melbourne feels like all year round. She can be bright, sunny and beaming with 30 degrees celsius heat in the morning, yet all of a sudden turns rainy, gloomy and unforgivably chilly by afternoon. Hence, travelling light while staying sleek & chic could be challenging in a city like Melbourne. If you’re unprepared you might end up having to wrap yourself in a woolen throw in the hotel room to beat the sudden drop of temperature. Trust me for I’ve learnt my lessons in the most unfashionable way.
Yippee hooray for I’m escaping this coming weekend to visit this grand madame of Australia. I promise I’m way better prepared this time! Now come take a peek into my suitcase for my Melbourne travel essentials and my styling tips:
♥ Bag and Suitcase
Okay, I might be a tad bit obsessed about colour matching my travel bag with my suitcase, but these bright orange duo have been my most reliable travel companions and we’ve come a long way from US to Vanuatu. This Samsonite Firelite that I got as a gift from Bags To Go outlet a few years back might look a bit worn out, yet she’s the best lightweight luggage that rolls smoothly like gliding on ice! I’m planning to give her a face-lift by plastering cute retro luggage labels all over (previously blogged here). Picking a vibrant coloured suitcase and personalising it makes it jump out in the sea of luggage on the conveyor belts in airports, and lower the chance that it gets picked up by someone else mistaking it as their own. I’m sure most of you would have gone through those two worst travel nightmare in your previous trips! The Samsonite is also as light as feather (okay I might be exaggerating) which means you have all the extra kilos to bring home your shopping find.
My matching orange leather bag bought from Seoul, Korea can be worn two ways as cross-body or with the short handle. It comes with various large and small compartments inside, and is quite secure with a zipper and a flap. If I’m only taking one handbag for the trip this is definitely my pick. Having a detachable shoulder strap means I can wear it as a cute tote for hitting the rooftop bars. This isn’t the most expensive leather bag in my wardrobe and is pretty sturdy so I wouldn’t care much about leaving it on the floor underneath my flight seat.
♥ Staying Healthy & Nourished
Staying fit and healthy on the road isn’t such a massive challenge if you bring along the right gear. Travelling with water bottles and beetroot powder? Qui, qui! You’re less likely to give yourself excuses to buy a can of coke when you carry water with you all the time. I pack my beetroot powder to make my own flavoured detox water loaded with zinc for energy boost – much needed for those shopping days in town! I also travel with my faviourite herbal tea leaves in a small tin – I’ve been disappointed for far too many times staying in hotels that don’t stock real, decent selections of tea in their mini bar.
I keep my Cotton On Body sports bra in my travel bag at all times. This means I could go for a quick morning yoga session in one of the parks in CBD or inside my hotel room to kickstart my day with energy. If I have a big day of travelling, I rejuvenate and pamper my worn out feet with Soak Society Orignale Travel Sized wellness soak – packed with peppermint and rosemary the beautiful aroma on its own is an indulging sensual experience! Who needs to splurge in the hotel spa when you can create a private sanctuary in your own room?
♥ The Beauty Goodies
The organic Nudus lipstick in Precious shade has earned its way to my travel beauty pouch for this shade is so versatile that goes with every single outfit (previously reviewed here). If you’re only taking one lipstick, this is the shade to have and it’s ultra nourishing for the dry wind in Melbourne.
Just Good Skincare daily collagen drop is my current obsession that pumps moisture to my skin after flying (reviewed here) and it comes in tiny bottle that fits well into my beauty pouch. For other travel beauty fav, I carry my Christian Dior eye makeup set that comes in a compact case with eyeliner pencil, mascara, eyebrow powder and two nude shades of eyeshadow. MG Naturals mineral foundation is lightweight and quite long stay for hitting the town all day. Underneath my makeup, I always wear Aubrey Organics Natural Sunscreen in SPF 30 – non-greasy and non-toxic made with natural minerals mean burden-free skin throughout your journey while minimising the risk of sunburn. Aubrey Organics has also won my heart with its White Camellia and Jasmine hair conditioner spray. Its botanical based natural formula is deeply nourishing to weather-proof my hair against the harsh sun in Melbourne and combat frizzy hair after the fleeting afternoon shower. Last but not least, Cath Kidston paraben-free rose hand cream and Chanel No. 5 travel sized perfume never get taken out my travel bags.
♥ The Dresses & The Booties
Just like shoes, I believe there’s a perfect dress for every single travel moment. Yet I try not to pack my whole dress wardrobe with me by choosing two colourful and versatile pieces. The baby blue vintage mini dress with cape sleeves can be worn on its own, or as a tunic over a pair of skinny jeans. The orange zigzag jumpsuit can also be worn underneath a kimono jacket for layering for those chilly spring evening.
I trimmed down my travel shoe-drobe to two pair of booties essentials: These Tom Gunn silver metallic flat booties and white mesh boot shoes are simply made for walking to explore the numerous hidden laneways in Melbourne without blisters! I always pick shoes in white, nude or silver shades that can be paired with any outfit – forget about black especially for spring/ summer travel!
♥ The Shorties
I pack along these two pair of retro style shorts which add a pop of vivid colour to my travel wardrobe. These come in fun crochet and ruffles-trimmed details which form the focal points of my look. Same as shoes, I tend to pick tops in plain and neutral colours which makes it easy to mix and match with other colourful statement pieces.
♥ The Denim Shirt & The Hat
Me and my Lee denim shirt have travelled for miles from cities to beach towns. I’m in a serious love affair with denim as you can work them in any look from boho to retro and urban chic. Best thing about denim for travel? They’re kind of crease free so you don’t have to worry about rolling them in your suitcase and ironing them when you get to your next destination.
Another travel buddy I can’t part with is my Roxy floppy hat – it guards my skin against the searing lunchtime sun in Melbourne and the unexpected drizzle. Now this is one truly multi-use item!
♥ The Layers & Accessories
This lightweight and crease free lace kimono jacket is my other travel wardrobe obsession – it does a perfect job as cover up under the sun and layering with my dresses for the cooler evenings. It’s quite loose and flowy which means I can fit it over almost any dress without looking like a stuffed sausage.
A vintage scarf goes into each of my travel bag. I wear it as a head scarf for bad hair day SOS, wrap it over my shoulder in the wind or tie it around my bag as a cute little bow – not to mention the 50 ways you can style a scarf around your neck! The variations in look you could create with just one piece of scarf is pretty endless.
♥ The Camera
Now it’s time for the blogger duty! I shoot with my Fuji XPro 1 with Fujinon 18 – 135mm lens while on the road. With its incredibly versatile zoom range, this lens make travel photography such a breeze without the hassle of having to change lenses constantly. I also pack along my very neglected Fujifilm Instax Mini which I bought over ten years ago (real vintage!) – super fun to take ‘behind the scene’ type of snaps with 90s vibe.
There you have it, my little bit of list love to help you pack for a swanky trip in Melbourne. I’ll be publishing my Melbourne travel guide next month on local gems I’ve stumbled across so subscribe to the blog and stay tuned! In the meanwhile, if you can’t wait to check out my happenings in Melbourne this weekend be sure to stalk me on Instagram. So tell me dear fellow travelettos, what’s in your packing list for Melbourne? What are your most stylish fashion staples for travelling to cities with unpredictable weather?
Until next time, stay gorgeous.