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Travel Essentials – Minimum Baggage Maximum Freedom!

The first time I traveled outside India, it was to New Zealand for my honeymoon. Since it was first time, the super-excited soul in me carried my whole wardrobe out there. Being our “honeymoon”, I could carry all of it but I did realize I’d taken loads of unnecessary items that were left unused. So for my next trip to Spain & Portugal, more of a backpacker’s trip, I decided to pack half the number of clothes I carried to New Zealand (which was still a medium sized bag). This time we stayed in hostels and managing the baggage was a pain. Again I learnt a few things from that trip:The classic summer wardrobe

  • Travel as light as possible because unnecessary things are nothing but a liability. The more you carry, that much more you got to care and carry around.
  • One cluster of seven specific items (i.e a total of 15 garments) is enough for 15 to 20 days of a trip.
  • If you travel light the chances are you can bring souvenirs and shop from the local shops.

I also strongly recommend you do your homework about your destination – determining the season during the months you’re traveling and some do’s and don’ts for travellers in that country.

So here are the travel essentials every woman must carry to complete their look as well as to suit their destination. This list is specifically for pleasant/warm climate only.

T-shirts & Blouses (6 or 7)

It’s the most vital part of the cluster. In my preference carrying basics is the best choice to make. They mix and match – plain white, black, navy blue, grey t-shirts can easily be worn with shorts, skirts and can also be accessorized with neck piece or scarf in an easy manner. At the same time make sure you carry different styles – racer back, halter, camisoles, and fancy blouses for evening wear.

Of course you may have to repeat one or two towards the end of your trip but that’s the idea of going “light.”

Shorts (2)

Trust me two pair of shorts is enough for a 15 day trip. Dark coloured jeans works best as it can be worn multiple times without washing. With the other pair you could consider printed ones or any other colour of your choice. Shorts are awesome for beach destinations, but do your homework before wearing them when sightseeing religious places like cathedrals or mosques, as they are strict about rules even with tourists.

Tip – you could carry one pair of shorts and one skirt – length is of course your preference.

Leggings (1)

These are best for long haul travel, especially during the summer. They can be worn with any t-shirt or blouse, are easy to wear, look fashionable and are the most comfortable to stay in for all day! Again they need not be washed after every wear.

Skater Dress (2)

A dress for the day and one for night, in case you plan a date or party. Plan your clothing according to the places you are going to visit on that particular day. The reason for specifically carrying a skater dress is that you can team it up with any top and you have a new outfit. Keep in mind to choose fabrics wisely depending on the temperatures – georgette, chiffon, and crepe may make you feel uncomfortable in an overly hot climate or satin may stick to your body in rains or strong winds.

Tip – If you’re going to a national park then opt for safer options – leggings and t-shirts for museums, movie sets and architectural sights; a day or maxi dress for the beach; shorts for shopping – wear something you can wear and take off easily.

Maxi Dress (1)

Maxi dresses are comfortable, cool and can be worn in different ways – with a cardigan, neckpiece or scarf to give you lots of looks! They are good for all body types especially the good fitted ones. Personally, I feel, it’s a mark of a woman!

Cardigan (1)

One cardigan is a must. Perfect as a cover-up from the sun or when visiting a religious place, protecting you from cold wind and also a piece of garment that you can easily use to mix and match.

Swimwear (1)

Of course swimwear is a must if your destination is the beach! If not still carry it along, it hardly weighs anything and you never know where you might get the chance to take a dip. A variety of swimwear is available for all body types – find out which one is the best for yours.

Tip – Generally I just wear my shorts over the costume so it looks like a crop top – a 2 in 1 effect!

Apart from clothes, here are few essentials to have a complete look at the trip:


Walking shoes or boots, a pair of flip-flops and evening ballerinas, sandals or wedges depending on what you prefer. Three pairs are must have if you will be going from leisurely to adventurous to evening wear.

Note: if you have no intention of partying or attending a sit-down evening meal, then completely avoid carrying the clothes to go with it.

Sling bag

A medium-sized sling bag is ideal because it has just enough space to carry your daily essentials like sunscreen, body cream, lip balm, wallet, swimwear, sarong and sunglasses. Personally, instead of carrying a tote (which is more fashionable), I’d carry a sling bag because it lets my hands be free to greet people, touch and feel nature and capture photographs – and just feels more free.


Accessories are a must to carry – sunglasses, hat, earrings, neckpieces and scarves. Sunglasses are an essential at any destination. Make sure you co-ordinate your jewellery and scarf along with your t-shirt, dresses. Also pack no more than two or three different pieces of each.


Make-up that I usually carry for my holidays includes sunscreen, a good tinted moisturiser (especially if you want to have an even skin tone), lipstick, lip-balm, eye pencil and make-up remover.

I don’t say make-up is a must, but a little bit of it for the day – lipstick and tinted moisturizer; and for the night – eye pencil, lipstick and tinted moisturiser make you look more polished.

I believe in a foreign county we represent our country, so we might as well make a good impression on people around the world!

Happy Holidays!

You can read more of Priya’s articles here.

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