Summer Packing Tips for Short Staycations

It’s annoying when you’re a light sleeper and you realize you’ve left your favourite earplugs at home. And it hurts when your blistered feet are a reminder that you should have packed comfortable walking shoes. Packing to go away can be stressful, even if it’s just for a city staycation. 

The best way to remember everything is to write a checklist and start assembling your travel essentials several days before you go. Review the list just before you leave. This sounds like a no-brainer but it’s surprisingly easy to forget. As well as keeping your suitcase or bag super organised, packing cells can also help in ensuring you keep like minded items together for your trip, not forgotten on the kitchen bench.

Check what the weather will be like at your destination. Minimise your wardrobe by sticking to a few colours that you can mix and match. Highlight with jewellery if you need to. Unless you’ll be seeing the same people every day, one or two striking pieces of jewellery is enough.

Pack clothes that don’t crush. Layers work best as they can keep you warm or be peeled off as the weather dictates. A light wrap or Pashmina is handy for the plane or in chilly restaurants.

Pop a plastic poncho into your bag in case of sudden downpours. Carry a hat and sunscreen, regardless of whether you’re zipping around city streets from the Gambaro Hotel Brisbane or lazing on the beach near the Rendezvous Hotel Perth Scarborough. Take a microfibre towel that dries super quickly.

Pack loose pants for morning yoga or working out in the gym at the Vibe Hotel Sydney or the Adina Adelaide Treasury. And don’t forget to take sunscreen if you’re checking into the Adina or the Vibe in the Darwin Waterfront, the two most convenient hotels to see Bruce Munro’s amazing Tropical Light outdoor exhibition.

If you’re planning lots of shopping or sightseeing, take your most comfortable walking shoes. Make sure new shoes are worn in before you go.

Make your hotel room feel like home by bringing some essential oils, and perhaps even a diffuser if you have space in your luggage. Tea tree oils are good as an antiseptic, peppermint for massaging tired legs and feet, and lavender for relaxation.

If you’re staying at a hotel with kitchen facilities, like the Travelodge Hobart or the Adina Serviced Apartments in Canberra, take your favourite hard-to-source condiments to give your meals five-star flavour. 

Everyone has their preferred way of packing - some swear by rolling, others fold clothes flat, while super-organized folk go for vacuum compression bags or packing cubes. If you are flying, take spare clothes and a toothbrush in your carry-on – just in case your suitcase doesn’t turn up.

Travellers are carrying more gadgets and electronics than ever, yet airlines are becoming increasingly strict about baggage allowances. This requires thinking light – light cases, minimal wardrobes (yes, that means fewer shoes), possibly even decanting toiletries into small containers. You can usually buy anything you need at your destination, but there’s a certain sense of freedom in travelling light. 

If you enjoy a daytime nap or are easily disturbed by sirens and street cleaners, noise-cancelling headphones and an eye mask are essential and, for those, that like to look after their skin, a silk pillowcase is a lightweight essential. 

Don’t forget to load some podcasts and movies onto your phone or tablet. And finally, even if you’re travelling light, there’s always room for a good book.

The basics…

  • Lightweight clothing that can be layered
  • Loose pants
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Lightweight jacket 
  • Sleepwear and underwear
  • Sunglasses, case and cleaner
  • Jewellery (all wrapped in a packing cell for easy access)
  • Sun protection
  • Wrap/pashmina
  • Swimsuit (consider a wet/dry packing cell)
  • Mobile phone, charger and travel speakers
  • Eye mask, and ear plugs
  • A crumpler or foldable shopping bag
  • Essential oils


  • Teeth care. Don't forget the floss!
  • Hairbrush or comb, hair ties and accessories
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo and conditioner (decant to smaller bottles to save space)
  • Sunscreen and moisturiser
  • Face wash and/or makeup wipes
  • Lip balm with SPF, lipstick or gloss
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Extra contacts, solution, and contact case
  • Perfume
  • Tweezers
  • Hair product

And last, but not least, have you created a Spotify playlist and downloaded your favourite podcasts for the plane ride?

And, don’t forget your book! We’re currently reading: Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton.

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