It’s just less than a month until I embark on my sabbatical and head for the sunshine of Mexico, the dirty Deep South, Hawaii and all sorts of other ridiculously exciting places that I still can’t quite get my head round being real. Unsurprisingly, there is a lot of planning to be done but while the rabies vaccinations and visas are kind of easy enough for me to deal with (mmm, life admin) the real challenge is proving to be what to pack.
Pretty much everywhere we’re going will be sunny, which kind of helps narrow things down, but there’s still the challenge of squeezing in outfits for every eventuality into one small backpack. There’s going to be hiking up volcanos, paying homage at Graceland, a 30th birthday, nice dinners, beaches, mountains… I mean… what do you pack to contend with all of those things but still be able to walk around without resembling a camel?
It goes without saying, then, that when the lovely people at Style Passport contacted me to see if they could be of any assistance, I jumped at the chance. A whole shopping site dedicated to clothes for holidays? And not just beach holidays but adventure holidays, skiing holidays, city breaks, camping trips… not to mention the travelling part itself? Perfect. And they deliver in 90 minutes (if you’re London-based, at least) which makes them ideal for a last-minute packing nightmare.
This Pendleton bag will be accompanying on my travels (I’ve never been one for a backpack on the front, backpack on the back look) – and here are some other ideas for outfits that will hopefully make my backpacking experience less of a sartorial nightmare.
[Clockwise from top left]
1. Barbour Hayle Parka - can’t beat a Barbour for practicality and actually looking good at the same time. Pockets, hood, drawstring – it’s essentially the ideal travelling jacket, so don’t let anyone tell you that you need a fleece or cagoule. Full disclaimer: I have bought a cagoule
2. Mara Hoffman Intarsia Cardigan - we might be visiting a lot of hot places, but I guess Hawaii gets quite cold at night. Especially when you’re up a volcano stargazing. Love the pattern on this and as always, that it has a waist tie – I’m a firm believer in still trying to have something of a silhouette when covered in practical clothing.
3. American Vintage Jersey Maxi Dress – could there be a more practical, stylish, travel-appropriate dress? And it’s grey marl! There’s a lot of great American Vintage on Style Passport and I firmly believe it’s a good choice for those of us who are kind of technically backpacking but also a bit older and still interested in looking nice. This dress looks like my dream aeroplane outfit but I can also see it working on the beach as a cover-up or for going out in the evening. Absolutely perfect.
4. American Vintage Twist Neck Loose Fit Tee - can’t beat a good t-shirt, particularly one that comes in ‘piscine green’. This slouchy shape is perfect and as with the rest of American Vintage, can survive being thrown around and screwed up in a backpack and still emerge looking good.
5. Levi’s Made and Crafted Highball Shorts - this is going to be the holiday when I come to terms with shorts. And what better start than these bubblegum-pink ones? The Levi’s Made & Crafted range is a nice new addition to the Levi’s family – lots of good colour and perfect slouchy shapes. I’d wear the entire range in a heartbeat – also feeling this pink dress with leather belt, mmhmm.
6. Pendleton Woven Bag - what better than a bit of all-American craftsmanship for an all-American roadtrip? Love the print, love the fabric, love the size – holiday BFF, who I’m already dreaming about sticking under my head as I snooze on a beach. Fun fact – did you know the Beach Boys were originally called the Pendletones because of their love of Pendleton? FACT.
7. Pichulik Pom Pom Necklace - jewellery is going to be a problem for me on this trip. I wear a lot. All the time. But the idea of carrying all my favourite jewels around with me worries me slightly – potential for loss when I’m scubaing around or trekking through jungles just seems too much to bear. I love the statement that this makes but it’s also big and sturdy enough to survive a bit of travel, I reckon.
8. Seafolly Aloha Bandeau and Mini Hipster - a bikini called Aloha has to be worn in Hawaii, I think it’s a rule. I love Seafolly full stop – you know that Aussies have to have a good understanding of swimwear and the cuts are just so flattering and grown-up. Also great accessories – this Tassle Kaftan is another one I could see myself wearing as I slope off up the beach to pick up another mai tai from the bar.
9. Swedish Hasbeens Heart Sandal - see, practical footwear doesn’t have to be ugly. I plan on wearing my Swedish Hasbeens daily throughout our three months so will report back on just how that turns out, but for colours and cute styles while still being solid enough for a lot of walking they already have my heart.
10. Gaucho Belts Capybara Leather Belt - I don’t travel anywhere without a belt – see point two and my theory of always having a waistline of some sort. Something sturdy and colourful like this would go with just about everything – honestly up there with a passport and first-aid kit as something I don’t think I could travel without.
11. Ray Ban New Wayfarer - did I mention that we’re going to be spending three months in really sunny places?
12. Cheap Monday Lori Straw Sunhat - see point eleven. It’s going to be challenging enough not getting my colour done for three months as it is, the last thing I want is dry knackered hair as well. I LOVE the size of this – floppy hats have always been a holiday staple for me and this one shoots straight to the top of the list for this year’s adventuring.
**This is a sponsored post, to keep me looking like a human while I backpack around the globe**