We had a family trip to Nusa Dua in Bali in the April school holidays. The weather was 23 degrees at night and about 30 degrees during the day – with very high humidity which made it feel much, much hotter!
The Welshman and Boyo’s packing for our recent trip to Bali was relatively simple. T shirts, shorts, one party shirt, undies, sandals, trainers, swimwear, along with a washkit. Boyo also packed a Video Game Designer kit (pad and pens to the rest of you), a couple of soft toys, his gaming equipment and a couple of toys (which I think he played with twice, if that). Included in the Welshman’s enormous travel backpack, which he has had since college days and has been all over the world, were a few more bits and pieces, like snorkel gear and blow up pool toys. As you do. He’s our family packhorse, bless him.
The enormous suitcase is, um, mine! It’s a fabulous International Traveller polycarbonate Hard Shell Expander. It is worth considerably more than the $15 I paid the local Vinnies store for it! It’s like travelling with your own portable wardrobe, with its double compartments, shoe holder and zipped pockets. Did I mention it is expandable?
We also all packed a travel bag – the boys were practical and went for backpacks, but I was after an excuse to use my lovely Spencer & Rutherford travel bag (also thrifted for $20). Boyo is responsible for his toys and games, the Welshman is responsible for the travel documentation and money, and I’m responsible for carrying the liquids, medicines, travel pillows and extra clothes for when the temperatures plunge on the plane. Plus the magazines I’d been collecting for the trip. That’s where the extra bag came in – my favourite See by Chloe tote. Doubles beautifully as a casual handbag when on holiday.
Oh, I do not miss travelling with a much smaller child! The stuff you had to cart with you – mainly stuff to, you know, keep them alive like food, milk and nappies, and stuff to, you know, stop the other passengers throwing them out the emergency exit, like books, cuddly toys, puzzles, very, very quiet toys, crayons and colouring books, and many, many snacks in many, many little bags to keep them entertained! Now, we just make sure Boyo has food and drink and a fully charged Nintendo DS and iPhone and he’s good to go! He is enchanted by his very own movie screen too.
My clothes packing list:
- Maxi dresses in cotton and silk by Sportsgirl, Just Jeans, Sportscraft and Metalicus
- A beaded neckline jersey maxi dress for dinner dates by Virtu
- Sunfrocks by Sportsgirl and Seed Femme
- A cotton skirt by Country Road
- A silk skirt by Zimmerman
- Denim shorts by Ripcurl
- Tank tops by Country Road
- T shirts by Country Road and Sussan
- A cotton shirt by Seed Femme
- Silk cami by Country Road
- Wide brimmed fabric hat by Gorman and even wider brimmed packable straw hat by Jendi
- Cotton and silk scarves
- Cotton sarongs
- Cotton caftans by Tie Rack
- Mix and match bikinis and tankinis by Isola Megan Gale, Seafolly, Baku and Bond-Eye
- Mini boardies by Ripcurl
- Knickers, bras including strapless and nighties
- Cardigan by Country Road
- Silk unlined kimono jacket by Seed Femme
On the plane, I dressed in a pair of Seed Femme pull on cuffed tie waist jeans, teamed with a Sussan t shirt, Portmans long line cotton cardigan, Fat Face cotton scarf and Country Road casual ballet flats. The pants (oh my gods, am I really admitting this?) were essentially like a pair of denim track pants but perfect for travelling. I always pack a pair of warm and fluffy socks for the plane and slip on shoes are essential for the loo trips you’re going to have to make.
The maxi dresses were a winner. They were great for making it look like an effort had been made when it so hadn’t – always a big plus with me. They were able to be styled down for sightseeing and styled up for resort dinners. Despite having a lot of fabric, they were surprisingly cooling as the fabric swished around my legs. Crucially, not having a waistband was their biggest selling point. There were times during the day that they were just too hot though.
The denim shorts were worn once for bike riding. Maxis really don’t cut it for this! Unfortunately, the shorts were just too hot for every day wear.
I spent most of my days wearing my swimmers with short caftans or sarongs over the top for lounging around, changing in and out of maxi dresses and sunfrocks during the day and for evening.
The t shirts were not a big hit – it was just too hot to wear anything with arms. Even cotton knit tank tops felt too hot. I’m so glad I ran back at the last minute and threw the silk cami in!
The one layer silk full short skirt was a winner, especially when teamed with the silk cami. Unfortunately, my cotton full knee length skirt was worn once to breakfast and never again. A wide elasticated waistband was just too hot to bear!
Despite being very hot and humid, the cardigan actually was quite useful for hanging out in our suite. It was unbearable without the air conditioning, but finding a temperature that kept one cold girl and two hot boys all comfortable at the same time proved very difficult. Chuck a light cotton cardigan on the cold one – all sorted!
The scarves in cotton and silk were fabulous. They could be worn around shoulders as an impromptu coverup, twisted up and used as a hair accessory, used as a sarong for visiting temples and adding a little bit of style. Essential, yes?
I also shopped a bit whilst I was in Bali at one of the local shopping centres. A bit less intimidating than some of the markets. I bought two ruched bodice cotton sunfrocks, a couple of cotton caftans, a silk caftan (totally wearing the caftans as a dress over a Metalicus slip and leggings) and a throw on silk strapless frock which I’ll probably never wear again. The whole lot cost me about $50 and gave me a few more options for those incredibly hot days when I just couldn’t bear a maxi dress.
I mixed and matched my two bikini bottoms, two bikini tops and two tankini tops. I also bought a fab polka dotted skirted bikini bottom. Luckily, I like clashing patterns because one of my favourite combos was this with my leopard bikini top! Never even touched the boardies – thought I might need them for boat trips.
I also packed a variety of accessories. I packed a Gorman wide brimmed reversible cotton hat, and a Jendi packable wide brimmed straw hat. I packed my favourite Rayban Wayfarers, and also a pair of Category 3 cheap oversized sunnies to wear in the pool.
I took a small leather pocketed bag that could be worn bandolier style, my See by Chloe tote and used my Mimco camera case as an evening clutch.
The hair accessories that came in most handy were hair scarves, headbands, hair clips and pony tail ties. Humidity is not usually good for curly hair, so clipping the shorter front part of my hair away from my face helped a lot!
The shoes I packed were a pair of white leather Django & Juliette dressy sandals, jandals and my oldest Birkenstocks which I didn’t bother bringing home. I bought a pair of Ipanema jandals too. Couldn’t resist – look how cute they are!
I’m pleased to report that I used most of the clothing I packed. The items I didn’t use were because I’d misjudged just how hot and sticky the weather was going to be.
I’d love to be a capsule wardrobe type person, but I really have to face facts and admit I’m a girl who needs options!
I’d love to hear all your packing tips. Are you an overpacker? Does anyone ever wear everything they pack?!