How To Pack For Transitional Timezones In Style & Comfort

Going somewhere warm(ish) this holiday season?

Give yourself the gift of an enjoyable packing and traveling experience, by planning your travel needs now.

Even in cold-weather places, Indian Summer seems to be stretching into a (maybe) White Christmas. How do we best pack for 30-degree swings that cut through the middle of the weather spectrum? For my trip to Marrakech, temperatures were going to range between 45 – 75 degrees. It varied depending on whether it was day or night in this dessert city, whether I was in the medina, or visiting a Berber village in the Atlas Mountains. I packed neutral basics, a couple pops of print, and light outerwear that I could layer and take off.

I don’t like getting ready for trips. As much as I’ve tried all manner of strategies to pack lightly, I’m continually hovering over the 50-lb. mark at check-in. Ironically, at this point I could have bought a light, luxury suitcase with all of the overweight baggage fees I’ve paid. It is nerve-wracking facing the check-in scale, trying to make my hefty suitcase look light as I place it on. Then comes the ignoring of the weight read out–like I have no idea what it would be like to have a bag over the limit–I don’t even know what that red digital readout means. Finally, shock, the utter disbelief when I’m told it’s 6 pounds over. Like trying to sweet-talk a cop out of a traffic ticket, I ask…ok beg…”can’t you let it go just this once?” It hardly ever works. How is it that six pounds adds up like nothing when my bag is over, but seems massive when they ask if I want to remove some things from my suitcase. There’s never enough room in my personal item to add 6 pounds!

One time when I was hauling stuff from one home to another–Denver to New York–I packed a bit of a Russian Doll-suitcase-scenario. When the counter agent told me the all too familiar words—overweight–I opened up my bag of surprises, and dumped one of the inside suitcases. Yep, just left it there with the agent. It was on its last leg—definitely not worth $100.

Prior to traveling to Marrakech, I bought a new 25″ suitcase that weighs only 9 lbs. Weight was of course my primary consideration in my research, and I decided on an inexpensive, American standard–Samsonite. I can’t see spending a lot on luggage that gets checked–it usually gets scuffed and scratched on its maiden voyage.

During my luggage comparisons I stumbled upon a website called, Hitha On The Go. It is  dedicated to tips and tools for packing well, and it also has a great packing list. I’ve never been quite this deliberate, but I decided to try it Hitha’s way. The pretty design of her packing list, and the outfits-first approach made packing a lot more fun. Before we go any further, I have to come clean and tell you that the weigh-in was still too close for comfort, coming in at 49 pounds! What I did discover is that it’s not shoes and clothing that are weighing me down–I wore everything that I brought to Marrakech. Next trip I guess it’s cosmetics and haircare cuts.

Amazing swag from Atelier Doré Marrakech Retreat, here and below:
Lo & Sons Crossbody/Belt Bag . Perfectly-sized, goes with everything.
Vetyverio Diptyque Eau De Parfum . Unique scent. Forever connected with Marrakech.
Basics Hydrating Mist . A treat after a transatlantic flight.

Marrakech is the kind of exotic locale that it’s fun to play to. I bought two new dresses–the silk batik, and floral–specifically with this different world in mind. The rest of my wardrobe was simple, neutral, with a few interesting third pieces to keep it fresh. I brought just a few pairs of shoes that all worked on cobblestone-bumpy streets. The trend of sneakers and Birkenstocks-as-fashion meant more versatility, with less. Ankle boots are funky with midi and maxi dresses, and after this trip I am more into this combination than ever. Jewelry, always my individuality go-to, adds minimally to packing and punches up basic outfits.

MZ Wallace Medium Metro Tote . Such a great personal bag to carry on, or pack flat for destination shopping.

A portion of my Marrakech packing list is below–with combinations and options for only a five-day trip to a temperate locale. What are your best packing tips? Please share them in the Comments Section below. Happy Holiday Packing!

Hitha On The Go Packing List .

Atelier Doré Graphic Tee . Olivia Von Halle Eye Mask . Fun and kitschy.


Cover Photo:
tde flat travel wallet . tde large cosmetic case . tde luggage tag . Mr & Mrs Smith Gift CardTde monogrammed travel accessories make for luxurious travel.


Photos:  Dawn Bell Solich

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  • How To Pack For Transitional Timezones In Style & Comfort, Published 11/28/17

  • Kathy Lund

    I travel a lot for work, not always to locations with temperature swings, but I sometimes need to pack 2-3 outfits per day. Trafeshow outfits, dinners outfits & sometimes, jeans & workout clothes. It’s a project! I always check a bag, mostly for the makeup & I hate putting my bag in the bins. I try to pick a basic neutral color for my clothes. For me it’s usually browns, tans, or greys. Then I add color pieces that can go with several things. Shoes are always an issue. I need working shoes during the day, but refuse to wear them at night. I agree bringing a few statement pieces can extend your travel wardrobe. BTW: I have found the best suitcases at Macy’s. They carry lots of brands & always seem to have great sales. I have invested in good suitcases so they last. Thanks for your post. Always get some great tips!

    • You share my pain—packing is such a chore! Great tips—especially on where to buy luggage.

  • Astrid Kastenberg

    Awesome post! Having travelled so much for work and personally (I’m in Seattle right now), I’ve always teetered on being over-weight with luggage, this post was cathartic! I appreciate the photo ideas as they gave me some great ideas for my next trip. Also, the tip to go to “Hitha on the Go” and get the packing list is fantastic! I love great forms and this will be a tremendous help for my next trip. Love and Light!

    • Hi Astrid! Seattle is in that all-over-the-place weather zone–like it seems so much of the country is right now. I’m thrilled that my post gave you some ideas on how to deal with future trips. Have fun in Seattle!

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