Winter is coming and that means we’re planning, or at least dreaming of, our next escape to sunnier and warmer climates. As we dream of our travels most of us dread the packing. The “what if’s” creep in … What if it rains? What if it’s cold? What if I’m invited to attend a party spontaneously, and what if I spill red wine on my favourite jeans? 

Don’t let the “what if’s” cause you to be overweight at the check-in counter. We asked our Fashion Director, Pam Cook, just how she packs for all her international travels while she scouts the globe seeking out great product for our stores. Here are her top 5 packing tips:

1) Start early. If you have an extra rolling rack at home, start to pull items from your closet at least a week before you are scheduled to travel. Take a look at it every day. Remove items, add items, group items together into outfits. You’ll quickly see that by mixing and matching you can remove quite a few pieces from the rack. It’s also helpful to see it all in one place as opposed to just packing pieces directly into your bag. 

2) Choose your palette. Basing your wardrobe choices while travelling on either black or neutrals allows for easier choices when it comes to shoes and accessories. If I’m travelling to a city I generally base my wardrobe on black and if headed to the beach, neutral, lighter tones. 

3) Pack in plastic and tissue. A little extra time at home folding your items with tissue and putting them into individual plastic or packing bags saves time at your destination. Clothes arrive wrinkle free and you are able to group your clothes together by commodity. All shirts, pants, sweaters, skirts … you get the idea! 

4) Travel sizes. Depending on the length of your trip invest in travel bottles for your toiletries or in the travel size versions of your favourite products. Full size products not only take up precious space they also add unnecessary weight to your baggage. 

5) Carry on. Now don’t get the wrong idea … I may be the one giving packing tips but I have yet to master the art of the carry on as my only bag. What I pack in my carry on are all the things I may need should my bag go missing … gasp!!! My favourite shoes, a change of clothing appropriate for my destination, a bathing suit and cover up (if travelling somewhere warm), my medication, jewelry and my chargers.