Sunday, 28 March 2010

Travelling Light

Have I mentioned that I'm off to spend a month in Goa? A follower asked me what I took with me so as I spent most of yesterday packing my bag I thought I'd share my tried and trusted capsule wardrobe. I travel light, rarely weighing in at more than 12kgs at check-in.

Left to right: Vintage 70's halterneck (eBay), Vintage polyester empire-cut (jumble sale), Van Allan cotton spot (eBay), "Woodstock" strapless (Market stall)

Firstly, my maxi dresses. As the temperature rarely dips below 40 degrees they offer a touch of glam,  are fuss-free and no undies required.  I wear them during the day with my hair done up in a big flower-accesorised bun and some oversized sunglasses or at moonlit beach parties with loose damp hair, smudgy eyeliner, Bollywood chandelier earrings and bare feet.

From left: Vintage romper-dress (Mum), Dollyrockers maxi (eBay), Silk maxi (India), Strapless jumpsuit (charity shop)

I take two full length skirts which I wear during the day with ribbed vests and my trusty denim waistcoat. They are a bit more modest if I'm visiting my Goan friends or for shopping at the local market. The all-in-one romper dress and the strapless jumpsuit are perfect for popping on over a bikini for a day at the beach.
Black cotton hareems and aubergine silk hareems (both bought in India)
I wear the hareems with vests for yoga and long early morning walks along the seashore. 
From left: Vests (all car boot finds), French Connection kaftan (Charity shop), Lilac tee-shirt dress (India), Waistcoat (15 years old)
I take three vests in dark colours as they don't show up the dust and sweat stains. Indian laundries are brilliant but pale coloured clothes always return a strange shade of ginger. A long sleeved top is essential if I'm walking in the heat of the midday sun or visiting temples and non-touristy areas. The assymmetric hemmed vest is great for slouching about after a shower. My vintage denim waistcoat comes with me everywhere, I love it to bits.

I take two pairs of leather sandals, a pretty pair for nights out and a plain pair for the day. Both were made to measure and cost me less than £2 a pair. I usually get a couple of pairs made up for me each year. My rubber flip-flips are for wearing in the shower.
My hessian tote serves as both hand luggage and a beach bag, the vintage saddle bag is for day use and the patchwork purse for nights out (just the right size for a torch, mozzie repellent and loo roll).

I take three bikinis, some pretties for my hair, a couple of pairs of sunglasses (as I always manage to loose a pair), a money belt for when I'm catching trains and in busy areas and a silk scarf for wrapping round my head. A selection of sarongs are essential, not only as bikini cover-ups but also for lying on the sand, as a towels or a make-shift sun shade.
What do you think, am I taking too much or not enough? 


  1. Goa is amazing. I'm from India, and my family and I used to go to Goa once a year for ages. It's wonderful. Which part are you going to? The south is my favourite: it's quiet, relaxing, and beautiful!

    A word on your packing: you've packed some great stuff! Might need some mosquito cream and lots of sunscreen if you're not used to heat and mosquitoes! It's very hot there this time of year...

    I love comments too. It's always nice to know someone reads what you're writing. I think I'd blog even if no one read it, but it's always nice when someone does.


  2. You lucky thing! enjoy your month long holiday, it sounds fantastic!

    I think you are taking enough of you think its enough :P haha.
    You can mix and match alot of what you are taking, plus you can always pick up lovely pieces of clothing/ accessories once your out there and bring them back with you. I definitely much prefer to travel as light as i can than be bogged down with stuff i won't even use.

    What what would put into your hand luggage? You may need lotions, mozzie cream, sun cream would be a must, cosmetics? You may want to take one pair of closed toe shoes/moccasins? you have 2 sandals there, would that be enough?! I'd love see to what suitcase/travel back you'll be taking, i'm guessing it would it be a beaten up well travelled vintage suitcase :)

    Have a fab trip, and take loads of pics.

    G :)

  3. Aside from the fact I want to steal everything...what a fabulous post x

  4. Great post - I'm pretty terrible at packing - I always seem to take far too much, yet leave behind the one thing I really want when I'm there!

  5. Brilliant post. This is a great staple of things to take with you. More people should follow your lead!


  6. A fantastic post! The Aussie and I want to go travelling around southern Italy later this year and I'll need a backpack but I am a notorious overpacker. I'm going to bookmark this for future reference. Thanks so much! (Lush stuff too...)

  7. Thanks for visiting! I hope you'll continue to do so, it's so encouraging when you start out when people are interested in what you have to say!

    Wow! 15 trips to Goa? I guess you weren't joking when you said you're obsessed with India. I'm so excited that you've been to Bangalore! Koshy's IS amazing! My dad's friend runs it, so we go there quite often. If you're ever in Bangalore again, try Sunny's and Infinitea and Only Place. As for Goa, there's a place called Martin's in south Goa, but it's easy to get to from the north. Best crab and lobster in the region! At least, I hope it's still there.

  8. I'm a hideous packer - I take EVERYTHING! You seem to have it down to a fine art. I'm envious of your suitcase and your holiday! Have a wonderful, wonderful time. xx

  9. Vix, I have no idea how you manage to pack such a small amount of stuff for such a long time! I am completely incapable of packing light, it's just not in my nature. Books alone would usually take up most of my baggage allowance.

  10. I'm so jealous! hope you have a fantastic time, great wardrobe! :)
    I'm useless at packing, I've been known to be ripping through my case and finding one shoe, other being back at home...not good.

    X x

  11. Have a completely fabulous time - I can see we have similar organised packing traits. See you when we are both back xxxx

  12. Oh, such lovely things and I love how they all seem to fit with the India theme! You seem like a very efficient packer, I'm dreadful (I took four pairs of shoes to Paris and wore one pair the whole time!). But I do find that dresses are the way forward, they take up less space and don't need to go with anything as they go with themselves :)

    Have a wonderful time and take lots of photos!

  13. Hey Vix. If you do ever come to Coventry then let me know and we will have to meet up so that I can admire your vintage wonderfulness. My mouth is watering at all of your delightful pictures, but I'm terribly jealous that you are off to such a beautiful hot place. Have fun x

  14. I can't believe those sandals are so cheap, sometimes I really wish I did flying, mind you the first place I'd go would be Iceland which is silly expensive. Those aubergine hareems are stunning xx

  15. was me who asked in your last blog :) your post is amazing,l am sure it will help alot off people this summer or anytime they travel. l think it would be great if you could share with us how you prepare you skin and hair for such a long holiday in a warm country?
    your pictures off your home, make me smile, so many people would rather take a trip to ikea than put a bit off thought or time into there home
    j x x x

  16. hello! it's me, thriftybelle from martinsmoneysaver :) i just the love the vintage bag and the strapless jumpsuit! have a lovely time in goa, and i'm looking forward to seeing all of your fabulous finds. it would be wondeful of you to check out my blog, i'm just getting started and it will mainly be about my bargains , art and photography.

    love, jazzabelle.

  17. That is mighty fine packing Vix!!And inspirational!!You are going to look divine in India!!! One thing I have trouble with when packing is my irrational fear that my baggage will go missing,so I never take anything I really love,and then hate what I am wearing the whole time!!! I ruin it for myself!I have a very basic travel staple wardrobe of about 6 frocks,very plain and boring,1 pair of shoes,depending on where we are going,a denim shoulder bag that serves as hand luggage and general purpose.Plus a pile of medical stuff & toiletries.I take only the jewellry I am wearing,1 swimsuit,2 sarongs,1 hat,mascara,lipbalm.Boring,boring,boring!Then I whine about how I miss my clothes!!!I need to get over this fear!!!
    LOVE Helga XX

  18. I wish I could pack light. I seem to just throw in everything that I like/is pretty/will be good in warm weather!
    Hope you have a fab holiday!

  19. Looks just right to me. Long floaty dresses, skimpy bikinis, sarongs and flip-flops... And I've got a hunch that you get nice stuff in Goa, too (if need be). Isn't our lugguage always a bit heavier on the way home? When are you leaving?

  20. The maxi dresses will be perfect whilst out in that heat and also LOVE the vintage bag :D
    I have wanted one like that for ages, and they have one similar in Primark, but its not the same!!! I want vintage :D

  21. Oh girls, it's hard but you must be disciplined with your holiday packing. We're probably staying put in Arambol for the month but usually we travel around so lugging piles of stuff on trains and buses is out of the question.
    I only pack stuff I feel good in, I try it on with my hair scrapped back and no make-up so if it makes me feel good looking my worst it must be okay.
    Helga - we divide our stuff up between two bags so if the worst comes to the worst we've got half our stuff.
    Anon - I take a tatty canvas holdall I bought from TK Maxx years ago, super light with wheels and a pull out handle. Not glam but very practical (not me, is it?)
    I only take sandals, I travel in them too! I rarley wear flat closed in shoes and heels in India look so wrong. Looked a bit stupid last year when I landed at Charles De Gaule in flip flops and there was 7 inches of snow!!!

  22. I am going through all you old posts. Love you sundresses and how unique they all are! Yum!


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Lots of love, Vix