The expats, nomads, and wanderlusters of the world agree—one of the best times of year to travel is falling. And guess what? They’re right! The bright yet brisk weather, the gorgeous colors of changing landscapes, the adorable outfits associated with this stunning season make booking an autumn vacation an absolute must.
But you may be staring into your open suitcase wondering, what do I pack?
Whether you’re donning your pointy hat for a Halloween trip to Salem or your hiking boots for a jaunt through the gorgeous woods of the Pacific Northwest, these tips will ensure your autumn getaway packing list is covered.
Tip #1 Check the Weather!
When it comes to fashion, knowledge is power. Especially when it comes to weather. Not every fall getaway destination is chilly. For example, if you’re planning on a quick sojourn to Santa Barbara to marvel at the monarch butterfly migrations, you might be packing less sweaters and more sundresses! Or, if you’re hiking the Cotswolds of the United Kingdom, you’ll definitely need more waterproof gear than you think.
Wherever you’re headed, check the ten-day forecast and cruise some message boards to make sure you’re dressing for weather success.
Tip #2 Start with the Basics, Then Expand
Imagine—you and your best friends are headed to wine country to taste some sultry reds and gossip by a roaring fire. You packed your most fashionable jumpsuit, your chic sheath dress, your most styling stilettos… but you left your sweaters and jeans at home!
Which is why it’s always best to start with the trip essentials before throwing in the fun stuff.
Here’s a basic packing list to get you started:
- Form-flattering tees
- Dresses or skirts
- An outfit for the trip home
- Boots and flats
- Socks and tights
- Underwear (two more pairs than you think you need)
Once you have these items laid out, then you can start throwing in the fabulous fall outfits you’ve been excited to wear since last year!
Tip #3 Pack Mix-and-Matchable Patterns
Solid colors are always… well… solid. But if you want to add flair and fun to your travel outfits, throw in some patterned items to create dimension and sophistication to your autumn ensembles. Here are just a few fall pattern favorites:
- Leopard print – Leopard print has become the new go-to fall pattern. Leopard print loafers can add style to a simple black turtleneck and brown corduroy ensemble. A leopard print scarf or sweater can help your day outfit become the hit of the night.
- Stripes – Horizontal stripes are the Swiss Army Knife of any wardrobe. Go for neutral shades or fall hues like orange, red, gold, olive green, or navy blue.
- Plaid or Checkered – Plaid or checkered items can be casual or polished, fun or formal. A pair of plaid pants with a band t-shirt and a leather jacket will give you a punk-rock look that’s ready for a pumpkin patch—or a pumpkin spiced cocktail! Throwing a plaid or checkered coat over your little black dress will make you the most stylish patron at a Lonely Planet approved New England eatery.
Tip #4 Load Up on Light Layers
Fall weather can be unpredictable, no matter how far ahead you plan. A fall day may start with a brisk chill and then warm up until you’re sweating in jeans and a t-shirt. Or, a thick fog will roll in and you’ll be shivering in your sweater and leggings. That’s why it’s always wise to opt for the bigger suitcase, so you can fill your bag with lots and lots of layers.
Tip #5 Make a (Warm) Statement with Your Outerwear
If you’re planning on going somewhere chilly—even if it just has brisk mornings or frost-bitten evenings—use your outerwear to make a stylish statement.
Take a look at the list below for fall outerwear inspiration:
- Trench coat
- Leather jacket
- Bomber jacket
Tip #6 Stay Styling While You Snooze
At the end of a long day of exploring, touristing, hiking, or relaxing, there’s no better feeling than slipping into some comfy PJs.
But when choosing which PJs to pack, don’t forget to think about the spirit of the trip—and choose accordingly.
- Cozy socks for chilly hotel rooms or log cabin AirBnBs.
- Warm and sexy nightgowns for romantic getaways.
- Super soft pajama set for girls-only vacations.
Tip #7 Accessorize for Autumn
Now that all the essentials are snug in your suitcase, it’s time for the fun stuff—which, arguably, is just as essential for an autumn getaway!
- Knit hats
- Cute umbrella in fall colors
- Chic leather backpacks
Set a Course for Autumn Fun
Your autumn getaway packing list is the key to a fun, immersive trip. So, double-check (and triple-check) that you have everything you need!
Leopard print booties? Check. 36AA bra? Check. The spirit of autumn adventure? Oh yeah!