Woman making her baggage for the next vacation

Transitional seasons are some of the finest times for traveling – think a rosy springtime in Paris or evocative autumn in New York. They’re also, however, some of the trickiest times for travel. 

Because the weather remains unpredictable throughout these months – oscillating between unseasonably warm highs and bone-chilling lows, dry periods and rainy days – it can be challenging to pack correctly. And it can be doubly difficult to pack light. 

Luckily, there are a few tips you can keep up your sleeve to travel the transitional seasons on a single carry-on bag. Here are a few ways to pull it off. 

Think Layers, Layers, Layers 

The first packing tip doesn’t just apply to travelers; it applies to anyone stepping out of their home during the transitional seasons. Spring and fall aren’t a time for two-layer combos of tees and coats. They require an “onion” approach to getting dressed, involving at least three layers of clothing you can take on or off as the weather dictates. 

On an average Northern Hemisphere trip (south of the Arctic Circle), you can bank on bringing a base layer of shirts, underwear and socks; a middle layer of sweatshirts and sweaters; and an outer rain jacket or similarly light jacket. To ensure everything fits, follow the next tip…

Consider Merino Wool 

Merino wool seems like it was engineered in a laboratory as the perfect transitional season clothing. Of course, it wasn’t – it’s an all-natural product that gains its inimitable features of centuries of selective breeding and evolution. 

Here are some of the specs on Merino wool: 

  • It’s insulating in cold weather
  • It’s breathable and sweat-wicking in warm weather
  • It’s fast-drying in wet weather
  • It’s wrinkle-resistant 
  • And it’s naturally antimicrobial, meaning it stays fresh between washes for weeks (weeks!)

It’s those last two benefits that make Merino ideal for light traveling. Because you don’t need many base layer items (and only one middle layer item), you can pack ultra-light. 

Keep it Neutral for a Capsule Feel

When shopping for Merino clothes, opt for a brand like Unbound Merino that eschews the flashy logos and garish color schemes for a minimalist, neutral aesthetic. Not only do these garments look better, but they allow you to create a miniature capsule wardrobe in your luggage. You can mix and match clothing items to ensure that – even though you’ve packed light and packed responsibly for the weather – you don’t feel like you’re wearing the same thing each day. 

From Sunscreen to Chapstick: Outsource Items to Your Destination 

Transitional seasons are the only times in a year when you might need items for dry skin, products for oily skin, protection from the sun and defense against the cold wind. That’s a tall order, and those items can quickly add up in your bag. 

Our advice? Outsource. Most (or all) destinations stock nearly all the same products you can find at home. Many even sell them for a lower price. So, to save space in your bag, consider buying some essential toiletries/cosmetics at your destination. You’ll save some hassle going through security, and you might even save a little money. 

With these straightforward tips, you’re ready to brave whatever the transitional seasons throw at you. 

Published by HOLR Magazine.