Best packing rule ever – 5,4,3,2,1

I am a ninja packer, as I am able to squeeze a lot into a very small space but I do tend to totally over pack and end up with loads of clothes that I don’t even take out my suitcase (yes, this happened in Scotland).

So, with my Croatian trip coming up, and having limited space on the boat and also in the car. Especially, with 3 of us and only a small boot. I decided to do some research on packing light. This morning, my husband mentioned the 5,4,3,2,1 rule (I had never heard of it), so to make sure he wasn’t lying and trying to trick me into packing next to nothing. I googled and found out that this is infact a thing and makes perfect sense! It will differ slightly according to which country you are going, and the season it will be. However, the general idea is the same.

I have adapted mine below for a beach/Summer holiday. Just keep in mind, this is for a 7 – 10 day trip, so you will need to increase according to how long your trip is.

When packing, think of what goes together and be sure to pick items that are classic, essential and wearable.


It’s best to choose 5 tops which will go with the other items you are taking with. In your 5 tops, you need to include an option incase the evenings are bit chilly, such as a denim jacket or a light jersey.


Your 4 bottoms can include shorts, skirts and jeans. Make sure to choose bottoms that compliment the tops you have chosen. It’s also a good idea to include items such as a pair of skinny jeans, that can be dressed up and down.


Dresses are great, as they are normally light and can be dressed up and down quickly. Just keep in mind the shoes you are taking, so that you and make sure that your dress choices complement them.

Shoes are always the most difficult to pack. The answer is to keep it simple! Pack shoes that will go with just about everything you have packed. I’m not a heel kind of girl, so I always make sure that I have comfortable flats and will take a pair of more dressy flats/pumps. Whichever shoes you choose, make sure they are comfy and you can walk in them for the whole day!


If you’re heading on a summer holiday you’re going to want at least two costumes, so that you have choice when one is wet. I normally take a tankini and a full costume, that way I can wear what I feel like on the day.

For bags, I normally take a backpack that is also my camera bag, which serves as my travel bag when I’m on the plane, as well as wondering around the sights. Then I also take a smaller sling bag for when I go out in the evenings, which is perfect for your wallet & phone. Try to choose a neutral colour or one that goes with a all your outfits. I crocheted myself one, so it rolls up to just about nothing and is perfect!


Normally for a holiday you only need one hat, so either a cap, straw hat or my current favorite is a military style cap. It’s best to choose something that will match the activities you have planned for the holiday. You don’t want a straw hat if you are planning a cycling trip through the countryside as it might be a bit difficult to keep it now, a cap would be better suited to active activities. Whereas a broad brimmed straw hat is perfect for relaxing on the beach.

It’s hard for me to admit that you only really need 1 set of pjs per week you are away. But, realistically you shouldn’t need more than that for the trip. As you will not have time to lounge around in them, or at least I don’t when I go overseas.

Just think about it this way, the more pairs of sunglasses you have, the more there are too loose. If, you are like me, you will have 20 pairs but you can only wear one pair at a time, so you only need 1 pair!


For underwear and socks include as much as you can fit in…remember to squeeze them into your shoes the other small gaps in your bag.

These are not my items - it is merely an example of what to pack (it was created with Polyvore)

These are not my items – it is merely an example of what to pack (it was created with Polyvore)

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