Multiples Of Two Packing Plan

Multiples of two packing plan

This might sound silly, but creating Distant Francophile has brought all sorts of artistic joy into our lives. We spend way more time than you might imagine discussing topics and the associated photographs that might be worth sharing.

But the whole creative process is not my favourite part of Distant Francophile. In fact, it doesn’t even come close.

My favourite aspect of Distant Francophile is the fabulous community of people who take the time to read, comment on and email us about the thoughts we share. I’m perpetually delighted by the relationships I’ve built through Distant Francophile, both in person and on-line.

And while it doesn’t happen often, I love it when I get the chance to have readers contribute their French experiences to Distant Francophile. I’m always excited about how much I learn from the francophile community – and I hope you find it interesting too.

Over a long period of time, I’ve been lucky enough to build up a relationship with Distant Francophile reader and fellow traveller Claire. Claire recently headed to France (and other parts of Europe) – and I travelled along with her via her entertaining Instagram account.

I was particularly interested in the research she did on macarons – it was enlightening!

When Claire touched base on her return to Australia, I was quick to ask if she would be willing to write about her experiences – any of them – and I’m so happy she said yes!

Thank you so much for sharing this story Claire.


Multiples Of Two Packing Plan

A recent four week trip to Paris, Bordeaux, Bern and Vienna gave me the opportunity to pack my own travel capsule wardrobe. I thought, I planned, I read blogs.

The last time we had travelled to Europe, it had been during December so there was no need to try and guess the weather. On this visit, it was mid April and I’d been watching the weather forecasts and considering last year’s temperatures, noticing temperature ranges from 13 to 30 degrees celsius. As it turned out, the days were colder than expected, with the average temperature just 12 degrees celsius. We did have a few days in Bordeaux in where the temperature reached the mid 20’s.

Before we left, the clothes went on the bed.

Multiples of two packing plan

I matched, cross matched, checked that each item coordinated with others and that scarves pulled outfits together. Then I put back a third and felt I was left with a workable wardrobe.

We didn’t take carry on, my mother, who I travelled with, just doesn’t do that, and half our cases were filled with gifts for family in Frankfurt. My case didn’t weigh over 20kg full and I was able to lift it on and off trains. I was also pleased to have the room to indulge in some souvenirs; salt, soap and chocolate being my weaknesses.

But back to my wardrobe…

I was walking home from the Métro, thinking about my clothes (as you do) and I was annoyed and frustrated with myself. I had too many clothes, and as they were clothes that I wore everyday at home, I couldn’t get rid of them.

It was at that moment, thinking back to our previous but shorter trip, that I made up my Multiples Of Two Packing Plan.

  • Two pairs of pants – I’m not a skirt / dress wearer. One pair soft black, the other will be jeans.
  • Two cardigans or jumpers.
  • Two scarves to coordinate.
  • 2 pairs of shoes – both flat with good support for walking.
  • 4 t-shirts or tops – short or long sleeved depending on the weather (plain, some with collars)
  • Two sleeveless vests for layering under the t-shirts
  • Underwear (2 bras, 4 knickers), pajamas, fold up slippers and 4 pairs of socks.
  • Soft pants – I always take a pair of yoga style pants to wear when we get back to our accommodation, they are comfortable to relax in and this gives the others a chance to air.
  • Coat, hat and gloves

Last time I took silk thermals and wore them only once. They take next to no room so on future trips I’ll take the top.

By wearing the bulkier clothes and boots, I will have more than enough clothes and what I do take will fit easily into a carry-on bag!!



Thanks again for guest posting on Distant Francophile Claire – I am so grateful to you for sharing your story, the lesson you learned and your fabulous packing tips.

Until next time – au revoir.


Photographs courtesy of Claire Collins 2016.

About Janelle

I believe that everyone can bring French elegance and inspiration to their life, no matter where they happen to live in the world. They only need to learn a secret or two to be on their way. When you join the Distant Francophile community, you’ll have access to the secrets that allow you to bring the best of the French lifestyle into your everyday life. I’m talking about things like style advice, recipes and book reviews. And you’ll also receive regular doses of French inspiration, as well as travel and packing tips galore.

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7 thoughts on “Multiples Of Two Packing Plan

  • Anne Murphy

    Fabulous post claire. Having known you for a quite a few years now, I know how organised you are and this is great advice for travelling anywhere. Loved following your journey on your last trip.

    Looking forward to the next one. Anne xx

  • Noelle

    If you overpack, or the weather swings hot and the sweaters are too heavy, just send a box home. The cost is far outweighed by the relief you’ll feel.

  • Virginia Koffke

    Oh this is so me! First trip to France left in April so packed for cool but not freezing weather and we had a heat wave! Whole new wardrobe had to be bought. Second trip was longer so we packed for a change of seasons and overdid it,suitcase weighed a tonne even before we started and hauling it up and down metro stairs was painful. Third trip fared better by then I was on the internet for weeks before hand reading everybody’s ideas on what to pack. Fourth trip coming up in April 2017 and this time I have layed it all out on the bed and I have tried it all on in the combinations I think will work. So fingers crossed this is going to work. Main travel colour this time is rust with accents in black and white.

    • Janelle Post author

      Your story sounds very similar to my own Virginia. I got it wrong so often in our early trips but learned that ‘laying out’ and planning are the keys to success. And btw, your colour palette for your April trip sounds fabulous. Travel safe and have fun.