Traveling for the holidays can be tricky. We did it for so many years, and especially with kids it’s hard to fit everything in plus gifts if you’re bringing those along. So learning to pack the essentials that will keep you looking great over the holidays, cover you for all unexpected events that might arise, and keep your luggage small is super important.
Zappos is one of my go-to’s for shopping because with their crazy fast shipping I can pick something out and have it on my doorstep the next day. Perfect for any last minute things you might need for your Christmas vacation!
Here are 9 essentials you should have in your suitcase for your holiday travel:
1. Two pairs of versatile pants. I chose my two-toned leather leggings and a dark wash pair of jeans. They’ll go with everything and both of them can easily be dressed up or dressed down.
2. A pretty poncho. Ponchos are huge this season and there are so many good ones to choose from. I picked this one up from Zappos and I love how it’s basically just a fashionable blanket that’s socially acceptable to wear around in public. It’s easy to throw on over either your jeans or leggings, and perfect for going out, or just staying home and snuggling on the couch (both of which you’ll probably be doing over your holiday break).
3. A couple of versatile tees. I chose a basic striped one, this oversized scoop hem tunic (that I’m wearing above), and a plain white tee (I’m obsessed with this one and it’s only $8!). I chose pieces that are all in the same color family so they’re easy to mix and match or layer under jackets or that poncho, and will make it easy to create a bunch of outfits while still keeping your suitcase really light.
4. Three pairs of shoes. I’m always an over-packer when it comes to shoes, so I’ve learned to choose pairs that can work for lots of different occasions. Choose one pair of nice flats that can be worn with both of your pants, one pair of ankle boots, and one pair of basic black heels. These three shoes will cover you for any and all occasions during your vacation.
5. Jammies and slippers. Since Christmas time has lots of occasions to relax and be in pajamas (Christmas eve, Christmas morning, and plenty of other times), bring along a pair of festive pj’s and some cozy slippers to keep you snuggly and warm, and also cute for all those pictures that are sure to come. I’m obsessed with these Minnetonka slippers because they’re so soft and warm, but don’t make my feet hot because the back is open. I wear them all day long every day.
6. One coat. Choose a basic and versatile coat you can wear every day during your vacation (without it being obvious you’re wearing the same coat). This simple black double-breasted wool coat is so classic and chic, but will also keep you toasty warm.7. Two bags. Make them both neutral, and bring one casual one, and one dressy one.
8. One or two hats. I’ve become such a hat lover in the last year or so and never travel without one anymore. They’re great for looking put together, keeping your head warm, or covering up dirty hair. My favorite is this gray fedora since it’s the perfect size for every day, but if you’re going somewhere really cold, make sure you also throw in a snow hat with a cute pom-pom on the top! Oh, and when you’re packing a fedora, roll up a pair of jeans, stuff them inside the hat, and then set the hat at the bottom of your suitcase and pack around it. This will help it keeps its shape!
9. Little Black Dress. Since it’s the holidays, I’m sure you’ll have at least one nice place to go during your stay, so a LBD is a must. I chose one that’s stretchy so it makes it feel more casual and it can be dressed up with your heels, or dressed down with your poncho, a hat, and your ankle boots.
photos by rad and happy  ||  created in partnership with Zappos 


  1. Helen Veyna says:

    This post is so helpful and I wish I had these tips a week ago when I was packing for my holiday vacation. I will definitely be referencing this post next time I need to pack for a holiday vacation.


  2. Paige Cassandra Flamm says:

    Such great tips! We’ve got a lot of traveling planned for the next year and I think these are all going to come in handy!



  3. Nat says:

    What is the brand of the brown boots? They’re perfect!

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