As Canadians, there's nothing we like talking about more than the weather. During the winter, this obsession naturally leads to thoughts of a tropical getaway. But what to wear in the heat when you've been wrapped up in a parka and boots for months? Here, four seasoned travellers offer their tips on mid-winter packing for a trip down south.
"I'm in Arenal, La Fortuna, Costa Rica with my husband and two boys, Felix, 8, and Desmond, 5. It's not technically the green season but as we're staying in the interior, near the rain forest, we have to expect, at minimum, sporadic showers – which makes packing interesting. We'll be out a lot on excursions like hiking and rock climbing, but also relaxing and enjoying the hot springs, so it's a combo of adventure travel and poolside holiday. I left the heels behind because I was determined to pack carry-on only and something had to give. I wore my Nike Cortez runners on the plane to save room in my suitcase, and they've been worn a ton with all of the walking. Otherwise, bring lots of versatile layering options like linen and woven tunics that can be worn over pants, but also as cute sundresses with sandals. Of course, lightweight scarves are an obvious must-have as they add an extra layer of interest to simple outfits, but are also useful covers." – Afiya Francisco, style expert
"Lisbon has changed so much since my first visit almost eight years ago. It still offers so much, and, each trip, I discover something new and exciting. From there, I'll be road-tripping to the charming Alentejo region to kick back and experience some stunning landscapes. Next, I head south to the often-overlooked Eastern Algarve. Tavira is a beautiful small town along the coast and the perfect place to enjoy some fresh ocean air and spend a lazy afternoon. I always travel with my Rimowa suitcase. I'm on the road often and a good suitcase is a must. My Sandro double-breasted cotton trench is a versatile layered jacket that looks sharp for a dinner out, or paired with jeans and sneakers. Speaking of layering, my Uniqlo ultra-light down jacket is a staple. It keeps you toasty if the weather gets unexpectedly cool, and takes up almost no space in your luggage. I'm also huge into using facial oils. Travel is hard on your skin, and oils do a superb job of bringing back that needed hydration. Plus, they are very concentrated so the bottles are small and easy to pack. And always a great pair of sunglasses. My go-to are Canadian – shout out to my home province of P.E.I. – made by Fellow Earthlings. Handmade and they fit perfectly!" – Daniel MacKinnon, travel blogger at jetlegs.net and creative director
"Earlier this month, I flew down to Palm Beach, Fla. with my husband Mark and daughter Parker. One of my favourite things to do is walk along the ocean. If you catch the tide right, you can walk for miles, and the beach is beautiful. While days in Palm Beach are quite casual, evenings are far from it – that makes packing a bit of a challenge. The island is also quite social and there tend to be a few fun cocktail parties to attend. Unfortunately, I have a thing for insisting that we only pack carry-on, so efficiency is key. Just about everything in my suitcase is multi-purpose. For this trip, when on the beach I wore Hunza G bikinis and Pucci cover ups. When out for lunch or shopping along Worth Avenue, it was Ann Taylor white jeans, simple J.Crew tops, Jimmy Choo wedges and Hermès bangles. At night, Aquazzura heels and Davis Project separates." – Suzanne Cohon, principal of ASC Public Relations
"I recently travelled with my boyfriend Tristan to Los Angeles first for Complex Con, then to Melbourne for four days where we linked up with our Aussie friends. We flew to Queensland together, travelling through Surfers Paradise to Noosa and Byron Bay for eight days, before heading back to Melbourne for another four days. We rarely get to go on beach holidays, so we just tried to relax and enjoy the weather as much as we could. Packing for Australia in the late spring can be tricky because the weather fluctuates a lot. The most important item in my bag, since I'm quite fair, was sunscreen: SPF 50 for the face and 15 for body. For the city, I took a mix of jeans, T-shirts, sneakers and light denim jackets, as well as a handful of summer dresses and sandals for dressier dinners on the hotter evenings. For the beach I packed a few swimsuits – or bathers as they call them in Australia – to rotate, an elegant kimono instead of a cover-up and a few pairs of slides that are okay getting wet. I left behind a pair of last season's sneakers to make room for some new Australian designer pieces and beauty products that I picked up on the trip." — Hawley Dunbar, co-founder of sidewalkhustle.com
THIS WEEK'S STYLE HAPPENINGS
Time's Up and Condé Nast are partnering with eBay to auction more than 35 of the black dresses and tuxedos worn at the Golden Globes. Until Jan. 26, Canadians can bid on designer pieces worn by Salma Hayek, Gal Gadot, Meryl Streep and more, with proceeds going to the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund, which helps individuals facing workplace sexual harassment. For more information, visit www.ebay.com.
Toronto home decor boutique Hopson Grace is launching its new custom Toronto Tile created by Story Tiles artist Marga Van Oers. Available in two sizes, they can be hung or used as a coaster, trivet or decorative object. Painted on a classic Dutch tile, it features the city imagined from the Toronto Islands, capturing Lake Ontario and the waterfront. For more information, visit www.hopsongrace.com.