Expert Packing Tips from Nikki Tilley at Tilley Vancouver

We leave for three weeks in the UK on Sunday and I am determined NOT to overpack or feel overwhelmed by the overall packing process. As much as I’ve travelled, I still don’t have it down to a science. So I consulted with Nikki Tilley, co-owner of the Tilley Vancouver travel shop ( 1750 W Broadway, Vancouver), for some packing tips. (There’s also a contest at the bottom of this post! *Contest Closed*)

You might recognize the Tilley name, and rightly so. Nikki’s uncle invented the famous Tilley Hat, and her parents opened the Tilley Vancouver shop in the South Granville area of Vancouver to cater to the modern traveller. Nikki and her brother, Jeff, now own the shop and it’s recently launched online platform.

Tilley family
Nikki Tilley with her parents, Barbara and John, and her brother Jeff. Tilley Vancouver has been serving the Vancouver travel community for over 30 years.

Nikki is really the perfect person to provide tips for packing efficiently. Why? And I quote:

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”I started travelling with my family when I was a teenager, with two trips to Europe and then continued in my mid 20’s while working for Princess Cruises. Combined, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to visit all seven continents–though we sailed across the top of Antarctica. I love to travel, experience different cities and cultures and to explore places I have read about. Travel enriches our lives and I am excited to share travel adventures with my children when they are a few years older.”[/perfectpullquote]

(What a cool gal, and cool mum!)

Chatting with Nikki reminded me that I’m not a complete over-packer. But I tend to operate with the budget conscious thought of “What if I need that?” And that often puts me near the weight limit at check-in. It’s a fine balance and the good news is that I get better at it ever time. And packing cubes and compression bags are my best friends. I will be fine, and the organized chaos in this photo will turn into a not too heavy and very well-packed Samsonite carry-on and large suitcase set. I hope.

City Girl Packing Tips with Nikki Tilley

1. Footwear and coats are often the heaviest items you’ll pack, so if you can wear your heavier shoes and coat as you travel it will reduce the weight of your baggage.

2. If you’re flying with different carriers make sure to check their luggage restrictions for weight and size; they can vary, particularly if you’re flying domestically.

3. Packing tools can make packing and organization so much easier:

  • Compression sacs are a great way to reduce the size of bulkier items, such as jackets or sweaters.
  • Using a garment folder will help keep garments wrinkle-free.
  • T-shirts, leggings, and knitwear can be rolled instead of folded and then stored in a packing cube.

4. Check the weather forecast for where you’re going. Even in hotter climates, early mornings and late evenings can be cool; so you want to be prepared for the expected temperatures.

5. Toss all the Clothes and items you want/need to take with you in a laundry basket or plastic tote. Sort, take at least four things out and then sort again. Rinse and repeat.

6. “What if I need that?” 90% of the time? You won’t. Leave it out unless you aren’t going to be somewhere where you could easily purchase a cheap option while you are away.

7. Make sure most of your clothing can mix and match.

8. Most important: Make a packing list. Things to consider:

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]

  • Where are you going?
  • Time of year
  • How long are you going
  • What are your essentials?


Determining the above will help drill down your packing list. If you need a packing list template, Tilley Vancouver has a great one here. Speaking of travel essentials, mine are listed here and I’ll be doing an update for 2019. But if I had to choose a Top 3:

  • large scarf
  • socks (lots of socks!)
  • small umbrella

And guess what? Tilley Vancouver has partnered with me to give away my Top 3 travel essentials to a lucky winner!

Travel Essentials Giveaway!

  • 1 x Fraas scarf
  • 1 x Fulton small umbrella
  • 1 x pair of Stance socks
  • *Valued at $150 CAD

A really great Christmas gift for one of you, my fellow West Coast City Girls! And gents? Don’t be afraid to enter–think of the brownie points with a female in your life if you gave them this bundle.

Click the below to enter and for contest rules!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post was created in partnership with Tilley Vancouver. All opinions are my own.


“The best education I have ever received was through travel.” ~ Lisa Ling

Leave a Reply