The fashionista's packing guide
My tips for a successful holiday packing
Getting ready for your long awaited holiday? But feeling slightly overwhelmed by the thought of packing? Well, worry no more. By following a few simple rules you will be able to pack everything you need. And without having to drag an insane number of bags and suitcases.
Rule number 1 - Sample-ify!
Have you ever noticed how your beauty bag can often ruin all your perfect packing? You work hard to neatly fold all your clothes and leave enough space for those essential pairs of shoes. But when the time comes to add your toiletries then nothing fits anymore… And to make it even worse it always happens as you are just about to leave the house because that’s the last thing you pack. Right?
Fortunately, it is actually quite simple to avoid ending up with an extra suitcase or leaving behind all your cherished beauty products. First, make the most of all those free samples that you have accumulated in a drawer somewhere. Second, head over to Muji to stock up refill bottles and boxes in miniature sizes. And finally, check out your favourite beauty brands' travel packs. Nowadays it has become a pretty standard practice. If you are still stuck or don't want to spend a fortune, try Boots or Superdrug who have a large selection of travel size essentials.
From left to right, back to front
AesopLondon Travel Sized Essentials, £50
FreshSoy Face Cleanser, free sample
AromatherapyFace Oil, free sample
Mujirefill bottles and cases, prices starting at £0.95
Rule number 2 - Organise your clothes with garment bags
Packing can be tricky when you are about to go on holiday, but it gets even worse when you are heading home. For some reason, everything you have managed to fit in your luggage on the way out is impossible to put back. And that's a common cause of end of holiday nervous breakdown...
Familiar with that feeling? If so, try and store your clothes by themes or types of clothes (evening outfits, day wear, casual, dressy, tee-shirts, dresses etc) into garment bags. Muji has a great selection from small to large sizes (prices starting at around £3). Definitely worth investing in those! It saves a lot of space in your luggage. It ensures you don't have to sit four elephants on your suitcase to close it up at the end of your vacation. And it also helps avoid forgetting that amazing dress you had especially bought for your holiday but blanked out as it stayed at the bottom of piles of tee-shirts. Finally it is also essential in helping you plan what you will wear exactly, which takes me to...
Rule number 3 - Don't pack (too much) more than you actually need
As a rule of thumb, if you are going away for a week, and planning to wear different outfits day and night, don't take more than a couple of extra outfits, e.g. 7 (day wear) + 7 (evening wear) + 2 (day or evening). Obviously this can be scaled up or down depending on the number of days you are going to be away or events you are planning to attend. But it is a useful basic rule to ensure you have a bit of flexibility but don't end up with tons of stuff you won't even have the opportunity to show off!
Similarly, when it comes to shoes, try and limit (at least try) to 2 pairs for daytime (including one pair of flats) and 2 pairs for the evening. And the same works for your make up (2 casual lipsticks, 2 stand outs). Anyway, you get the gist.
Rule number 4 - Pack smartly
We all like to be at our best during our holidays, and that often means we want diversity of choice. Why should we wear the same outfit twice when it is the only time of the year when we are sure to go out, look tanned, get hundreds of pictures taken of ourselves!? One easy solution is to pack versatile clothes. A nice pair of jeans or a simple well cut skirt that you can wear with different tops.
If you get the urge to pack anything that you have not worn for the past couple of seasons, forget it and put it back in your wardrobe. Because you are not going to wear it, trust me. Instead, use the extra space to buy yourself something new while you are away as you are bound to want to bring back some souvenir clothes.
Rule number 5 - Don't panic, there is always extra space
We all go through that moment of realisation that we have forgotten something essential: sunglasses, hat, handbag... To avoid that moment of utter panic, my final piece of advice is to take a large handbag with you in addition to your suitcase. Sounds counterintuitive. Maybe. But if you only carry a small cross body bag to travel then how will you get to fit an additional last minute purse, or your kids' favourite toy etc? My handbag generally acts as a spare luggage that I end up filling with all sorts of stuff (iPad, several pairs of sunglasses, a clutch, sometimes an extra pair of shoes, in addition to passports, tickets, and everything I need to make sure the actual travelling (with kids) isn't a disaster, i.e. food, water, small toys etc).
Enjoy your holiday!