Packing is like Marmite, some people love it and some hate it. Many people postpone it to the last minute and end up with a suitcase that resembles the end of the sales at Zara. A mountain of garments and accessories where you cannot find the “other matching shoe”.
When I first started travelling, I could have been given the under-packer award. I remember my first trip to Boston USA, at the last minute I decided to take out of the suitcase my trainers because they didn’t go with my outfits, just to open my suitcase at the hotel and realise I only had one pair of shoes with me… I still remember the agonising foot pain from wearing my only pair of shoes which were, yes you guessed it, high heels.
Luckily, after many years of travelling, I have learnt a lot from my own mistakes and have accumulated some very useful tips and tricks that I would like to share with you now. That way, when you get to your destination all you have to do is relax and enjoy… in Style!
I love a list, and find it extremely helpful to have one with columns for all the things I need. I use the following headings: what to wear on the trip there and back (more on this on my next blog), essential garments (underwear, PJs, socks), shoes, toiletries and finally a section for what to take on board with you including passport, tickets, hotel direction and medicines.
I typed up a template many years ago and now I just alter it, depending on the season and how many days I am going to be away, and print it. I pack in two stages, so it is not one big chore. First, I pack toiletries and essential garments, then follow the weather and decide what outfits to take about three days before travelling and pack them. Job done!
Now, when it comes to how many clothes to take, there are two things to take into consideration, one is the type of holiday, the other the duration of the trip. I have chosen as an example a five day winter city break.
How many garments to take
1 or 2 jackets, 1 top per day, 1-3 bottoms, maximum 3 pairs of shoes, 1 belt and 1 handbag. In winter add: 1 coat, 1 pair of gloves, 1 scarf, 1 hat and 1 umbrella.
Choose one Colour Scheme and then add one or two neutral colours. Go easy on the prints, perhaps just limit yourself to one and make it a top, a jacket or a scarf but make sure it goes with the colour scheme.
Ah! Remember my mistake, and don’t wear or pack heels unless you are sure you are going to an evening do. I would advise you to take three pairs maximum. Make one a very comfortable pair of walking shoes or trainers for when you are sightseeing.
When it comes to accessories, I personally take no more than three pairs of earrings that go with my colour scheme. I love a scarf, as they are light and can help change an outfit from day to night, you could get away with taking one per day.
I find that just one handbag is more than enough, I tend to go for a cross-body for comfort. There are lots of very pretty ones out there that could be dressed up or down easily.
- I strongly recommend rolling your clothes, this way they will remain fairly wrinkle free and will take up minimum space. If you have the time, use tissue paper to wrap the clothes as you roll them, this trick guarantees wrinkle free clothes.
- Another alternative is using packing cubes. These are particularly good if you are not taking many clothes thinking you will be clothes shopping at your destination. They will stop your clothes from rolling all over the suitcase in transit. Also, they make unpacking a doddle.
- Stuffing your shoes with socks will save you space and will help keep the shoe shape.
- Pack all the heavier items like shoes and the toiletries bag at the bottom, as this will help you when weaving through the crowded terminals at the airport, making it a breeze.
- On the subject of shoes, you can prevent them from soiling your clothes by covering them with shower caps if you don’t have shoes bags.
- I save all the tubular bags from my cosmetic cotton disks, so I can put my liquid toiletries in them. That way if there’s a spillage it is self-contained and not spilling into my clothes.
- Place a dryer sheet inside your suitcase to keep everything smelling fresh.
I do hope you have found my tips helpful. In my next blog I will be talking about how to travel in style and comfort, so watch this space.
Please feel free to forward this blog to your friends, and as usual do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or suggestions.
Until next time,
Looking for help with your holiday wardrobe
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