Full disclosure, I am a real geek when it comes to packing. I write lists, I do research, and most importantly, I pack about two weeks before the actual holiday. I’m not really sure where this little obsession came from, I’m not that organised with anything else in my life but I think it’s the combination of a decade long career in fashion and beauty where I have done dozens of packing articles (including one rather interesting video for airline staff that has now made me a pseudo celebrity on a certain airline) and the fact I hate being uncomfortable in what I’m wearing.
So, with holiday season upon us once again, and in a bid to rid you all of the “night before the holiday, just chuck anything in the suitcase fear”, here are my top tips for some perfect packing.
1. Give it some thought. Think about it, you will be away from home, possibly out of your comfort zone, for several days – don’t you want to have your favourite things around you? Holidays are so exciting – start your vacay early with a little outfit/necessity planning.
2. Location, location, location. Let me tell you a little story, when I first met my now husband, he surprised me by whisking me off to Africa for a safari for my birthday. In a total love-haze daze I packed a suitcase full of heels, sequins and prints only to arrive at the game lodge and realise, amongst a sea of camouflage print people I might add, that I had literally nothing appropriate to wear. Of course, I styled it out and got through the safari with as little disturbance to the animals as I could manage but my point is – while my outfits might have been fabulous (they really were) they were more Orchard Road than back-of-a-Land-Rover. So my advice is now always ask, is it appropriate?
3. Mix and Match. A 10 day holiday doesn’t equal 10 head to toe different outfits. A 10 day holiday, when carefully thought out, could in fact equal just 10 pieces. So, say on the Monday you wore the gold top and white skirt, on Wednesday wear the white skirt with the black top you will wear again on Friday. Wore the blue dress on Tuesday? Add a belt to make it a totally new outfit for Saturday. See where I’m going with this?
Image sourced via Pinterest
4. No-one likes a soggy suitcase. I mean, it’s happened to everyone, but turning up to find your clothes drenched in shampoo rates pretty highly on my holiday disaster list, especially as it’s so easily avoided. It might sound simple but checking the lids of toiletries, and sealing them with a grip stronger than Hulk Hogan, is an absolute must. If in doubt, just put some sellotape over the lid to double check. Putting similar toiletries in the same washbag (personally I love the clear wash bags from Muji, super roomy and they last forever) is an absolute must because, if one pops, at least you know the rest can just be sponged down and washed.
5. All the time in the world. I have a friend, who every time she goes on holiday takes hair masks, hair rollers, face masks, just about every new make-up product from every new trend she has seen in MAC and you know what happens to it all? It comes back, unused, and normally, in the case of the make-up, a bit mushy. While holidays are a time for relaxing, if you don’t find the time to give you hair an oil-infused soak at home, chances really are that you certainly won’t in holiday. There are more important things to do, such as legs that need tanning, and cocktails that need drinking.
6. Roll with it. If you really can’t get on board with my less is more packing theory, then meet the art of rolling. Now obviously it doesn’t work for all clothes but for shorts and t-shirts etc, it’s a godsend. Not only does it take up way less room than folding, I always find it causes fewer creases too.
Image sourced via Pinterest
7. Perfectly Situated. Now this one isn’t rocket science but it’s really easy to forget. Put the heaviest items (such as your hair-driers, shoes and shampoos) at the bottom not to weigh down, and crease, your clothes.
8. They’re with me. I have now been stranded at airports a whopping nine times! I’ve had bad weather, plane problems to sheer airline incompetence and nothing is worse than a flat phone battery or lack of reading material when you are nearing your eighth hour in the airport lounge. So, my motto is: “if it’s vital to survival – keep it with you”. Medicine, chargers, books and even notepads now never leave my side when I’m travelling.