Friday, 25 April 2014

The Travel Edit: Packing Essentials

It's that exciting time of year - perhaps you've got a holiday coming up or have a few city break weekends booked in. Either way it'll soon be time to pack up your things and start enjoying yourself, whether you'll be flying off somewhere exotic, somewhere closer to home or even 'staycationing'.

With that in mind, this week I'm looking at packing - and how to make an easier, more organised job of it, so you can arrive at your destination stress and crease free without having packed everything you own and the kitchen sink! I've covered this before in my Travel in Style post, so I can't stress how important this subject is to me!  I'm not one of those people who packs by throwing open their suitcase at the last possible minute (often with the cab waiting outside), and chucking in whatever comes to hand.  

So here are my top packing tips:

1. Get organised with a list
Have a think about the kind of trip you're going on, as well as the duration, to help you determine what to take with you.  For example, if you're going on a seven day beach holiday, you know you'll mostly be wearing swim and beach wear, with an outfit for every evening at the bar!  Try and break down each day - you don't need to pre-plan what to wear on each day, but it does help to envisage how many bikinis, tops, dresses, shorts or pairs of heels you'll need.  You can then make a list, or use a packing list to help you.  You can download packing lists and allsorts of tips from travel experts Eagle Creek:

From Mongolia to Manhattan, download packing lists from Eagle Creek
I love using this pre-printed list, £5.99, Amazon

2. Pick a sturdy, space maximising bag
Whether you're just taking a cabin bag, or you're in it for the long haul, pick a strong, sturdy bag that maximises space, is easy on the eye and will last you a good few years. I'm a fan of Samsonite, Muji and Tripp luggage, all great quality luggage that will last few a good few trips.  At the moment, I have my eye on a hard case hand luggage trolley (33L), as it features compartments that really maximise the interior space.

Muji Hand Luggage Hard Case Trolley 33L, £129
Interior compartments in Muji's case
3. Divide and conquer
Instead of chucking everything into the bag willy nilly, how about categorising your contents by using packing cubes and garment bags, that way you can easily find everything at the other end too, and you can also use them to bring back dirty laundry, whilst keeping things separate from you new holiday purchases!  Both Muji and Eagle Creek (available in the UK via Cotswold Outdoor), have packing cubes, garment cases and garment folders - the latter will keep delicate clothing crease free.

Eagle Creek Pack-It Clean Dirty Cube, £21
Muji Garment Case, from £4.95

4. Decant, go miniature or go light
Unless you're going away for a few weeks or longer, there's no need to lug around full size toiletries or heavy cosmetics.  This is even more valid if you're hoping to go the hand luggage only route. There are now myriad miniature beauty choices from most brands that you can pick up from Boots, Superdrug, and even more luxe brands at Space NK.  Alternatively, now's the time to use up all those samples you got from Birchbox or Glossybox.  If you just can't bear to be without your usual skin, hair and body products when you go away, then get decanting. Once again, Muji comes to the rescue with bottles and jars in all shapes and sizes, or for a budget option, Primark does a set of mini bottles in a clear case with labels for £1!

Get decanting with Muji's selection of travel bottles

5. Keep toiletries, cosmetics and jewellery separate
When it comes to packing your decanted and miniature toiletries, keep them separate in a wipe clean washbag, clear plastic toiletries case (so you can see everything you have with you), or treat yourself to some cases from the Anya Hindmarch labelled collection - which will effortlessly house everything from your makeup, suncreams, jewellery and everything in between with it's corresponding labelled case!

Clockwise from top left:
Hello World Hanging Washbag with clear detachable PVC compartments, £12, Boots
Neon yellow clear make up bag, £10, ASOS
3 Piece Clear Cosmetic Bag Set, £6, M&S
Inflight - Takeoff/Landing Clear Case, £150, Anya Hindmarch
Make up labelled case, £195, Anya Hindmarch (keep an eye out for these on sale at The Outnet!)

Coming soon... The Travel Edit: Hand Luggage Essentials


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