With just over a week until we leave for our holiday in the sun, I read that only 16% of people use everything they take away on holiday with them. With a third of women packing for their husbands allegedly, perhaps there is something to be said for getting someone else to do your packing for you.
But while there are an extraordinary number of companies who will launder, pack and even deliver your luggage to the aircraft, for those of us who would rather save our cash for extortionate sun lounger hire, short term inflatable nonsense and giant pina coladas, there are plenty of ways to ensure you arrive prepared and dare I say with a bit of spare space for holiday purchases. As Diane von Furstenburg once said, “When you figure out your suitcase, you figure out your life.” So go figure…
- Luggage goes astray more often than you might think – it’s happened to me twice – so this is first and foremost. Include one set of underwear, a bikini, your toothbrush and some make-up in your hand luggage. That way you’re covered (in more ways than one) if you arrive at your destination without your suitcase.
2. When you choose which items to take, colour co-ordinate them or keep colours to a minimum so that everything can be mixed and matched. Imagine if everything in your suitcase was white – I know, I know, you’re not the Timotei girl – but you can see what I mean can’t you? It’s almost impossible to go wrong, tedious as hell after two weeks but safe and easy – a bit like eating in Pizza Express.
3. Opting for dresses, jumpsuits and/or playsuits makes holiday dressing even easier – no need to worry about separates and what looks good with what. Just add shoes and go.
4. Pack your heaviest items (shoes, books etc.) at the sides of your case and then pile everything else in the middle. This will mean less movement in transit and less chance of unpacking to find your clothes look as if you’ve wrapped your sandwiches in them.
5. Talking of creasing, rolling your clothes is better than folding to keep creases at bay but don’t roll pieces such as silk blouses and cotton shirts. Wrap these in tissue or plastic covering for extra protection. I’d avoid taking silk anywhere hot unless you will be in air conditioning 24/7, but perhaps that’s just me.
6. Remember those cosmetic roll things that came free with summer magazines a few years ago? Aesthetically about as pleasing as a ready meal but every bit as useful. You can get your hands on one for under a fiver on eBay – ensure you buy one with a hook on one end so you can simply hang the unfurled organiser up in the bathroom at your destination. I use mine for jewellery too.
7. On a beachy type holiday you will spend a ridiculous amount of time wearing swimwear so don’t scrimp on it (see last blog). The one piece swimsuit is enjoying a moment so why not invest in a couple that double up as tops for the evening.
8. There is a school of thought that seems to be doing the rounds which is to lay out all the clothes and shoes you want to take away with you and then halve it. I don’t know what this is about. You are going to a place in the sun not prison. What is ideal is to have a selection of your favourite things that you will feel cool and comfortable in, enough for however long you are going for. You want to be fabulous Beach Barbie not One Outfit Fits All Princess Anne Barbie.
9. With shoes think variety. Travel in the heaviest pair, probably trainers or similar and then pack a pair of flip flop or gladiator styles (they take up no space at all so go wild and pack two pairs why don’t you) and then a glam pair for the evening. That’s only three/four pairs but enough to cover any eventuality. Don’t forget proper shoes can be stuffed with smaller items and are particularly handy for acting as a protective layer for anything delicate. I’ll probably sneak in another mid heel pair so that I’m not outdone by the boyfriend who last year took more shoes than I did. Clearly that’s not on.
10. Remember, if you are travelling with children who also have a hand luggage allowance, you paid for their ticket so you are well within your rights to stuff anything you can’t fit in your own bag into theirs. My son will be carrying the September issue of Vogue for me. No need to tell them obviously. Bon voyage everyone!
My book SHOPPED includes lots of styling and shopping tips such as this. Buy your copy on Amazon or in any good book shop!