My guide to nailing the art of packing and what to pack to travel in style.
As you may have guessed from the posts I have shared so far of our recent travels (and the ton I have teased you with on Instagram), I have had plenty of practice when it comes to packing. I’d like to think I was reliable resource of how to pack to travel in both style and comfort as well. There is most certainly an art to working out what to pack for both long and short stays, so I thought I would share a little insight into my packing process.
research and plan
Work out where, how long and for what seasons you will be travelling to. This is to eliminate over or under packing. After I turned 18, I packed my suitcase and headed off to Europe to travel alone in Hostels. It was the dead of winter and my first time abroad and heading into snow. I packed at least three heavy woollen coats, three wool scarves, boots, jumpers… the list goes on. I preferred to lug 35 kilos of suitcase through the snow than repeat wear one coat for eight weeks. I was an idiot. I learned my lesson on the first day when one of the suitcase wheels (there were two) broke off. These days I research, write a list of items I plan to pack, then pull them all out, hang them on my clothing rail then lay them on the bed and check they all go with one another. This eliminates unnecessary double ups and ensures I have my bases covered.
the best case
Invest in a good suitcase! I have stuck to the Samsonite brand for fifteen years after suffering from broken case mishaps with other brands. There are of course a lot of brands and styles on the market, I have my eye on a couple of smaller ones (like this) at Bags To Go. These guys have a huge range of brands and they have some really good deals too.
step one – the base layer
Pack heavy or larger items first- shoes, cosmetic bags, hairdryers, power-boards etc. Place the heavier items nearest the wheels. This will distribute the weight evenly and minimise damage. Stuff your shoes with belts or socks to retain the shape and save space. If need be, slide your shoes into a drawstring cloth bag to protect them from damage.
step two – roll away
Some people like to compress bulky items like jackets, jeans, activewear and coats into compression bags. It is a great way to save on space- but I tend to just roll these items. Roll your jeans, shorts, jumpers, tops and fill the spaces between your shoes. Roll jumpers/ tops from the collar down to the hem. This saves space and reduces the creases.
Folding your shirts / dresses / skirts into one another saves on creases. I love this tip- there are a few ways in which to do it, but one that I use is to lay out items on top of one another and fold them into one another back and forth to create a neat little package. When you arrive, all you need to do is open up your package, hang the items and steam in the shower if necessary. Some people even travel with a small steamer- I would probably only do this if I were off to a wedding or fashion week and planned to wear silk, but it is a handy tip.
step four – delicates
Lay any delicate items out flat on the top layer. During our last trip I had a white sleeveless top that I did not want to crease, so it always formed my top layer. I tend to throw cheaper sunglasses into my suitcase- slipped between softer items (and usually in a cloth drawstring case). A lightweight book- a travel guide or novel can go on top if you want to get to it easily later, but keep the weight in mind and pack light. I tend to pack any jewellery in a pouch or jewellery roll then slip this into a clutch bag- I like to have bag options for evenings out, a clutch is pretty handy.
WHAT I PACK
Jackets: 1x Black Leather Motorcycle Jacket, 1x Denim Jacket, 1x cotton blazer, 1x Wool Coat (if needed)
Jumpers: 1x Cotton Jumper, 1x Cashmere Jumper, 1x Wool Long Cardigan
Jeans / Pants: 1x Black Jeans, 1x Light Denim Jeans, 1x Black Capri Pants or Wide leg, 1x Cullottes
Shorts / Skirts: 1x White Denim Shorts, 1x Light Denim Shorts, 1x Mid-length Cotton Skirt, 1x Mini Skirt
Dresses: 1x Striped Organic Cotton Dress, 1x Cotton Shirt Dress, 1x Playsuit, 1x jumpsuit, (Occasional dress optional)
Shoes: 1x Running Sneakers, 1x Walking Sneakers, 1x Boots, 1x Espadrilles, 1x Leather Sandals
Activewear: 1x Leggings, 2x Crop Tops, 1x Shorts, 2x Tanks
Tees: 1x White Tee, 1x Grey Tee, 1x Black Tee 1x striped long sleeve tee
Shirts: 1x White Cotton Shirt, 1x Denim Shirt, 1x Striped Cotton Shirt
Accessories: 2x Cheap Sunglasses, 1x Clutch Bag, 1x Shoulder Bag, 1x Scarf, 1x Bandana, 1x Hat, 1x Black Leather Belt
These items can change a little, but mostly only when I add in an outfit or two for a special occasion- which I try then to wear more than once. I don’t really pack heels unless I have to for an event, they aren’t going to be worn enough to justify otherwise. Of course if you overfill your case you can not shop, so that keeps things down.