I do a reasonable amount of travelling and, as I confessed here, I detest packing. Love to travel. Hate to pack. You’d think it would get easier – or less formidable at least – the more frequently it is done, but no, it is still one of my least favourite things about going away.
However, given my frequent usage of airplanes, suitcases and foreign accommodation, I have some things down to a fine art in the category of easy packing and comfortable travel attire.
In my experience airplanes tend towards Arctic temperatures while airborne, though while on the ground they can be anywhere from cool to roasting hot. Layering is the only way to go, with a preference for at least one long layer to keep the back warm while seated on the flight in case I miss out on a coveted blanket (or two). Kim Kardashian has it down here with a long layer, jacket and scarf, comfy jeans and someone to carry her bags for her!
Coordinating clothing is a must to keep suitcases from bursting at the seams. I try to stick with either a black, grey & white or a brown, cream & white clothing combination when I travel. I’ll then throw in a few colourful pieces which I can wear with almost everything in my bag, as well as a few accessories to upgrade basics from day wear to evening. Anything that can multi-task while on the road gets priority.
Shoes are always a problem since they take up so much space. It’s much easier when travelling to a hot climate when you can get away with flip flops (I take one gold pair and one black pair, either of which can be worn in day or evening) and a pair of runners for hiking, walking, trekking, etc. For winter climates I will usually travel in my converse or a pair of boots and pack runners and a pair of multi-tasking day-to-night ballet flats. The pic below shows how versatile these babies can be, worn with skirts, dresses, leggings or jeans. Our Earth, Wind & Style boots are also great to travel with as they are lightweight, super comfortable and take up very little space in the suitcase.
I have a very well travelled friend (she’s been everywhere from Antarctica to Zimbabwe) who swears by a version of the below packing technique. Though I confess I have yet to try it (I pledge I will on my next trip!), she always looks polished and unwrinkled when I’ve seen her while globe-trotting.
Some of my other must takes:
A sarong or pasmina can be used for multiple purposes when travelling, including as a scarf or wrap on a cold airplane, as a swimsuit cover-up, table cloth or picnic blanket or as a lightweight blanket for those must-have holiday naps. It can be used to cover your head, shoulders or legs if you are visiting any religious sites that require these be concealed, or even as a top or dress in the right environment with a few creative tying techniques.
I pair down my cosmetics bag and take Lancome’s multi purpose makeup compact with me. This saves heaps of space in my toiletry bag, keeps everything together and contains a good colour palette.
Solid hand cream and solid perfume have got priority in my bag unless I’m going to a land filled with mosquitoes, in which case I will opt for l’eau de repellent and remove any scented items from my bag altogether. I’ve had enough spills and leaks and refuse to decant my gorgeous bottle of perfume into a mini plastic container, for this would be sacrilege! All my other lotions and sauces are either travel size or get transferred to travel size containers and zip-locked.
Yoga toesox and grip gloves. As a yogi I want to be able to practice yoga wherever I go, so to save on the space my mat would take up, I purchased my yoga toesox and gloves. This germ-aphobe has, however, come face to face (literally) with a few not so immaculate surfaces on which I’ve been forced to practice and a mat at least acts as a barrier between my squeaky clean bod and the potentially grimy floor… So, out comes either the sarong again or I lay a towel on the floor and practice over that (hands and feet still on the ground for gripping purposes).
Even with all these travel bits and pieces down to a science, I am still on the lookout for things that will make my travel experience even better. I most recently fell in love with this Rag and Bone woven bag when I spotted it in a post on Bag Snob suggesting it’s multi-tasking potential as a beach bag and carry-on thereby lightening the packing load. It’s high on my wish list, though I will likely have to suffer with a look-alike rather than the real deal. Sigh.
So, once I’ve endured the horrendous packing process and included these few practical items and stand-by’s, my journey is made a little more comfortable.
What goes into your bag when you travel? Do you have ‘must-pack’ items and travel stand-by’s or do you wing it every trip?