Monday 19 September 2016


Packing is definitely an art form. There are those who make it look completely effortless and those who turn up with a bursting case and still can't pull an outfit together. I used to very much fit into the latter. I would pack, repack, panic and then squeeze as much as I could into the case. My husband could be heard squealing 'the zip will burst' as I jumped up and down on the once rectangular bag. 

I've always travelled a fair amount. I travel with work, sometimes across Europe for a day, sometimes for a week. I'd have meetings where I needed to look like I knew what I was doing. I'd be working up ladders at 2am on shopfits the night before a big opening. What I needed to pack would vary hugely and sometimes I would need it all in 24 hours.

I travel for pleasure including trips over to Normandy on the motorbike with only a lunchbox sized pannier to fill. Three week adventures to Canada dining in Vancouver's luxury hotels followed by hikes with Bears in the mountains. It's fair to say I have picked up a few tips and busted even more packing myths over the past decade. With another exciting trip this week I thought it about time I shared these secrets to packing success.

Check the weather. Obvious right?  14 day forecasts are easily available online so research a few days before you go for up to date information. Clever packing means versatile items. If there's a chance of rain don't bother packing those Miu Miu ballet pumps. Select shoes that work thoughout your trip and a coat that covers all options. Be ruthless with bulky items but if you need to take 2 coats (a tidy jacket and an outdoor coat for example) wear one of them on the day of travelling. The same goes for your shoes. Wear your ankle boots on the day then they don't have to squeeze into your case.

Don't roll. This is an urban legend.  Fold items and lie them flat which takes up far less space and gives fewer creases.  Group similar sized items together such as tee shirts to keep them compact.

When selecting outfits consider how many days you are away for. Pack outfits for those days all with a similar colour scheme to ensure mixing and matching is possible.  Add in a few extra tops to cover spaghetti accidents or evening changes.

Accessorise.  Consider the looks you have packed and select a few statement pieces to work with them. A vintage diamant√© necklace looks striking with Breton tops for day. A small print neck scarf takes up zero space and adds a twist to basic tees and shirts. Use shoe bags to keep lingerie and hosiery together. Tights won't acquire mysterious ladders when travelling and if you get searched at the airport the guy (or gal) won't have to rummage though your pants!

Check hotel websites for hairdryers and irons before leaving.  If most of the hotels are well stocked you can probably leave your hairdryer behind and gain a large suitcase space and extra weight. When you arrive unpack items that are prone to creasing and outfits you are planning to wear over the next few days. Hang any sorry looking items in the bathroom before having a hot shower. This steams out creases and leaves items crisp.

The suitcase is back out, the weathers looking good and I'm pulling together a selection of monochrome outfits. If you have any amazing tips for packing let me know.  Somehow I still end up having to sit on the case to get it closed!



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