How to pack for a holiday? June 1, 2009Posted by Lauren Cooke in Advice.
Tags: decisions, Fashion, Holidays, how to, packing
If you are are anything like me, then you are probably pretty crap at packing. I am going on holiday tomorrow, and am pretty much packed (hah!). Somehow, in the short space of time that I was packing, it all went terribly wrong. I swear, whenever I turned my back another item somehow managed to creep in and nestle amongst its messy comrades. Now, the bag resembles (in some aspects at least) a torn apart bomb site. Shoes balance on my underwear, bikinis are crumpled in a corner, there are enough strappy dresses to clothe a small nation. Simply put, it ain’t good!
This got me to thinking. As long as I’m not the only packing failure in the world who encounters this, then we have a problem. An epidemic possibly, but this may be an exaggeration. Just how difficult can it be to fill a bag with useful, necessary and pretty items for a simple week away?! Ten minutes and a few scribbled notes later, and I have devised a set of rules that, when followed, should theoretically result in a neat and functional holiday wardrobe.
(Image from here)
Start with the essentials. I can’t tell you the number of times I have managed to go away with nothing to sleep in, and barely any underwear. Shopping for knickers abroad isn’t a typical holiday activity, so try and avoid it! Last minute items can go in hand luggage, but be careful of any restrictions.
Work out which items you can’t survive without – my list involves:
- Underwear – both top and bottom
- Towel (or two)
- Face cream/toothbrush/toothpaste and other toiletry necessities that tend to get forgotten.
(Image from here)
How many items do you need? Judging by the fact that currently I have enough clothes for 3 weeks of outfits (only the tiniest bit of hyperbole here folks), this is a vital question to ask yourself. Do you wear something new every day, or do you take lots only to stay in your comfy shorts for the whole of a trip?
A typical wardrobe for a weeks stay probably needs the following – just edit the list to include your favourite type of outfit (i.e dress vs. skirt) and be MORE restrained than you think you need to be.
- Shorts – vital if it’s sunny and you don’t want to deal with wind all the time. 2 pairs is acceptable for a week, particularly if you think you may wear these lots.
- Strappy tops are y favourite holiday item. Whether halternecks or spaghetti straps, these beauties are packed in about 4 colours – this lets me wear many different “outfits” or colour themes, without bulking out my suitcase.
- Dresses – delightful for holiday fashion and keeping cool alike. Again, 2/3 dresses max, preferably ensuring one at least is suitable for transferable into evening wear.
- Other basics – a cardigan for if it gets cool, a smart jacket to dress up evening clothes. A single pair of smart jeans is acceptable, but only if you plan to wear them in the evenings.
The most difficult one to stick too – for me at least! That is, don’t pack too many shoes! I have been good this holiday, and followed these trusty rules exactly!
You should only need (dependant on holiday type):
- Easy walking shoes – in hot countries, choose flip flops (make sure they don’t rub!) or sandals like gladiators. 2 pairs of these max, as most tourists will need these for wandering around in. For these, comfort has to rule over style!
- 1 pair of trainers – more is generally unneeded, unless you are a trainer addict (and I know a few!). This will come in handy if you fancy a trek or big activity, not to mention for being comfy on the way home.
- 1pair of day time heels. NO more! Chose something summery and that will coordinate with two or more of your potential outfits. No one trick ponies in this suitcase!
- Finally, one pair of smart heels. Black is generally a good option to go with anything. I have packed my black patent peep toes and am planning to wear them for any smart nights out. If you are only going on nights out, pick two, or make sure that your pretty day shoes can double over.
(Image from here)
Pack neatly. If you get all anal (as helps in a situation like this), it really comes in handy to pack your items in logical sections. Rolling them up is also advised if you have a teeny case and no idea how to fit even this compressed kit of clothes in! Just make sure lumpy shoes are on the bottom, shower materials are wrapped in your towel or in a bag in case of explosions, and that your first days outfit is easily at hand to cover for jetlagged panicking. It is also worth packing a general all-em-compassing outfit in hand luggage, just in case your bag goes astray.