Holiday time is here at last! But for some of you, this time of the year might create a headache worrying about what to pack! Packing for any trip – both business and pleasure can be a real nightmare (especially if on Ryan Air- each extra pair of knickers will be another £20!)
Here are some tips to help make the process a little more ‘first class’ than cattle class.
Chart your outfits.
Take the time to plan your trip wardrobe and chart it out. Set apart one end of your wardrobe, or set up a rail and start pulling out the clothes you’re considering for your trip. It’s good to take time for this process because as you think things through, you’ll distill your wardrobe down to what’s most efficient and not over pack.
Think in 3’s.
See if you have three ways to wear each item you’re bringing. If you’re taking outfits with individual pieces that won’t mix and match, you’re overpacking. Sometimes it’s easier to plan from the bottom up. See if you can get by with three pairs of shoes. Try every outfit on! What do you really need?! You won’t be able to trust you have what you need unless you do a practice run.
Make a grid on paper.
Create a column for all the days you’ll be gone. Think out the likely or known activities for each day. If it means a change of clothes, adding a column for evening activities. Write out the complete outfit from head to toe including all accessories—belts, jewellery, and shoes.
Plan for the unexpected.
Once you have your plan, now throw in something for unexpected weather. Have one or two items to wear in case it’s hotter than you expect it to be as well as something thick for if it’s colder.
The beauty plan.
Plan ahead for those things you won’t have time to find in other cities—hair stylists, colourists, manicurists. Look at your diary now and make appointments to have your hair cut, coloured, or highlighted before you leave. Get a manicure and pedicure. If you’re a frequent traveller, get a duplicate set of grooming and makeup products in mini sizes, so you don’t have to repack these every time, and they can be taken hand luggage on the long haul.
Pack in outfits.
If it’s a business trip, or one requiring smarter dress than a holiday, consider having each outfit separately on a hanger - this is the one time when the wire dry-cleaner hangers are actually allowed! Fold trousers or skirts across the bottom, add blouse or jacket and accessories. Cover each outfit separately in dry cleaner plastic bags the length of the garments. Fold them in thirds and lay them in the suitcase. When you get to the hotel, unzip the suitcase, hang the clothes up and voila, you’re ready to go with not one wrinkle!
Take a piece of home.
If you’re going to be staying for any length of time in a hotel or apartment, pack a little bit of home to help make it your personal space. Look around you for a few trinkets that will take no space. Pack a nice scarf that you can wear, but also that you can drape over a table or a lamp. Or some tea lights and a couple of little candleholders for ambience and a photo or two. Take a scent that reminds you of home or someone.
With all this thinking ahead, you’ll never have a worry about your clothes. So have a great time, and when you return we’ll start planning your autumn wardrobe!
Lizzie Edwards is the leading personal stylist and image consultant in London, working with women over thirty-five on their business image and personal brand.