You’ve got your flights booked, accommodation sorted, itinerary planned and, of course, Penneys and Boots shopping done. You’re all ready for your getaway, except for one little thing – packing! We don’t know very many people who actually enjoy packing. It causes us both quite a bit of stress and anxiety, and makes us think “I have absolutely nothing to wear. No clothes whatsoever. I need to go and buy an entire new wardrobe…NOW”!
The 2 of us are off to Paris on Friday for a few days (YAAAAAY), so we thought a little post on how we approach packing, and what we’re actually packing for our trip would be something a bit different. We’ll also be doing a post on the trip when we’re back, on our tips for Paris, similar to the London post. Let’s face it, we all love having a good sneaky nosey at what other ladies pack for a trip away, and getting a good dose of outfit envy to boot, so here are our tips as well as some photos of our planned outfits…
When travelling, you want to pack smarter, not more. Depending on which airline you’re flying with, you can be very much restricted to the weight you’re carrying and I always like to allow space for anything I might buy while away. My top tip for packing is plan your outfits! I turn a little neurotic when packing for a trip away. I plan out my outfits for each day/night, right down to my socks and smalls! I often make a list of what goes with what or I take pictures like the ones we’ve featured to remind me of what I’m putting together. This might seem a bit crazy but I find it really helps me when I’m away. It ensures that I have enough clothes, I don’t end up wasting space by bringing things that I won’t wear, and I have great, complete outfits to wear. I’d never advise only packing pieces. The last thing you want to is end up with your favourite skirt and nothing to go with it!
While packing for holidays isn’t my favourite activity, I consider myself quite good at it, particularly at downsizing. I try to bring pieces that can be worn multiple times. For example, I’ll be bringing my cream faux fur gilet with me to Paris. I’m planning on wearing this during the day with my leather pants, white shirt and ankle boots but I also plan in wearing this out in the evening if it’s chilly. Similarly, my printed bomber jacket goes with all my outfits that I’ve planned. This is really comfy, not too warm but great for layering, so if it happens to be cool during the day, I’ll be able to pop it on, whatever I’m wearing. Packing this way may mean sacrificing bringing some items that you wanted to (my red faux fur gilet…so Parisian but just not practical) but it avoids the awkward scurry at the check in desk to transfer items to friends’ bags or your handbag. I find, this sometimes restricts your colour palette too, as you’re trying to make sure everything is interchangeable. If you’re like me and you like wearing a neutral colour palette, then it’s no biggie but try changing up your lipstick if you want to mix up your look and add a pop of colour.
When planning what to pack its so important that you consider where you’re going. This might seem obvious but this will be key to packing the right things. Make sure you check the weather before going and think about what you’ll be doing while away. I know Claire and I will doing loads of walking so I’ve chosen my footwear wisely. I’m only bringing two pairs of shoes for daytime, including my new tan ankle boots from River Island (€50). These are really comfy but they don’t compromise on style. For our day in Disneyland, I’ve packed my Aldo espadrilles (about €28). I got these in the summer sale and they have been a great investment. They’re all leather and really comfortable so walking around all day will be no problem in these bad boys!
I always find evening outfits the most challenging to pack as I’m so fickle when getting ready to go out. I’ll generally change my mind a few times before deciding on an outfit but unfortunately, when you’re away, you don’t have this luxury so make sure you try on your evening outfits a few times before heading off. Try them as a whole outfit, so with the shoes, jacket and accessories you have in mind to make sure you’re happy with it all. Again, I’d always suggest bringing comfy heels as you never know how far you might have to walk to get from your hotel to the restaurants or bars.
I think it’s so important to dedicate time to packing, regardless of where you’re going. Start packing a week before you leave so that you can nip out to the shops if you think of anything you need or to allow you time to change your mind. Never last minute pack. I’ve done this before, jetting off for summer holidays right after college exams, and it didn’t end well. Dodgy outfits, a lack of cover-ups for chilly evenings and way too many pairs of shoes…I’ve learnt my lesson!
Paris is probably my favourite city in the world, and I’m SO excited to show Sara around as it’s her first time there! I’m probably a little less particular and a lot more disorganised than Sara when it comes to packing, but as I have travelled quite a bit in the past, my little system works quite well for me! I always plan to be super-organised and be packed days in advance, but to be honest this is one of the few occasions I have actually pulled it off.
The one thing I do religiously is make a list of what I need for any trip. I find that it stops me forgetting things, and means that I will work out what I need and can check it off as it goes into my bag. I do this at least 3 days in advance, which gives me time to wash and dry the clothes I’m bringing, or avoid wearing them too close to the trip. It also means that if I need to head to the shops to pick anything up, I have plenty of time, as Sara said.
I also plan my outfits, like Sara, because I have learned the hard way that packing individual items spells disaster. My Dad loves to tell anyone who will listen about the time I brought 13 pairs of heels and wedges for 2 weeks in Italy, and only wore 2 pairs because the others didn’t go with any of the bits and pieces I had packed!
Again, I recommend bringing pieces you can interchange and wear more than once; for example my leather jacket will be worn with multiple outfits, and I only need 1 pair of heels. It saves SO much space, meaning I can do LOADS of shopping and fit it in on the way back!
The 1 thing I bring plenty of is basic tees and tanks – white, black and grey usually. They go with everything, can be layered so whether it’s sunny or Baltic you’re sorted, and they don’t take up much room. In fact, 1 of my top tips for packing is to roll little tops up and slip them into your shoes (you can see below that I have done this with my boots), which I also do with socks, underwear and anything else that’ll fit in there! You’re using space that would otherwise be empty, so it saves a tonne of room – I can cram a serious amount of stuff into a tiny suitcase! I also roll a lot of my other clothes (carefully), which stops creases from folding, and actually saves some space too.
Make-up wise, I try and pack smart, pack multi-use products (e.g. I use my contour palette as eyeshadow too), and pack solids rather than liquids where possible. The little plastic bag of liquids is the bane of my life, so I try to keep liquids to a minimum and swear by the little travel bottles from Penneys (€1.50 for a set). I tend to buy travel size shampoo and conditioner in Boots in the airport, as well as any other bits I need, meaning I don’t have to cram those into the little liquids bag – a little cheat that works wonders for space! For this trip, I happen to have a load of little Clarins samples, so I’ll pack a few of those to save me packing full size bottles, which you can’t do most of the time anyway with cabin luggage.
My final tip is to pack smart, as Sara said above – plan ahead what you actually need, stick to layering so the weather never catches you out, have interchangeable pieces that will do you more than 1 wear and be sensible with shoes…NOTHING worse than trudging through my favourite city in the world looking fabulous but in absolute agony! Oh, and lastly, but most importantly – STRESS LESS. Packing gets people so worked up and anxious that they’ll forget something, but you can buy pretty much anything in the airport or in your destination, so don’t let forgetting something ruin your trip. Once you have your passport and money – sorted!