When it comes to packing, I’m one of those annoying people who actually quite enjoys the process. Unlike those who leave it until midnight the night before, I usually start thinking about my outfits a good month before I depart for a trip and I relish both the pre-holiday shopping and the week before outfit planning.
My eagerness doesn’t really match up to my ability however. I might enjoy the process, but I’m certainly no good at it. In the past I’ve always been notorious for packing far too much (that pre-holiday shopping and outfit planning I relish so much inevitably leads to me having way more outfits than I have days to wear them). Although travelling light has never really been my forte, recently I’ve been trying to be more organised in my packing, if anything just to avoid the panic prior to the dreaded weigh in at the airport check in desk.
Although myself and GB aren’t going abroad this summer, lately we’ve been looking into taking a little stay-cation and holidaying somewhere on home turf. I find packing for a short stay British holiday even more difficult than a lengthier trip further afield. When departing on a traditional summer holiday abroad, a suitcase full of bikinis, cover ups and sandals is pretty common place but with Britain’s unpredictable weather, your outfits are never going to be quite as easy to decipher and the tendency to pack everything is hard to fight.
With my new Tripp cabin sized luggage to keep me right and Debenhams challenging us all to #travellight I thought I’d put together my tips for packing, when the sunshine isn’t guaranteed.
1. Always write a packing list…
It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of the humble list, but when it comes to packing I find a list essential to avoid forgetting anything. I’ll jot down the outfits I want to wear along with the jewellery and accessories I’ll need to go with those outfits and then write a ‘must not forget’ checklist to include chargers, toothbrush, camera etc that I can tick off before I leave.
2. Plan your outfits beforehand…
You might feel like you’re removing the spontaneity of getting dressed a little by pre-planning your outfits but coming from someone who always takes too much, this really helps. I try and stick to taking no more than two outfits for each day that I’m away with key separates that I can mix and match should the weather/ my mood force a mix up. I hardly ever wear the exact outfits I planned but having a rough idea of the looks I want to channel and bringing outfits that alternate around similar themes make it much easier to mix and match on the day.
3. Cut down on clothes, bulk up on accessories…
Accessories are usually my downfall, I always take too many shoes that I know I won’t wear and find it hard to sort through my jewellery collection and decide on what is essential. However for a British holiday, when suitcase weight might not be as big an issue, and weather no doubt very unpredictable, accessories are really key. I’d advise cutting down on the amount of clothes you take, instead substituting more accessories that you can use to jazz up your outfits. For example you might only need one pair of jeans and a few different tees but adding a different bag and statement jewellery each time, you’ll easily create an array of outfits.
4. Make sure outfits include interchangeable separates…
Following on from my pre-planning tip, make sure that as many of your outfits as possible can be mixed and matched so that you can be prepared for any weather and any activity (Britain can throw anything at us let’s be honest). For example a simple summer combo of jeans, top and sandals can easily be made more walking appropriate by switching to trainers, warmer by swapping the top for a jumper if the clouds loom and cooler by swapping the jeans for a skirt should the sun appear unexpectedly.
5. Start with the essentials and work your way backwards…
The easiest way I find to pack is to start by including my ‘must have items’ and working backwards from there. When it comes to a British stay-cation my must have’s include:
- a pair of chic sandals that can be worn both day and evening – I’ll be bringing both my Hobbs and Kat Maconie sandals as they are comfy enough to walk around in yet look dressy enough to wear out with a dress come evening.
- a pair of wow party shoes – even if you don’t wear them you never want to be caught out.
- a go anywhere pair of jeans – my ASOS Ridley’s and 7 for All Mankind Boyfriends serve many purposes and can fit to all occasions – essential!
- a set of basic tees – at least one black, white and grey tee that I can team with all of my bottoms and layer underneath jumpers should it get cold.
- a waterproof jacket – no explanation necessary.
6. Wear the items that are too heavy/ you don’t want to crease…
Got a coat that’s too awkward to pack? Just wear it to travel. Same goes for hats (don’t squash them in as you’ll only be disappointed when they’re mis-shapen upon arrival), sunglasses and any delicate jewellery.
7. Pack in stages so you can find things easily…
I always start with shoes and stuff gaps with socks and underwear, then do T-shirts, bottoms and dresses, anything that will crease at the top along with coats and then finally lay anything that I may need easy access to right at the top to avoid rummaging around on route.
8. Pack valuables/ make up/ toiletries in your handbag…
Anything I fear may get too bashed around in my main case, usually make up (there is nothing worse than arriving to find a broken eyeshadow or snapped lipstick) jewellery and toiletries (the shampoo explosion is always my fear) I’ll put in my handbag along with valuables like my iPad, chargers and camera. You’ll feel more secure knowing you have those items near to you and it will leave more room in your main case.
If you need some more inspiration on what to bring with you on a British stay-cation, I’ve put together a little shopping list of holiday essentials below.
How are you at packing? Do you have any other tips to help a notorious over-packer out?
*This post is in collaboration with Debenhams but the opinions and advice are all my own*