Travel | How To Pack For A Holiday

July 15, 2014

I'll be off to Madrid in a few days and as I was packing, I thought that I'd blog about how to pack for a holiday! I'm someone who never packs light wherever I go but, this time around I'm going to keep my luggage light. I always used to think that a week long holiday/trip has to involve large luggage, not in the slightest. Here's how to pack your travel wardrobe into a carry-on suitcase ...

Checking current weather conditions
First things first, before you start to pack, check the weather forecast for the destination you are visiting! This will obviously let you know what types of clothing/footwear you should intend to pack. I also find that knowing how people dress (culturally) especially in hotter climates is important, nothing worse than offending the locals with the way you dress and sticking out like a sore thumb!

Normally I'd think to bring a big suitcase just so that I can fit anything in it, but I've decided to invest in a good quality cabin suitcase that can be used as a carry-on for flights. Some people can go away for a month and can still manage with a small suitcase, so I'm sure any of us can manage for a week!
My favourite style of suitcases are those with four 360 degree rotating wheels and a hard shell case - they tend be stronger and they're just easy to move around (makes life so much easier).
All that being said, you also save money as you don't need to pay to check a bag in, and you just go straight through security - life made ay? You always miss out on the dreadful 'sorry we cannot locate your suitcase' situation/issue.
If you intend to do a lot of shopping whilst you're away, where will it all go? You may then want to opt for a larger suitcase!
Depending on what airline you fly with, you could also bring a personal bag such as a handbag, to carry your travel essentials.

When I travel I do find that I don't even wear half of the clothes that I bring along. Planning outfits ahead of time is essential if you want to pack right and pack light!
Basics are always an essential for me. Think black and white vest tops/tees, a pair of jeans, a white blouse/shirt, a light khaki parka jacket or a denim shirt . These are the types of items that can work as the base of your versatile travel wardrobe. Now for some colour! Your key coloured items could include, a dress, shorts, blouse, skirt, bikinis and a cute scarf. Being able to mix and match your clothing is important, go for colours and patterns that complement each other or stick to one/two colour schemes - always think versatility.

This has to be the hardest decision whilst packing for me personally, as I have so many shoes, I never know what to choose!! For this week long trip, I have limited myself to three pairs (hardest decision of my life).
Shoes do take up a lot space in luggage so you do have to think rationally! If you're off to somewhere hot, sandals that match most of your outfits would be ideal firstly, then you could opt of a comfy pair of trainers or flats such as ballet pumps, loafers or slip ons. If you're looking to hit the club scene, bring a pair of heels too. In colder climates, you could swap the sandals for some ankle boots.
Not to forget, you'll be wearing a pair of shoes whilst you travel, that you could also wear whilst on holiday, so choose wisely ;) ...

You've got the clothes and footwear sorted, now what about the accessories?
You could limit yourself to a medium sized handbag (your personal carry-on perhaps?) that you can carry around during the day, and a small side bag that can double up as a clutch (perfect for a night out) which you could switch to if needed - killing two birds with one stone!
I'm definitely a jewellery hoarder, and tend to carry a small travel size jewellery box to keep all my pieces in one place. I will be taking a jewellery roll this time, which I have found to be even more handy (more about that in my next travel post). I like to bring both gold and silver jewellery, so that I have a variety of pieces that will complement my outfits. A hat and sunglasses can be worn whilst you travel - save a little space in the suitcase.

Rolling or Folding?
There's always the debate of which packing method saves more space ... rolling or folding?
I prefer folding my items (the many years I've spent folding clothes at my retail job comes to an advantage, yay!), but I've heard that rolling saves a lot more space and prevents a lot of wrinkles from appearing on your clothing. The choice is yours! 

A small clear plastic bag is perfect for any liquids that you may want to carry on board (although these are provided at airports. Toiletries are also available in travel size so those are what you should ideally gear towards, as big bottles of shampoo/shower gels won't be allowed in you cabin suitcase. Also, you can even buy your toiletries at your destination for less hassle. I like to put any liquids in my plastic toiletry travel set to make sure they are within the allowed 100ml on a flight.
One thing I do which I hate, is bring a big old makeup bag when I only need a few things.
I only ever use concealer, lip balm, lipstick, eyeliner and mascara, so a little pouch would do me well!
If you intend to bring more makeup, bring one big makeup bag with different compartments, that could also double up as a toiletry bag.

I hope this guide becomes handy to anyone looking for a little extra help when it comes to packing for a holiday!

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