As you know if you subscribe for my newsletter, on Saturday I’m off to our cousin nation, Australia, for a week of annual leave. It better be sunny *shakes fist at sky threateningly* because all I want to do is: spend time with my nice friends, eat things, look at pretty things, be outside, and buy myself a nice dress at Gorman. Oh, and have an excruciatingly expensive facial that better make me look like I’ve had one full night’s sleep (that's the beauty standard I've settled on in my 30s).
Now, I pack in one of two ways:
- V organised, make a little plan, take an entirely sensible amount of things (occasional)
- OMGOMGOMG THROW ALL THE THINGS IN THE SUITCASE (almost always)
Some of you will recall that I went on holiday this time last year with Lucy. On that holiday I packed in the OMGOMG way and I regretted it both when Lucy could not hide her amazement at my decision to bring FOUR belts on a one week casual beach holiday, and when I had to carry my dead weight of a suitcase up two flights of stairs. Despite having an entire wardrobe in the back seat of my car, I also found it nightmarish to get dressed, because All The Clothes does not equate to Any Decent Outfits.
Luckily system number one is the exact opposite, so that’s what I’m using this time around.
Tip One: Plan
Tip one: make a list of the days and the events. It does not need to be tidy, obviously I just wrote a nice version for the blog because #theinternetisalie (although once when I was really bored I went as far as to illustrate a list with the predicted weather for each day). This is really helpful because it ensures you don’t arrive and then have to hustle finding something to wear to the event on day four that you totally fazed on when you were throwing your sixth pair of denim shorts into your suitcase in a panic. Find out if you have an iron at your destination. Now, write down your outfits for each day and/or event. I just go with things I've worn before and know are safe, but of course you can try things on before you pack, too.
(Confession: looking at this I can see I actually forgot about the event I have on Wednesday night – but it’s chill because I can just re-wear an outfit from earlier in the week!)
Tip Two: Shoes
Tip two: take minimal shoes. They’re heavy, they’re dirty, and in my experience I end up wearing the same two pairs again and again anyway. I’m going into late summer in Sydney, so sandals are a must. I’m also going to the Blue Mountains, so on the basis that it’s possible I’ll want to go for a gentle walk at some stage I have also packed my Converse (I’ve hiked in the Blue Mountains before, this trip is about L.U.X.U.R.Y).
I also never leave the country without some of those blister plasters. Better safe than sorry/a limping mess with a face full of regret. I’m taking one pair of heels in case things get fancy – navy is great, because with a white tshirt and those culottes, plus some great jewellery, I’m looking breezy but dressed up just enough.
Tip Three: Clothes
Tip three: mix basics with a few punchier items. I’m taking three tshirts, basic denim shorts, basic linen culottes, a basic leather jacket, and a simple dress. Then I’m taking my insane rainbow dress, a highly patterned maxi skirt, and a pair of stripy pants. I can mix and match all of this – that red tshirt is planned to wear with my maxi skirt, but if I want to I can wear it with the shorts, the culottes and the stripy pants, too. I would probably wash that tshirt after every full day of wear at home, but on holiday I relax and wear things again (assuming they don’t have to be rammed in my suitcase).
Technically, I’ve packed enough for a couple of weeks. But it all fits in a carry on suitcase! Seriously, either take a bunch of patterned tops and plain bottoms, or vice versa, and live the dream that is easy breezy mixing and matching.
Tip Four: Jewellery
Tip four: do something sensible with your jewellery. I love jewellery when I travel – it makes me feel like I’m still dressing up and it gives you pizzazz with minimal space thievery. Having said that, I give up space in my suitcase so that I can use this box to carry my jewellery…it’s actually a craft supply organiser, but as you can see it works a treat. I am not spending a single second of this precious holiday detangling necklaces or pawing through some kind of pouch, looking for matching earrings.
These boxes are inexpensive but sturdy. I’ve had my plastic bud for about five years, so I’m sticking with him, but if you’re looking for a more eco-friendly option, I think a similar effect could be gained by sewing pouches into a piece of remnant fabric.
Tip Five: Folding
(I cannot believe I have this many thoughts about packing).
Tip five: fold your clothes so you can see them at a glance. I think this is also how Marie Kondo tells you to pack things into drawers in her simplifying/tidying up book, but I’ve been doing this since the day I realised that stacking tshirts meant I only wore the top three – which was years ago. It’s particularly useful if you’re going to be moving around on your trip and never fully unpacking. Not only can you see everything at a glance, but for me at least, a tidy suitcase encourages me to keep being tidy. Otherwise, I end up on the last day with a suitcase rammed with crinkled nonsense, desperately forcing the zip – and there goes all the relaxation I was feeling.
Finally, pop your list on top, pack your core essentials (always pack extra undies team, it’s just good sense) and your beauty stuff…and you’re set to jet!
See you guys back here on Monday, and keep an eye on Instagram (especially Instagram Stories) if you want to see what I get up to in Sydney. I have a feeling next week’s Buy Diary is going to be very real.