The art of packing

I once watched a programme about how to travel light. It might have been Gok Wan and one of his fashion shows, but he seemed to make it look so easy. Two weeks, seven outfits, mix and match. Simple, right? So not simple in practice!

I’ve come to the conclusion that travelling light really is an art form, and one I don’t think I’ll ever truly grasp. I am a girl that likes to change her mind, and does so frequently, so when faced with the huge decision of what clothes to take on my hard-earned holiday, it conjures up a stress akin to moving house.

Well maybe not, but you get the picture.

Art of Packing

Art of Packing

However, my friend has since come to my rescue, and with her calm advice and strange knack of knowing exactly what she’s going to need two weeks into the future, without the help of psychic advice, I have it sorted – as much as I’m ever going to.

So I will share my wisdom, and maybe you won’t have such a drama when faced with an empty suitcase and a huge pile of clothes.

It’s basically about being ruthless, mixing and matching, and lowering stress.Gok Wan mentioned something about a capsule wardrobe, so that’s what we’ll call it, because it sounds good.

My airport experience.

Well, this has always been stressful, because I’m too busy thinking about what I haven’t packed and whether I’ll need it or not. I found a good way to make flying a little easier on the cortisol levels, which may surprise you. Starting my holiday earlier, without even boarding a plane, relaxed me enough to get the holiday mood flowing, and worries were forgotten. A great way to do this is by pre-booking an airport hotel, such as one of the many Gatwick airport hotels from Holiday Extras. It might sound like an odd and costly suggestion, but the price is lower than you would imagine, and if you have an early flight, you can easily kiss goodbye to dark circles and bags under your eyes – without the excess luggage. I’ve booked Luton Airport hotels through Holiday Extras and had great service, so that’s one to try!

The last two times I’ve flown, I’ve been really impressed with the level of service. I’d urge you to look into this pre-holiday relaxation, as for anyone with a tendency to get a little highly strung, like me, it really does help!

Packing should be forgotten the moment your case is zipped shut, and do not – repeat DO NOT, keep opening to check! What you don’t have, you can easily buy if you really need it.

After packing

After packing

What did we learn? So let’s talk capsule.

Basically, you need items you can mix and match, think a patterned skirt with a plain top, mix it with two different colours for a different look, maybe a belt one night, without another, some different jewellery, flats or heels, and before you know it, you’ve got around three outfits out of one skirt and two tops! Maxi dresses are a huge winner, as they can be dressed down for day, and glammed up for night with jewellery and accessories. Denim shorts? Huge winner. One pair of shorts, two tops – at least three outfits again. The same goes for the old favourites, white linen trousers and denim skirt.

It’s all about combinations. Strong basics that can be added to with a few fashion items. Oh, and you can never go wrong with black – goes with everything, and looks great with a tan!

Don’t get stressed over packing before your holiday, just think accessories and basics, and you’re good to go!

Now, where’s that suitcase?

Packing photos: joeball, Carousel Design Works.

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