Another week, another country! I make it sound like I’m constantly travelling (I wish) but in reality, two trips have just coincidentally fallen close together. This week I’m in the south of France for a couple of days reviewing one of the most beautiful hotels and I’ve had to be seriously strategic with my packing hacks this time around.
With just hand luggage and a lot of products to shoot, it’s taken military precision to make sure I cram everything I need into my trusty leather holdall without breaking my back in the process. Bordering on an expert packer, after years of photoshoots abroad where you prioritise the clothes that make the pages over your own, it’s a talent I’ve been practising for quite some time. So after a lot of packing and re-packing, I thought I’d share a few invaluable packing hacks I’ve picked up over the years just in time for holiday season.
Without a doubt my number one packing hack! I wish I’d known about these sooner but they have been a god send. Ridiculously cheap, they usually come in a set of varying sizes which means you can have a cube for everything, making unpacking easier, tidier and a lot more organised. How many times have you rummaged through your case trying to find that one item of clothing and ruining your tidy packing? Exactly. You need these in your life! This is how I organise my packing cubes:
Technology (cameras, chargers etc)
Tops – T-shirts, vests, blouses and shirts
Bottoms – Skirts, trousers, shorts, culottes
Shoes – Apart from slimline shoes like flip-flops which fit down the sides of the case/bag
SHOP PACKING CUBES
PACK BY OUTFIT
I used to be a panic packer. That’s someone who worries about what to bring, so brings everything! Rookie mistake my friends. To be a strategic packer, plan your outfits before you even think about packing. This means, think about your day outfits, night outfits, beach outfits and casual/lounging around your accommodation outfits. Plan everything from your clothing to your accessories and footwear so you don’t waste a millimetre of space on something you’re not going to wear.
LAY IT ALL OUT
It might sound obvious but lay out everything you want to bring on the floor or bed. This way you can see it all together and if you can multi-use one or two items. Do you really need that black vest top when the white one will also go with both outfits? This kind of thinking and whittling down will save you a lot of time and stress, believe me!
One of the best packing hack I can share is being ruthless with your footwear. I know, I can’t believe I’m saying this either but there have been so many times where I’ve come home with those 6 inch stilettos, unworn and jabbing me in the back through my bag! My go-to is now:
A nude pair of heels or wedges that go with everything
Flip-flops for the beach
Flat pair of sandals/trainers for walking/sight-seeing
Neutral colours are definitely your friend here. Nudes, navy, black and white shades go with everything and will hold you in good stead for whatever you’re doing.
SHOP NEUTRAL FOOTWEAR
CHECK WHAT THE HOTEL HAS
My biggest problem when packing is my beauty edit. When I have days to myself with not much to do but lay on a lounger and apply a hair mask, hair SPF, or some other nourishing mask for the utmost luxury, I’m packing it all! But I’ve saved some serious kg’s by checking what the hotel has first. More often than not, the amenities at nice hotels are more than adequate for shampoo, conditioner and shower gel. Some even have branded beauty products in the room (winner!), a hairdryer, cotton pads and other must-haves so you don’t have to stuff them all into that vanity case.
MARIE KONDO YOUR CASE
The Marie Kondo method has saved up so much space in my drawers at home which is why applying it to your luggage is a great packing hack. Folding and stacking clothes vertically in my packing cubes freed up so much extra room in my case. With just a few rolled up items along the sides, I actually had extra room in my case that let me buy some homeware pieces abroad and bring them home with me!
Here’s a great video of the Marie Kondo method