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Top Tips For Packing Light When Travelling

13:23Alice Grace

top tips for packing light when travelling

Everyone I know will testify that I am guilty of over-packing, whether I'm venturing abroad for a couple of weeks or even just spending a long weekend in a city. Not only does my boyfriend get fed up of the chaos I create when attempting to stuff everything into my case, but my indecisive self ends up all flustered whilst on holiday, trying to cobble together an outfit with too many options to choose from. This year, I've made a concerted effort to turn my bad habit around and I have a few tips on how to streamline that suitcase.

Pack In Advance - The key to avoiding an overweight baggage charge, is forward planning. Look at how many days and nights you're going for, what plans you have whilst you're there and work out what you need to purchase beforehand. Attempt to pack your case at least two days before you leave, to give you time to buy anything you may have forgotten and to avoid panic packing. Write a list of what you need to take and stick it onto your suitcase, checking things off it as you add them in. I always find it handy to think about my daily routine when writing my list, noting clothes down in the order that I dress myself, or my beauty products/makeup as I apply them.

Create A Capsule Wardrobe - Rather than throwing your entire closet into your case, try to create a capsule collection of clothes that can be worn together in multiple ways. Go for neutral, basic styles with the majority of your clothes and boldly accessorize with jewellery and makeup, instead. Try to include items that can be both dressed up or down, too. To get a proper visual of your proposed outfits, lay the items together on your bed or floor as you style them. That way, you can see which pieces pair well and avoid packing an odd skirt or t-shirt that don't fit with the rest of your holiday wardrobe.

Think practically - Don't fall into that 'just in case' mindset when packing. Will you really be needing a different pair of heels for each night of your trip? If you're hiking up a mountain for ten days, will anyone be there to appreciate your delicate, sequined blazer? Instead of packing your heaviest items and wearing a flimsy dress and sandals to travel in, layer up and wear your thick jumper and bulky trainers on the plane. If you get too hot, you can always remove them during your journey and you'll save so much space.

Collect Samples & Decant - Now to the part where I probably struggle the most - toiletries. All those bulky, beauty essentials can take up a precious chunk of space in your case. Aside from the few products that you must take a full-size version of, many products can be decanted into smaller pots. Those you might only use once or twice, such as a hair mask, you can just take a sample of. I hoard any that I receive from GWPs or magazines and rummage through them before a trip away. Often, I'll find a single serve portion of a face mask or a miniature mascara that will be ideal. If you're feeling particularly savvy, then you can always head to a local beauty counter and ask if you could try a sample of a particular product you wish to take. If you promise to go back to the same counter to make a purchase if you like it, then they're often happy to oblige. Remember, hotels often provide complimentary toiletries, too.

Don't Panic At The Last Minute - Whatever you do, resist the urge to throw extra items into your bag just before you leave for the airport, worried that you may have missed something. Unless you've forgotten something truly crucial, like vital medicines, important documents or super expensive pieces of tech, it's always possible to make purchases in duty-free, at a station or even when you arrive at your destination. If you unexpectedly start running low on clothes, but don't want to fork out on new togs, then many hotels provide a relatively cheap, if not complimentary, laundry service.

Are you a packing pro or do you struggle with only taking the essentials, like me?


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  1. You can't beat minis and samples when going on holiday! They're perfect aren't they?! xx

    Gemma | missmakeupmagpie.com

  2. I loved reading this post as I’m exactly the same as you I’m guilty of over-packing I take everything bar the kitchen sink ha. When I go to Paris I’m definitely taking pieces that can be worn in multiple ways :) I am definitely decanting this time around also as it saves a bit of money as travel sizes are so heavily prices in comparison to what you’d pay normally and I may try your tip of going to beauty counters hehe.

    Charlee XO | CharmedCharlee

    1. It's so easy to get carried away and take way too much though, isn't it? Good luck if you do go sample hunting at any beauty counters! x

  3. I am terrible at packing light! Thanks for the tips!

    thefrancescadiaries.blogspot.co.uk x


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