How to pack a suitcase blog post (pack without the stress)

luggage at debenhams

Yes, this is a how to pack a suitcase blog post! Packing. I do it a lot thanks to a few hops across the pond to London on a bi-weekly basis while I try and launch my TV career. Hence, I consider myself quite the expert on packing (even though my husband would disagree). Carry on is my favourite kind of packing. It’s challenging to get everything you need into 10kg (6kg on some airlines, so we avoid them!). Then there’s the size of your actual suitcase, in terms of dimensions and weight itself; all of which contribute to the stern face of airline ground staff and those little iron case things they make you fit your bag into. We HATE those. They are the devil of travelling. So, first, let’s make a few assumptions. You are simply travelling for a long weekend (a city break), which involves flying. You don’t want to check in a bag, and you rely on your trusty Samsonite carry on, which fits the airline specifications. You also have a handbag (the extra bag is now allowed by Ryanair thank goodness). So where do we begin?

Toiletries, I believe are way harder than clothes. You need as much for two weeks as you do for two days sometimes, and I never like compromising on my skin routine while away. Here is what I generally bring:

1) Moisturiser – in a small travel container, enough for four applications (waste not want not. If all else fails, I will have hydrated skin)
2) Cleanser – the only time I ever use wipes as they are travel friendly. Or I transfer a good helping of my cream based cleanser to a travel container under the rule of 100ml.
3) Eye make up remover – Clarins have an amazing travel size eye make up remover that can be used as a general remover in an emergency
4) Deodorant – get a roll on as it’s not considered a liquid, saving space in that tiny plastic bag
5) Avoid cotton pads etc – use the face cloth in the hotel with luke warm water
6) Minature toothpaste – Boots own brand is the great price of 69c
7) Fold up tooth brush – again a space saver (I am writing this on a plane and have now remembered I forgot my toothbrush, another regular occurrence with me)

And then there’s the make up. Let’s begin with the liquid ones as they are the ones you have to declare in the teeny plastic bag

1) Foundation and primer- foundation and primers are generally under 100mls and I hate transferring it to a travel container as I think it can actually oxidise too much (I’m not sure if that’s true but that’s my theory). So, I always bring the full size. In the bag it goes.
2) Mascara – you know the free gift offers at make up counters. Yeah well, start availing of them as they normally include a mini mascara. Perfect for travelling. In it goes upright next to the foundation
3) Eyeliner – applicable to those you use liquid based liners. If it’s a liquid it goes in the bag too. If it’s in a pencil style, then keep it upright. If it’s a gel liner in a jar, put it down in the bottom corner of the bag
4) Lipgloss – leave this at home and opt for a small tin of vaseline instead. It’s not a liquid and can go in your case.
5) cont. from 4. lipstick – very travel friendly as it’s not a liquid either and can go in the case.

See, so far that little bag is rather empty. Leaving plenty of room for your toiletries and shampoo, conditioner and hairspray minis. Stock up on the Boots three for two deals on travel essentials like minis. They are great value and you will always need them, so have an inventory.

luggage at debenhamsOk that’s the beauty must-brings. The clothes are next.

The easiest thing to do is to plan. I know it takes a bit of time and a lot of thinking but honestly it helps. I always pack in outfits, so then I simply have to lift a whole look from the bag when I arrive at my destination. That forward thinking will prevent the outfit melt down on your first night when you are deciding what to wear to dinner. Most people pack “x” number of of tops, less number of bottoms, and about ten pairs of shoes. Nah-ah. Wrong approach. You need pack from head to toe. Here are a couple of steps!

1) Pick out all your favourite tops and bottoms that you want to bring with you.
2) Mix and match them to create outfits, and make a note of them
3) Style the shoes, AND the accessories and add them to your outfit list
4) Decide how many you need, keeping in mind that you can restyle the same top with different bottoms to create more than one look
5) Pack each outfit in its entirety so then it’s just case of taken them out when you arrive, as is.
6) Don’t bring spare shoes, jewellery, jackets etc. If you pack in an outfit, that’s it done and dusted

Trust me you will find this a great way to efficiently pack your clothes. For a two day trip with an evening out, I generally have three outfits. One for day one, an evening look, and a third which normally contains a piece from the first – make sense?

You want to take the stress out of packing, so there you go!!