The Antidote to “How to Travel Light”

The Antidote to “How to Travel Light” banner image

At this time of year, blogs and magazines are full of articles on how to pack lightly and efficiently for your summer holiday. This is not one of those articles.

I’m going to be honest with you straight away: I’m a terrible packer. Ryanair weight allowances are my worst nightmare. Whenever I try to cut down what I’m taking away with me, I always end up with more.

With a grandfather who was a pilot for British Airways, and a personal life-long love for travel, you’d think by now I’d have worked out the key to holiday style. And I have. It’s just mine isn’t “travel light”.

For me, going on holiday is about relaxing, reconnecting with oneself, and feeling good. So, given one of my main pleasures in life is style, why on earth would I want to take one “capsule wardrobe” with me and wear the same hot, sweaty pieces five days in row? Putting together a fresh, new look is my indulgence. And a holiday is the perfect time to embrace that.

I can’t deny this mentality has occasionally come back to bite me. Especially when it comes to suitcases… Suitcases and I have a love-hate – mostly hate – relationship. On more than one occasion, I’ve spent a day of my holiday running around a town trying to find a luggage store to replace the one that’s just burst. And, last year, nearly half my wardrobe disappeared when I had my suitcase stolen off a train. All I can say is that the thief had style. But I’m not going to change. Because style is my form of TLC.

So if, like me, you refuse to consign yourself to one small carry on, here are my top tips for Heavy Holiday Packing, some of which I learned the hard way.

  • Invest in avery accurate luggage scale. You’re going to need it.
  • Check out the weather before you go andbelieve it. e.g. “I’m going to India in August. So I probably won’t need my thermals”.
  • Restrict yourself to one piece for the hold. You are not Kim Kardashian.
  • Folding is your friend.
  • Never take anything you’d be truly devastated to lose. No matter how much you think it’ll be safe.
  • Keeping your accessories to a minimum is a good way to cut down. If you can bring yourself to it, only take a few pieces of costume jewellery, and a couple of fun versatile bags and pairs of shoes.
  • Makeup takes up a lot of space and weight – only take the items you can’t live without, and use the opportunity to try out all those free samples you’ve been collecting!
  • You do not need to take a hairdryer/curling tongs/straighteners. Your accommodation will probably have something. And, even if it doesn’t, the weather will mess your hair up anyway.
  • When on a train, always sit next to your suitcase and NEVER take your eye off it. Because you never know which jerk is eyeing up your Manolos.

packing The-Bias-Cut-1In the suitcase (from bottom left clockwise): Evening trousers – Evette Trousers by Emile Vidal Carr; Diane Dress by Emile Vidal Carr; cotton shirt – Starfish by Gibson & Birkbeck; Dress #2 – Signature Wrap Dress by Sika; The perfect tunic – Pearl Light Knit Tee by Korlekie. Outside the suitcase: A beautiful cover up for evening – light wool Pink Deco scarf by Claudia Meller. All Available at Other items – writer’s own.

Jacynth Bassett is the Founder and CEO of Cutting through ageism within the Fashion Industry, the online boutique’s companion blog features weekly articles offering style inspiration, discussion, what’s on, interviews and more. She also hosts regular private and corporate pop-up events for women’s networks where she talks about broadening your style-horizons and finding a new confidence. Because every woman can – and deserves to – look stylish.