Who doesn’t love a weekend away? A few days to unwind and forget the mundane chores at home and in my case, the bathroom that needs a paint job! Excitement rises as I think of the breakfast bar but then mild panic sets in at the thought of packing and getting it right.

As a family we have made some real clangers at Check In and even later when reaching security. On one occasion, as a toddler, my daughter had decided to slip in my hefty cutting scissors into her own little case, causing a bit of a stir and loss of my trusty tool, so I now try and be far more organised.

How to pack

  • Lay your items out on your bed and then reduce by a third. For a weekend trip avoid taking the ‘just in case’ options.
  • Arrange outfit ideas with accessories needed for each look and take asnapshot to remember.
  • Fold and Roll – no, not an exercise move but a packing suggestion for items like T-shirts, sweatshirts and jumpers which means you can fit them around the edges of your case.
  • Smarter items, like cotton shirts, trousers and jeans are better folded around each other to help avoid creasing – known as the ‘bundle technique’.
  • For those who like more separation, Lakeland’s Packing Organisers offer a simple solution inside your case at £20.99 for three.
  • Belts are better unrolled and slipped in around the perimeter of the case.
  • Well before travelling, start collecting trial and sample sizes as it’s often the wash bag that just won’t fit!

I know it’s obvious, but remember the maximum 100ml liquid rule too, inside one small plastic bag per person to avoid dumping new products, which is never a great start to a holiday. (I’ve done it!)

What to pack

A few creative layers that I found on Pinterest, for day to evening.

Add a pop of colour with a little clutch

Comfy trainers with everything!

A leather jacket and heels

A versatile dress for day or evening

  • Check the weather forecast for the time of year you are visiting – how likely is a rain cloud – is an umbrella a must or will a rainproof jacket be enough for light showers?
  • A capsule collection is key to travelling light, one colour palette that means you can make more outfits out of a few items.
  • Scarves are a space-saving item to make the changes and add a pop of colour.
  • A selection of tops will make far more impact than lots of bottom halves – so just a couple of pairs of dark trousers or jeans are useful for day and into the evening.
  • Comfy footwear is an essential, of course, but make sure they are tried and tested, not brand new and likely to cause blisters!
  • A small cross over bag will not only be a safer option but it distributes the weight for all-day sightseeing, just reduce what you need each day to small bag necessities.
  • A lightweight cosy sweater is a useful layer for cooler mornings, rolled into a scarf for breakfast chill, through jeans loops for afternoon strolls and then diagonally across the body for early evening cocktails.
  • A waterproof lined pouch like this one from Oliver Bonas, is great to transport make-up and becomes a cheeky clutch on a night out.
  • For comfortable feet inside trainers, I love Ecco bamboo footsies, £7.99, breathable and dry all day.
  • One lightweight overcoat should be enough for smarter day and into evenings, something like a trench coat that layers over a denim jacket too.
  • Remember a dress can be a perfect day-into-evening item, dressed down with trainers and a denim jacket for day and a metallic belt and ankle boots added for evening.
  • One or two statement pieces of jewellery will add a simple change; go bold like these raffia drops from Oliver Bonas.

A few little tips to finish off with:

Top tips

* The simple sock can be used to ‘bag up’ cables and adaptors.
* Fill shoes with rolled socks/ underwear and use to protect sunglasses.

* Avoid easy creasing fabrics that will need ironing on arrival.
* Add your contact details, visible inside the bag and tagged outside.

* Wear larger items like ankle boots or trainers and pack the slip-ons.
* If in doubt, double-wrap your toiletries to avoid a mess on arrival.

* A cotton bag is useful for storing ‘to be washed on return’ items.

* Remember, to reduce your make- up bag, take out Christmas sparkles.

* Keep your medicines in a separate easy to reach plastic bag.

* Try and leave a little breathing space for purchases made.

“If you would like some help packing for a romantic weekend or longer summer break, I offer a Perfect Packing session to take your stress away. I will photograph your outfits and make sure you only pack what you need so you can concentrate on enjoying your holiday.”     Email me for details, kirstie@kirstiesmillie.com

K x