Travelling to different parts of the UK (and, if I’m lucky, the world) has become part of my job and I’ve made many short trips in the past year. Packing is never much fun, but with plenty of journeys under my belt I’m now quite a dab hand at rolling my clothes, stuffing socks into shoes and never taking more pairs of pants than is strictly necessary.
I’m flying out to Milan today, so I thought I’d share my packing routine with you. Luckily I have a checked bag this time, but for reference this suitcase – which was £50 from TK Maxx and is the most beautiful patent leather – is suitable as hand luggage.
They’re not quite visible in these photos, but first in my bag is a pair of knee high heeled black leather boots. They’re easy to pack as they lay flat at the bottom of my suitcase, and versatile for short trips as they go with everything, from jeans to dresses. Mine are from NW3 at Hobbs and I wear them day and night, for all occasions. So useful!
Clothing-wise, I’m taking two printed jersey wrap dresses. These pack so well – they can be rolled up and squashed in without creasing, and I’ll wear them with flats and a cardigan during the day then with boots and my studded Zara belt for the evening. The green leopard print is from Whistles, while the red spotted is by Diane von Furstenberg (c/o). I’ve also chucked in a couple of statement necklaces to mix and match throughout my trip.
The spotty chiffon blouse (Topshop via charity shop) is another great packing piece. It rolls down to practically nothing and I can swap my travelling t-shirt for this to create a whole new outfit without taking up more space in my suitcase.
I keep my travel toiletries bag packed and ready to go, so it’s really easy to just grab and throw in. Inside I’ve decanted all my skincare into travel bottles and packed them with a mini hairbrush, mini shower puff, toothbrush, toothpaste, cotton pads, and hair bands and clips.
I like taking a full bottle of perfume when I go away – decanting expensive perfume seems sacrilegious – so I make sure it’s nestled within my case under layers of clothing, to protect it from the bumps and bangs of Ryanair’s hold.
I use the mesh compartment in the top of my suitcase for larger toiletries that are hard to decant – hair wax, moisturiser, hair oil, deodorant. I’ve also squeezed an extra pair of flats in here – I’m wearing ankle boots for the flight so it’s useful to have another pair of shoes in case of emergency!
My trusty ghds are coming too – with the wire wrapped around the closed straighteners, they slot nicely down one side. And finally, a very important piece not to be forgotten – my PJs. When travelling I leave my usual fleecy trousers and top behind and take a sleep shirt instead, as it takes up less room but is still cosy and comfortable.
And here’s the finished result! I’ve popped a few extras in on top – my (very condensed!) makeup bag and a thick cotton purse with all my jewellery inside. I’ve still got my basics to add in – underwear, some long sleeved tees for extra layers, tights, a few pairs of socks and a couple of plug adaptors. All that will sit nicely on top and I’ll be good to go.
I’ll be wearing my chunky knitted cardigan, heavy jeans and bulky boots to the airport as these are the trickiest pieces to pack. Hopefully there’ll still be space for some Milano shopping… there’s a Sephora at Milan Central Station and it’s open ’til 10pm!
What are your tips for packing light and avoiding those pesky baggage charges (Ryanair, I’m looking at you)?