The one thing I never travel without is a camera – or two! For big trips I’ve even been known to take drones with me, which I’ve had a lot of fun using in Mexico and Australia. To save my boyfriend from having to take my photos, and to get in a cute picture of the two of us, I usually bring a tripod, too. It truly makes my life so much easier.
Whenever I have a trip coming up, I start by making a packing list on my phone in the ‘Reminders’ section – usually about a week or so before. Random things usually pop into my mind, so it’s great to have somewhere to jot it all down. I wish I was someone who packed well in advance, but it’s typically a night-before or morning-of activity.
My suitcase usually ends up being full of bags or packing cubes. For as long as I can remember, I’ve kept small things like my underwear, socks, swimwear and chargers in their own bags. Antler do great packing cubes, but any dust bag or even the Glossier resealable bags work well too – no one wants a tangle of strings or cables in their case. Usually, I pack clothes on one side and then my wash bag and other loose items like a steamer (I have the one from Steamery) on the other. I have a hand-held luggage weigher that I use once I'm packed to avoid any nasty surprises at the airport – I pack it for the way home, too.
When it comes to planning the number of outfits for a trip, I don’t go overboard. But I’ll often revise my pile of clothes a couple of times to think about if I really have time to wear them all. Normally, I max out whatever the luggage allowance is, as I don’t like to feel as though I’m missing anything. The words ‘hand luggage only’ are not ones I like hearing, and I’ll normally shell out for an extra hold bag to save on stress.
On warmer holidays, my days are typically spent wearing bikinis, Birkenstocks or sandals and some sort of cover up like shorts and a linen shirt or a silk sarong. I pack lots of summer dresses, as they’re perfect for meals and day trips as well as dressing up in the evenings. I like to bring a few evening options, but most of the time I end up throwing on some heeled sandals and a cardigan with my day dress. When you’re on holiday visiting local restaurants and towns, you often end up walking quite a lot so one comfy pair of evening shoes usually works perfectly. I’ve learnt my lesson trying to tackle cobblestones in heels…
For a weekend city break I’d always make sure to pack a comfy pair of shoes (probably trainers), a cross-body bag and a film camera. On every trip I travel with gym kit too, as I like to fit in some kind of movement – it helps with my energy levels.
My favourite luggage brands have to be Away, Horizn Studios and Antler. They all sell hard-shell suitcases with clever details to make packing easier. As someone who rarely travels light, anything that helps me squeeze more in is always appreciated. Away and Horizn Studios also have pop-out portable chargers built into their carry-ons, which is a godsend – plus, they all come in a variety of colourways. In fact, I highly recommend a good portable charger for anyone looking to avoid low battery anxiety.
In my hand luggage, you’ll probably find shoes – along with valuable items such as bags, jewellery and tech. A lot of this is due to weight restrictions in the hold, but I also keep straw bags and hats in my hand luggage to stop them getting too squashed. Suffice to say it fills up pretty quickly! I also have this perfectly sized clear travel case from The Daily Edited that I use for my liquids. It’s so chic and now comes with me on every trip.
For me, flying is actually quite relaxing. With two jobs on the go, I rarely stop so it’s quite nice to be forced into it, particularly with no internet. Watching trashy TV and films, listening to music and podcasts, eating snacks and napping for hours is such a treat! I also enjoy train journeys and used to be on the Eurostar a fair amount for work trips prior to the pandemic.
On planes, my routine involves spritzing everything with an anti-bac spray when I get to my seat and making sure I have everything I need from my carry on. Horizn Studios actually do a really nifty little top case that sits on your suitcase for things you want to have to hand. Then I pop on my Bose noise-cancelling headphones, which are truly life-changing. During take-off and landing I meditate and sometimes throw in another session in the middle of a long-haul flight. I do vedic or transcendental meditation, as they’re said to help with jet lag.
Touch wood I haven’t had any lost luggage disasters yet. But I keep an extra pair of knickers in my hand luggage just in case – a valuable tip from my mother.
The five beauty products I never travel without are a good SPF (a tinted one kills two birds with one stone), concealer, a lip tint that doubles up for cheeks, an eyelash curler and bronzer. My desert island pick would probably be the lip/cheek tint – some colour on my lips instantly makes me look more alive. Haircare-wise, I’m obsessed with my Dyson AirWrap and I’ll always bring moroccan oil with me to tame frizz. And, of course, dry shampoo.
I also never travel without Compeed – particularly for a city break. You don’t want your holiday exploring to be ruined by shoes that rub. Insect repellent is also an essential – mosquitos seem to love me, which is no fun at all. I always bring some milk thistle tablets to aid with holiday indulgences and hangovers, too.
For beach holidays, I’m never without a Hunza G bikini, Chanel sandals (I got a pair over the summer), the Loewe basket bag, a Lack Of Color hat, Jimmy Fairly sunglasses, Terry Towelling shorts and lots of silk and linen.
The most important thing to take on work trips is definitely a laptop charger and an adapter. Prior to the pandemic, I used to travel for work a lot, and often had to land and go straight into meetings. I am not good without food, so making sure I eat is always a top priority, as well as having a few cups of tea. Giving myself a freshen up with make-up and squeezing in a quick meditation session always helps, too.
My most complicated trip to pack for was a three-week trip to the US, which was a mix of work and play, hitting LA, Dallas and New York. I was attending Coachella and a work conference, so I needed a good mix of outfits. I was lucky to be able to send some bits back with a friend after the first stop, and have my boyfriend bring some things out when we met up later. I’d probably have had to pay for more luggage allowance otherwise…
For trips that require a lot of gear try to wear as much of it as possible en route, particularly the heavy bits. Even for a summer holiday I’ve been known to wear two straw hats on top of each other through the airport – to everyone’s amusement.
When a trip is drawing to a close, I’ll usually throw everything on the bed and totally re-pack to make it easier once I get home. I always bring a big empty laundry bag with me so anything I’ve worn goes in there to be washed as soon as I’m back.
Ensuring you’re under the weight limit allows you room to fit in some holiday purchases. It varies by destination, but if I’m visiting a major shopping destination then I may even bring another holdall for ‘emergencies’. For the most part, it’s probably a good thing that there are weight restrictions to hold me back!
There are a few places on my travel bucket list for when we’re able to travel again – California, Mexico and Italy to name a few. Pre-Covid, I was about to book a big California road trip, so I’d love to do that eventually. After visiting one of the beautiful Coqui Coqui residences in Mexico, I’m keen to explore their other locations too. Closer to home, Masseria Moroseta in Puglia is next on my list, as is the Amalfi Coast. I’m actually tempted to hop on a plane to the Maldives post-lockdown for some winter sun, as it’s currently on the travel corridor list.
*DISCLAIMER: Travel restrictions are changing daily, so please check the latest government advice before you book. Please ensure you are aware of the social distancing guidelines in place as well as rules on meeting up in groups larger than six.