With the great European summer beckoning louder than ever, you might just be planning—or awaiting—a sneaky (or not so sneaky, when you take into consideration the 25-hour flight over there) trip to the other side of the world to lap up some of that sun, gelato and culture.
Whether it’s a whistle-stop tour of Italy’s pizza and pasta dens, a Croatian cruise or a frolic around the French Riviera, you’ll need to get picky with your packing. Most airlines only allow you to bring a maximum of 30kg check-in luggage and one reasonably-sized carry-on bag (and even less for any smaller, internal flights). Not to mention the fact that wading through a heap of garments, toiletries and beauty prods that are redundant to your trip simply takes up space that could be better used to transport some holiday souvenirs.
This means that you’ve gotta get strategic. Those ‘staring out into the sunset’ and ‘floating on a giant-inflatable unicorn wearing hot AF swimsuits’ Insta shots require a helluva lot of forethought, after all.
Here’s our best packing tips for long-haul trips:
1. Make a list
List-lovers, unite! Seriously, if there’s one thing you takeaway from these tips–make it the list. Not only does compiling a list make it easier to avoid getting overwhelmed and end up throwing everything into your suitcase, they make life way more straight forward when you’re repacking to come home. Check out this packing PDF from UK blogger The Anna Edit for a solid starting point.
2. Be realistic
If you’re going somewhere that’s promising 30 degree weather each day, likelihood is that you don’t need three knitted jumpers “just in case”. As tempting as it can be to pack for every eventuality (type A personalities, holla!), truth is, you’re just going to waste a whole heap of space in your suitcase. Also, try laying out your clothes and mixing and matching outfits before packing (you’d be surprised to see how many outfits you can get out of one item). And if you do end up requiring three knitted jumpers, consider this your permission to buy one at your destination as a pat on the back for being such a damn risk taker.
3. The ‘5, 4, 3, 2, 1’ method
If you’re feeling brave, you could make your packing a helluva lot easier by turning it into a fun little numbers game. Add an item or two here or there depending on how long you’re going for, but follow the basic premise of packing by A Pair And A Spare DIY, who follows the following formula of items for a summery trip:
5 tops including outerwear—and make them versatile! Think; camis that can be dressed up or down, a t-shirt or two and something jacket-y (not a word but let’s roll with it) that can be thrown on for the plane journey and in the evenings for when the sun goes down and it gets chilly.
4 bottoms—Linen shorts, a wrap skirt or two, something denim and your softest, most comfortable pair of yoga pants for the trip.
3 dresses/rompers— Floaty, summery numbers that you can always style them over a tee to get more longevity out of them.
3 pairs of shoes—A sneaker, a pair of comfy flats and a pair of dressier flats to negate the need for heels.
2 bikinis—Too hard? You might be able to get away with more because they fold up to virtually nothing. We’ll let you slide with this one.
2 bags— Somethingspacious for the flight and something smaller for evenings.
1 hat, watch and sunnies—Stick with just one of each accessory if you can.
Unlimited underwear, socks and jewellery–As minimal as we wanna keep things, we definitely don’t advocate for wearing your knickers inside out to get two days wear out of them…
4. Streamline your beauty routine
‘Cause ain’t nobody got time for lugging clunky bottles of face oil to the other side of the world. Human nature dictates that if we’ve got space; we’re more than likely to fill it. So keep your skincare bag small and your makeup bag smaller—(just don’t skimp on the SPF!). Travel is the perfect opportunity to let your skin breathe and soak up some sun, negating the need for heavy-duty concealer and matte-finish powders.
Really think about what you’re going to need, opt for products that are multi-tasking, (a moisturiser with SPF, anyone?) and don’t forget to pack your miniatures! All of those unnecessary purchases of adorable tiny products whilst waiting in the queue at Sephora suddenly don’t seem so unnecessary, do they?
On the subject of minis—decant your body oils, shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion into clear travel-size bottles and leave their full-size counterparts at home.