Do you love holidays but hate packing? Guest blogger and super-stylist Ruth Keel shows you how to pack a suitcase like a pro and look super-stylish on holiday.
We’ve all been there. Busy day at work, rush home to pack – you think you’ll pack the suitcase in 2 hours but you’re still at it at 2am for a 5am flight. Panic stations! Everything gets chucked in but somehow you still have nothing you want to wear when you get there.
On my first foreign holiday with my best friend to the Balearics aged 17 I took 24 pairs of strappy shoes. For a 14 day holiday. Yes, I know, ridiculous. I never made that mistake again.
This type of packing is a recipe for mismatched mayhem and a grumpy start to the holiday so let’s create some calm.
I’m here to give some foolproof packing tips on how to pack a suitcase perfectly, yet painlessly!
Step 1: Remember The 5 Golden Rules:
1) You always need less than you think; if in doubt leave it at home. Your clothes won’t thank you for being taken half way across the world and flown back again.
2) You may (ok, let’s be realistic girls – you will) buy clothes and accessories when you are away.
3) You will probably wear your favourite things twice. Two words: travel wash.
4) Radical I know but the suitcase does not need to be full! If it was 10ft by 20ft you’d still fill it, so pack based on the length of the trip, not the size of the suitcase!
5) A good mantra is ‘Be free of your 9-5 and wear things that make your feel vibrant and alive’. Ditch the black and leave it at home!
Step 2: Choose A Colour Palette
The most important thing in learning how to pack a suitcase is decide on your holiday colour palette. A colour palette is a selection of colours that go with each other and tie your look together. Here are some examples. Which one do you like?
Tribal: Oranges, greens, browns, gelds, okra, reds, sand.
Nautical : Navy blue, white and red (or substitute red for hot pink for a twist)
Jewels: Emerald green, ruby, sapphire, burgundy, gold, burnt orange, citrine.
Pastels: Peach, dusky pink, taupe, white, lemon, baby pink, baby blue.
Spice Colours: Paprika, turmeric, cinnamon, warm ginger, cumin, chilli.
Warm Matches – Teal and purple, rich red and mustard yellow or orange and electric blue.
You may notice that the majority of your wardrobe already fits into one of these palate themes and once you’ve decided on the colour palate the rest is easy peasy. You just pick clothes that go with that theme and then all your clothes will match and you won’t be left with 7 odd things that don’t match with anything else.
To the left is a good example for a summery city break. Great colours. Little bit nautical with some splashes of pastel colour thrown in.
Step 3: Follow My Fail-safe Summer Holiday Packing List:
- 1-2 pairs of glamorous shoes, one pair of flats, one pair of shoes for exploring or walking around cities or up hills and a pair of flip flops.
- 2/3 bikinis or swimsuits. More is just overkill.
- 3 lovely dresses to show off your tan or light summer trousers and smart tops if you don’t do dresses.
- 1 pair of light weight jeans or linen trousers.
- One light cardigan, jacket or fine knit jumper ( for chilly evenings)
- 3 big scarves/ sarongs (think Pashmina size) These can be used as sarongs, as arm coverings to keep you warm on flights, as scarves for chilly evenings and on the beach lounger as a pillow.
- 2 tops to interchange with trousers – one smart, one casual.
- One summery skirt.
- Jewellery to change the look of each outfit.
- 3 funky belts to dress things up.
and very importantly:
- The Wild Card – One outfit that feels really holiday special – if you can’t wear it on holiday, when can you?
Now lay out everything you are planning to take on the bed. It saves you forgetting anything and helps you see if you are taking too much. You can you see how the colours all work together in harmony and you can see what outfits you can put together while you’re away. Panic over!
So, you’ve learned how to pack a suitcase quickly and easily. Happy Holidays! Don’t forget the factor 15 .
Oh and remember – what looks good on holiday often looks very odd at home, so don’t buy too many sparkly belly dancing tops or saris, but do have fun wearing them whilst you’re away!
*Updated May 2017*
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