What to pack for a holiday

I thought I would have a different slant to the blog today. Since I have been on the move, I decided I would give my top twenty travel packing tips. So here goes with the travel packing tips –

1. I pack an almost entirely black wardrobe. Black doesn’t look grubby half as fast as light colours and it can all go together in a single washload. Black also goes from day to night with ease. If I do pack colours I choose dark ones, such as khaki or bottle green.

2. I pack a pair of running shoes for walks, going for a run or for long days on my feet. I pack lightweight flat ballet pumps in different colours for when I go for a meal or for when on the move, but not on my feet. Stilletos and chunky heels are not ideal when travelling.

3. If I have done a bit too much shopping I carry my shoes in my hand luggage. Why? The weight limit for a suitcase with most airlines is around 23 kilograms. Toiletries are the heaviest items but they will be confiscated from hand luggage. Shoes are the next heaviest item. By carrying them I can get away with packing more in my suitcase. No one can see into my hand bag.

4. I always use a soft fabric shopping-style bag to carry onto the plane. (see previous post to make one) It squashes nicely so it fits into the container at the check-in counter. I really make the most of the bag and fill it to the max.

5. I pack clothes I can layer so I have flexibility with the weather. On a really cold day I would wear a tank top, a shirt, a t-shirt as a pullover, a cardigan and then a jacket. On a hot day I would wear just a tank top.

6. Casual wear doubles up as sleep wear. Why pack both?

7. I love, love, love those vintage shirts made out of crimplene or trilobal. They wash and dry easily and never crease. (see previous posts to view them)

8. A wheelie suitcase is great but there are still places where I have to carry my bag. London Victoria is one of them. There are a lot of stairs from the tube to the top. So I make sure I can carry my bag.

9. I pack brightly coloured cheap plastic jewelery. It’s lightweight and I don’t have to insure it.

10. I also pack loads of big bold scarves. Great for giving some zing to a basic black outfit. They can be tied in lots of different ways. They can also be worn as a top. (see previous posts for ideas)

11. High maintenance hairdos are not for travelling. I’m loving the new braided look. Wash, comb through a leave-in conditioner, plait and wear. When your hair comes out of the plaits you have lovely waves

that are right on trend.

12. Make up must double up. Lipstick can be used as blusher. I stick to creamy textures as I tend to pile on the sunscreen. Powders can get a bit cakey on top of all that.

14. Shampoo can double up as shaving gel, shower gel and of course shampoo. Hair conditioner can be used to smooth dry skin.

15. I never use toiletry bags. They are bulky and never the right size. I use large ziplock Jiffy bags. You can see what is in them at a glance, they hold more, they are lighter and they contain any leaks. I keep similar items together in a bag. For example –

make up bag, toiletry bag or jewelery bag. They make life on the move so much easier.

16. Slips slops are great for a quick walkabout or in place of slippers. They are a good idea if you are using a communal shower, at a spa or going to the beach. Havianas have slip slops in a wide range of colours and styles. Havianas were designed to last nearly forever.

17. I always take a spare set of underwear, clothing and basic toiletries with me on the plane. Luggage does go astray. With “spares”, it’s not a disaster if that happens. Plus if I arrive late and am shattered, I can have a quick wash and change without having to go near my suitcase.

18. I also keep a copy of all basic information on me in a strong plastic file. Copies of my passport, flight ticket, details of where I am staying, medical insurance, intended itinerary and that sort of info. When I arrive at border control they like to have a go. Usually I can’t think straight after 13 hours squashed in a plane. At

least I can show them details in black and white and give them proper answers. It helps me not to appear like a potential illegal immigrant.

19. I have the most unsexy lightweight windbreaker. I carry it on me as well. It’s lighter than an umbrella, no metal bits to cause alarm at airport security and if it’s a really cold day I can wear it on top of all the other items I mentioned in tip # 5.

20. My handbag is usually heavy and full. One last thing I insist on carrying with me at all times is a large lightweight cotton sunhat. A full day out exploring can wreak havok with my skin. Sunscreen wears off and at least the hat will keep me from turing into a tomato.

21. A bonus tip is that I wear my heaviest clothes on the plane. Jeans, coat and running shoes are my heaviest items. That allows me a bit of extra weight in my suitcase.

The Greenie Galleries at the top of this page have 100s of photos of older and newer projects showing multiple ways to make your own clothing and accessories. There are also ideas to recycle or upcycle.