Last minute packing often leads to excess baggage charges and a suitcase full of clothes that are either inappropriate to your destination or that you never get round to wearing, so my packing mantra has to be "Never leave packing to the last minute! Be organised and take exactly what you need". Simple.
Firstly you need to think about all the essential items you really can't do without, not just clothing so I use a Packing List and although you can write your own, I find this invaluable as it means you won't forget anything! Alternatively you get print one off from Travellerspoint here.
A mix and match capsule wardrobe isn’t just about day to day or going out clothing, where you should work on the theory of 3-4 tops for each bottom. When it comes to holidays, it is a great idea to create a capsule collection of swim and beachwear.
One of the easiest ways to limit the amount of garments you need to take away with you is by mixing and matching plain pieces with either florals or stripes. Warehouse have a great range of bikini's with pieces starting at only £3 each in their sale and I have used two of their styles, one in a plain and one in a pattern to show you how to create 4 different looks from 2 bikini's!
(not the best job of cutting & pasting bodies you will ever see, but you get the idea!)
All Swimwear by Warehouse.
How to pack like a Professional
Lay all of your holiday clothes out on the bed or hang on a clothes rail and then see how items can be mixed and matched or dressed up or down with accessories, for either evening or daytime looks.
So nice of Claudia to dump it all on my bed!
If you are going away once the kids have broken up, mid July or August, hopefully you have been able to identify any items that you need for a stylish getaway and grabbed some holiday essential bargains! Check out my top holiday buys in my "Stuff your suitcase with Style" post here.
Think about your time of arrival when packing. If its p.m. - make sure either your going out clothes or pyjamas and toothbrush are packed last, or for a.m., your swimsuit, beach towel, flip flops, sunglasses and sun cream and leave these to one side.
Starting with an empty case, pack the longest items first such as maxi dresses, trousers, palazzo pants etc. Fold each item in half and lay flat so that the ends are hanging over the suitcase edge. The end result will be that you bring the ends in,, over the rest of the suitcase contents which will stop these items from creasing.
Middle: Now put in your folded items such as Tops and shorts.
Stuff your shoes with underwear.
Top: The heaviest items go in last as they will help to keep everything else in place, so now pack your shoes, toiletries, beach towel etc. Fill in gaps with your underwear, swimwear and accessories.
How to pack a Hat.
Sunshine headgear has been increasing in popularity over the last few years, first with the cowboy style and more recently with a panama or trilby. If you don't wish to wear yours for the journey, packing it can be hazardous and cause your hat to either get badly squashed or lose its shape, so first fill your hat with bikini's or underwear and pack in the centre of your case quite near to the top.
Pack folded items of clothing around it, filling gaps with smaller items.
Wrap any garments with either embellishments or sequins in tissue paper before packing as this will help to prevent damage to surrounding garments.
Shoes that have already been worn or new ones like these that the glitter comes off of, should always be put into bags before packing.
Its not always possible to unpack immediately on arrival at your destination, so hang any garments that may be creased in the Bathroom where the steam from the shower will help them to drop out.
Heading to the Sun from September onwards? Make sure to buy swimwear, beach towels and shorts now, as they are not so easy to find on the High Street once the Autumn and Winter collections start hitting the rails and the Sales are over.
You might also be interested in "panic free holiday packing" to help you get the best out of your holiday wardrobe, read here.