November, 2007, LONDON, ENGLAND:
We’ve all experienced it, you arrive at your destination creased and crumpled with burgeoning baggage. And yet, once opened, you can’t find anything suitable in your suitcase! It’s as common as delays at LAX. Read on to find out expert tips so you can get packing…with aplomb!
Nicola Willcox has packed and unpacked for a stellar line up of stars and celebrities whilst working in premium hotels around the world. She believes that packing preparation is key to getting the most out of your holiday.
Nicola says: “It simply isn’t done for the A-list to arrive looking creased and crumpled. After all, their livelihood partly depends on them looking the part 24/7. And nowadays it’s not just celebs who want to pack a fashionable punch from the moment they leave departure lounge. We all want to live la dolce vita and look the part.
Once you’ve got over the dread of packing, it’s actually a simple task to do well. Follow my 5 minute guide and revolutionise your packing technique. Say cheerio to creases and wave bye bye to unworn, crumpled clothes. You’ll be working the Riviera chic, cruise casual and evening glam looks with super star style.”
1. BAG IT – IDENTIFY YOUR ‘IT TRAVEL BAG’
Forget about ‘It bags’, it’s time to start obsessing about your ‘It Travel Bag’. Whilst a Hermes Birkin or this season’s snakeskin Prada is a must have for over the arm, the more tricky challenge is locating that perfect suitcase.
Smart travellers are moving towards lightweight luggage in a variety of colours. In fact, global sales of black bags are purported to be down from 75% to around 56%. This move towards a rainbow of colour is both an expression of personality but also a clever trick for baggage claim. You’re more likely to spot your distinctive bag on the luggage carousel thereby enabling you to get the party started sooner! If you do still have a black bag, be sure to tie a ribbon around the handles to make it easier to identify.
Weight is a major concern because many airlines now charge a fee for luggage that exceeds 25kg.
Big it up
Another great thing to look for in a bag is expandability. While expandable luggage isn't new, the trend is moving to zipper-less expansion. Simply press a button inside your bag and watch it expand.
To sum it up, we recommend a sturdy, soft-sided, expandable suitcase sized between 22 and 26 inches with a pullout handle and wheels. Be sure to put an ID tag on it and your name and address inside.
2. LAY IT ALL OUT
Make a list of what you plan to wear and do each day and lay all items out on the bed. Stick to this list and remember - no last-minute additions! Pack a spare pair of underwear in your hand luggage in case your baggage doesn't end up in the same city as you.
Once you’ve laid out all of your clothes, halve them and then add two comfortable items and two glamorous items. On top of this, add to your reduced pile a fleece and a pashmina/shawl. These are wonder items - light, warm, quick to dry and make good pillows or towels in an emergency or delay.
Pack some empty plastic bags – you’ll always find a use for them and they’re great for preventing items from spilling or getting a not-yet-dry swimsuit away from the rest of your wardrobe.
3. PERFECT PACKING
Layer the bottom of the suitcase with tissue paper.
Crease free packing
Start with your trousers. Place the waistband inside the suitcase with the trouser legs hanging over of the sides. Lay all shirts, underwear and other folding items on top of the trousers (the trouser legs will be folded over these layers of clothing). Lay out more tissue paper in the centre of each shirt, fold the arms inwards, add a further layer of tissue paper over the shirt and fold in half. Sweaters and other heavier weight tops benefit from having tissue paper rolled into the arms and another layer of tissue paper placed on the outside of the sweater before folding the sweater in half.
Tissue paper is again a must-have for women’s dresses. Cover them from head to toe in tissue paper and always ensure that there is a little black dress option available.
Push tissue paper into the toes of shoes to keep their shape and wrap them individually in tissue or place in shoe bags (preventing marks from getting on clothes and high heels ripping delicate silks) and place carefully, soles out and heels at opposite ends, in the gaps in the suitcase. Try to wear your bulkiest pair of shoes, rather than packing them.
Belts should be rolled and placed in the pockets of space around the central pile of clothing. If possible, all make up and toiletries should be packed into a separate vanity case, otherwise they should be sealed into a waterproof bag. Freezer bags with zips are a great tip.
If you’re not keen on rolling and using tissue paper,you may consider investing in compressor bags. Place bulky items, like sweaters, inside and then roll the ingenious bag to release the excess air and save space. On the way home, put your dirty clothes in it to keep those from taking up as much room, as well. It can also be used for wet things, like swimsuits and towels from that last dip in the pool.
Whilst you need to be well read, avoid the headache of packing heavy books. Download your holiday novels in audio format for your MP3 player. Not only will this save you space but you’ll be transported back to childhood holidays and realise the beauty of audio all over again!
All done? Get ready to enjoy holiday high-style 24/7. And, it’s not just about the fashion. The great thing about organising your items is the fact that it protects them more. The move to soft-sided, lightweight luggage means less structure inside the bag. Clever packing really is the key to keeping all those essential items looking good for longer.
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London, England, U.K.
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