The holidays are here. And with them comes the need to pack. Have you mastered it yet? Or are you an over-packer (stuffing everything in just in case you need that fourth pair of jeans and three woolly jumpers in Greece in August. Excess baggage charges, anyone?) An under-packer (why oh why did you forget to bring anything whatsoever to wear in the evening, compelling you to wear that ancient sundress Every Single Day)? A last-minute packer (necessitating a crazed dash around the airport in search of knickers, books, SPF…pretty much everything)?
Fortunately for our suitcases, we’ve assembled a team of seasoned travel pros and crack packers to tell you how it’s done. First up, GLAMOUR Beauty Director Alessandra Steinherr and fashion editor and stylist, Liz Thody.
The travel guru: Alessandra Steinherr, Beauty Director at GLAMOUR magazine. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @AlexSteinherr for genius beauty tips and a peek inside her fabulous life.
Alessandra is a walking, talking (utterly gorgeous) repository of beauty knowledge. Quite honestly, if she doesn’t know about it – it’s not worth knowing. She is always hopping on and off planes as she jets around the world styling shoots (she styled Alexa Chung for her recent GLAMOUR Woman of the Year cover), interviewing beauty insiders and celebrities, and attending launches of hot new products. What’s more, she never looks less than perfectly groomed: how does she do it?
Alessandra’s Top Travel Tips:
“Toiletries take up so much space and weigh a tonne, so take minis or decant everything into travel-sized bottles (Muji do great ones).”
“ALWAYS take some basics in your carry-on, in case your luggage doesn’t make it to your destination at the same time as you. I carry a change of underwear, a white t-shirt, face wipes and a mosturiser with SPF. (Take underwear for kids, too.)”
“I used to be a massive over-packer as I just threw everything I owned into a big suitcase. Now I decide my outfits and pack accordingly: I lay everything out and put it together with shoes and bags. It’s the same approach as planning a photoshoot; it takes a bit of time, but editing everything down avoids taking extra bits you will never wear.”
*Alessandra’s Pick* DayWear Advanced Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant SPF 15, £12 (deluxe travel size), Estée Lauder; Truth To Go Cleansing Wipes, £12,00, Ole Henriksen; Vintage cotton white tee, now £14 (usually £17), J Crew
The Travel Guru: Liz Thody has been fashion director for Red and Easy Living, and now combines freelancing for magazines (Grazia, GLAMOUR, Mexican Vogue) with styling and art directing campaigns for major brands. She is also one of the most delightful and chicest woman I know, not to mention one of my favourite fellow literary fiends. Follow her on Instagram @lthody and do check out her gorgeous, impeccably curated pop-up shop, @littledonkeypopup.
“Because I travel to warmer climes for work so often, I tend to have pile of clothes in a drawer that I can literally put in my suitcase on autopilot. This consists of several pairs of Gap shorts and t shirts all in cream or white: Isabel Marant are my staple tees because they’re looser and more flattering than tight-fitting versions, and even look cool when a bit crumpled.
I limit wearing bright colours to summer only – preferring a bright pastel like lime or sherbet pink in the form of cashmere sweater which I can throw on with white shorts, trousers or over a bikini.
And a few pretty special pieces for parties and dinners – currently a pair of chintzy shorts from Dries Van Noten or an Isabel Marant kaftan.
Running shoes and kit take up space but I am always so glad I have them. I guess it’s a fairly classic wardrobe with a few twists!
Accessories are important and take up little space. I always have a designer belt on the go – currently a black cowboy belt from Saint Laurent which works with everything and I always pack a pair of flat metallic sandals to ramp up a casual outfit or for evenings. A change of earrings from my staple diamond studs, currently some pink agate and rose gold from Wouters and Hendrix.
Collection cashmere sweatshirt, £248, J.Crew; Minea linen t shirt, now £50 (was £125), Isabel Marant at Matches; Agate drop earrings, £241.58, Wouters & Hendrix at Farfetch; Crepe shorts, £85, T by Alexander Wang at The Outnet
I always travel in elasticated waist trousers – currently from James Perse and American Vintage – which look smart, but are comfortable, and trainers from Grey Goose. I wear a smart jacket so I don’t have to pack it.
Other flight essentials are: a cashmere blanket, warm sweater and black Havaianas for when my feet swell on a flight. Tip – pack the same travel clothes for the journey home (unless you plan to do laundry, everything goes into dirty washing the minute I get off a flight). A super hydrating face cream from Sisley, ear plugs, hand wipes aplenty, an eye mask, large bottle of water, and reading material ( iBooks in my new iPad mini). And I always carry a charger that powers my technology in the seat.”
Liz’s Top Tips:
1. A simple canvas eco bag is a light way to carry round essentials once you are away rather than a heavy handbag – my latest is from H&M and takes up no space.
2. When in America use a fluff and fold laundry service – they turn around essentials in a few hours and are a fraction of hotel laundry prices. In New York you’ll find one on every street corner!
3. I always take a saline nose cream (which stops the dry nose on long hauls and prevents germs).
4. Download radio programmes on iPlayer. It makes for wonderful flight entertainment and a catch-up opportunity. My favourites are Radio 3’s Free Thinking and In Our Time which I always miss at home.
5. Always unpack unless it’s a one night stay; it makes dressing a pleasure.
Bargain holiday essentials:
I love Zara Liberty print edged beach towels.
I love Mango for the prettiest summer holiday tops and dresses.
Packing essential – Sisley Factor 30 sun protection body cream. I am often the only person who doesn’t get burned: it’s the best.
One week; hand luggage only…
3 pairs of shorts and a white tee for each day; a couple of kaftans that work for day and evening; a few pretty tops (Isabel Marant or the incredible Spring 2014 H&M collection); a couple of pairs of trousers and a bikini (plus goggles and hat); posh flat sandals; earrings; a cashmere sweatshirt from Pure Collection; a squashable straw trilby from Gap; gym kit (Nike); small evening clutch (Anya Hindmarch).
Swiss dot cotton top, now £215 (was £430), Isabel Marant at Matches; Classic crew neck cashmere sweater, now £59 (was £99), Pure Collection; Cotton blouse,£19.99, H&M; Bespoke Maud clutch, £450, Anya Hindmarch