Thursday, December 11, 2014

Travelling light in 6 steps

I was never really a particularly light traveller, until I decided I nog longer wanted to lug around heavy luggage, half of which was filled with things I didn't even wear or use. When I first moved to London back in 2011, I literally took ALL my clothes with me. I know. Crazy. But I've gotten better over the years! So today I'll give you a few tips for travelling light(er) but with still having all the options you need and without compromising too much. 
These are mostly tips for short trips, when it's often the case that can only take one piece hand-luggage with you. It's cheaper but also saves more time to travel this way, since you don't need to wait for anything. Here's how to travel light in six steps:

1. Clothes
For short trips, it's actually easy to pack the right amount. Just take some of your favourite basics, like a blazer, nice pair of trousers, silk shirt, a skirt etc. in colours that go well together and items that go well together. Then go ahead and create combinations. If you're going somewhere for three days, just make sure you can combine the clothes to make three different outfits, re-using some of the items. Also prepare one or two outfits you can wear at night if you go for dinner/drinks. 

I always take a pair of leggings and a sweater with me so I have a comfy outfit for at night/in the morning. Don't forget about underwear, bras and socks. 

Take one coat with you which is suitable for both day-and night. Also take a warm scarf because you never know what weather you'll get, rain or cold winds, it's always good to have a scarf. 

2. Shoes
For just a couple of days, you only really need two or three pairs of shoes. I always take one pair of boots, because you can wear those at night too. My second pair of shoes are sneakers, because you need comfy shoes if you're going to walk around a lot. And you can always go out for a spontaneous run if you feel like it! If you know you'll be going out you can also take one pair of heels. Shoes weigh quite heavy and take a lot of space so never take too many with you and always wear the 'biggest/bulkiest' pair while travelling (boots). 

3. Beauty
If you travel with hand-luggage only, you can only take 1000 ml of liquids with you. Make sure you have travel size bottles of your favourite products, or transfer your favourite products to smaller bottles (e.g. shampoo). I keep all my travel-products in one place so when I travel I only need to pick out the products I need for that trip. Put all your liquids in a plastic zip-lock bag and place this on top of everything in your suitcase. This way, it's easy to get it out when you go through security. 

Another thing you can do is take testers with you. This is convenient if you're only away for one or two nights. It barely takes in any space and you can throw it away once it's used.

4. Make-up
First of all, only take the basics. You really don't need two blushes, three lip glosses and two highlighters. Just take one of each (pick your favourite). Foundation can be tricky because it usually comes in a heavy glass bottle. My solution is to take an empty packaging from a tester and fill it with your favourite foundation. High-end make-up brands always give little pots for testing out foundations, and once they are empty I keep them for travelling, like this adorable Chanel bottle (enough foundation for about a week). Also try to take sample-size make-up as it will save a lot of space in your make-up bag, like this tiny tube of Chanel mascara.

5. Handbag
If you can only take one piece of hand-luggage, I recommend taking a small cross-body bag which you can use both during the day and at night (check my previous post for some good ones). Sometimes all your hand-luggage needs to fit in one bag/suitcase, so a small bag is easy to put in there during the flight. Put your essentials in this bag: phone, wallet, passport (only take your ID when traveling within Europe, less bulky than a passport), earphones, portable phone charger, chewing gum, tissues, lip balm and hand sanitiser. 

6. Wallet
Wallets can be stuffed with old receipts, loose change and old cards we no longer use. Empty your wallet and only take the cards which you'll actually use on your trip. For London for example I don't need rewards cards from Belgium, but I do need my Oyster card and Liberty card. So get this sorted and throw out receipts you don't need. While this might not make a big difference in weight, it will be much more convenient knowing what's in your wallet and where.  

Those were all my tips! I hope some of them are useful, or maybe you've got a good tip for me too? Happy travelling! 

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