28 days. 3 climates. 1 suitcase.
With just minutes to go until I board my Emirates flight for a four-week holiday, I’m currently in that blissed-out pre-holiday haze when all I can thinking about are what adventures are ahead and how jealous everyone else is that I’m bound for Europe.
My tickets are ready, window seats have been confirmed and my bag is packed (and believe me, it was no easy feat).
Given I have more than 20 years’ experience packing my own bag for holidays, I should be good at it. But I’m not.
Instead I have always been a firm believer in the ‘why take two t-shirts when you can take 15 and have options’ theory of packing.
As a result, any attempt at filling a bag—be it for a month’s vacation or a night at my parents’ house—seems to leave my bedroom looking like the ‘before’ shot from Hoarders; clothes and accessories piled across my bed, shoes scattered everywhere and scarves multiply at will.
And despite my best attempts at packing, then removing some items and repacking, I always end up in a panicked frenzied last minute attempt to shove more things into my already-bulging, have-to-sit-on-top-to-close it suitcase.
“When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money.” —Unknown—
This time, however, I vowed to do better. Even though I’ve been given a blessed 30kg weight limit (thank you, Emirates!) I decided it was time to pack like a pro; minimal, tonal and … well, minimal.
A quick trip around Google and Pinterest provided some tips, lists and, in a few cases, numbered photos to accompany other people’s choices including my favourite from Wearing It Today, a blog by London-based fashion stylist Laura Fantacci whose wardrobe leaves me turquoise green with envy (see pic below).
Once I had an idea of the look I was going for (stripes, stripes and sequins), I set about attacking my wardrobe.
(Cue the frenzied throwing of clothes around my room searching for two striped t-shirts, a pair of tan wedges and a Chanel dress).
It turns out I don’t actually own a Chanel dress. But I do own one from Cue, so in the went. And some striped tshirts.
In went my gym gear. And then out it came. Who exercises on holidays, seriously? I mean I’d like to be one of those ponytail-swinging, puffer vest-wearing girls running through Hyde Park, but really, who I am kidding?
I’m far ore likely to get my exercise pounding the pavement along Oxford Street or chasing the sunset in Santorini. Well, that’s my story at least.
Anyway, it was halfway through my first attempt at packing that I realised there are two problems with using someone else’s clothing suggestions to pack:
The first being that you don’t actually own their clothes.
And secondly, chances are you aren’t going to the same destination, therefore there may be some weather discrepancies. (What do you mean it’s STILL cold and raining in London?).
Which is where I’ve come slightly unstuck because as well as using a fashion editor’s wardrobe for inspiration, I’m heading to three different climates—London (cold and rainy), Santorini (warm and sunny) and Dubai (hot, hot hot).
So, despite all the great advice I found online (keep it tonal, pack things you can dress up or down, be shoe selective)’ I still found myself plonking a 25kg suitcase onto the conveyor at the airport.
What can I say? I’m a girl.
And I’m positive my newly-purchased “I’m a rockstar” sequinned jacket and stiletto boots will come in handy when riding a camel in Dubai … desert chic.