By the time this blog post is live I'll be on my way back from a trip to Vermont, USA. I'm heading to a writer's weekend where there's going to be plotting, brainstorming and general writerly shenanigans. Since moving to Canada, I've started travelling a lot more as Toronto is a hell of a lot more central to things than Melbourne.
So, I thought it might be fun to share some of my top travel packing tips.
Tip #1 invest in a pair of noise-cancelling headphones
Yes, they're expensive. But plane engine noise gives me a shocking headache and I seem to be a magnet for screaming children on planes. Now I simply pop on my headphones and either watch a movie, play music or use a white noise (or rain sounds) app to block out the world and keep my headache at bay.
Tip #2 less is more
Since travelling more often, I've started to get a hang of this whole 'packing light' thing (which in my case, is more packing lighter than light, but I digress). This means I try to take carry-on luggage only, for shorter trips. One area where I'm strict is shoes: they're heavy, they take up a lot of space and it's not necessary to have four pairs of shoes for a long weekend. I try to wear my heaviest shoe (usually a boot, unless I'm travelling in summer) and then pack things like sneakers, flats and heels (if I even need a pair of heels. Blasphemy, I know) in my suitcase.
Tip #3 less is more (makeup edition)
Being a makeup lover, I used to travel with makeup for all occasions: multiple lipsticks, false eyelashes, different types of eyeshadow, foundations and powders. Then all the brushes required to apply those products. The list goes on. These days I look for products that can be used for all situations (like a nude lipstick that will go with any eye look) and aim for ones that don't require a blush for application (like a cream blush instead of a powder one).
Tip #4 use a colour palette
This is one of the best things I've started doing with my wardrobe in general, but it definitely applies to travel. Stick to a colour palette for your clothing by using 1-2 neutral base shades (e.g. black and grey) and then add 1-2 accent colours (e.g. light blue and yellow). That way, each item you bring will work with every other item in your suitcase and you won't get stuck on the last day of your trip with a top and a pair of pants that don't go together.
Tip #5 always pack a durable plastic bag or two
You never know when you'll need one. They work great for containing dirty laundry or for wrapping up shoes with dirty soles. They can act as a shopping bag for food items or gifts, or as a way to keep items separate in your suitcase. Then can even be used for extra carry-on space if you need it.
Tip #6 use your socks and shoes to protect delicate items
I'm one of those people who always travels with a bottle of perfume. I can't be without a pretty scent! If I'm packing my perfume into checked baggage, I encase it in a sock for protection against breakage. Then I add the second sock over it as another layer, and stuff the whole thing inside a shoe. This works great for delicate items like an souvenirs, as well. Just remember, if you're only taking carry-on luggage your perfume will need to be in a clear bag with all your other liquids!
That's it for today. I hope you found something useful in this post. What are your best packing tips? Leave them in the comments below.