How to pack like a pro

Packing for a holiday whether that be a weekend trip, a city break or a week or two away in the sunshine, is one of my favourite things to do. The holiday shop (unless it involves shopping for a bikini or shorts) is one of the best shops of the year. Going into your local store and stocking up on your first-aid kit, buying a ridiculous amount of lotions and mini-travel sized bits and pieces brings me a whole new level of joy. I think it’s a combination of buying a few new things for your wardrobe and the build up of excitement to the actual (and sometimes long-awaited) holiday.

Over the years I have got my packing routine down to as smooth an operation as possible and have a few tips and tricks for other travelers who are slightly more reluctant packers.

Packing cubes 

These will revolutionize your life. For me, there is nothing worse than packing two weeks worth of belongings, opening your bag and everything to be in one huge mess. Mesh packing cubes are simply the best – they allow you to organise your belongings into categories so it’s easy to find what you are looking for and keep everything in its place. Ideal for backpacking trips particularly when you are trying to fit your entire life into one bag for a lengthy amount of time.

You can never have enough tote bags

You need an emergency beach bag? Tote. Your face wash/shampoo/suncream has exploded in your case? (We have all been there at some point) Tote. They are so unbelievably handy and versatile- I would recommend getting a couple of canvas bags that can easily be washed. I love my tote from Books are my Bag (browse here) and the Penguin book bags (browse here) but there are so many options out there to choose from!

Pack for the unexpected

Ever experienced your checked bag going missing? This happened to me when I was abroad for the first time by myself in America and was so stressful as I hadn’t packed any change of clothes or toiletries in my carry-on. Things can sometimes go walkabouts so it’s best to be prepared and pack a toothbrush, toothpaste and a spare set of clothes in your hand luggage.

Pack with a packing list

Over the years, I’ve formed an ultimate packing list that I use on every trip I go on. I do adapt this slightly depending on how long I’m visiting somewhere and also where I’m visiting but it mostly stays the same. It also acts as an inventory so I can check that I haven’t left anything behind.


  • Books and Bullet journal
  • Travel documents and passport
  • House keys
  • Purse
  • Phone + charger
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Spare set of clothes
  • Headphones
  • Medication
  • Tissues (always useful)
  • Pen


  • Underwear and socks
  • Jeans
  • Tops
  • Blazer/Coat
  • Hat, gloves and scarf
  • Swimsuit
  • PJ’s
  • Skirt
  • Dress
  • Bag
  • Gym leggings and sporty top
  • Shoes – evening pair, walking pair and hiking pair

Toiletry Bag

  • Muslin cloths
  • Cleanser
  • Face mask
  • Moisturiser and/or oil
  • Deodorant
  • Hairbrush
  • Tweezers/Scissors
  • Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Shower gel
  • Insect repellent

Make-up Bag 

  • Brushes + beauty blender
  • Eyeshadow
  • Eyebrow pencil
  • Mascara
  • Lipstick
  • Lip balm
  • Bronze and blush
  • Foundation


  • Hand gel
  • Sunglasses
  • Tote bag(s)
  • Waterbottle
  • Umbrella
  • Camera
  • Laptop + charger

Have you got a summer holiday coming up? I would love to hear where you are going and what top packing and travel tips you may have!

June 22, 2018