I am now putting my final arrangements in place for our next trip in six weeks to Thailand, Singapore and Australia. When I embark on a trip like this I like to save money where I can by removing what we don’t need without compromising on the experience itself – the experience means everything. One of the ways I do this is by saving space on what I pack. The main reason I do this is because I like to buy things en route, but hate paying for extra luggage space on my return. Usually I take two large bags and two for hand luggage. Lyla has her own hand luggage with what she wants to take with her, but when we leave her bag for the hold is usually empty. Obviously this means that I have to squash everything for both of us into one bag. If you are travelling somewhere warm I think this is always possible. The best way is to lay out a week or so before you leave all that you want to take with you. Gradually over that week look at it all again and take out anything that might be classed as a ‘repeat’. By a ‘repeat’ I mean do you really need two pairs of black stiletto sandals or can you get by with one? How many times will you actually wear that sequin dress whilst trekking the outback? Get the picture? If you are honest with yourself you will probably find that you can half that load straight away.
The other way to do it is to think about versatile clothing and shoes. This works in two ways, either items that can actually be worn in different ways, or items that work in different setting. For example you might have a simple black dress that could work for a daytime walk around the city, but also for a night out. It is good to look at your existing wardrobe to work out what would work best in a multitude of ways for the trip you are taking, this way instead of taking three dresses for different occasions, you take one and dress it in different ways. Coming from a costume design background, this is something I find works really well. I am always looking for clothing that either a). Doesn’t crease when squashed into a bag, b). Washes and dries quickly in the sun (years ago I had a lightweight dress that I called my bingo dress because I could hand-wash it, lay it out in the sun for 20 minutes and put it straight back on again ), or c). Can be worn in different ways. Recently I came across a garment that encapsulates c). Perfectly. Enter Hipknoties. Hipknoties are garments that can be worn as scarves, tops, dresses or skirts. They come in a variety of lengths and colours. These are perfect for any trip where you are expecting decent weather. Watch their tutorial on their website for all the variations of how you can wear them. Buying something like this will reduce your luggage space significantly, thereby reducing the risk of luggage charges on your return.
Until next time….