I always intend to travel light, I imagine myself rather like an elegant Parisian, toting a suitcase as small as a petite handbag. Within it, a few carefully chosen items of clothing which will effortlessly mix and match to create the perfect ensemble for any eventuality. Practical and chic.


Actually, the opposite usually ends up being true. What happens if I *need* the diamante encrusted platform stilettos at some point during the Bruges city break? How annoyed with myself would I feel if I left the bikini at home and suddenly found a beach during the getaway? Before you know it my suitcase is bulging with so many obscure and unrelated items, it looks like I’ve packed for a schizophrenics anonymous convention.

So in an effort to scale down the suitcase squashing madness, join me on a tour of hint and tips to pack modestly.

  • Pile it up. Put everything you intend to pack onto your bed or table. If you pack in stages, you run the risk of forgetting what it already in the case and packing multiples of items you will only need one of.
  • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. This is relevant if you’re flying as a family or couple. Make sure you put an assortment of everyone’s clothes in your suitcases rather than each person having a designated case. This way, if the worst should happen and a case gets lost, it won’t mean one person has lost all their holiday clothes, it should amount to a couple of outfits for everyone which isn’t nearly as traumatic.
  • Stuff shoes with socks and underwear; put the underwear in a carrier bag first to prevent any lingering foot odours transferring (bleugh!). On the subject of aroma, dryer sheets are great for popping inside suitcases to keep everything fresh as a daisy.
  • Roll it up. Roll items such as vest tops and shorts into sausages. These are much easier to bend into the corners of your suitcase which are usually wasted space.
  • Keep neutral. Take with you neutral coloured vest tops/ t-shirts which will go with anything so you don’t need one for every pair of shorts or skirt. Make your clothes earn their space!
  • Accessorize.  Thin scarves and jewellery take up much less space in the case and can make an outfit go from day to evening. No need to pack your ballgown after all!

However, if you’re going away in the car or on the train, I would heartily recommend…….cheating! Without the worry of weight restrictions, liquids and carry-on bag dimensions (and am I allowed a handbag too?), a car is a much less restrictive mode of transport when it comes to luggage so make the most of it.

Indulge yourself and pack to your heart’s content!