If you’ve read my previous blog then you’ll know I recently went to Amsterdam. We were only there for 48 hours so you’re probably wondering why on earth it’s prompted me to do a packing guide, right?
We jumped on a plane from Schiphol Airport, not back to Manchester but to Barcelona!
I know, I know … it was the first time in my life I’d done a holiday like it and it was incredible. There’ll be a blog coming soon all about my time in Barcelona because I like giving people travel envy on the rare occasions I get out of England.
What I found to be a huge challenge though was packing appropriate clothing for two wildly difference climates all into a hand luggage bag. BUT I managed it. Here's how:
Tip #1 - Pick a colour palette
Now this is actually a great wardrobe tip for creating low maintenance, capsule wardrobes but it’s equally useful when packing for a trip away as you’ll need
a) less shoes,
b) less jackets and
c) less makeup
Have a look at your favourite fashion blogs/websites and pick your favourite trend if you are planning a shopping trip. If not, what is your ride or die piece right now? Make a firm decision and plan some neutral basics around it.
I knew I’d need a good jacket, one that would keep me warm and dry, so leather was a no-brainer for me and there’s not a single jacket I’m loving more than this leopard print number from TK-Maxx right now. Leopard print is my new neutral which means I can take pretty much any colour I like but my current favourites are red and mustard.
Tip #2 – Layering
Going from 15 to 25 degrees is tricky but some clever layering will keep you toasty warm yet cool at the other end. I packed one thick jumper and two thinner ones, meaning I could layer those in Amsterdam and stuff one into my handbag when we landed in Barca – a foresight I was incredibly proud of when crammed onto a shuttle bus and I whipped off a couple of layers to cool down!
Tip #3 – Wear your heaviest items to travel
I know you’re desperate to get your most out of your summer sandals, I was too! But wearing my boots and jeans to the airport freed up so much space in my little case. Especially if you’re flying at night like I did you won’t be too hot when you get off the plane and you’ve got those items for the cooler evenings. Meanwhile your sexy beach cover up and flip flops are happily nestled in your hand luggage patiently waiting to be let loose once you’re settled in.
Tip #4 – Take a big handbag
You can put a little clutch or over the shoulder evening bag into your case (or even inside your big handbag like I did) so you have something less bulky but all airlines now let you take a good sized handbag as well as your case. Winning!
I managed to get all my liquids, a book, some snacks, my pretty hefty purse, my flip flops, two pairs of sunglasses, two sets of headphones and a splitter, two powerbanks and two phone chargers, EU adapters, all the paperwork and our passports into my bag with room left over. I ended up using handbag space for the beach blanket I purchased which now lives proudly on my bed as a reminder of how gorgeously sunny it was in Barcelona!
Tip #5 – Pack dresses and nude tights
This comes back to layering again really but dresses take up hardly any space at all and are perfect for an easy-going, stress free but put together outfit for the sunny portion of your holiday AND can be worn with tights when it’s cooler! Handy to have in case the temperature drops but I’ve become a strong advocate for nude tights in particular recently. Black tights are a staple and will always have space in my sock drawer but there’s something chicer about trading them in for their see-through siblings. Keep warm and look good? Who says we can’t have both?!
I packed much lighter than I would have liked given that I was planning on getting loads of content to kick start this blog but I never felt like I had nothing to wear. A shame really because I was hoping for an excuse to do some shopping!
My Packing List:
Leopard print pleather jacket - similar
Black Zara ankle biker boots
White Nike Air Force 1 Low
M&S monochrome & cork tribal print flatform sandals - similar
Primark polo neck cream ribbed jumper
Primark red laddered wide knit v-neck jumper
Primark mustard chenille jumper
Mango cotton striped top
Mango white slogan tee
Zara tropical print short sleeved shirt
Primark basic black cami vest
Forever 21 pinstripe off-the-shoulder dress
Primark white midi dress
ASOS black strappy loose fit beach playsuit
ASOS multi tassel back kimono cape
Surf Gypsy coin trim beach top
New look red & white striped off-the-shoulder top
New look denim shorts with white embroidery
ASOS petite black culotte shorts
Big orange faux leather bag my aunt gave me!
Vintage square scarf – ended up tied to the bag the whole trip
Primark embroidered envelope bag
Black Primark waist belt with hexagon buckle
2 pairs of sunglasses – one brown, one black
1 eye shadow palette, 1 blush, 1 foundation, 1 concealer, 1 pressed face powder, 1 eyebrow pencil, 1 mascara, 3 lipsticks, 1 powder brush, 1 fluffy eyeshadow brush & 1 packer eyeshadow brush – I forgot liquid liner!
Deodorant & toothpaste. Toiletry minis were in the bathroom already at our Amsterdam hotel so we just took those to Barcelona. Always check to see if they are included!
I also must have grabbed a sample sized perfume and forgot it was in there – made it through security 3 times without them pulling my bag aside and only found it when I was unpacking back home. Typical.