Whether you're heading off on a romantic weekend rendezvous for two or on a long Bondi beach vacation to soak up the Australian sun, looking chic, smart and appropriately dressed is key, without the hassle of lugging a huge suitcase. It can be hard to decide what you need to pack on a trip (long or short), but ELLE Canada has your must-haves for your next travel destination!
1. The right luggage
The best way to start packing is with great luggage. Look for luggage that has numerous compartments for easy storage. The Victorinox Swiss Army suitcase (shown in image) not only comes in hot colours, but it has fab compartments to meet all your needs and help you organize your travel gear. If you have a specified place for shoes, it means more room in the main compartment for bikinis, sundresses, and all your other goodies. Many also come with compartments for toiletries (bonus!) and added garment bags to keep delicates safe making a trip far more enjoyable.
2. Dress for success
Dresses are key when it comes to travel, so pack a few. Paired with some sexy heels, you're ready for a night on the town, a romantic dinner or a classy event. Pair with a low heel and you're casual-chic. "A dress made out of satin and spandex blends are the easiest to pack," says traveling fashionista Anita Gatto. "When you get to your hotel all you do is hang them up in the bathroom while you shower and they are freshly pressed!" That means your sexy black Diane von Furstenberg number is a go!
3. Pint-sized beauty bootie
If you're just jetting off for a weekend, you certainly don't need to pack your bag full of full-sized beauty loot. The same goes for a longer trip -- you just don't need a huge bottle of moisturizer. Most beauty companies offer compact or travel-sized options of their best sellers, so stock up and pack a nice light makeup bag. Look for mini lipglosses, lipsticks, moisturizers and even mascaras. And to stay smelling fresh and sophisticated, pop a solid fragrance in your bag (ideal for your purse once you hit your destination) such as Gwen Stefani's L, a L.A.M.B fragrance which is also sold in a solid. You can also buy small bottles and fill them up with your fave body wash and cream (we love the French Lemon Body Wash and Body Lotion by Napoleon Perdis for a fresh feeling), without the bulk. If you must take something that is full-size, make sure you absolutely can't live without it for a few days.
More tips on the next page ... 4. Feet first
The biggest conundrum for a stylish jetsetter? How many shoes can you fit in your suitcase and which ones from your vast collection should you take? Decisions, decisions. Stick to three shoe styles and you will be all set, no matter what the occasion. "Take one pair of flats, one pair of black pumps or heels, and one other pair that you may need such as sexy winter boots, or strappy sandals," suggests Gatto. You can easily dress up or dress down any outfit with these shoes. Also stay with neutral colours, like black and brown, just to make sure you don't clash and you won't be spending hours trying to decide if you should pack your patent forest green flats or your silver ones.
5. Nix the blow dryer
Face it. Blow dryers are clunky and take up way too much room, no matter how you to squeeze them into your luggage. So leave it at home and call ahead to your hotel and make sure one is in your room, or plan on going natural with your hair for the trip. Sticking in a slim flat iron or compact curling iron will give you many hair options without taking up tons of space. Plus, if you are traveling overseas, you don't need to worry about the pesky converter for the plug.
6. Packing the jewels
If you're planning on taking some of your jewellery, be sure to pack it separately in a soft satin or silk jewellery bag. A soft bag will fit more easily into your suitcase than a box and the satin and silk will keep your jewels from getting scratched, nicked or scuffed. But, keep your most valuable and precious possessions at home. You don't want to risk loosing them or forgetting them at the hotel!
7. Tiny must-haves
There are just some things a gal should not be without while traveling. Mini wet naps are one of them. "They give you a fresh boost when plane hopping," says Gatto. Plus they rid your skin of those horrible airport smells and give dry skin much needed moisture, which is especially good for long flights. Don't forget to pack your mini toothbrush and toothpaste along with your mini shampoos and conditioners (hotel hair products just won't do you justice), pint-sized hand creams and a mini manicure kit to keep your nails looking smooth and lady-like. And for your warm weather beach vacations, After Sun Body Oil by Napoleon Perdis is a must-have for making your skin look silky and sun-kissed all in a little bottle.