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Monday 17 June 2013

WIT's summer packing guide +1

I've done a few packing posts in the past but since having Greta, packing has suddenly got a whole new meaning requiring another level of planning. First of all babies have a lot of stuff, and by a lot I mean a lot! Their food and bottles alone take up an entire carry-on trolley, then there's all the techi stuff monitors, adapters, sterilisers, bottle warmers, a change in case their poo and another change in case they vomit, then all the bulky stuff like pram, car seat, travel cot.. You get the picture. The result of this is very little space for your stuff. So how to pack +1? If I was an "smart packer" before, I've become an even better one now, so I thought I would share with you some of the things I've learnt along the way. First of all..

 Give up, you will never travel "light" again. Wether you are going away for a week-end or two weeks, you will virtually end up with the same amount of luggage.

General rules

1) Start early. At least a week before your trip, start writing a list of all the things you need, count the days and night you are going away for and pack accordingly. Start this list ahead if time and keep it handy because chances are you will remember things at random times (of course how could I forget the travel back out blinds!)

2) Your +1 come first. Lay out all your +1 clothes and necessities first, then do the same with yours. If you can live without that pair of sandals, chances are they are going to need that very thing you didn't pack more than you do!

3) Colour code. I stick to the same colour coding rule that I use for my own packing: for a recent holiday I packed a lot of whites and blues with a little sprinkle of liberty print. Once at destination mixing and matching was easy.
GZ's colour palette
Mummy's colour palette

4) Compartmentalise. I use pouches and zip up bags for everything. One for bottles, one for toys, one for socks, one for underwear and so forth. It makes unpacking so easy and when you need something quickly, you will always know where to look for it. To this purpose use different colour pouches for different things, or label them accordingly to their content. I use this technique also in my nappy bag. 

 I love these HM home drawstring bags 2 pack fabric bags £6.99 

And this Anya stylish pouch Nappies and Wipes case £95

To make the unpacking less of a drag: put a bar of soap between layers of packed clothes so evertything smells soapy fresh when you arrive.

5) Be prepared. Flight delayed? Stuck in traffic? Changed your mind leaving the next day?Always have a little extra of EVERYTHING: food, milk, one extra sterilised bottle, two dummies and antibacterial wipes if both of them end up on the floor. I love Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature wipes, available from Boots.

Tips to travel a tad lighter
  • Ask yourself what you can buy at destination. Nappies are a good example, then pack only what you need for the trip. Boots also does a great service where you can pay and order things like formula and nappies and pick up at duty free after security.
  • Take a small tub of hand wash detergent that works at cold temperatures. This way you can consider packing less and doing a little washing on the go. 
  • Buy travel size baby products. There are plenty of companies that make travel size products, my favourite being Burts Bees. Babies don't use up much and this saves a lot of space (and weight) 
  • Check how much baggage allowance your airline gives you. Babies generally get their own case and a generous carry on bag allowance so make sure you use it up.

Baby Bee Getting Started Kit .£12.99

Greta, like me, has a pre-packed beauty case with all her mini essentials ready to go. 

Your mini- checklist:
  • Wipes
  • Nappy cream
  • Body wash
  • Shampoo
  • Sponge
  • Bath toy
  • Lotion or baby oil
  • Paracetamol sachets
  • Thermometer
  • Anti-fungal cream
Travel in (comfortable) style 

Gone are the days where you could catch up on magazines on a flight, I call myself "GZ's personal entertainer". Nevertheless, my rules about traveling in style have not changed: choose your comfiest pair of jeans or leggings, chic layered tees worn with a smart blazer or jacket. With your +1 travel companion I would add the following tips:

  • Shoes without laces and easy to slip on/off
  • Coat or jacket with deep pockets
  • A large scarf that doubles up as a blanket for your little one
  • A mini, across the body bag to hold passports, phone and money only
  • All the rest, included your baby/nappy bag contents, packed in a carry on trolley

I don't usually wear high street bags but this is actually really nice to inject a bit of colour to your outfit Accessorize Mini Glam X Body £17.00

My kind of travel outfit..

The dream...

Louis Vuitton monogram luggage

And for your little one? I opt for something that can be washed at a million degrees (I'm a bit of a bug phobe) once we get to destination. Leggings and top usually are more practical than onsies, socks at all times and layers.

Be clever

Extra space. When I'm travelling alone, I always make sure I pack a multi tasking large canvas tote, something super light and foldable, where I can shove things on the run. I love this HM shopper I bought a few weeks ago, it's worked as an emergency carry on when my suitcase was too heavy, as a beach bag and as a nappy bag back in London.

Stay hands free travel. This was, hand on my heart, probably one of the best buys I ever got. I originally bought a Baby Bjorn but found it so uncomfortable that a friend suggested an Ergo Baby. It's a baby sling that can be worn on your front or your back. I bought the Organic Cotton navy version and use it all the time. It's been life saving when I was traveling alone with Greta, especially when you pram is not waiting for you at the exit from the plane...

In your suitcase

I'm expecting a beach holiday with a crawling baby to be quite different from the ones I've had in the past.. yet I'm determined not to let myself go and I've packed a lovely suitcase of gorgeous clothes. I've kept my day looks very practical: shorts worn with t-shirts and "folky" cotton tops or boyfriend style buttoned down shirt to wear over swimwear. I've also made quite a drastic decision: no heels on this holiday but packed a number of fabulous flats to make up for the lack of it. 

I've also decided to make an occasion of every night out and I'm bringing with me lots of evening dresses that I will dress down with flats and accessorise with sparkly earrings. One of the things I can't wait to wear is my bright yellow Zara mini dress with slits on the sleeves.

I never pack anything precious in my suitcase (preferring to wear anything that has value), for this holiday I'm taking with me lots of bijoux earrings, easy to wear on with a summer dress and great for jazzing up any outfit. I always end up buying something from Accessorize
icon at the airport, this summer they have a great collection of fabulous inexpensive earrings. Of course you could buy one pair of fabulous Tom Binns instead... but I like having lots to choose from

Some of the earrings I'm packing
Earrings from a selection at Accessorize

Holiday countdown beauty prep

2 weeks before you. Get a facial, something skin regenerating and cell renewing. Do this ahead of time as you don't want to go in the sun days later your treatment. I love Bliss Spa Triple Oxygenating facial.

1 week before you go. Trim your hair. Get ready for your holiday with a healthy trim, I love brother and sister duo George and colourist Sally at Josh Wood. If you are thinking of a bit of a hair change they are simply amazing (if they are good for Gwyneth and Alexa they are good for me!)

2 days before you go. Get a wax, eye lash tint, manicure and pedicure. Ask your therapist to cut your nails really short, it wil make the difference and last so much longer.

1 day before you go. The night before you leave take a long shower and use a scrub all over your body. Apply lots of moisturiser before going to bed and wear socks to seal in the moisture, this will prepare your skin to soak in the sun. At the moment I am lovingKiehl's creme de corps.

Now for a little shopping before you go..
 Here's my select of fabulous summer holiday buys for us girls and for my +1

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