Being in my line of work means travelling a lot, and having travelled up and down the country for the past few months, I’ve literally had to pack my entire life into one tiny suitcase and hope for the best. I managed to drop in at home every few weeks to restock on clothing and undies, however, I did leave myself with a nice big pile of dirty washing to do once I arrived home.
Over the years I’ve found that I’ve ended up packing the exact same things, my go to travel essentials. So, below, you shall find a list of the items in which I couldn’t live without whilst on the road, and (if possible) links and prices to buy them for yourselves if they peak your interest.
Because no matter what, my hair can never be tamed without some heat. Whether I’ve just washed it and want to straighten or curl it all properly, or I’ve tied it up and have a few fly away strands that need tending to, my GHD’s are perfect for it. I’ve been sworn to GHD’s for years, since I bought my first pair back in the early noughties… I’ve never found any other straightener that does my hair so well (even Mark Hill’s left me with static pieces floating in the air!). The best part about my GHD’s is that they came with a heat proof bag too, perfect for last minute touch ups to my hair so that I can chuck them in my bag without melting my make up or ending up with a melted shampoo bottle plastered to the plates.
There are so many different types of straighteners available on the GHD website here. Mine are the rose gold ones, because I love a bit of girliness.
Moisturiser and self tanner.
One thing that I hate more than anything, is being pale. Growing up in Africa, I was used to the heat and was constantly tanned. When I moved over to England back in 2005, it was pretty much freezing bloody cold and I soon became crazy pale and deathly looking. This was around the time that I delved into the self tanners and started to look like something from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory (it was NOT cute. The pictures make me want to cry!!). Eventually, I realised that a gradual tanner looked and smelt much better, and you could buy it in a body lotion that saves putting on moisturiser too. Being on the road, especially at this time of year, the self-tanning side of this helps to give me that slight tan and glow, and the moisturiser keeps my skin smooth and hydrated, and having them both in one makes my packing so much easier!
I’ve tried so many different brands, Dove, Nivea Sun-kissed, Garnier, but I found that the best one for me was Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula. It feels so good on the skin, it soaks in well, doesn’t leave you patchy, and best of all, it’s cheap! You can find it in most supermarkets, like Asda and Tesco, and in high-street stores such as Boots, Savers and Superdrug. Here, I’ve linked you to Boots, where you can currently buy a 250ml bottle for £5.69 (I’d say stock up, if you’re planning on travelling around anywhere some time soon!).
A good pair of ankle boots.
If there is anything I’ve found that I really need whilst I’m away, it’s a good, trusty, pair of ankle boots. They’re perfect for ANY kind of weather and any time of the year. They’ve proven to be a life saver over the last few weeks, with all of the rain in Dublin and even snow in Scotland! They’re even useful in the summer, a pair of black ankle boots can be paired with a cute dress or skirt, even shorts. There’s almost nothing that you can’t wear a pair of ankle boots with.
My boots came from Lidl a few years ago, and I’ve had a look but I cannot find a link for them anywhere! However, New Look have tonnes of little black boots on their website, so go and check them out! I’d say not to be stingy with your money on these, go all out and pay a decent price for your boots, after all, you only get what you pay for. My boots were around £50, and have lasted for years, and are still going strong. It’s worth the money if you want a pair that will last!
A long lasting perfume.
I’ve had so many perfumes over the years, and the one thing that I look for in a fragrance, other than a nice smell, is how long it lasts. It irritates me to no end when I buy a perfume and spray it on, only for the smell to disappear less than ten minutes later. I want a good, long lasting one, that is easy enough to carry anywhere.
Currently, I’ve been using Miss Dior – Absolutely Blooming. It has a very sweet, flowery smell, and luckily for me, it lasts a long time. I could spray it on first thing in the morning, and by lunch time, still be getting wafts of the scent. It’s perfect. You can find it here on the Dior website, where you can get a 30ml bottle for £49.50, or you can buy the 100ml body mist, for £37.00.
And a few quick tips…
DON’T pack things that will require ironing, or will get scrunched up easily in your bag. You never know when you’re going to come across an iron next, and walking around in shirts that look like they’ve been screwed up and stomped on is not a good look!
DO pack extra toothpaste. I don’t know about anyone else, but I hate having to share with other people. My toothpaste is mine, which goes on MY toothbrush, which goes into MY mouth. I don’t want to share it with anyone else. This is also an important tip if you don’t have the time to stop off at the shops whilst you’re travelling.
DO pack extra underwear. You honestly never know what will happen, and the last thing you want is to run out and have to wear dirty ones again, or go commando. Throughout my several years of travelling, I’ve had undies go missing where I’ve been digging through my bag and chucked them to the side and left them in my hotel room, and I’ve got so wet in the rain that my trousers and pants have been soaked through and then not had enough for my whole trip. It’s honestly better to be safe than sorry!
DON’T fold every item of clothing. Usually, I manage to fit more into my suitcase if I roll my items instead of folding them. It makes them more compact and you can squeeze more in.
DO pack at least one extra outfit. And something pretty/smart in case you make a last minute decision to go out-out, to a bar or somewhere nice.
I hope that my travel essentials guide has been helpful for those of you that have taken a read, and if you have any questions about my post, then feel free to message me via the contact page. I’d love to discuss any packing/travelling issues, and would also love to hear which topics you’d like me to write about in future posts!