Expert Travel Advice : Top 5 packing tips for a few days away

March 26, 2019

Expert Travel Advice : Top 5 packing tips for a few days away

A seasoned world-traveller and the founder of agency ‘Styled’ (, Samineh Safavi, shares her top 5 packing tips for a few days away.

I am definitely a member of Over-packers Anonymous; I am all for having outfit options when travelling, and I love feeling free to pack whatever I want with no limitations. But sometimes the type of holiday, the airline, or the travel partner (who refuses to wait hours at the luggage belt) prevents that from happening.

So here you go. This is how I ditch the cases and pack just a carry-on for a few days away, even if I would love to have the luxury of taking everything with me, including the kitchen sink, (and a mini shoe closet of course). If I’m being completely honest, travelling light is pretty liberating, but don’t tell anyone I said that.

1. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...or so they say.

When on holiday, take a break from your extensive collection of toiletries and creams. Keep it simple, decant your necessities into travel-sized reusable bottles (available at most large pharmacies or on Amazon) or buy minis of your favourite products. 

Remind yourself that you’re not going somewhere where there are no shops at all (unless you are, in which case refer to my advice above). 

If I’m feeling super-efficient and organised, I sometimes order my mini beauty items online, and get them delivered to my hotel, and voila, they are there waiting for me when I arrive! Its sensible to give your hotel a heads up and prepare them for your goodies’ arrival in advance.

2. Bring out the minimalist in you. Even if your wardrobe is maximalist. 

Create outfits or looks, and try them on in advance.  Count the days and events to make sure you have only what you need.  Keep the colours neutral for both bottoms and tops so you can mix and match them, and maximise the use out of each item to create several looks. Have fun with colour when choosing dresses and accessories instead.

For a beach holiday take one pair of neutral sandals that could work with all of your looks (I love these by Ancient Greek Sandals), one pair for the beach that go with all your swimwear, and one pair of heels (if a must).

3. Tech-savvy 

A multi-socket extension cord and an adaptor are always good to have considering how much tech we travel with these days. Keep all electronics in one see-through zip-up bag, in your handbag, This bag can later also be used as a wet swimsuit bag or a clutch for the beach.
A recent discovery is La Pochette,, who do fantastic clear pouches in different sizes, which are also sustainable.

4. Packing methodology

I know that rolling your clothes is the trend right now…but it doesn’t work for me. I say lay it all flat, as flat as you can, and try to make no folds or as few as possible. You can actually fit more in this way and the clothes don’t get wrinkled.
Once you lay the clothes flat, place shoes and any other heavy items on top to keep everything in place. Roll the rest of your items (such as jean shorts, sarongs or others that won’t wrinkle) and place them in the gaps. I call this bulletproof packing! 

Travel with your bulkiest shoes on your feet (to save space in the bag), and pack the rest. Try and choose wrinkle-resistant fabrics, but if you unpack, find wrinkles but no iron in your room, hang the items in the bathroom while you take a shower and let the steam work it’s magic.

5. Planes, trains and automobiles. If you were born in the 80’s you will remember the movie!

To arrive fresh and ready to enjoy your holiday, make sure the journey to your destination is as comfortable as possible. A sleep mask, earplugs, a blanket, a pillow and socks are a definite must. These all come in tiny compact sizes now, so you can keep them in your handbag. Ideally the blanket can act as a scarf on a chilly night during your holiday too! My fave travel set right now is from Lingua Franca.

Now that your packing is sorted, kick back and enjoy your holiday! You can thank me later.



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