How to travel light in style

Last updated 09:35 20/06/2012
PACK IT IN: Be ruthless when packing to travel - you need less than you think.

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Hi Bronwyn,

I'm heading over to Europe for six weeks and am having a little trouble figuring out what to pack. I don't want to get caught short but I do want to leave some room in my suitcase for some shopping. Have you got any advice on what to leave in and what can be left at home?

There are a few things I've learnt while travelling (and packing to travel).

1. You always wear much less than you think you will. Unless you're holidaying like the Queen, you'll likely end up wearing the same outfit on repeat.

2. Like the first pointer, same goes for makeup. Nobody cares what you look like on holiday, and you'll stop caring soon too. Downsize your makeup kit big time and take only the bare necessities. I pack tinted moisturiser, concealer, mascara and bronzer, and a red lipstick for when I want to feel flash.

3. You can't travel in heels. Trust me, I've tried. Blame Carrie Bradshaw, she put the idea in my head, but traipsing markets in wedges is nigh impossible. In these circumstances, flats rule. I'd take one great walking pair (I love Nike Freerunners), and a cute pair for evenings and special events (ballet flats or lovely sandals).

4. Merino is your friend. Lightweight merino layers well and washes easily in a hotel sink. Pack a drape cardie that can double as a scarf, and a long-sleeved merino top.

5. Natural fabrics are your friends. Merino yes, but also cotton and silk. Synthetic fabrics are useless for travelling as they stink.

6. Yoga pants are awesome. Don't laugh, a pair of black yoga pants will get you through any number of scenarios. They are comfy for the plane, easy to wear when out exploring, and can be made to look like elegant black palazzo pants.

7. Stuff your bra. I learned this from my girlfriend and it's brilliant. Carrying a money belt is seemingly safe, but in pick-pocketing capitals like Barcelona you're helpless.

8. Buy a microfibre towel. They take up no room at all, and like a chamois, absorb a tonne of water. Kathmandu has a good range.

Do you have any travel tips?

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- Wellington


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