Travelling for pleasure or business is always a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it is so exciting because you are going to a new place, you may well be eating out at nice places, drinking with phenomenal views, spreading your toes into soft sand or swimming in the clearest water. The other side of the sword, however is the packing, which can be tricky when you like to take pride in your appearance. Weight restrictions, luggage size and practicalities can all lead to problems. Add to this tight transfer times, the need to do work in transit, plus wardrobe and grooming demands on the other end and you’re left with a real nightmare to sort out before you can feel confident the bag you have packed is the one to provide you with everything you need to look great on your trip.
So, how do you do it?
First things first, let’s talk luggage.
If you don’t choose the right luggage you’re already going to struggle. For any journey, you first need to think about weight combined with adequate protection. For example; a suitcase that weighs next to nothing that also provides your items with zero protection makes for damaged kit, broken makeup and burst toiletries. On the other hand, a suitcase that is armoured and said armour takes up half your allotted weight, means you’re losing out on all that packing space. Aim to get luggage that is lightweight whilst also offering a good level of protection for your items. After you have sorted weight and protection, try to think about bag and case designs that offer you lots of little storage pockets for grooming accessories. This means built-in protection for items you might otherwise have to wrap in a towel to try and protect. This is even more important when you only have walk-on luggage as accessibility becomes even more important.
One of the most important parts of grooming for women is makeup. Although you might feel completely happy and confident wearing no makeup at all on holiday, a lot of us like to at least pop a bit of mascara on for a night out or a meeting. One key way to minimise the amount of makeup you need to take is to get some beauty treatments done before you go. Great examples of useful treatments could be:
Having your eyebrows plucked and dyed, so you don’t need to take an eyebrow kit
Having your eyelashes tinted so you don’t need to take mascara
Having skin treatments like a facial to smooth skin and perhaps good concealers or foundations to a light tinted moisturiser.
You could also look at sticking to one basic base look along with a couple of products to change it up a bit. For example, have a very natural base look with tinted moisturiser, clear mascara to set eyebrows, a cream blusher, a taupe eyeshadow and mascara. Add to this kit a gel eyeliner, bright lipstick and darker eyeshadow, and you have yourself several different looks. You don’t need to take a whole eyeshadow palette, several different mascaras, strobing kit and bronzer. Stick to a classic base, with a few jazzy additions.
Skincare is so important to keep your skin glowing and looking beautiful on holiday. If you’re a guy, you might just want to take an SPF oil-free moisturiser to use throughout the trip (especially great for quenching dry skin on the plane!). If you’re a woman, then you might need to think a little more carefully as face wipes, serums, moisturisers, SPF, cleansers, toners and the like take up a tonne of space and they weigh loads. You have two choices. You can either put your entire regime into mini pots and put enough of each into each pot to take with you or, you can strip down your regime to perhaps face-wipes or a cleanser and an oil-free SPF specifically for the face. You might also want to include one super-hydrating product (in miniature) like a small bottle of serum, or something like this DIY hydrating facial spritz, simply because hot weather and plane journeys both equal skin gasping for hydration. If you have an acne ridden face, read this buying guide to find the best acne treatment for your skin. Either way, you will strip the weight down a lot all whilst having at least a basic skin care regime for your trip.
According to studies, collectively, the US spends over 4.5 billion on teeth whitening. If you whiten your teeth, you might want to take your whitening kit away with you if you are travelling long-haul and for a decent amount of time. If you want to give your teeth a break, why not take some good quality tooth-whitening toothpaste instead, or take a small container of a natural whitening product like activated charcoal powder or some coconut oil-pulling sachets.
First, lets address hair on the head. Ladies, try and make sure you have the most easily maintained hairstyle for when you go on holiday. Ensure you can get it off your neck and out of your face when it is hot, and you can easily put it down when you go out. Do you need straighteners and curling tongs? Maybe this holiday you let your hair dry naturally and you embrace your natural curls, or you create natural waves using plaits and topknots. This awesome 15 braid video on YouTube will get you off to a great start. If you’re a guy and you shave your head, consider how often you shave it now and if you can’t last until you get home, see if the hotel has shavers you can use, or if there is somewhere local you can get it done for cheap. If you have a hairstyle, like us girls, try and make sure it is as easily maintained as possible before you go away. Both guys and girls you might want to look at serums, creams or sprays that enhance and shape natural hair.
Now for hair elsewhere:
Beard and moustache – If you shave, consider investing in a travel shaver so you can avoid that ‘Castaway’ look. If you are one of the many who keeps a beard or moustache (according to studies from 2016, nearly half of men in Britain sport a beard!), take a mini kit with a comb, trimming scissors (which are usually tiny) and a small pot of your favourite oil or wax.
Nose hair – Consider braving a nose hair wax if you can, which will be a lot more effective than a nose hair trimmer, and it won’t take up room like a trimmer will.
Leg hair and armpit hair – If you can get it waxed, get it waxed and then take a pair of tweezers for strays that come through. If you can’t get it waxed, take a good quality razor and gentle mini-shaving gel. Don’t bother with clunky epilators or bulky electric kit.
Believe it or not, lots of people take several perfumes, deodorant sprays and mountains of scent related items because well-groomed people want to smell nice. We have a day smell, and an evening smell, a meeting smell and a beach smell, and maybe even a smell just for the plane. The thing is, this doesn’t make for a lightweight bag so scent needs to become more stripped back. Consider taking one deodorant as you can always buy that wherever you go if you run out, a small day spray like a vanilla or a natural citrus body spray and then a small container of an evening perfume. We love this DIY body spray recipe so you can create your very own ‘day smell’ naturally and cheaply.
It is likely you will have a shower wherever you are, in which case you do not need to pile your case full of lotions and potions to wash with. Stick with one shower gel and forget things like bubble bath. You might be tempted to take exfoliant to get that pre-tan skin ready to bronze, however, that will also add weight to your case. The lighter option is a pair of exfoliating gloves which do just as good a job.
There’s nothing wrong with little luxuries, but you don’t need all of them with you on holiday.
Hopefully, you’re feeling completely able to create a compact, lightweight case for your next trip that enables you to travel light and look gorgeous at the same time.