Holiday packing hacks to help you travel light

Woman sitting on suitcase

Packing for a holiday can get stressful – particularly when there’s a small luggage allowance. I for one love to take as many clothes as possible to give me plenty of options when I’m away, but even I’ve had to concede defeat. Especially after having my suitcase stolen (albeit off a train), I’ve become a lot more selective about what to take with me.

So now my goal is to pack pieces that offer versatility. And I’m not just talking about  clothes. There are lots of other ways to freshen up your look – and the best part is they take up little baggage space.


First rule of thumb is to only take costume jewellery with minimum sentimental value. Because not only will you not mind as much if it gets lost, you’ll also be less of a target for thieves.

The good news is that mismatching or single earrings has become a trend, so simply choose a couple of pairs of fun earrings that you can play around with while you’re away.

As for necklaces, try a couple of really bold statement costume pieces that will completely transform your outfit. And stacked bracelets are great as you’ll be able to vary them.


When we think of summer, we rarely think of scarves. But now there are lots of bright summery options that can be styled in various ways and can be used as a cover up in the evening.

Scarves made of cotton, linen or cupro – a cellulose fibre that breathes and regulates body temperature like cotton – are ideal. They can be tied in multiple ways, or even worn as a belt, and will instantly breathe new life into your outfit.

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And if it is way too hot to wear a scarf, but you won’t be heading back to the hotel before the evening, simply tie it on your bag for a funky look until you need it for extra warmth.


We often focus on clothes and accessories, but forget that changing up our hair can also make a big difference to how we look and feel.

A lot of women dislike how the humidity can change the texture of their hair, but I just embrace it for fun! I don’t even take my own shampoo and conditioner.

Now granted I am lucky to have very straight hair, so you may wish to take a small travel set of your favourite shampoo and conditioner to avoid your hair going ultra crazy. But other than that, why not try to really limit yourself on other hair products and tools – and only take the really necessary ones.

Because with just a few hair bands and a couple of bobby pins, you can try out new looks each day – even if it’s as simple as having it up one day, or the front of your hair pinned back another.  And you could also take along a pretty hair slide or brooch for the evening.


Simply changing your shoes you can make all the difference to your outfit and your mood. And if you’ve been walking around all day your feet will thank you.

Heels can be bulky, so if you’re limited for space (and weight) stick with flat sandals. They slip easily down the inside of your case, and you can wear simple practical ones in the day, and then sparkly/jazzy ones at night.

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Make up

The other way to freshen up your look is with make-up. Limit yourself to two or three different lipsticks, and opt for an eyeshadow pallet that has four or more shades which you can wear differently every day.

Your holiday is an opportunity to try out new make-up looks you may have seen online, so the key is to have fun.

You may wish to pack foundation, a setting spray to avoid your makeup melting off in the heat, a waterproof mascara, and a brow pencil/pen to lift your face. But other than that, consider what else you really need to feel comfortable. Remember your skin will be glowing in the sun so naturally you’ll need less make-up, and it’s an opportunity to wear less and let your skin breath.

Just remember to moisturise, moisturise, moisturise (and wear plenty of suncream)!

And my final tip is to get a gel/shellac manicure and pedicure before you go away because it will last for up to two to three weeks, so you won’t have to worry about taking along nail polish and a manicure set.

Happy holidays!

About Jacynth Bassett

I'm the founder of the-Bias-Cut - Shopping With Attitude Where Ageism Is Never In Style. Swiftly becoming recognised as one of the UK’s leading pioneers of style at every age, I have written on the topic for The Guardian online, The Huffington Post and have contributed to an internationally published book. I also regularly speak on panels and podcasts, am a ViewVo accredited business mentor, and the weekly ‘Style Advisor’ for The Menopause Room. In my spare time, I love to dance, specialising in hip-hop, and to dine out with family and friends.