How are you travelling?
The best tips for packing light, plus three good things I read this week.
I was in Byron Bay for my sister’s hens (AKA bachelorette) party this weekend and, for once in my life, decided I’d pack with *intention*.
Australian airlines, especially budget ones, are incredibly strict on their weight limit for carry-on baggage, which is generally 7kg (15.4lbs). You’ll often get your bags weighed just before boarding and be charged if your carry-on is even the slightest bit too heavy. So, this weekend, I decided to do my research and pack mindfully, in an attempt to travel with less than 7kg of luggage.
Here are three ‘hacks’ I tried and loved…
Pack Skincare Samples In Lieu Of Full-Size Products
I don’t know where I first read this advice, but I know I’ve personally included it in a BuzzFeed story, despite never having tried it (sorry!). After digging through my bathroom cabinet, I found I had samples of cleanser, moisturiser, Vitamin C serum, and makeup primer. I also had some basically empty sample containers, which I re-filled with products I use regularly. While I did miss some of my usual products, it was cute having a toiletries bag filled with tiny things.
Become A ‘Packing Cubes Person’
The first person to tell me I needed to start using packing cubes was my mum: the OG advice-giver in my life. While I normally save packing cubes for big trips when it’s more likely that all my belongings are going to become tangled together, I decided to test their value in smaller luggage.
While I don’t think the cubes actually helped me save on space, they made it easier to pack everything into my small suitcase neatly, which I was thankful for when I needed to get my bag swabbed at security.
I used these July packing cells, but honestly any would do.
Plan—And Try On—Your Outfits Ahead Of Time, And Trim Anything You’re Taking ‘Just In Case’
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve packed runners and activewear only to leave both untouched all weekend. And have I ever truly needed the amount of underwear I take on weekends away? Never. Literally not once!
This tip made the biggest difference when packing. Aside from the two dresses I knew I needed for different hens-related events, I packed one core plane/coffee run/hanging in the Airbnb outfit that consisted of denim shorts, a jumper, and a light jacket, which I wore with either a white T-shirt or black tank top.
While these were the main things I did to keep my luggage light, I also made a point of checking the weather in Byron ahead of time, so I knew I’d be fine without jeans or long-sleeve pyjamas; wore all my heaviest items on the plane, so they wouldn’t be counted as luggage; and traded out my heavy everyday handbag for a much smaller one.
And Finally, Here Are Three Very Good Things I Read This Week
The first is, quite randomly, a Romper piece, ‘Who Is Jellycat Really For?’. After coming across Jellycat stuffed toys when shopping for my niece and nephew, I became obsessed with the brand to the point that I’ve recognised a smiling Jellycat broccoli from the opposite side of a room. I’ve never clicked on a headline so fast.
I looked back at her duck, who in my heart had become mine, lying face-down on the hardwood floor. Wings splayed, beak twisted — the softest motherfucker I’d ever hugged. “I’ll be back,” I whispered aloud — really — before disappearing through the door.
The second is my friend Haley’s first piece for the New York Times, ‘Is Denim in an Identity Crisis?’. It’s a meditation on today’s trend cycle, consumerism, and the history of denim.
Such a landscape, where nothing is “in” or “out” so much as chosen or not, presents some clear wins for fashion as a form of self-expression. But what else may the smorgasbord of jeans being sold today say about this moment in history? Denim, after all, has always been a cultural weather vane.
And the third piece, ‘The Year America’s Hair Fell Out’, is from The Atlantic, and only further confirmed what I already knew was true about the pandemic; all those strands of hair in my brush, shower, and bed; and all the money I’ve spent on hair growth sprays and shampoos recommended by influencers I don’t even follow, boar bristle hair brushes, and silk pillowcases in the last 18 months.
When I first suspected that I was losing my hair, I felt like maybe I was also losing my grip on reality. This was the summer of 2020, and although the previous three months had been difficult for virtually everyone, I had managed to escape relatively unscathed. I hadn’t gotten sick in New York City’s terrifying first wave of the pandemic. My loved ones were safe. I still had a job. I wasn’t okay, necessarily, but I was fine. Now my hair was falling out for no appreciable reason. Or at least I thought it was—how much hair in the shower drain is enough to be sure that you’re not imagining things?
See you next week!