Travel Essentials

IMG_9111Going away for the Easter bank holiday weekend?

Or just trying to escape the arctic temperatures we can’t seem to avoid here in London?

Here are a few items you won’t want to leave behind.

Travel Document Holder / Clutch

My travel document holder is an essential part of my travel kit.

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It has separate compartments for everything you could possibly need – your tickets, passport, boarding pass, currency and any other documents you take with you.

I make sure I put everything in mine so I don’t spend half my time searching through my bag for the one thing I need exactly when I need it.

IMG_8595Mine is from Smythson and was quite pricey but the fact that it doubles as a clutch makes it worth the investment (or that’s what I keep telling myself). It’s made of leather and buttery soft suede which makes it a pleasure to use as well.

If I’m going on a short trip I don’t always take an evening bag because I can just use my travel wallet. It looks like an elegant black clutch and only I know that my iPhone is in my boarding pass pouch.

Smythson in Bicester Village is a great place to find one or any other beautiful stationer like Aspinal of London whose prices are more reasonable.

You can check out Smythson‘s Travel Accessories here and Aspinal‘s here.

Travel Bottles and Pots

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Travel Bottles

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I always thought decanting all your products from one container to another was much more effort than just throwing your whole face cream or cleanser into your toiletries bag.

To an extent that’s probably true – my day creams tend to come in quite small tubes so they’re very easy to travel with, but my Hauschka Cleansing Milk and Moisturising Day Cream both come in huge glass bottles (which haven’t yet but could technically leak).

I also use a huge jar of coconut oil every night to remove my eye make-up and that certainly isn’t worth carting around.

I was given these little plastic pots one year for Christmas by my boyfriend’s mother. I thought they were a tad gimmicky and that I would never use them but recently I’ve taken to loading up the little pots with my lotions and potions and have had a much lighter load to carry because of them!

There’s even an atomiser if you don’t want to take your whole toner or perfume with you. I use Coco by Chanel perfume everyday and it comes in a huge bottle – I haven’t yet had the nerve to start pouring the very expensive liquid from one bottle to another, but one day I will and when I do my case (and my back) will thank me for it!

You can find travel bottle sets at Muji, Marks & Spencer and Amazon.

Travel sets

If you’re not so keen on taking all your products and putting them in small plastic bottles (which I can completely understand), I often find travel sets are a good way to go.

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John Masters Travel Set

I was sent this John Masters Organics travel kit for free by Naturismo when I ordered some other John Masters shampoos from their website. (I’m a big John Masters fan and will definitely write about their products soon.)

This little kit has body wash, body milk, shampoo and conditioner in it. It’s perfect for a short trip like a long weekend and has absolutely everything you could possibly need.

It also means you won’t have to decant anything into small plastic bottles and you won’t have to use your hotel’s (no doubt chemical laden) products.

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Dr Hauschka Trial Kit for Normal Skin

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Dr Hauschka Trial Kit for Oily Skin

Another good one is the Dr Hauschka trial kit which comes with a few of the day creams, a mini toner and a Cleansing Cream. They’re really rather small and wouldn’t last you longer than a couple of uses but they’re good for a weekend.

If there are some products you’d like to try anyway, that can be a good excuse to buy one of these kits and try them while you’re away.

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John Masters Samples

I also tend to save up the samples I’m sometimes sent by websites when I order from them and put them straight in my toiletries bag so I have little shampoos, conditioners and creams ready to take away with me when I pack.

Sometimes that’s really all you need.

You can find the John Masters travel kit here (at the moment it’s free with another two John Masters purchases) and the Dr Hauschka one here.

A Flannel or Face Towel

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I tend to take my own face towel with me when I travel. It’s more of a personal preference than a necessity but I really like to have a towel for my face that I know no one else has used before me.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a huge fan of using other people’s used towels for my body either, but it simply isn’t practical to carry huge towels around with you when you travel, so I have resigned myself to taking only a small flannel for my face.

At least that way I’m not using someone else’s face towel. That’s kind of gross.

Laundry Bag

This was another slightly random present from the boyfriend’s mum that turned out to be a gem. I’m not sure if it is actually a laundry bag or if it really is meant for stockings but I use it as a travel laundry bag anyway.

It takes no space in my case and when I’m done with a t-shirt or a pair of socks I just put them in this little bag instead of having to put them back with all the clean clothes in my case or in a plastic bag.

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It makes things particularly easy when you get home and unpack as you already know exactly what needs to be washed, so you don’t have to rummage through all your clothes (clean and dirty) figuring out which to wash and which are clean.

You can buy laundry bags at John Lewis.

Cases that really roll

The days of two wheel cases being de rigueur are well and truly over. Really your case ought to have four wheels now. And my God does it make a difference.

I have a bit of a dodgy back and the idea of dragging a case around with me while travelling was frankly such a nightmare that it was enough to put me off travelling at all. Until… I decided to invest in large, medium and small roller cases.

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Antler Large and Medium Rollercases in Silver

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Antler Large Rollercase in Silver

Mine are Antler, I bought them from Achica and Secret Sales (when each had flash sales of Antler cases) and have never looked back.

They are incredibly light, hardwearing and durable and come in a range of beautiful colours – they are also fully lined and have zip up compartments. Mine are silver (I also have a couple in purple – I don’t really know why, I just got carried away), and they are beautiful and amazing.

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Antler Rollercase in purple

Your case really doesn’t need to be glamorous or madly expensive it just needs to rollll, really roll, so you can walk along and just have it glide along next to you without you taking any of the weight of it in your shoulder or arm.

Samsonsite also does great ones but I don’t think they’re any better than Antler‘s and they’re more expensive.

Antler. Amazing.

Check out their website here.

Headphones

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BOSE AE2 Headphones

My boyfriend and I both invested in decent headphones this year after battling along with less than awesome ones for years.

I went for the Bose over ear headphones because I wasn’t really a fan of the noise cancelling ones. They made my ears feel funny and I just didn’t like them. Mine were also cheaper than his (he went for noise cancelling).

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BOSE Noise Cancelling Headphones

They’re very comfortable, the sound quality is excellent and they make any journey infinitely more bearable.

The only drawback is that they’re rather big. So travelling with them in their own little cases requires more space in your bag than those tiny in-ear ones. But those are terrible for your ears anyway, and are just not hygienic.

So I don’t mind putting up with them being a tad bulky in my tote bag. As long as they are comfortable and they do the job.

Which they most definitely do.

You can have a look at Bose‘s website here.

Kindle & iPad

I’m sorry to admit that even if I go away for a weekend I need to take these bad boys with me. I’m completely addicted.

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IMG_9135The Kindle is the perfect travel accessory. I remember when I used to pack to go away for the summer and would have to load my suitcase with lots of paperbacks (retro I know), but now there’s no need for that.

I simply throw my tiny Kindle in and that’s that. As many books as I want.

It’s light, small and has loads of books on it – perfection. Truly.

If I’m travelling by train I read it all the way to my destination.

Obviously the plane has other distractions – like food and films. Which can’t be resisted. No matter how rubbish they are.

I obviously have my iPhone with me when I travel but that just isn’t quite sufficient. Even though my iPad is just a glorified iPhone I still feel the need to take it and its beauty with me.

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Cath Kidston iPad Case

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I chuck it in its Cath Kidston cover for protection and off we go. It’s really quite light and watching a film on it is infinitely better than on an iPhone!

Most hotels also have free wifi nowadays so browsing on your iPad is a breeze. And I (shamefully) just can’t go that long without checking my email, Facebook, Twitter etc. Even The Outnet. Shamefully.

You can buy the Kindle from Amazon and the iPad from Apple.

A Holdall or Tote Bag

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Longchamp Le Pliage large shopper

I tend to favour the Longchamp Le Pliage shopper when I’m travelling. As you can see I have them in a variety of colours so I have one for pretty much every outfit.

They zip closed and are very light making them perfect for travel. A huge leather bag simply isn’t practical when you’re travelling.

After you’ve put your headphones, Kindle, travel wallet etc in it it’ll weigh an absolute ton. Plus you want any bag you travel with to be clean-able as putting it on the floor on the train or plane is likely to muck it up a bit.

You certainly don’t want that happening to your beautiful YSL tote.

I tend to take the medium sized tote with me to carry all my belongings easily while I’m travelling.

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Longchamp Le Pliage small shopper – a great, light everyday bag

I also pack one of their travel bags (folded up) in case I do some shopping while I’m away.

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Longchamp Le Pliage medium travel bag

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Longchamp Le Pliage medium travel bag folded

Whenever I’m in Paris I make sure I have the huge Longchamp travel bag in my case as it takes no space to pack when it’s folded but it tends to carry back everything from shoes and boots to blazers and dresses on the journey back. I like to shop when I’m in Paris.

The only drawback with the Longchamp totes is that they don’t have any compartments which can be annoying when you need to find something.

So I sometimes use my Sonia Rykiel tote instead.

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Sonia Rykiel Tote

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It also zips closed, is very light and has compartments inside for your purse, phone, keys etc.

I bought the Sonia Rykiel tote in Paris at Galleries LaFayette but you can buy the Longchamp Le Pliage at Selfridges or Harrods.

You can also check out Longchamp’s website here.

Now you should be prepared for pretty much anything and have an easy and pain free journey!

Bon voyage and Happy Easter!

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