With summer holiday season just around the corner, I'm sure I'm not the only one thinking about getting away from it all for a little while. Ever since I got home from Morocco back in February, I've been itching to book another trip away, but drawing up a shortlist is proving pretty tricky, despite pinning away my travel inspiration on Pinterest (so far we stand at Ireland, Croatia, Paris, Barcelona, Morocco again...you get the idea!) Whether you're heading to the beach, are off on a city break or jetting off to somewhere exotic, packing can prove a real dilemma- particularly if you're saving money and opting for the 'one cabin bag only' approach. I really enjoyed putting together my traveling light post before I went away at the start of the year, so until I get around to deciding where to head off to next, I thought I'd curate a little travel shaped style series- starting with suitcase essentials for a chic city getaway:
Gingham Trousers, £15 (were £45), Urban Outfitters/Combined Silk Top, £25.99, Zara/Plain Torq Necklace, £10, Accessorize/Astor Row Palermo Bag, Kate Spade/Amara Sunglasses, Kate Spade/Stacking Ring Set, £12, Accessorize/Nars Matte Multiple in Laos, £30, Space NK/Birkenstock Arizona Two Strap, £49.95, Office/The New York Times 36 Hours, 125 Weekends in Europe Book, £10, Amazon/Bioderma 100ml, £4.50, The Garden Pharmacy/Big Dial Mink and Rose Gold Watch, £72, Olivia Burton/Extra Large Travel Pouch, £20, Alphabet Bags.
Whilst I'm a lifelong denim devotee, jeans have got to be the most impractical piece when it comes to summer dressing. Even if you've shunned the skinny fit in favour of the more forgiving boyfriend style this summer, there's no getting away from the fact that they were simply not designed for the heat- not to mention that getting them on and off in the warm weather can turn into a right old palava! With the temperatures here in the UK climbing steadily over the last few weeks, I've been leaving my staple denim in the wardrobe in favour of some simpler trousers- both plain and printed- and I think for a trip away, a basic pair can be a real suitcase essential. I've been on the hunt for a gingham style for a few weeks now, and these ones from Urban Outfitters are a firm favourite- and with £30 off you can't really go wrong, can you? A basic white blouse is another staple piece which you can't go wrong with, and this gorgeous lightweight design from Zara would prove ideal for keeping cool- particularly if you're heading to warmer climes this summer. It's a definite investment too- something which would work perfectly in a work wardrobe as well as in your suitcase.
As far as accessories are concerned, I tend to travel fairly lightly. I used to bundle my whole jewellery collection together and pack it whenever I went away, but after realising that the majority of it went unworn, I've since left 99% of it at home, taking only a few essentials with me. This simple necklace from Accessorize is the perfect addition to a capsule travel wardrobe, as it goes with absolutely everything, much like these stacking rings, which are an easy, hassle free alternative for magpies like me who can't quite face the prospect of decanting their jewellery box for a weekend trip away. A city break also demands a good handbag- something sturdy which can accommodate all of your essentials, as well as bulkier bits and bobs such as cameras, maps and guidebooks. The Astor Row Palermo from Kate Spade is my idea of heaven- gorgeously structured with two handles, and the option to wear it in lots of different ways, as well as having plenty of practical compartments to guarantee you'll never have another panic as to the whereabouts of your passport again! Heading to Kate Spade again for sunglasses, this Amara pair are the perfect combination of modern cool and a vintage aesthetic, with the floral details adding a lovely touch of character- the ideal way to channel some globe-trotting glamour.
Beauty-wise, I tend to travel as lightly as possible when I'm going away, and if you're making do with a cabin bag, the prospect of fitting all of your liquids into the dreaded clear bag at security can be a daunting one. I know from experience that you have to be pretty brutal when deciding what to take and what to leave at home, which is why I'm always on the lookout for handy products which can do a few jobs at once- tinted moisturisers with added SPF, 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste which can zap your spots...you get the idea! This combination stick from Nars doubles up as a cheek and lip tint, so really is the ideal investment if you're looking to save some suitcase space (leaving plenty of room for a Duty Free splurge at the same time..!)
I know from experience that there's nothing worse than going away on a trip which requires a lot of walking only to find that you've packed the most uncomfortable pair of shoes known to man and will have to invest the remainder of your holiday spends on blister plasters. Put simply, comfortable shoes are essential for any holiday- and they don't come more cushioned than the humble Birkenstock- which is having a real fashion resurgence at the moment. After spying Tanya wearing a pair a little while ago, I've been completely converted and am saving my pennies for some- a true failsafe for any packing list, don't you think? If you (like me!) are still looking for some short break inspiration, then 36 Hours, 125 Weekends in Europe is definite required reading...in fact it's the first thing on my post payday shopping list. Although jet-setting and exploring the world can appear glamorous, sometimes it can take a little bit of a toll on your skin, so pop this travel sized Bioderma from The Garden Pharmacy into your carry on to keep fresh faced. Timekeeping is another essential element of having a successful city break (particularly if you've got to factor in a time difference too), and I absolutely hate rushing around at the airport. I'm a real fan of Olivia Burton watches, and this big dial style is ultra-chic and such a stylish piece- definitely one to see you through any trip in style. Finally, keeping things organised definitely helps when it comes to co-ordinating your travel, so look no further than this handy Alphabet Bags pouch to stash all of your important documents in.
Have you got a city break planned for the summer? What will you be packing?
(Image credit: Urban Outfitters, Zara, Accessorize, Kate Spade, Space NK, Office, Amazon, The Garden Pharmacy, Olivia Burton and Alphabet Bags.)