With travel fast becoming a huge part of my blog (let’s be honest though, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to shake the fact I’m the ‘girl who writes lists’), I’ve managed to whittle down my packing time, with practice, to about 27 minutes. Approximately. Always the night before a flight, always.
Back in the day of package holidays to the Canary Islands during half term, I’d spend days, maybe even a week, deciding what would make the cut and I’d pile it up neatly in my room. I was so prepared and organised and I wrote about 17 different packing lists in advance, because duh, that’s what Groovy Chick stationery was made for.
Naturally, I just packed everything I owned and yes, most of it was from Tammy. I was never any good at packing the bare minimum. Aged 13 I packed 10 pairs of shoes for a week. Girl gotta look good by the pool, ain’t that right?
July is a pretty great month anyway because normally there’s at least a *few* days of British summer time to go Instagram upload insane over, but this July’s pretty spesh because Birchbox have replaced their classic box crammed with beauty goodies with a snazzy little poolside essential – the Birchbag.
It comes in blue, yellow, orange and green and comes complete with Benefit and Balance Me holiday must-haves, as well as one of those blending sponges that are ALL over Bloglovin at the moment and some other cute little beauty bits to play about with.
If you fancy subscribing (or just getting a one-off Birchbag this month) and receiving a monthly delivery of handpicked beauty prods for a tenner, then you can get £5 off using code using SUMMERHG, and obvs there’s more info on it all here.
SO GALS AND UNICORNS, here’s what I pack…
1. DRY SHAMPOO
It’s a no-brainer. It’s good for volume, good for creating that bed-head look and good for making you look like you haven’t just been pouring olive oil into your hair for funsies.
I don’t tend to like to wash my hair every day as it can leave it a bit flat so for me dry shampoo and salt spray really come into their own in the evenings when they make me look a bit like I’ve put in effort, when in actual fact, I was stalking Instagram when I should have been getting ready.
2. ALOE VERA GEL
I actually got a cute miniature of this lifesaver in my Birchbag, but I tend to carry it wth me anyway. It’s a sunburn-healing goddess that I discovered that time I went to Magaluf for 10 days and got seriously burnt during my many hungover beach naps. I prefer it to after sun, especially when it’s stored in a fridge and omg so refreshing on your skin.
I also recently found out (from experience) it’s a damn whizz at taking down mosquito bites, even when they’re on the verge of becoming infected and taking over your entire leg.
3. BRIGHT LIPSTICKS
Admittedly I do sometimes just whack on a bright lipstick on a week day even when I’m working from home because it makes me think YEAAAH BOO, YOU GOT THIS every time I look in the mirror, but I always lug out a small collection every time I go abroad because it gives me an excuse to feel fancy.
During the summer I’m all about the hot pinks and orange-reds (MAC’s Lady Danger and Bobbi Brown’s Watermelon being this year’s faves), whilst in the winter I like feeling a bit edgy and cooler than I am in a plum shade.
I’m down with the kids and you know it.
4. SALT SPRAY
If you actually read number one, then you’ll know this. Surprise.
My hair is flat and fine and doesn’t really do all that much but hang there and look a little dry, so a bit of salt spray is my 20-second solution to making it look like it *might* not embarrass me in a selfie.
If I’ve got a few more minutes than I’ll tong some curls into the ends of my hair before spritzing them in salt spray for a natural, beachy look.
5. TANGLE TEEZER
If you watched my Vegas haul video then you’ll know that I lost my beloved leopard print Tangle Teezer on my Trek trip – I suspect it got left on the back seat of our mini bus alongside about 7565786 pretzel M&Ms, my lightening cable and most of my dignity. Seriously though, if you’ve seen the vlogs you’ll know that most of us spent those 10 days looking like we’d been brought up by a pack of wild dogs, rather than y’know, being bloggers/Youtubers whatever.
I have no idea what makes a Tangle Teezer so much better than any other hair brush or comb. It’s just good and you’ll have to trust me on it.
I was kindly set a selection of new teezers by the sweet people at Tangle Teezer to help make my loss a bit easier to handle (and to stop my hair becoming one big giant dreadlock).
6. EYE SHADOW PALETTE
For some unknown reason I get really carried away with eye shadow when I go on holiday. I’m a bit lazy with it in the UK unless I have some big special night out (which is about 2.7 times a year, on average), but on holiday? I can blend like 4 shades for one smokey eye look like some sort of YouTube beauty guru.
I love anything with a gold or bronze shimmer for a beach holiday because it looks so heavenly and downright magical with a tan – and that red-orange lip, obvs.
7. MAKE-UP WIPES
No-one report me to Caroline Hirons, come on I’m begging you.
I don’t like taking half my luggage allowance weight in skincare products so I bring these. Uh huh. Cheap ones, nice ones, anything that’ll take my sweat and mascara off after a long day without me having to do anything aside from flopping in a chair.
8. CLEANSER + FLANNELS
Ha, I had you all fooled.
I tend to use a cleanser after my make-up wipe to make sure I’ve removed every last trace of grime, ice cream and red wine from my face and lips. My two current faces are Liz Earle because duh, it’s a classic and OSKIA Renaissance Cleansing Gel because it smells and looks like all the things that are right with the world (it’s pink just FYI).
I also take a few of my own flannels and cleansing cloths because some hotels just don’t understand that these are more necessary for me than an iron. And the one time I got left in a hotel without flannels I legit went out to look to buy some.
Once you start using a flannel in your every day skincare routine you never go back. I was going to insert a really inappropriate reference here but then I thought better of it.
9. COCOA BUTTER
The day I fall in love with a £2.50 moisturiser as sexy and perfect as Palmer’s Cocoa Butter will be a day you will not want to be following me on Twitter, I tell ya that now.
It smells like wrapping your body in chocolate, and just like with the aloe vera gel, it’s just magical applied to your skin fresh from the shower and a long day in the sun when it’s ice cold from being kept in the fridge.
Come to mumma.
Of the disposable kind and always in my checked luggage, because duh.
Because I ALWAYS, every damn flippin’ time, forget to shave my legs before a beach holiday. Plus, it’s always nice to be able to top up your armpits on the go. Ain’t nobody got time for accidental bush armpits, nuh uh.
11. TINTED MOISTURISER
Look how I wrote tinted moisturiser rather than BB cream or CC cream, what a time to be alive.
For city breaks I definitely prefer something lighter than a foundation for the day (and which has SPF included), and on beach-y breaks I often find I want something lighter for the evenings when my skin’s getting all sweaty (and beautifully tanned from the non-UK sun – thank you, sweet, sweet weather of warmer climates) – so I tend to bring a tinted moisturiser with me to mix things up.
I’m currently using the Laura Mercier one which comes highly recommended (it’s megz hydrating so more suited to dry skin rather than that of the oily kind) and tend to top it up with Clarins concealer when it needs a bit of a helping hand.
12. PIZ BUIN
Because you didn’t think I’d ever go on holiday without a hefty supply of sun cream did ya?
The Skin Illuminating spray has a gentle shimmer to it which makes you look a *bit* like a VS model, which is definitely A-OK with me.
Oh and obviously my toothbrush and toothpaste and my eyebrow pencil because that baby is more important than clean underwear (kind of). And then the other usual culprits – deodrant, mascara, bronzer and lip balm.