Yesterday I flew out to Gibraltar on a work trip. I am not known to be the best at packing light but with just 20kg luggage allowance and a ton of work resources that needed to be packed, I had to pick my most multi-purpose items – just the essentials.
Add into that the beautiful Mediterranean winter that I was flying into and the packing list got even more tricky to write.
I was leaving London at 7am, 11 degrees (mild by all accounts at this time of year) and landing in an autumnal 18 degrees of sunshine and blue sky. Not the most enormous temperature difference, but enough to notice.
Lots of people escape for a bit of winter sun, so I thought I would share a few of my absolute travel essentials for country-hopping during the winter!
A Blanket Scarf
I hate being out of control of my temperature and you can be certain that travelling by plane is a sure-fire way to be too cold. Poorly controlled air conditioning not only leaves you shivering but also dries out your skin and eyes. I wrap myself up in an enormous blankety scarf to not only keep me cosy enough to get a little shut-eye but also prevent the chills. I have a beautifully soft green and blue checked little number from Zara, they don’t have it this season but this one is just as pretty.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds that travelling causes chapped lips (it’s all the air conditioning and changing temperatures) but changes in temperature and humidity also cause trouble. Making sure you have a good lipbalm tucked in your carry-on luggage keeps the problem at bay. I love Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Chapstick or my steady-eddy is Carmex Lip Balm.
Cold and Flu Remedy
It’s winter in the UK, the cold and flu bugs are out in full force. Unfortunately, travelling can make you far more susceptible. You get tired and then your immune system faces a concentrated blast of germs from the airport and the plane. You don’t want something like a cold to leave you feeling like you’d rather stay in bed so be prepared and pack a couple of sachets of a flu remedy. I’m turning to Benylin this trip as it was already in my wash bag but my top tip is that grabbing a supermarket’s own brand is just as effective (exactly the same ingredients) and usually half the price.
Flats are always important when keeping you fresh and able to survive the long days of exploring but ankle boots are perfect – I’ve just picked up a pair of M&S Chelsea boots. They not only keep you warm but protect your feet far better than ballet pumps. They’ll keep you warm but won’t be too hot when you arrive at your warmer destination. Best of all, they work with all kinds of outfits – think of them as your shoe version of a good layer!
Layers…Lots and Lots of Layers
Talking about layers – pack lots of them! Cardis, thin long-sleeved tops, blouses and blazers. All perfect for travelling between climates. Layer up for the journey out then go for a floaty blouse and skinny jeans when you arrive. For this trip, as it is full of work meetings, layers that can be dressed up and down are super important. This Dorothy Perkins blouse has recently made it into my wardrobe – perfect for work AND the wine bar!
Your Go-To Moisturiser
A brilliant moisturiser is definitely essential whilst you’re travelling. I keep it simple when it comes to moisturiser, I’ve not been able to find one that gets a better result than Nivea’s Soft Moisturiser. It’s one of my absolute beauty essentials and best of all, is really affordable. So you don’t mind plastering it on! Perfect for use at any time of day and any part of your body!
A Hair Mask
Another victim of the air conditioning and change in humidity is often your hair. I have really thick hair which seems to go frizzy, oily and dry simultaneously which is why a hair mask makes it onto my list of essentials. A quick deep condition soon after arriving at your destination can help restore some calm amongst the chaos…even if just for an hour. John Frieda’s Full Repair Deep Conditioner mask is great and comes in travel-friendly one use pouches.
An essential for me regardless of when I’m travelling. Despite being a lover of ‘proper’ books, you can’t deny that having the ability to carry twenty books in a single thin, light device is pretty cool. I have one of the Paperwhite Kindles which replaced my original one after I dropped it. I love the Jack Reacher series so treated myself to ‘Make Me’ for this trip.
What have I missed? What are your travel essentials? Are you headed anywhere this winter?