14 Nov 2018 38 comments

My Top Tips For Stress-Free Travel – AD.

Here’s to more adventures…

*Sponsored content
This post contains a sponsored inclusion in collaboration with World Duty Free, but all views are 100% my own.

I seemed to be on the move a lot this year, I am such a typical Sagittarius when it comes to travelling – as soon as I land home I’m thinking of my new adventure!
I actually enjoy travelling so much more now I’m a bit more of a seasoned professional. I find packing a whole lot more streamlined – I have a few doubles of the main items (laptop charger, toothbrush, cleanser) which makes the process so much easier, and I never panic myself before I set off – as long as I have my passport, purse and phone I’m good to go. Anything else can be purchased along the way.

I wanted to share a few essential but perhaps not so obvious tips for travelling; a couple of pointers that have helped me to become a better packer and a smarter traveller in general – no more forgotten favourites and poorly planned trips!

Make A Checklist…

This is probably a given really, who doesn’t love making a list when they’re off on their travels?! I used to create a new checklist anytime I went anywhere, but I’d somehow still end up with two tubes of mascara and never enough cleanser.
I had the idea of creating one big checklist in the Notes section of my phone to come back to for every trip, so I knew there was no way I could forget anything. I split it up by category (beauty, clothes, accessories, tech etc.) and then I left a little section for additional comments. This way I had a master checklist to refer to every time I travelled, but it also gave me somewhere to jot down a few notes when I was away – for example, a mini tube of conditioner doesn’t last me for a weeks trips, or to pack more casual outfits next time, and skip the workout gear because I rarely have time for the gym on work trips!
Every time I went on a trip (whether it be city, beach, longhaul…) I added comments and items to my list, and completely curated it so it was perfect for me. It’s organised, I can tick everything off as I pack and yet still reuse it for every trip, and it’s saved me from overpacking too!

Those Last Minute Extras…

Let’s face it, half the fun of travelling is browsing Duty Free at the airport! I take this up a notch and make use of the Reserve & Collect service at World Duty Free, it means you can shop more than what’s at your departure terminal so you really get the best goodies.
For me, that means I get to stock up on Fresh skincare, Diptyque candles and Saint Laurent sunglasses at discounted prices, as they’re not available at Glasgow Airport unless I do a bit of pre-travel checking out!

To make use of the Reserve & Collect service offered by World Duty Free, all you have to do is load up your basket with your selections and check-out between 1 month and an hour before you travel. Easy peasy! I like to make sure I do it at least four days before I jet off, which is the cut off period for Glasgow airport so I can be sure all my favourite brands are in stock.
Then, once I’ve breezed through security I collect my purchases at the Collection Point and I’m all set! My Diptyque candle supply is kept topped up all year round.

Keeping Up With Your Itinerary…

Whenever I’m jetting off anywhere, I make sure to form some sort of plan before I go – I ask around for recommendations, stalk my favourite bloggers, make restaurant lists and compile an itinerary.
I find Collections in the Saved section of Instagram really helpful – I’ve started creating folders by city and saving snaps when I see them. For restaurants, I use OpenTable to book the best places – this is so helpful in busy restaurants in cities like New York where tables go quickly!
I also always map out my destinations on Google Maps; I find the coffee shop or indie book shop I want to visit on Google Maps and add it to my Saved Places. That way when I’m wandering the streets of Paris and in need of a coffee, I can check the maps to see what’s near me!

Pack Smarter…

I absolutely refuse to pay overweight baggage fees, but I hate to forego any of my essentials so I’ve had to get pretty smart when it comes to my packing. I love to use packing cubes to organise my case, they make it so easy to squeeze everything in and I find they help with organising outfits too. I usually fit an outfit or two in to one cube – it always helps if you steam your clothes first and then carefully roll (never fold) them tightly and place them neatly in to the cubes.
I also reuse dust bags for transporting bags and shoes – it helps to keep them in perfect condition.

Outfit Planning Is Key…

In my unorganised days, I’d just chuck all my favourite clothes in to my suitcase along with a couple of pairs of shoes and deal with the outfits later. That was a bad idea – I never packed enough clothes, I didn’t have the right accessories and I’d spend half the trip trying to put some sort of fashionable ensemble together.
Now, before any trip, I plan my outfits completely – I stand in front of my full-length mirror, choose entire outfits and then snap a picture of them on so I have a point of reference when I’m away. I try to rewear items too, especially basic pieces like black jumpers or white tees, which saves on space and weight, and I try to make my shoes and accessories work for every outfit too.

Honestly, it does add an extra hour or so to the packing time but I never have an early morning outfit tantrum trying to get dressed when we’re away because I’ve already done the legwork! Smarts.

I guess I could be here all day imparting my travel wisdom on to you, but I think this covers my top tips. I love to travel and make the most of every trip, seeing new cities has got to be one of my favourite things to do!

This post was in collaboration with World Duty Free to share with your their impressive Reserve and Collect service. Make sure you stock up on your favourite finds for less before you embark on your next adventure.

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  • Thanks so much for sharing your tips with us

    Candice | <a href="http://bit.ly/2OFPiMA&quot; Natalya Amour

  • Lisa Autumn

    Oh I love these tips!

    x Lisa | lisaautumn.com

  • I always always tend to overpack! especially with beauty bits – I need to get better with this.

    Cate ღ 35mm in Style

    • Me too but I’ve just accepted it 😉 x

  • For me, outfit planning can make or break my trip- if I havent planned what I want to wear, I literaly pack my whole wardrobe and have a breakdown mid holiday ahahaha


    Ellie x

  • This is such a helpful post and I love your photography! xx


    • Thank you! This was a messy post to photography but so much fun! x

  • Mybeautysilence

    This was so lovely to read and I love your beige bag! It’s so pretty! <3


  • Making a checklist is vital for me! I would forget my head if it wasn’t attached to my shoulders, especially when travelling with two young kids.

    Angela at Blush & Pearls

    • I can only imagine! Plus, making lists is so therapeutic x

  • An itinerary is so important! I did my first solo trip without one and I have a stressed mess the whole time! Great tips 🙂

    Anika | anikamay.co.uk

  • Rach

    This is the last post I’m going to bother with on this subject. Ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law. Maybe read the official guidance here https://www.asa.org.uk/resource/influencers-guide.html and stop trying to shirk your responsibilities.

    • According to the Influencers Guide “We recommend including it ‘at
      the beginning’ – which might mean in the title, thumbnail or on an image (if that’s all people
      see at first)” so I’m entirely within the rules without the title AD.

      I declared three times in this post – I have always put it in the subheading on my homepage and the first line of the post, giving my readers two heads up before they even begin reading. I recommend giving that Influencer Guide a look over again.

      • Rach

        When I first saw the post thumbnail on Bloglovin there was no disclosure on the first line or in the title. The first time I saw it was an ad was at the bottom of the post when you said “in collaboration with”. This is why it needs to be stated in the title. It’s great that you’ve changed it but doesn’t alter the fact that you made a mistake in the first place.

        • I still declared it more than once (including before the blog post even started), and I’m within the rules laid out by the ASA according to the guide you linked to, there’s no arguing with that.

          • Rach

            Couldn’t see any disclosure on the first line or anything on Bloglovin. I had to click before I found out it was an ad. If the disclosure was in the title then there wouldn’t have been an issue. No arguing with that either. Getting this defensive makes you look shady tbh. If you’re really proud, why not declare in the titles like other more credible bloggers so?

          • I’m not being shady here, I’m helping you to understand how this works so you don’t miss it again. For the final time: I declared more than once, as I always do.

  • Sarah Winton

    I’m so not a list person:) I fear I’ll always be the girl who packs her whole closet!


    • Hhahhaa you do you, gal. Some of us aren’t made for the streamlined life.

      • Sarah Winton

        I wish I was though!!

  • Those loafters are gorgeous! I always make lists when I travel, there’s no way I could travel without them! 🙂


  • Great post Kate! Coincidentally, I am about to use the ‘Reserve & Collect’ service for the first time this weekend x

  • Your photos are gorgeous ❤️

    Arianna | Southernbf.blogspot.com

  • V-O-S

    Trying on and taking pictures of your outfits is genius! Great post. Also, great lipstick! Could you tell us which one is it?

  • Nydia Crystal Salinas

    Your tips are *exactly* what I do when I travel! Save collections of cities on Instagram, map out saved places in Google, and planning outfits ahead of time (I even add them to my calendar so I know what I’m wearing each day!). They make my travels so much easier. Whether your content was sponsored or not these are great tips! Not sure what some people are so bitter about. As long as the sponsorship doesn’t water down the quality of the content, I honestly don’t see the problem.

  • I’m such an overpacker and I need to sort that out and I always make a plan when I go somewhere otherwise it stresses me out so badly.


  • I literally adore planning for trips & making master lists just as you described, making sure to mark and separate all of the different categories: skincare, makeup, haircare, etc. I love only having to worry about my essentials on the morning of, with the knowledge that everything else has been taken care of!

  • Flo la vita

    Loved this post – so helpful! and the photos are gorgeous! x


  • Thank you so much for these great tips! I tend to overpack too, so really appreciate all of the advice!

    XO, Elizabeth T.

  • This is a great post and it’s super helpful! I’m such an over-packer but I’m working on it!

  • Esther Collins

    Those shoes are SO cute!


  • Packing cubes are soooo useful!!


  • Daisy Hatton

    The planning your outfits tip is such a good one! I need to start doing that properly or I just end up wearing the same one good outfit over and over! Thanks for sharing these tips x


  • Natalie Redman