Jul 20 2012 / Travel Tips & Advice

Inside the stylish suitcase

Nicola Duncan is a sun-seeker and frequent flier. She goes abroad so much her suitcase rarely goes into storage. And who would blame her, with the terrible weather we’re having this year? This summer she’s off to Rome, and wants to look stylish while still being able to lift her suitcase. Here are Nicola’s tips on how to travel in style, while leaving room for the odd tube of fake tan…

Nicola's stylish suitcase

Where are you going this summer?
Rome. I really love Italy, and Rome is one of the few places I haven’t yet been to, so we are very excited. The food is always amazing in Italy – I mainly go for the pizza and Gelato! I travel to Europe quite often, particularly to escape the weather here in the UK.

What luggage do you use?
I always have a wheely bag – why try to carry it? The amount I pack it really needs to be dragged behind me.

What’s in your suitcase?
I overpack for every eventuality yet tend to end up wearing the same ‘favourites’ the whole holiday. I have packed my beloved bejeweled flip flops, they are great for the practicality of city breaks, and also smart enough for trendy pavement cafes and bars at the end of a hard days shopping. I like to take a few ‘glam’ options, as you really never know whom you might meet and where you may end up. It’s always best to have a little black dress and some heels for the odd night out.

What are your packing essentials?
I swear by Piz Buin anti allergy sun cream as its so moisturising and keeps heat rash at bay. I always like to pack a light fake tan… just so I am not the palest ‘newbie’ in town for the first few days. When my husband took me away to propose, he had my engagement ring safely tucked away in his hand luggage – which was also where I happened to burden him with my last minute purchase of St Tropez self tan. Needless to say the bottle was over 100ml and his bag was searched at customs and my offending tan confiscated. He has never let me forget how my love of fake tan almost ruined his romantic plans!

Have you ever forgotten to pack something important?
I once travelled to France and completely forgot to take any money or cards with me. My amazing friends subbed me the whole weekend and I paid them back when we got home. That’s one way to curb your spending!

Do you have any tricks for packing everything into one case?
My friend once showed me the art of rolling clothes. If, like me, you have a million tiny tops, bikinis, shorts etc a great way of fitting more in is to fold them once in half and then roll. You get loads more in your bag as you literally use up every little bit of bag space. If you roll well – it should save on ironing too.

What are your top tips for packing?
Pack one outfit for each day you are there (based on what you think you will be doing) and throw in a few extra options, as you never know.

And finally…. where do you store your suitcase for the rest of the year?
Officially my suitcase lives up in the loft, although it never quite makes it up there as don’t like to wait too long between holidays. It tends to hang around under my bed half packed for my next adventure!
How do your packing tips compare? Do you agree with rolling vs folding? Do you pack heavy or light? Tell us in the comments below!

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