Pack it up, pack it in
Are indecision and outsized suitcases causing you a world of pain? Four seasoned travellers share their packing tips
‘I HAVE LEARNT NOT TO TAKE LUGGAGE’
Marguerite MacCurtain, originally from Inishbofin, now living between Dublin and London is a peripatetic writer and broadcaster. She has been all over the world, from Venice to Mount Kailash in Tibet, from Antarctica to Columbia and now plans to write a book on her travels of the past 25 years.
“What I have learnt more than anything else is to go with an open mind,” she says.
But what does she put in her suitcase? Her primary advice is to pack for your destination.
“I couldn’t live without tea bags and suntan lotion. I pack lightly and use scarves, shawls and sarongs – which are the best accessories in the world – comfortable walking shoes, a sunhat and sun lotion.
“Thanks to Michael O’Leary I have learnt not to take luggage; he has been my inspiration. The trick is to buy a canvas bag that weighs nothing – I drag it – and fill it with walking shoes, flip flops, socks, a pair of jeans, a sweater, a foldable hat, occasionally a hot water bottle – and that’s it. My only treat is a little radio along with pen and notebooks.”
Versatile recent buys are two tops from Bolongaro Trevor, a new London label by the founders of All Saints. They go with everything, from jeans to long skirts at night.
“For Europe, I would take one long lightweight dress, a long skirt, a couple of T-shirts and clothes that can be washed and hung up to dry, costume jewellery – gaudy baubles rather than good stuff – and a watch.”
‘ I fold everything
A commercial attaché at the French embassy in Dublin, Vilma Hunt (left)
works with the trade section, helping French companies export products to Ireland. This work involves regular trips to Paris and other regions of France.
She also loves travelling with her husband for weekends, either here or abroad; recent trips have included Geneva, Seville and the south of France. Her in-laws live in Kinsale and her parents in Chamonix, “so we have two lovely destinations for weekends”, she says.
“Now I write down everything and create each outfit that way, so I don’t need to pack as much. This is my technique and it works.
“What I bring depends on which company I am flying with – I travel with Air France for work and with them you don’t have to pay for extra luggage.”
She tends to have clothes that don’t need ironing and likes wearing dresses with high heels.
For travelling, she usually wears leggings with a loose top or shirt and always with a scarf – and high heels.
“I have a small Samsonite for carry-on luggage and a bigger one for check-in.”