I have a gluttonous passion for travel and luckily not only do I come from a lineage of equally hungry voyagers but my small, cute family and I get to travel a lot. My first overseas adventure was with my mother and grandfather, I was 14-years-old and it was an unforgettable tour around Europe and the UK – Big Ben, Tower of London, The Eiffel Tower, the Black Forrest, just to name a few of the sights. Growing up, both my grandfather and my mother travelled to Europe a few times a year, they met up with work colleagues, friends and family and explored different cities all over the continent. I listened to their stories, received the postcards they sent, saw their photos and was the spoilt beneficiary of awesome travel gifts and chocolate over the years! My Grandfather has since passed away but what has been passed down is this passion for exploring different locations, the architecture, scenery, culture, food and people, being immersed in and soaking up each unique experience. One of the things I remember most about his trips was his skill for packing. He’d start a few weeks before each big trip, the bed in his spare room would be filled with piles of neatly folded shirts (often with tissue paper lining the shirts and then slipped into shirt bags), beautifully ironed trousers laid out ready and waiting to be effortlessly placed in an open suitcase. He’d have a steamer, bottles filled with exact amounts of shampoo, body wash and hair gel and shoes in spotless shoe bags with a shoe kit alongside them – his piece of advice was that you should always know where everything is packed so you can find it easily in the dark. Our household however is a little different from my grandfather’s pre-travel weeks of careful arranging. I usually end up stuffing a case around 10pm the night before our 6am airport run. We’re more than not travelling with two small boys who come with a lot of stuff, admittedly less now than before as they are growing out of that baby-phase, but now it’s a negotiation of what toys to bring along, which favourite t-shirts to pack and which snacks will be in the carry-on bag (at least babies don’t have a say!) In the last 5 months we’ve travelled to Phuket, Johannesburg, Umhlanga, Hong Kong, Brive-la-Gaillard, London and Majorca – that is a lot of packing time and jamming suitcases closed. There have been no precisely folded shirts, no tissue paper, no shoe bags and certainly no steamer BUT, unexpectedly I can find things in the dark – mostly so not to wake the kids! In light of all this travel, I was invited by the masters of the travel trunk, Louis Vuitton to discover ‘The Art of Packing’ (perhaps they had also noticed the other bulging bags under my eyes due to all the late night packing sessions of squeezing, folding, forcing and squashing EVERYTHING into my case). Of course I was curious to discover how to make taking one’s travelrobe across oceans and deserts a whole lot easier, so off I went to meet a grand master of packing at the Champs Élysées store and I was introduced to Gabriel. He had laid out an array of men’s clothing to pack into a carry-on case, perhaps he thought I was a really good wife and would pack for my better half (Lucky Husband!). However, it doesn’t matter what you’re packing as all the tips and tricks he taught me can be used with any travel wardrobe. Click below for my mini-mag on how to artfully pack a suitcase – there’ll be less huffing, puffing, sweat and growling on your future travels.
Let me know what you think and be sure to add any other tips you have – I’d love to hear them. Thank you to Louis Vuitton for the superb lesson, it’s already come in handy! For more on Louis Vuitton luggage visit www.louisvuitton.com