[HOW TO] Pack A Capsule Wardrobe For A Weekend Away

full suitcase

I’m off to Lisbon tomorrow for my hubby’s birthday. We’re heading away for a long weekend. I’m trying (after over-packing for honeymoon) to pack as light as possible, so while thinking about what I’ll be throwing in, I figured I’d share my idea of a capsule wardrobe for a weekend city break (this covers a 5-6 day trip). It might look long but believe me I’ve packed more and fitted it into a carry-on size case!

holiday capsule wardrobe

  1. Oversized shirt – doubles as a cover-up on the beach and something slightly warmer in the evenings
  2. 2x vests – what more do you need for daytime wear on holiday than shorts and a vest?
  3. Denim jacket – a cool cover-up for evenings and travelling
  4. 2x day-to-night dresses – gives you a different option for city break days and takes you through to the evening
  5. 2x pairs of sandals – one for walking (I always take my Birkenstocks) and another for evening
  6. Trainers – for travelling
  7. Shorts – denim shorts are the most versatile
  8. Jumper – for cooler evenings

What do you pack for a weekend away? Do you choose to pack light or throw everything you own in?

[HOW TO] Travel on a budget part 2

fly away on holiday

Last week we talked about ways to save money on getting to your holiday and on where to stay, this week it’s all about how to save money once you arrive.

  • If you’ve chosen self-catering, one of the easiest ways to save the pennies is to eat in. We try to eat in once of twice a week (depending on how long we’re away for) so that we can afford even better meals when we do go out.
  • Eating in doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your meals. We’ve found lovely (and cheap) take out pizza places in Italy and grabbed a few beers to go with them. In Sorrento we bought olives and a bottle of prosecco from the local supermarket and enjoyed aperitif hour on our balcony – complete with a view of the sea.

prosecco on the balcony

  • Whether you’re self-catering or in a hotel, buy bottled water from the local supermarket. Don’t buy bottles of water from tourist trap shops – or the mini bar! You’ll find it for pence in the supermarket and can then take a bottle with you for days out.
  • Check out free walking tours. A lot of European cities offer free walking tours. We’ve found them in a number of holiday destinations, including Seville, Copenhagen and Naples. They’re a great way to find your feet and get some local inside tips. We found a couple of great places to eat on these tours that we would never have found without the advice.
  • Walking will save you money on transport but will also mean that you see even more of the place you’re visiting. Sure, you’ll find you need to use public transport for some parts of your trip but for the most part, you should be able to take your time and soak in the atmosphere and sights of where you’re staying. Just remember to pack some comfortable shoes!
  • Do your research before you go. This will save you loads. Check out how to get from the airport before you arrive. You’ll likely be tired and keen to get to your accommodation when you arrive at the airport, so if you’ve not done your research, you’re far more likely to take the easiest route, which will also likely be the most expensive. If in doubt, if you’re self-catering, you can usually ask the owner of the place you’re staying for their advice.
  • If you’re planning on using public transport and visiting the sights, it might be worth getting a tourist card. A lot of cities have tourist cards these days which offer free or reduced entry to museums and sights, as well as travel options too.
  • Check out local blogs for tips before you travel. I’ve found some great places by checking out local blogs and sites before heading off on our hols – a few of my favourites are Mad About Copenhagen, Lisbon Lux and a new one (closer to home) The CDF.

What are your tips for travelling on a budget? Any hot reading tips? Favourite travel blogs or websites?

[HOW TO] Pack For Your Summer Holiday

Suitcase holidays travel

My hubby (still feels strange to write that!) and I have just got back from our Italian honeymoon. We spent two and a half weeks touring the islands in the  Bay of Naples and the Amalfi coast. It was wonderful. But moving around every few days with a heavy suitcase has made me reassess how I pack for my holidays.


This post from Garance Doré totally sums up my attitude to holiday packing. Wicker baskets – lovely idea but how?? Beach towels – great in theory, HEAVY and BIG in practice. Straw hat – stylish but impossible to pack. Toiletries – bulky, heavy but oh-so necessary! Souvenirs? How do you even begin to fit your holiday purchases in?

Holiday purchases carpisa purse

The answer to these holiday packing dilemmas? Here’s what I’ve learnt (if you want to read Garance’s take, you can find it here):

  • Wicker baskets – great for weekend trips and picnics at home, when taking the car! Not for holidays. Unless you can snag a really cheap version at your destination.
  • Beach towels – leave them at home! A Pareo or Hamman style towel which are much thinner and, therefore, lighter are the way to go – plus, as they are cotton, they work as a sarong/cover-up too. I spotted these everywhere on the Amalfi coast but my suitcase was already so full and heavy that even a light towel/sarong was too much. Instead, I’ve hunted out some reasonably priced versions at Notonthehighstreet.com.
  • Straw hat – wear it, don’t pack it. This is not the approach favoured by Garance but I am still quite attached to the look, so wear my hat for my trip.
  • Toiletries – if you can do without your usual brand, buy abroad. If you’re travelling with friends/partners/family, share the load and the bottles. Alternatively, order them online at Boots, to pick up at the airport, after security and ditch anything left before heading home.
  • Holiday purchases. This is a trickier one. Leaving space in a suitcase can feel like a waste but also means no room for those inevitable purchases. One way I do it, is ditching the toiletries I packed and making room for them. Alternatively, throw in a couple of rolls of loo roll – they’ll come in handy on your travels and are surprisingly big – you could certainly fill the space they leave with a pair of new holiday sandals and a few pieces of holiday clothing!

What are your top travelling tips?

[MOST WANTED] Beach Bags

I’m obsessed with finding a beach bag for my honeymoon right now. I want one that will double as a carry-on bag for the flight too.

We’re off to the south of Italy for two and a half weeks and will be splitting our time between city sight-seeing and lazy beach days, so the bag needs to double up for both destinations.

I love the wicker basket option, favoured by celebs like Kate Moss, but want something a little less beachy so that it’ll work further afield too.

I’ve hunted the internet for a few options:

beach bags

  1. When I think of a beach bag, I think of a bright patterned bag which will hold everything!
  2. Stripes are totally beach worthy and this Next beach bag has two handle options and three inside pockets, so it’ll definitely work for the plane too.
  3. For something fun, for a girly beach holiday, this New Look Beach Please bag is spot on!
  4. This wicker-style bright orange tote from H&M is a slightly more practical take on the basket.
  5. This block print tote bag by Accessorize will work when you’re back from your holidays too.

What do you carry on holiday?

[HOW TO] Do Your Make-Up In The Summer Heat


On holiday I rarely wear make-up. In the heat, I hate the feeling of anything on my skin so I leave it at home. But when I’m off to work in the summer heat, I like to wear some, even if only a little. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve honed my ability to do summer make-up.

The base is the heaviest part I find, so I either use a light dusting of bronzer or I mix a little foundation with an SPF moisturiser.

I usually leave the eye shadow at home and instead throw on a little colourful eyeliner – green is my current favourite.

And finally I good coat of blackest black mascara. Currently I’m using Boots 17’s newest mascara: Back Lash. Which is great for adding volume and colour for wow eyes!

I’m using my Boots No7 BB lip balm to add a little colour and keep my lips moisturised.

What make-up do you wear in the summer heat?

[BEAUTY] Boots No7 BB Lips Beauty Balm


I’m not hugely great with lipsticks. I love to wear them but I forget to reapply them and end up bare lipped by the end of the day. Likewise, I usually forget to put lip balm on and end up with dry and cracked lips. So it’s something of a surprise that I’ve been using Boots No7’s BB Lip Balm religiously now for the past few weeks. I had seen it a few times and then decided to use my £3 voucher to treat myself. I bought the ballerina shade as it’s the most natural and it wouldn’t notice so much when I forgot to reapply!

It’s lovely and moisturising and the hint of colour is a nice addition. The added bonus of an SPF means that it will be perfect for holidays and sunnier days too. It’s almost like a lip-gloss but a little less sticky in consistency.

It comes in a wide selection of shades, with pinks, corals and reds. I’d recommend the nude ballerina shade for everyday use but a lovely bright shade for your summer holiday make-up bag. And right now, if you spend £5 in Boots, you’ll get a £3 off voucher. And, it’s also currently buy 1 get a 2nd half price on Boots No7 make-up – which you can take advantage of with your voucher. So you can get both a nude and a bright shade, or one for your handbag and one for your night stand!

Have you tried the Boots No7 Lips Beauty Balm yet?