Monday, 5 June 2017

How to Pack your Wash Bag

How to pack your washbagThis may seem really obvious to some but it's actually something that has taken me a long time to get right. Being pretty obsessed with skincare and make-up meant I spent much of my teens and twenties traveling around with bulging wash bags and make-up kits - often adding masses of weight to my luggage and I'd say at least 70% of the stuff never needed or looked at.

In this list I'm not including the obvious things like toothpaste and toothbrush. I of course pack those and a small plastic box with cotton buds and pads in. I also always have a small size talc with me... can't bear clammy feet! I used to just be slightly scared of my wash bag, there was always something leaking in there and I'd just cram more stuff in. Now I start with an empty wash bag and pack what I need for that trip (thanks to my double wash bag situation which you can see below). It doesn't take very long and I no longer have the leak/terror issue. So here's how to pack your wash bag.

1. The double wash bag - I now have two wash bags (bear with me) one that is my actual wash bag (the trusty green and white star Cath Kidston which I have had for over a decade) and one that came free when I bought loads of make-up. If I get mini's or spares of something I keep it in the second wash bag along with SPF, Aftersun and thinks not always needed when I'm off to spend the weekend with my mum in Hampshire. Then when I am going away I pack what I actually need for where I am going and put everything else in the spare wash bag. That means I'm not hauling around stuff I don't need for that specific trip but everything else travel related is in one place.

2. Buy some things there - this is really only applicable sometimes. If I am going to my mum's I will use her shampoo otherwise I generally take mine with me. But when we go to France or anywhere I know I am going to have to go to a supermarket or with any luck a chemist, and I'm going for a week or more then I'll pack a sample sachet from a magazine as an emergency and then buy shampoo and conditioner there. I also tend to buy bath stuff and body moisturiser for us, bath stuff and shampoo for the kids and often flannels too because I forget to pack them. If I have space and I like the product I'll bring them back but if not I leave them for the next person. In France this year I bought home the bath/shampoo stuff I'd bought for the boys for 3 euros because it was lovely and left the shampoo and conditioner because I really didn't like it. I think I must have spent about 12 euros on all of it (shampoo, conditioner, bath stuff) and made packing my wash bag a whole lot easier. And as you know, I love trying new products so it's nice to see what you can find in the local shops.

3. SPF - I take a high factor one for my face which goes in my make-up bag and then put a SPF20 and SPF30 in my husbands wash bag. His is never full and I don't see why I should carry it when it's about the one product he uses apart from hair gunk. I sometimes buy it there but find usually you can only find SPF30 or over. I pack separate one for the boys in their wash bag.

4. How to choose what products? - when choosing what to take I look at my full skincare routine (see below) and other things and then choose multi-taskers, products that are running out, things that I don't love so that if I need to make room by leaving something behind I can or travel sizes/sample sizes of things.

5. I pack a full skincare routine - AM cleanse, toner, vitamin C, AM moisturier, SPF, PM cleanse serum, PM moisturiser, eye cream, miscellar water. This may seem like a lot but I will make sure that I'm using multi-taskers, things that are almost empty or can be left behind if needed, mini travel sizes I have been sent or things that are decanted. So for France recently I packed: This Works Gentle Cleaner for AM Cleanse (it's a good morning cleanser but not an expensive favourite I'd be sad to lose), First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance pads (they are very travel friendly), Medic8 Vitamin C (nearly running out), Oilatum Natural Face (not expensive and reasonably small), Clarins Antiwrinkle SPF 50 in my make-up kit, Body Shop Nutriganics Gel Cleanser for the PM cleanse (which I usually use in the morning but works well at removing make-up and SPF and was nearly empty), a Boot Protect & Perfect Serum sample I'd been given to try, Origins Make A Difference Plus moisturiser (a great all rounder moisturiser for any time of day) and a travel size Misceller water from Nuxe. I forgot my Origins GinZing eye cream and missed it. I also had a sample size Vichy eye serum which I used when I felt I needed it and a travel size of the Nuxe divine oil - another great multi-tasker for body and hair. For many people this list seems excessive - if I had to I would pack one cleanser (maybe Caroline Hirons + Pixi double cleanse or Ultrabland from Lush) but I like to have two that do slightly different things and as I say, if you are packing mini's or nearly empty products then they really don't take up much room

6. Dry Shampoo - because sometimes when you are by the pool/beach there's no point washing your hair til the evening but it needs a bit of help. I usually take Batiste travel size but if I can I have Percy & Reed dry shampoo which is my absolute favourite and also comes in a travel size.

6. First Aid Kit - I always pack any vitamins (only really take them when I'm pregnant) in with my make-up and in my wash bag have some eczema cream. I have a completely separate (and tiny) first aid kit with plasters, antiseptic wipes, Imodium, paracetamol etc in which I take everywhere.

That's it! Not relying on keeping everything travel related in one bag has been a revelation. Mostly we travel in the UK so don't need SPF, aftersun and one cleanser/toner/moisturiser will do for a weekend away - so why lug those things around? 

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