Posted on Feb 02, 2014
I've packed a suitcase enough times that I've basically got it down to a science. Break your packing down into sections to help you stay organized (and sane! yes... I hate packing just like the rest of you). Here are my how-to's and time-saving tips for every hijabi jetsetter!
1) The Essentials - I keep these essentials in my purse so they're close-by at all times. I like to take a large purse that coordinates with everything so I don't have to pack an extra purse (unless I'm packing a formal outfit and need a small evening bag!)
- - Passport / ID
- - House Keys
- - Wallet
- - Cell Phone / Charger
- - Camera / Battery Charger
- - Medicine (I also take Vitamins, especially Vit C to help boost my immune system)
- - Sunglasses / Glasses
- - Lip Balm / Hand Lotion (the plane makes you super dry!)
- - Book / Magazine
- - Gum (To help your ears from popping on the plane!)
- (For more on what's in my purse, check out this post)
Plan out all your outfits beforehand. This will help you bring precisely what you need and nothing more. If all you're taking is a carry-on, you definitely don't want to check that in, so the less you have to pack the better. Check the weather of your destination and plan accordingly. I like to try everything on and take photos, sometimes seeing yourself in a photo helps you decide on an outfit you're unsure about. If you use your phone you can refer back when you're at your destination getting dressed to remember exactly what you put together, including your accessories and hijab.
When it comes to hijabs, pack only the hijabs that coordinate with the outfits you've planned. It's so easy to throw in a bunch of hijabs so you'll have more choices but it'll only be a source of confusion later as well as unnecessary extra weight.
Pack only outfits you feel comfortable and confident in - you don't want to spend the day adjusting or fidgeting with your outfit (or hijab!) - especially when you're on vacation. Also, try to pack items that cross-coordinate like a pair of pants, a blazer or shoes that you'll wear more than once to save space.
3) Accessories / Toiletries
Travel accessories have become a huge business - with Passport holders, pillbox and contact lens travel kits - it's easy to get caught up and think you need everything. You don't. One travel purchase that I did find really useful was this Jewelry Roll from Henri Bendell and it was well worth it! It's compact and stores all my jewelry safely in one space. It also has a hanger at the top so it can be hung right next to your clothes in your hotel. If you have extra space, it's perfect for make-up or other toiletries.
In addition to this jewelry roll, I have 2 more travel bags - one for make-up and one for toiletries. I use those cosmetic bags that come as bonus purchases from make-up counters like Clinque and Lancome - they make for excellent travel cases. To conserve on space (and make sure your liquids don't get thrown out at security) I use old eye cream containers for moisturizers and night creams. For liquids like toners - contact lens cases work perfectly with no mess! I also take travel sized shampoo, conditioner and toothpaste to save space and weight.
For make-up, I take only the essentials - it's easy to want to take everything and think you might use it, but chances are - you'll stick to the basics. If you want more options, take a great eyeshadow palette or other make-up palettes. If you really want to get nitpicky, plan out the make-up look you'll want for each day when you plan your outfits and set those things aside.
4) Don't forget these items!
• Prayer Clothes and Prayer Rug - don't be lazy and wear your pajamas and a pashmina to pray. Bring proper prayer clothes and a prayer rug (ew hotel carpets!) and pray as you would at home so you don't get your prayer rhythm off balance while you're away.
• Compass - if your phone doesn't have a built-in compass, be sure to bring one so you know what direction to pray.
• Hijab Pins - I keep a bunch of safety pins, straight pins and plastic hijab pins in an old mini altoids tin box and always take it with me when traveling. I usually throw in a mini sewing kit just in case!
• Laundry Bag - Not every hotel has a laundry bag so be sure to bring some sort of bag for your laundry. (I love the Hendri Bendel Travel Bags, right)
• Flip Flops - Even if you're not beach bound, be sure to pack a pair of flip flops or slippers for the hotel.
Anything I've left out? Leave your comments below! Be sure to add us on Instagram @hautehijab and search the hashtag #HHaroundtheworld for photos of my travels!