Oh, to be whisked off on a winter getaway when London has turned grey.
We can’t count the number of places we’d love to be holidaying this winter season – or the number of accessories we’d be packing to take en-route – but we can give it a pretty good shot.
Whether you’re making like a ski bunny or migrating somewhere where you can soak up a little more vitamin D, make sure you do your wardrobe justice by packing the right thing, in the right way. It’s said that we pack an average of eight pairs of shoes each for a week-longgetaway – so if you’re going to do something, you might as well do it right.
Here’s our wish-list of travel destinations, and how we’ll be organising our suitcase, should somebody pick up on our completely subtle hints.
The Italian alps: letting your shoes live in harmony
Courmayeur, Italy was named number five in Conde Nast Traveller’s best European ski resorts, and with very good reason.
In this beatific spot at the foot of Mont Blanc, you can spend all day zipping about on the piste before retiring to one of their many luxury hotels or upmarket restaurants – making it the perfect place to insist upon a romantic getaway (as if you needed an excuse).
Packing for two takes patience and may possibly test a relationship beyond any reasonable expectations. We’ve found that it really is best to pack separately – not just for your sanity, but for the sake of your shoes. For example, a pair of satin slip-ons were never going to fair well rubbing up against black polished shoes. It just wasn’t meant to be.
If you can’t separate your suitcases, get separate dust bags and sleep easily knowing everything will be a little more harmonious when it comes time to unpack.
The Maldives: sandals and socks
Who would dream of pairing sandals with socks? We would, actually – but only under very necessary circumstances.
The Maldives have always been a dream destination for anyone seeking turquoise sea views that will make your colleagues’ jaws fall to the floor. Destinations such as the idyllic Soneva ‘castaway’ resorts are perfect for a digital detox, and while it’s tempting to go barefoot, you’ll probably want a selection of sandals for crossing from your water villa to the beach.
Don’t let your sandals be a last-minute suitcase edition that get stuffed in any available nook and cranny. Several kilograms of sarongs can take their toll on the structure of a delicate sandal, so we recommend avoiding a crushed upper by stuffing.
Bundled-up tissue paper works great, but the savvy packer can save luggage allowance space by filling out sandals with rolled up socks. Place each shoe on its side alongside the part of your luggage that has the best structural integrity, and they’ll be beach-ready the moment you hit the hotel.
Cape Town, South Africa: pre-empt luggage drama
Cape Town, South Africa’s ‘Mother City’, is the ideal location for anyone who wants a buzzing city break with the bonus option of lazing by the beach-side on days when you need a little R&R (that’s rum and relaxation).
In Cape Town you could be hitting the local markets by day, cruising the bars by night and lounging in the sun in-between. Naturally, this makes for a very diverse travelling wardrobe. In the instance that you could very well be packing your studded Valentino heels alongside your silky beach kaftan, you need to make sure everything is well protected.
A quick fix – albeit not so much in the way of glamour – is to wrap up each shoe in a shower cap. No, it’s not even a little bit sexy, but you’ll be able to find one in most hotel bathrooms and the elasticated edges will fit snugly around most shoe shapes.
Pull the shower cap over your shoes (individual, if they have ornamental hardware that’s likely to tangle or damage its partner shoe) and everything will be safe during transit. No snagged dresses, no need to clean the soles before heading back home, and no worries.