It’s been a little while since I published something on here and I’ve really wanted to spend some time at my desk writing. January is a crazy month, especially when you run a business, and we’ve just about finished playing catch up. Although the to-do list feels like it’s never going down, we managed to paw back some of our time again. I thought I’d share some little bits about our Christmas getaway, which I was sharing all over my Insta Stories, and a sneak-peek into my weekend holdall.
A couple of days before Christmas we filled the car with presents and set off to Wales for a festive break – just the 3 of us. I was so looking forward to having 2 weeks away from the office and completely switching off (a week in Wales then a week in Cornwall). We had the busiest year, getting married, growing the business and backpacking around Thailand and Cambodia. That’s why we decided to take it easy and have a relaxing getaway with our dog in the countryside, which is a bit different from our usual adventures.
Originally we were going to go skiing in Europe but we ended up cancelling our apartment reservation after we realised how much of a nightmare it would be getting our dog over to the Alps. We travel with our dog a lot, and we also travel without him a lot, too! But we didn’t want to be without him at Christmas, nor did we want to put him through the anxiety of going on a plane, or have him sit in the boot of the car for 18+ hours. We figured the slopes would be packed anyway so we’re counting our blessings.
Initially, when we decided to book somewhere closer to home my heart sank a little. But we booked the most adorable farmhouse cottage near the mountains in Wales and I’m so glad we changed our plans. We didn’t have to faff around with travelling, we filled the car with a HUGE food shop, and had a completely uninterrupted for an entire week (very limited phone signal!). I took my laptop with me but didn’t even take it out of the car and I even deleted the email app from my phone. THE. BEST. FEELING ✨
I usually need to pack light when going on holiday, because we’re either camping, backpacking or in a van. This trip is different though… it’s all about relaxation. This isn’t a comprehensive list of everything you should take with you on holiday (the internet has far too many of those already!). Instead, here’s some little travel items have I take with me when I’m on the go but need a little luxury:
With my collection of fine jewellery slowly growing, storage is becoming increasingly important to me. The last thing I want to do is to bung my expensive gold, diamonds and designer watches in with some old costume jewellery. I recently received this adorable leather storage from Estella Bartlett* and I’m obsessed.
I have a handful of sentimental gold rings, 2 watches that I alternate wearing almost daily, and a sparkling new diamond necklace. Whilst I have a dozen watches, these tend to be my go-to pieces and I don’t wear much else. The Estella Bartlett range offer jewellery storage is 3 sizes but I went for the smallest option, as it offered just the right amount of space for my special pieces whilst not being too large to take on holiday. The larger size is great for those that also want to store earrings as it has removable inserts, however, I have stretched ears meaning my earrings wouldn’t suit this type of storage so I keep my earplugs separately.
From left to right: Gold earrings, diamond necklace from Sam for Christmas, wishbone gold ring from my mum, Sapphire gold 1930’s art deco ring inherited from Sam’s nan after she sadly passed last year, my engagement ring, wedding ring (we made them ourselves!), Anglia Ruskin aquamarine engraved graduation ring, Michel Kors watch, Omega watch, and a fine gold snake chain necklace.
I’ve been eyeing up getting own of these beautiful boxes for a while, and now I use it every day (no more running around trying to remember where I took off my watch when I get home from the office!). It makes packing so much easier and I feel so much better knowing my jewellery is safe, and my wedding ring isn’t going to be left behind on a bedside table or on a sink at an Airbnb apartment on one of our trips!!
Sleep eye mask
It’s not just about how you store things… Every time I go away I try and bring my eye mask with me. They’re great for taking on planes so you can get some beauty sleep, but even if I’m just going away locally, I’ll take it with me. Annoyingly, I sometimes struggle to make it to the land of nod, so I like to be prepared when I’m travelling. You never know for sure what the rooms going to be like when you go away and if it’s going to be difficult to catch some Zs.
Eye masks obviously help keep the light out so it’s easier to get to sleep (I know what you’re thinking – “thanks genius!”). What I really love about an eye mask though, is that you can put the tiniest drop of lavender oil on the edge of the mask, which will help got relax and fall asleep. Be careful not to put the essential oils anywhere near your eyes, just a drop on the outside of the mask near where your nose sits is fine.
If you tend to sleep ok at home but your sleep feels disrupted when you’re travelling, then try and use my eye mask at home first. If you’re using your eye mask at home and starting to have success with it, your brain will associate the eye mask with sleep. So just the simple act of putting on your eye mask will begin sending the right signals to the brain. They can feel a little funny at first so make sure you find that that’s comfortable against your skin and doesn’t feel too tight on your head.
Organic cotton bags
If you’re not travelling with packing cubes or something similar, you’re doing it all wrong! Personally, I prefer to use cotton backs as opposed to packing cubes for a few reasons. Firstly, packing cubes are essentially a marketing gimmick. They’re little bags that help you separate your luggage so it’s easier to keep things organised – but they’re so overpriced. Instead, just buy little cotton bags!
The best thing about buying your own bags is that you can choose the material, size etc. I mostly use them for separating clothes and underwear, but they’re also good for protecting items in your suitcase. I have a mix of small, medium and large natural cotton bags, and a mix of net bags. The net ones are great for cleaning underwear or reusable cotton bad as just throw the bag in the washing machine and it keeps everything together – no more rouge socks!
Having just been backpacking in Thailand and Cambodia, I can highly recommend this for those trying to travel light. It helps you to keep your clothes rolled up as tightly as possible, but it also helps organize things. It was so much easier finding one particular item I needed from a 65-litre backpack KNOWING it was in a particular segment of the bag. This usually meant I could just open up one section and take out the bit I needed, knowing it was protected from things like muddy shoes or dirty clothes.
What’s your favourite travel luxuries? We’ve got a couple more trips booked, so I need all the tips!