My Mum is my biggest cheerleader and my biggest influencer on shopping for travels. She has encouraged me to see the world, take up new challenges and live life to the full.
I was out shopping with her recently and I realised just how much my shopping and travel decisions have been influenced by her.
My packing has been influenced by my mother's travel skills.
My Mums' travel tips.
"Does everything work well together?"
Aha, this is where my mix and match mantra comes from. I think most clothing can be worn with other things to mix it up. Different shoes, a belt, a different top to change the look quickly...and of course, a scarf is always a great look-changer.
Mum is always one for getting the most out of a fashion or travel item, so things that could be worn with lots of other things were high on the travel wardrobe list.
"Wear comfortable shoes."
After a few overseas trips, Mum knows how important it is to have comfortable shoes. Cobblestone streets are a killer on your feet, so comfort is absolutely key.
Wearing shoes that you know are comfortable is so important. Wearing new shoes on a new trip does not bode well.
"The compression bag trick."
Mum's trick doesn't require a special compression bag. Simply get a plastic bag. Put your washing, clothing, shoes, or whatever you choose into the bag. Squish out all the air and seal the bag.
You can seal the bag with a rubber band or a hair tie, or if it has a ziplock you can use that.
This is how I pack my shoes in an old newspaper bag. It works a treat.
Comfort is king when it comes to travel shoes.
More travel tips from my Mum.
"Do I have something similar already?"
I'm not into duplicating outfits in my home wardrobe or my travel wardrobe. And I know I learnt this from Mum. You know you've been influenced when you hear your mother's voice. And my mother's voice comes through loud and clear when I'm shopping.
When you are packing, spread your outfits out on your bed and look to see if you have duplicates, where one will do.
- Do you need two swimsuits?
- Do you need a second pair of sneakers?
- Why not swap out one of the two blue scarves for a peach coloured scarf?
- How many tops do you really need?
"Does the colour suit me?"
Years ago I had my colours done. That is, I paid lots for someone to tell me what colours looked great on me, and what colours make me look terrible. But I tell you what, it's probably saved my 1000's of dollars by not buying clothing that doesn't look great on me colour-wise.
"A simple black dress and a string of beads will take you everywhere."
This is a great tip if you are a fan of wearing dresses. Keeping the colour palette simple and monotone keeps an outfit looking smart.
The ultralight, mix and match travel wardrobe.
And even more travel tips from Mum.
"You don't need to travel with a large suitcase - a small bag is much easier to handle."
Maybe Mum was The original 5 Kilo Traveller!!!
She's not a fan or airports and flying these days. She wants a hassle-free travel experience. She's not into queues and loathes waiting around for bags to come off the carousel.
So when I pick her up from the airport Mum is off the plane with her carry-on bag and out of the terminal as quickly as possible.
"Take smaller amounts of shampoo, moisturiser, cleanser."
I'd like to think I can take some credit here, but I can't. I can still picture Mum's bathroom cabinet years ago, with the travel sized bottles that she collected to pour smaller amounts into. Seriously, Mum was a travelling light enthusiast before her time.
It wasn't until years later that I learnt this trick. And now I have my own collection of travel containers!
"Do you really need to take all that stuff?"
Quite possibly it was a generational thing but really, we do end up packing a lot of stuff that we simply don't need.
We live lives now that are full of contraptions to save us time. But they don't need to travel with us.
Again, laying your travel wardrobe and other travel items on your bed really does help to analyse what you are planning to take.
- Will this item be provided in our accommodation?
- Can I take a smaller version?
- Could I borrow this? (If staying with friends and family)
My travel container collection as taught by my Mum.
One last travel tip (plus one more)...
"If you are travelling with someone else don't double-up on your gear."
It makes sense when someone points it out. But how many of us carry duplicates of stuff when we're travelling with friends or family?
You don't need TWO lots of shampoo, toothpaste, moisturiser, shaving cream, sunscreen - or whatever it is that you can get away with sharing. You only need one first aid kit between you.
"Keep in touch."
The best motherly advise! And now as a mother I know exactly what she meant.
Fortunately I was a good writer, and Mum typed up all our hand-written letters home and put them in a folder. From my siblings and I there are stories from South America, China, Russia, India, Africa and The Middle East.
My best keeping in touch moment with Mum though was when I was on the island of Korcula in the Dalmatian Islands. I video called her and my sister back in New Zealand. As I walked them around the ancient town I could see the pure delight on Mum's face. It was an absolutely magical travel moment.
Keeping in touch has never been so easy when travelling than it is these days. So there's no excuses!
Such a thrill showing Mum around Korcula on a video-call.
So I can definitely say that my Mum has influenced my shopping and travel style - although it's taken me a few years to realise this.
But on this Mothers' Day in 2021, it's nice to appreciate our mother's and all they have taught us and encouraged us with.
Happy Mothers' Day to all the mother's.