Travel Ready: Packing for London, or wherever's next

Posted by Stephanie Duttenhaver on

Oh, that ever-evolving skill of getting ready for travel. My friends and I have been talking about how and what we pack, and I’m continually honing this process.

Before trading southern days for the whirl of a recent London getawayexploring art museums, gardens and shopsI was back in the pre-trip rituals. What to bring? What to leave at home?


Gleaned from Sapelo friends, and adding my own routines of travel prep, here’s a beginning list of suggestions: 


  • Before opening the closet, review the weather forecast and range of daytime and nighttime temperatures at the destination. Bring an extra sweater? Or a swimsuit?


  • If it’s a city or country is new to me, I’ll also make an internet search focused on fashion. A quick scan of “London street style” led to images of cross-body satchels, a trench coat (plenty of plaid), shoes with sturdy heels. (For fun, I also searched “William, Kate, Harry, Meghan” for glimpses of what the dukes, duchesses and other royals have been wearing lately. I’d be staying nearby to Buckingham Palace, after all!)


  • Informed and inspired, it’s time to start pulling shirts, skirts, boots, scarves, or whatever else is a possibility from the closet. I arrange everything on guest room bedand often create full outfits for each day.


  • Shoes can be the biggest challenge. At the minimum, a standard plan includes shoes for airport and all-day walking, a pretty pair for going out (the occasions for taller wedges or heels), and flip-flops or slippers for around the hotel.


  • To winnow a travel wardrobe, choosing a leading color for the trip can help—perhaps blues, or mostly whites/grays, or charcoal. Add a top or scarf in a different, standout color or print to mix in as needed. Finally, it’s time to edit and remove any excess clothes, so all fits into the duffel or suitcase. (One friend tells me she gathers everything she’d like to take, and then removes at least half before closing the suitcase.)


  • A wrap is an essential for the plane and airports, and then away we go!



Every packing regimen also includes skin care essentials and cosmetics, of course. And getting these important items narrowed can be just as vexing as deciding on the clothes to bring. Sapelo Skin Care makes this easy with their new, four-piece Luxury Travel Collection.

                                  Photograph Credit: Kelli Boyd Photography

Devised by Sapelo’s Savannah, Georgia-based founders—Stephanie and Cindy are often on flights for business and leisure themselves—the collection arrives in a soft fabric pouch that’s ready to tuck into an overnight bag or suitcase, and includes enough of Sapelo's best-selling products for 15+ days. 

Included in Sapelo’s Luxury Travel Collection are the Renewing Serum, Rejuvenating Cream, Spring Tide Serum, and Restoring Eye Serum, all sized for a twice-daily application.

Your skin will be nourished and hydrated wherever your travels lead you!

Tip: When trip planning, take a peek at the hotel’s photo gallery for any images of the bathroom in your guest room, to make sure you will have the counter space, lighting and any accessories you may need.



My recent London days are lovely memories now, and I’d generally deem my packing scheme a success. (That includes leaving enough room to return with a woven hobo bag that I couldn’t resist at a shop that sells very soft Scottish cashmere and accessories, Hawico


A nonstop flight is a luxury. To venture across the Atlantic, I’d booked one of the new direct flights from Charleston, SC on British Airways. The flight took off just before midnight and landed at Heathrow (LHR) about eight hours later (noontime there), just in time to join London’s lunchtime buzz.


It was a U.K. getaway full of discoveries, including the glass greenhouses and plant collections at Chelsea Physic Garden; fascinating contemporary art at the Saatchi Gallery and Tate Britain (also a very good art/gift shop); and the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace was just opening a massive exhibit of Leonardo da Vinci drawings (showing through March 2020),


On Elizabeth Street in the Belgravia neighborhood, I returned more than once to dip into local shops and have another look at walls and windows decked out in a nod to the annual Chelsea Flower Show.


Some favorites:


Happy travels!

- Sandy Lang, September 2019


* For full details about Sapelo Skin Care and the Luxury Travel Collection, visit

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