Top packing hacks from a seasoned traveller.
Top packing hacks from a seasoned traveller.

Packing secrets: This cult brand changed everything

Melbourne publisher Michelle Matthews has the enviable job of travelling the world to research what's hot and not in a destination - and then writing about it for her company, Luckie Guides.

On the road multiple times a month, this year she's focused on Spain, Bali and regional Victoria for upcoming guidebook editions. Given her prolific jetsetting, she's picked up a few packing tricks and tips. Including why the cult brand, Uniqlo, changed her travelling life.

MY OUTFIT WHEN I TRAVEL …

Is increasingly care of Uniqlo. Their clothes are ideal for travel: light, warm, easy-care, comfortable and casual. I don't even buy clothes that aren't travel-friendly anymore.

MY PACKING STYLE IS …

Three-quarters practical and a quarter fantasy whereby about 75 per cent of well-considered essentials are packed in advance, and then 25 per cent imaginary lifestyle items are shoved in as the Uber approaches.

Michelle Matthews from Luckie Guides reveals her top travelling hacks.
Michelle Matthews from Luckie Guides reveals her top travelling hacks.

I PACK FOR A TRIP BY …

Taking the Melburnian perspective of thinking the sky can be unpredictable, I make sure I'm equipped for all weather.

Typically I'm bringing things to gift, relocate or distribute so I'm thinking about interesting items I can bring from home.

MY ESSENTIALS FOR A WORK TRIP INCLUDE …

Photography accoutrements, since my work trips are increasingly image-focused, so a lightweight tripod and camera in a dedicated photography backpack now join me. But most essentials are now digital. I use BatchGeo to prepare maps for the venues I need to visit. I take two copies of printouts of my driver's licence, passport and travel insurance. I always carry a bunch of my guides to hand around too.

MY LUGGAGE IS …

My new Pierre Cardin vermilion suitcase with matching carry-on - I'm in love with it. For me, four multi-directional wheels are essential, and I've ditched zips for clips.

 

Whether it’s Bali or Bangkok, her travel essentials pack covers everything.
Whether it’s Bali or Bangkok, her travel essentials pack covers everything.

MY TOP CARRY-ON TIP IS …

Take one bag and keep it small and light. You can move faster in airports and on-board, plus you don't have to worry about differing airline limits. Also, wear clothes with pockets!

MY TOP PACKING HACK …

Have a dedicated bag of travel essentials to select from for each trip that's full of travel-sized toiletries, resort wear and swimsuits. I keep purses of small change in many currencies and pack any for countries I might only be transiting through as well as staying in.

MY GO-TO TRAVEL APP IS …

Embark. It's a Melbourne-made app that works with all public and semi-private transport networks around the world. It makes planning tricky journeys easy and stress free.

I MAKE A HOTEL ROOM FEEL LIKE HOME BY …

Turning on my Sony Bluetooth speaker - nothing puts me in a holiday mood like contemporary bossa nova.

MY PACKING RESOLUTION IS …

To avoid topping up the suitcase with double-ups and back-up items. I need to channel a travel version of Coco Chanel's mantra: "Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take at least one thing off" - but with my packing rather than what I'm wearing.