Camilla Freeman Topper’s Travel Secrets

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Aug 07, 2015

by DI WEBSTER, Managing Editor

You know fashion designer Camilla Freeman Topper packs style, but did you know she prefers the window seat? Here are her secrets to a stress-free journey and exactly how she prepares for departure.

Where are you travelling?
Europe.

What are you doing in Europe?
I’m going on a holiday. We’re going to Capri then to Ibiza with a bunch of friends then Paris for a few days. 

How often do you travel?
I travel at least six times a year for business. At the beginning of the year it’s New York Fashion Week, come back, go to Paris February/early March, then I usually do a trip to the States or Europe in June/July for work, then back again in September/October. New York, back, Paris, back. 

What’s the secret to a stress-free journey?
Organisation. Making sure you’ve packed in a compartmentalised way – your luggage and your carry-on.

How far out from a trip do you start packing?
I start preparing outfits about two weeks in advance. It depends what I’m going for;  if it’s a fashion week, probably a little bit earlier than that. 

Fold or roll?
Fold. I have a suitcase for shoes and I have a suitcase for coats if it’s winter. Or one side of the suitcase is coats and the other side is separates. I organise it in a way that I can unpack it and re-pack it systematically. I usually get off the plane, go to the hotel, unpack and go straight to a meeting so I have to make sure nothing is creased.

Do you have a secret for travelling light?
No! There is nothing light about the way I travel. I’ve got a minimum of two suitcases even if I’m going for four or five days. I like choices. It’s easy to travel these days – you check in, get to the carousel and put your luggage on a trolley. It’s not very difficult and it’s good for the arms. 

What would you never travel without?
I always have multiple phones when I’m overseas. I need to have my Australian SIM card, my international SIM card. I don’t like not having a SIM available.  

What’s your routine on the plane?
I have a busy work and home life so the second I get on a plane, I wash my make-up off, change into the airline pyjamas, charge my phone, charge my computer and get comfortable and cosy. I usually do a bit of work, I might watch a couple of movies, listen to music and sleep. It’s also a really good time to meditate.

What was the last movie you saw on a plane?
American Sniper. It’s really intense.

The last book you read on a plane?
Just Kids by Patti Smith. I haven’t got through it yet but it’s really good.

Do you get to the airport early or late?
One-and-a-half hours before.  

What do you do at the airport in that time?
There are usually lots of phone calls to make. When I’m walking through the airport to get to the lounge, I really like listening to music on my headphones – it gets me in the travel mood. 

Aisle or window?
Window. 

Are you a chatty seat buddy?
No. People probably think I’m rude but it’s 14 hours of “you” time and that’s very rare.

How do you deal with jet lag?
I change my clock to the time of whichever country I’m landing in. If I land in the evening, I’ll stay up for a couple of hours and then go to bed. If I land in the morning, I stay up all day and make sure I don’t sleep until 10 or 11 o’clock that night.

Do you have a drink on the plane?
I’ll probably have a glass of red wine and then I’m out. I know you shouldn’t but it’s quite nice and makes you a little sleepy. 

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