The Perfect Packing List for a European Summer Holiday

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Jun 25, 2018

by JESSICA IRVINE, Associate Editor

Australian model, photographer and blogger Candice Lake is based in London, with the Mediterranean on her doorstep. No wonder she’s mastered packing her holiday wardrobe.

Image: Alice Mahran 

Do you roll or fold?

I used to throw everything into a bag. Then, a couple of years ago, I stayed with a friend and she said, “What are you doing?” She taught me to roll some items and fold others with as few creases as possible. Now I don’t have to steam anything when I arrive.

Do you unpack at the hotel or live out of your suitcase?

I’m on a plane almost every week. For my sanity, I have a ritual when I arrive at the hotel: I burn a small candle while unpacking everything, even if it’s just for one night. I need to feel a bit like it’s my home. 

What do you wear for long flights?

Tome pants, sneakers, an oversized jacket and a T-shirt. As soon as I get on the plane, I change into cashmere pants and a jumper by Jac+ Jack or Banjo & Matilda and I’m immediately relaxed.

What about non-negotiables?

I always take a Longchamp canvas bag that folds up into nearly nothing – my shopping comes home in that. I take a little black dress, too. With my job, there are unexpected side-trips so I need a piece that can be dressed up or down. I like designs by Dion Lee and Michael Lo Sordo.

Do you take your own hair dryer or trust the hotel’s?

I usually don’t pack one – they’re too bulky – and just hope that a bun or beach hair will look good. But the MGallery by Sofitel hotels’ Inspired by Her initiative [Lake is an ambassador] considers what women want in their room and includes “emergency kits”. Their hair dryers are seriously good – I don’t know why more hotels don’t get on board with that!  

Candice's Packing List

Dresses

The Zimmermann sisters, Nicky and Simone, are so clever. You can wear most of their collection to a lovely dinner, to the beach or poolside. They make great pieces in beautiful lace and soft prints. I also wear dresses by Turkish designer Gül Hürgel. She makes me feel like I’m living on the French Riviera.

Accessories

I love the sun but have very pale skin so I pack a couple of oversized hats. I’m taking this one by Albus Lumen to Ibiza. I think clothes should be understated but if you need to dress up a look, add Roxanne Assoulin bracelets or a silk headscarf under a big straw hat.

Bags

You can take this great Loewe tote to the beach and the bar. It fits everything but the kitchen sink and has a strong handle. I always pack a clutch with a removable strap, too. For the south of France, it would be in canary yellow.

Shoes

The biggest packing fail of my life was taking eight pairs of stilettos on a beach trip. Now I think about the activities I’ll be doing. I’ve just bought these gorgeous Grecian-style Valentino sandals, which I love. I also take my Birkenstocks for walking on rocky paths and Veja trainers.

SEE ALSO: 16 Top Fashion Designers Share Their Best Packing Tips