Friday 1 March 2024

Travelling Light - Packing For a Winter Sun Week Away with Carry-on Only

Hola! Thank you so much for your kind concern. I'm delighted to tell you that, after nearly three weeks, I'm almost back to firing on all cylinders. My vision still isn't perfect but it's much improved and, hallelujah! I'm pain-free. I've got another five and a half weeks on intensive steroids and will be reassessed when the course has finished. It's not the first time I've had Iritis although the last occurrence was over twenty years ago. As I mentioned in my last post, Iritis is an acute inflammation of the eye and thankfully pretty rare. While many sufferers have other health issues including ankylosing spondylitis, lupus, sarcoidosis or arthritis, 40% of patients are in good health with no underlying issues (including me, I hope!) 

Big love to the Wolverhampton Eye Infirmary at New Cross Hospital, you're amazing!

Whilst I've spent most of my days in a darkened room listening to audiobooks, Lord Jon's been cracking on with prepping for the redecoration of the middle room (aka The Sh*t Tip) hence those terrifying plain alcove walls, the step ladder and the propped up pictures. Goodbye wallpaper - vintage Laura Ashley - your days are numbered.


I've been living in kaftans and the one I'm wearing reminded me of the gown worn by Musica in Katie Bunce's Pre-Raphaelite masterpiece. It's not dissimilar to some of the Frankenfrocks I've made in the past with its eclectic mix of ethnic textiles (a block printed Indian cotton skirt, embroidered silk sleeves and a heavily embellished silk bodice) and cost a whopping £3 from Vinted! 

I think we've earnt a holiday after the trauma of last few weeks so we're off very soon! Our lovely cat sitter Michelle is on standby and we've notified our insurance company of my eye issues increasing our annual policy by £30. In case you're interested we've got Staysure's award winning Over 50s Travel Insurance, cracking on a bit has its advantages!

We're flying with Ryanair and, as usual, to keep the travel costs down, we've opted for carry-on bags only. Ryanair allows passengers a maximum of 10kg, which must be stored in the overhead locker and the bag must not exceed 55cm x 40cm x 20cm (including the wheels and the handle) PLUS a small bag which has to be stored under the seat in front and can be no larger than 40cm x 20cm x 25cm. My snazzy little (chazza shopped) bag measures 48cm x 35cm x 20cm so even if I stuff it to capacity I'll still be well within my limits!

So, without further ado, here's what I'm taking for a week-long Winter Sun holiday. We're off to the Canaries (again!) and staying in what the Lonely Planet describe as a peaceful & traditional fishing village with a laid back vibe. There's a couple of gorgeous beaches (said to be the best on the island) and some chilled out bars and restaurants. Average temperatures for March are usually around 23°C. 

I'm taking four cotton maxi dresses, a quilted jacket, a pair of Teva flatforms and some cowboy boots, a felt fedora, a pair of denim shorts, two Indian cotton blouses, a silk wrap, a straw clutch bag & a quilted cotton tote,one bikini and a cotton kantha scarf.

All four of my dresses can be worn with sandals by day or cowboy boots at night & with the Anokhi quilted jacket over the top if it gets chilly in the evening (although I didn't need it in Tenerife in December). The silk wrap is primarily for lounging around in but can be worn over my dresses or my bikini if needs be. My Tevas are made for travellers, they are ultra lightweight (a pair weighs in at 241 grammes) and being waterproof I can wear them on land or sea, rain or shine. I spotted the high waisted shorts made from ethically sourced denim in the Fatface sale and worn with one of the two Indian cotton blouses I've packed they'll be perfect for long walks and lazy lunches in seafront cafes. The tote is big enough to accomodate beach stuff, bottles of water and grocery shopping and the straw clutch adds a bit of casual glamour by night. 

I always wear some of my holiday clothes to fly in - no athleisure for this traveller! When I land I'll stuff the jacket, scarf and hat in my bag, pull down the bodice of my Pink City Prints maxi to bare my shoulders, chuck on my sunglasses and I'm ready for the sunshine! 

UPDATE: As we have a 20 minute walk down to the station to catch the train to Birmingham airport I wear my ancient M&S Body Sensor tights under my dress to keep me warm. They do exactly what they say and adjust to the wearer's body temperature so I won't sweat to death when I get off the plane. Here's the link. 

Apart from titchy stud earrings, I don't bother with jewellery until I'm through security - it's bad enough trying to navigate the X-ray machine with a prosthetic hip, a nose ring and a navel piercing without a pile of heavy metal activating the alarms. I'll pop my rings and bangles on once I'm in the airside branch of Wetherspoons. In addition to my six rings and two tribal bangles, I'm taking three pairs of earrings, a belt, my reactolite varifocals and one pair of sunglasses.


I'm taking my trusty Nabaiji towel (Decathlon, £7.99), which is two years old and still going strong. The large size is perfect for the beach and rolls up to almost nothing. I try and wash my hair as little as possible so a shower cap is an essential. I'm packing two pairs of socks and two pairs of knickers - one to wash and one to wear - so easy to rinse in the shower in the evening. These amazing "Cognac" Zero Feel Sloggi Tangas were from Sockshop (reduced from £33.99 to £5.99), I always stock up when they're on sale and because I'm not a "normal" size they almost always are! 

Hair stuff! The island we're going to can be windy (although I don't remember it troubling us when we visited in 1998) so I've packed plenty of bands and my hair stick. If, like me, your hair is a law unto itself, invest in a Tangle Teezer, it's a game changer. If all else fails I can fashion my kantha scarf into an turban. 

Make-up: 30 x magnifying mirror, Tempting eyeshadow, black waterproof eyeliner, Teal Rush nail paint, black Feature Length mascara, pencil sharpener, light brown eyebrow pencil (all by Barry M), Milani lipstick in Blossom, MUA Watermelon cream blush, mini tweezers and an eyeshadow brush.

Toiletries: Bamboo cotton buds, Barry M reusable makeup remover wipes, Nivea Double Effect eye-makeup remover decanted into a 20ml bottle, razor, Lush shampoo and conditioning bars, Patounis soap (bought in Corfu) and bamboo soap dish, my prescription meds for my eyes, Superdrug hyaluronic hair serum, Lush Karma solid parfum, Superdrug hyaluronic facial booster (an amazing lightweight moisturiser), my bamboo toothbrush, toothpaste, Factor 30 facial sun cream (shall buy body stuff when we get there - it's cheaper in the Canaries) and interdentals. 

Not pictured - a pack of Pestects mosquito repellent bracelets (now on their third trip and still no bites!),  Jon's toothbrush, razor & shaving cream, chargers & leads, plasters, ibuprofen and nail kit. I'm also taking my camera which, unlike other tech, can be taken through security in your carry-on.


The rules: the amount of liquids, creams, pastes, gels and sprays are still restricted to containers of 100ml or less. These have to be taken through security in a clear plastic bag measuring no more than 20cm x 20cm and its strictly one bag per person. As soon you you pass through security you can transfer them to your cabin bag.

Both my toilet bags are recent chazza shop finds, I can never have too many! We use the same ziplock food bags for our liquids every time we fly, you can tell how old they are, they're from Wilko.


This bag, which came with one of my Dilli Grey dresses, is small enough for my allocated personal bag. Once I've passed through security and stowed most of my liquids in my carry-on, I'll just need my glasses, eye meds, lipstick, noise cancelling headphones, phone, purse and e-reader. In case of a spectacular tech failure, Jon's got paper copies of our train, plane and accommodation bookings.


Here's the fully packed carry-on bag....


Weighing in at a mere 4kg! 


I'm not off just yet, I'm just over-excited having been cooped up indoors for what feels like an eternity. Now I can tolerate light again I'll be catching up with all that I've missed in Blogland over the weekend.

Loads of love, Vix 
xxx


92 comments:

  1. So glad to see your post pop up my reader! I'm thrilled to know your eye is on the mend, even your vision isn't perfect yet. I bet you're even more looking forward to your holiday in the sun than usual after being cooped in a darkened room for so long!
    I love seeing your packing posts and your incredible ability to travel light. I think I've got a thing or two to learn, but of course travelling to the UK is a totally different story from flying to the Canaries! Have a bostin' time, you two! xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Ann! I feel so much better and can't wait to get some sunshine and hopefully warmth very soon! xxx

      Delete
  2. Absolutely delighted to see you're now coping with cabin fever in the best way possible! Bon voyage! * The flat display of ensemble assembly featuring the cowboy boots is worthy of a framed photo, Vix. I'd title it: "Versatility & Sanity"! Everything is sooo visually appealing, yet also valuable for its practicality en route and on site. Especially those boots! If ever boots were made to be worn with dainty prints and a mix of patterns, it's those boots!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Beth! I'm often the only woman at the airport in a dress and always get loads of sweet comments from the airport staff asking about my clothes and them telling me how I've brightened up their day. The flight is part of your holiday, it seems like a wasted opportunity to travel in drab joggers! xxx

      Delete
  3. Very pleased you're on the mend, Vix. Fantastic news and hope it continues. Sounds like you have been in some very good hands with the Wolverhampton Eye Hospital. Can imagine after being holed up you are looking forward to a break (and for some sunshine to escape the miserable weather!) Have a fantastic time : ) You are so inspiring travelling light. I have good intentions but seem to take a lot of 'just in case' stuff which ends up never being worn! William is a beautiful boy! Louise (Mids) X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Louise (and William says thanks, too!) I was so impressed with Wolverhampton Eye Infirmary, it had moved since I'd last visited but the care, efficiency and kindness was second to none.
      I get you with the just in case packing. I often go into a panic and try and throw something extra in my bag the day before I go only to drag it out before I leave the house. xxx

      Delete
  4. You have done exceptionally well with the packing, loads of lovely things. I have a post coming on what I took to Marrakech, it's surprising how much you can cram when you roll things (and wear as much as possible!). I am glad your eye is better, that must have been scary - my left eye is a bit bleary at the mo and I am going to the optician next week as could be cataract on the way in. Staysure seem popular for mature travellers, I get free cover at work but would go with them if I didn't. I hope you have a wonderful time and can't wait to see the pics on your return :) safe travels. xxx Betty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Betty! Yes, rolling is the way forward and it definitely reduces the creases. I'd love to see you post a packing blog. I'm always searching for tips and ideas when I pack, there's always something new to learn.
      I hope your eye problems can be easily sorted. I'm hoping my hazy vision will improve once I stop taking the steroids or my next pair of glasses will look very odd with one lens the thickness of a milk bottle! xxx

      Delete
  5. I am so pleased that you're on the mend Vix. Anything eye related can be a tad scary, so it's good that the meds are working. I'm sure some sunshine will sort you out a treat. Xxx

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wonderful to hear from you, so glad things are heading in the right direction.

    You both definitely deserve a holiday and I am loving your packing! Safe travels, xx

    ReplyDelete
  7. Glad to read you are doing better! What an amazing job you have done on this post. Nice photos and useful packaging! Have a nice weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  8. hi Vix, Shelagh here, I'm so glad your are on the mend. Great to here that your meds are working. I hope you both have a fab holiday and I'm looking forward to see your posts when you get back. Have loads of fun. XX

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lovely to hear from you Shelagh and thank you so much! xxx

      Delete
  9. Welcome back! Glad that you are doing fine. 10 Years ago i had the same thing. For 6 Month one Eye was blind. Cortisone was very helpful. Now i am okay. Have a beautiful holiday Vix!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! I'm sorry to hear that you've had eye issues before, too. I hope all's good with you now! xxx

      Delete
  10. You are the Queen of organizing. Happy that you are almost all better. Have an excellent holiday!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Glad you are feeling better, and love your Frankendress, I remember when you made those a few years ago, I love the green in the one you are wearing. Last year I travelled around Spain and France with a carry-on suitcase and small backpack and this year I'll do the same to Ireland and England. Looking forward to your post on Canaries, such an interesting place, I wonder how many Australians go there as it's quite a trek from us. Enjoy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, DianeS! I loved making those Frankendresses and ending up selling the ones I made for myself as they got so many comments, I might have to have another go before the festival season! Travel's a lot easier when you don't bog yourself down with lots of unnecessary stuff, I do enjoy the challenge of packing light. I don't think I've ever come across an Australian on all my visits to the Canaries, it is a fascinating region! xxx

      Delete
  12. I was so pleased when your post popped up today , I had been wondering how you were faring. Glad the drugs therapy has been a success. You most certainly deserve a short sunshine break . I am always impressed with your packing skills , warm weather does make things easier. Enjoy every moment. xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jill! You're right, packing for a trip to somewhere with a temperate climate is a lot less challenging than a weekend away in the UK. I pack more for a festival than I do for a fortnight in Europe! xxx

      Delete
  13. So glad you are getting better. Wishing you a wonderful time. You should publish a travel guide definitely including a how to pack chapter! Happy holiday to you both, have a great time. Regards Sue H.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Love to see a well packed carry on. I definitely think travelling light is the way to go. Have a smashing time. X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Cherie! I can't be doing with dragging a heavy bag across town and not being able to lift it to get it into the overhead cabin, I'd rather wear than same dress three times than that! xxx

      Delete
  15. I was so happy to see your eyes are well on the way to healing. I was worried, but didn't want to keep bothering you with messages, as I knew you'd be off electronic devices. I'm thrilled you're able to get away, and really looking forward to your post about your trip.
    Have a wonderful time! Xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Annie! looking forward to a catch-up when I'm back, I'm dying to hear about your travels! xxx

      Delete
  16. You're getting better and going on holiday-wonderful news. You've been missed!
    Have a great time in the sun ­čî×

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm glad your feels my better. I was thinking about you. You're a great packer. I'm a homebody for a bit but I will enjoy reading your holiday recap.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Glad you are better. Looking forward to seeing your holiday photos! I LOVE your packing info

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Maeve! I love sharing my packing, it encourages me not to overpack! xxx

      Delete
  19. Hi Vix, so glad you're well on the way to recovery. Have a lovely holiday!!! Un abrazo muy fuerte!! xxxx

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm so glad you're feeling much better, and that you're pain free, at least.
    A relaxing holiday sounds just the ticket. Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I'm glad you're feeling better to, Jules! Thank you! xxx

      Delete
  21. So good to hear your eye is improving. Enjoy your holiday! Lise

    ReplyDelete
  22. Really glad to hear that your eye is improving. What a fright! Thank goodness for audio books and that beautiful green kaftan to cheer you up!
    I thought it was about time you headed off on holiday! Have fun!
    xxx
    P.S. Tangle Teezers are the best...and to think the Dragons rejected the product!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Claire! I'd been warned that I may get a reoccurrence of Iritis when I originally had it but didn't expect a break of almost 20 years between attacks! Audio books are amazing, I'd have been climbing the walls without them. Thank goodness I invested in a 21st century mobile phone last year so I could join the library and download them for free to keep me entertained!
      I remember the Tangle Tamer being rejected by the Dragons, what fools they are! xxx

      Delete
  23. SQUEEEEE!!!! Oh Vix - so glad you're nearly mended. Have a fabulous break away from this awful weather (sleeting on and off here). Best wishes for an awesome break for you and Jon xx

    ElaineAnon

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Elaine! We had that sleet on Saturday morning - fortunately it didn't stick! Thick frost this morning but lovely sunshine, can't wait for some warmth! xxx

      Delete
  24. Oh goodness, I MISSED you!
    I'm glad the eyes are on the mend and that you're off away for sun! I envy! Love your green kaftan and I see the Bunce similarity! What brand is your travel bag? I love it! Kezzie xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Kezzie! Things are getting better by the day...only another 5 weeks of steroids to go!
      The travel bag is lovely, isn't it? It says *Luggage & Bags* on the label (I've seen them on Amazon & Ebay for around £15). It's very lightweight & reasonable quality and it pulls along well, my only bugbear is that it won't stand up on its own unlike the slighter bigger (charity shopped) wheelie bag I taken on Jet 2 flights! xxx

      Delete
  25. I am glad your vision is on the mend. I hope it is fine by the end of the drugs. Have a lovely holiday.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Bon Voyage! My son's taken to using his camera again (cat pic). Can't wait to see your pics. Interested to see result of the room makeover too. Happy trails xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I loved your son's cat pic! My phone's okay for indoor and nighttime photos but I much prefer my camera for outdoor, daytime shots and the zoom function is fantastic! I've worked out how to send photos from my camera to my phone so I can keep them all in one place! xxx

      Delete
  27. How lovely, It's cold and grim in Northampton shire...again! Have a fab time x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lisa! It's been grim up here, too. Lovely to see a bit of sunshine this morning - after the heavy frost! xxx

      Delete
  28. Lovely to hear from you and I'm so glad the eye condition is improving; long may it continue. It's wonderful you're off to warmer climes and as usual I'm so impressed with your packing. We're flying to Ireland also with Ryanair but have opted for 20k bags in the hold. It's so cold this time of year there we have to bring jackets; jumpers etc as most of our caravan wardrobe is for warmer weather. I loved your Vinted kaftan and I love kaftans; they're so comfortable.
    Look forward to seeing your renovated room...
    xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Vronni! You definitely need lots of clothing options for your trip to Ireland, you need to be prepared for any eventuality the weather gods chuck at you! xxx

      Delete
  29. I am so pleased that you are feeling much better Vix - I was quite worried about you -Your holiday with Lord Jon will be the perfect convalesence xx

    ReplyDelete
  30. I'm so glad to hear your eye is nearly better. Have a wonderful holiday! xx

    ReplyDelete
  31. Wow! You really know how to pack lightly for traveling! I will have to study this post before my next trip. Love the caftan! How exciting to visit The Canaries! I have always wanted to go there…Awakened Soul

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Stephenie! The Canaries are so interesting, the landscapes are incredible and the climate gorgeous, they're well worth a visit. xxx

      Delete
  32. So pleased that you're still able to get away. Have a fabulous time
    . Arilx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, such a relief to be out of pain! xxx

      Delete
  33. So glad your eyes are getting better, Vix, how terrifying to suddenly have to deal with Iritis again after so many years! Excited to see how the sh*t tip room (ha ha!) turns out, and thrilled that you and Lord Jon are getting away again for a break. You're my light-packer guru - I can't imagine dealing with suitcases anymore, and can usually do a backpack and a purse for up to a week.

    Lovely to see sweet William - Vizzini says hello! <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me, too Sheila. I thought I=it was only possible to get Iritis more than once. The hospital told me that they'd known forty years elapse between attacks!
      William's currently mousing, I'll pass on Vizzini's regards when he comes home (preferably minus mouse!) xxx

      Delete
  34. I'm relieved you're on the mend. I hope your trip is good and looking forward to the recap.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hi Vix, so lovely to see you back again and on the mend! Your packing is an inspiration yo all of us who like to be stylishly dressed even on holus

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! It's great to be back and I'm very excited about escaping the weather (and wearing summery clothes) for a few days. xxx

      Delete
  36. Oops! Sorry about that- using my new tablet. Have a great holiday and I look forward to hearing about it on your return.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Lovely to see you back here and in my comment section the other day. Don't push that eye though and ... I'll be all Mum-like now ... keep those sunglasses handy at all times.

    We use the same polybags for going through security all the time too, I hate seeing people throwing them away as soon as they get back, what a waste. I love that you are so well organised with your packing and travelling light, years of practise obviously paying off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sue! I promise to be sensible. I'm taking my darkest sunglasses in addition to my reactolites and shan't venture out without them, no matter how daft I might look! I'm appalled when people throw those bags away as soon as they get through security, I have to restrain myself from rummaging in the bin to retrieve them! xxx

      Delete
  38. wowwww, Great to hear that you're feeling better (no pain, that's Important!) and ready to travel for some sunshine and fun!. Sending hugs and good vibes!
    You know I have a weakness for your 'luggage posts', and this is particularly useful as we'll fly to Canary Islands soon too!. I've learnt from you to try on my clothes and bikinis before packing them, best advice ever. And I always admire how you make the most of cabin luggage. Four dresses is totally right for me too, and it's a great idea to wear a quilted jacket as wind can be annoying!
    Hope you enjoy your time, so lovely to hear you're getting well!
    besos

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm excited that you're off to the Canaries soon! It'll be just the tonic you need after your nasty cold.
      Jon's finally started listening to me and trying his clothes on before he travels, I don't know how many times he's bought something from the charity shop, washed it and packed it before trying it on only to arrive at our destination and discover it's uncomfortable or the wrong size - such a waste of precious space!
      I remember going to Lanzarote in February 2000, not being prepared for the cold wind and having to buy a horrible grey jumper from a surf shop to stay warm, never again! xxx

      Delete
  39. Good to hear your eyes are better. Enjoy your trip.. it will be months before we go anywhere..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! It's unlike you not to have an upcoming trip, I hope those months fly by! xxx

      Delete
  40. So glad to hear you are doing better. Have a great time.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Vix, I'm so, so glad your treatment is working! I look forward to a travelogue on your return. Many happy days ahead for you and Jon, Karen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your kind words, Karen! xxx

      Delete
  42. Primeira vez no seu Blogger. Desejo muita sa├║de e recupera├ž├úo. T├┤ precisando me organizar, para pr├│xima viagem.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Enjoy your trip, Vix. I hope your eyes feel better. I love seeing all you have packed. X

    ReplyDelete
  44. Eh up Babs, hope you are having / have had an wonderful time. Sorry to hear of your eye issues. Now that's very good packing, but I'm sure if you try, you could just about fit a compact lute in there ?!? xXx p.s. thanks for the tip on the travel towel - I've been meaning to get one of those for ages.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Damn! I forgot to try the bag with the lute, it'd have gone down a storm in the Argentine rock bar we frequented! xxx

      Delete
  45. I'm glad to hear you're feeling better!
    Eye problems are very stressful.
    It's good you are not in pain anymore.
    Enjoy your vacation!

    ReplyDelete
  46. I'm glad your eye is much better and the hospital is taking good care of you... now to catch up with your holiday adventures.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for reading and for leaving a message. Please don't be anonymous, I'd love it if you left a name (or a nom de plume).

Lots of love, Vix