It appears my husband thinks I take too much with me when we go away. I can categorically say I don’t. There is no way I could have done a carry on bag for four days, including a wedding, in Madrid if that had been the case, could I?

Over the Easter break we packed the girls off to the grandparents and headed off for our first proper child free break in over five years. It was wonderful. Madrid was the city of choice and the reason for the trip was to celebrate the wedding of our close friends. We decided to tag a couple of extra days on to enjoy the city, and let’s be honest, relax with a glass of Sangria.

Not only did I pack for four days but those four days also included a wedding so my bag was crammed full of a very varied mix of a posh frock and denim shorts. Upon arrival at the airport we discovered most of our friends had taken rather large suitcases to check in and I felt rather smug at my expert packing, and could gloat to Edd that I was in fact ‘travelling light’.

So what did I take?

I decided to go for a bit of a capsule packing system with a few different outfits that would work for day or evening, lots of layers and then my fancy wedding outfit.

I’d been checking the weather and it was set to be between 20 and 25c so I figured it would be warm, if not quite bikini weather. I did laugh however when we stepped out the hotel in t-shirts only to discover the Spanish walking around in puffa jackets and scarves!


First up I went for comfort when travelling. I’ve just purchased these lovely grey chinos from M&S and they have so far proved to be an excellent buy. I teamed them with a vest top and this lovely minty jumper from Zara (which you may just have seen in Charlotte’s recent mint post). I made the executive decision to take only one pair of shoes, my trusty Saltwater sandals, leaving space in the case for a pair of heels for the wedding. I also chucked on my leather jacket which I was rather glad of as the evenings got a bit chilly over in Madrid. I managed to get away with carrying my Mulberry small satchel bag as well as the carry on case so was pretty chuffed with that. I’m sure I might have been able to squeeze it in to my case if I’d need to. Maybe.

So that was the travelling sorted. On to the case.

I must say I purchased some of Lauren’s recommended packing cubes and, oh my, they are amazing. I got a set from John Lewis and managed to squish my whole holiday wardrobe in to the large size.

For the bottoms I took my favourite Whistles denim shorts. I wore these most afternoons once the sun warmed up. I have had them for donkeys years and I am yet to find a pair I love as much. If anyone has any recommendations of excellent denim shorts I’d love to hear them. I also popped in some white stretchy jeans which I wore both day and evening. Finally, I took one lovely pleated silver skirt from Zara for the pre wedding tapas do.

To co-ordinate with these I took one long sleeved white t-shirt from Boden which is a really relaxed fit and I actually wore this with the silver skirt as it was a lot cooler in the evenings. I then had my new favourite grey t-shirt, a basic white vest top and a gorgeous long sleeved blush t-shirt from H&M. All of these worked with the shorts or jeans. I layered these with either the mint jumper or a sparkly gold cardigan from the same range at Zara. They are both really light weight and in honesty I could have probably done with something warmer but once I added my leather jacket I was ok and at least they rolled up small.

I also popped in my favourite Whistles dress which has a lovely loose relaxed fit and was perfect for a lazy lunch in the Plazas. It’s from a couple of years back but this is a similar style.

In truth I probably could have done without the skirt and just doubled up some outfits but hey ho.

For the wedding I had a gorgeous mint green (spot a theme here?) lace dress from Reiss, similar to this, and I wore this with some pewter coloured M&S heels from last year and a cream cardigan. I really rate M&S shoes as they are so comfy and really good value. In fact my friend had teemed her own wedding outfit with this rather nifty red pair which I may need myself…..

Then there was obviously underwear, PJs and my swimsuit, just in case. Needless to say that despite the rooftop pool looking amazing I did not indulge as it was ruddy freezing.


Accessories wise I kept it simple. I had my Mulberry for the day and then a very lovely blush coloured Marc Jacobs shoulder bag for evenings and the wedding. I fear I might have a slight fancy handbag problem!

I took a couple of necklaces including my new necklace, bracelet and earrings that Edd got me for Christmas. They are by Danish brand Skagen and if you haven’t discovered them yet you might need to take a peek.

Makeup & Toiletries

Now on to the makeup and toiletries. I know this is where a lot of people struggle but I reckon I’m pretty good at packing light. Again, Edd may disagree. I’m quite lucky that I don’t wear a lot of makeup so don’t need to take loads of stuff.

My other top tip for packing light when it comes to toiletries is minis.

I always keep all the little testers that you get free from the likes of Clarins or Elizabeth Arden with any Christmas purchases. This meant I had a mini tube of body lotion, night cream and a very fancy anti-aging face serum which was lovely after a day in the sunshine. I packed my favourite Oil of Olay eye cream as well as a full size Oil of Olay BB cream which worked as both my day moisturiser, as it contains SPF, and my makeup base. I had a mini bottle of foaming micellar water (how have I not discovered this before?), a mini simple eye makeup remover, small hand cream as well as my trusty eight hour cream, an eight hour lip balm (part of aforementioned Xmas sets) and of course toothbrush and toothpaste. Ok, so maybe that does sound a lot. But I promise I managed to fit it all in the rather small plastic bag you are allowed. Ok, and maybe a few in Edd’s bag too.

At the airport I bought a mini Blonde shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, suncream and razor. I may also have treated myself to a new bottle of Coco Mademoiselle….

Makeup wise I took my Nars pallete that has eyeshadow, blusher, bronzer and a highligher in it so that was pretty much it. Honestly, I am a convert to Nars as the eyeshadows are amazing. Super creamy and go on brilliantly.

I also threw in my Bobbi Brown serum corrector and concealer and a fancy new Armani mascara as well a Kiko pale eyeliner. For the lips it was Charlotte Tilbury in Liv It Up. The perfect, just a hint of pinky hue, for me.

This all saw me through daytime and nighttime. I don’t change my look that much for either (who am I kidding that I have a look?!!) so just added a darker shade of shadow and any extra coat of mascara for the evening.

For my hair I took some serum, hairbrush, curling brush and then my GHDs for a spot of curling on the wedding day.
Looking at that list I have no idea how I fitted it all in but I did. I reckon I must be Mary Poppins in disguise! How do you manage to pack for a mini break and any top tips for squeezing it all in?