Christmas Travel Essentials

By Louise Emma Clarke
Founding Editor of


The festive season is a time when most of us are travelling – whether it’s the odd night in the spare room of family or a trip overseas for a little winter sun. And with all those Christmas presents taking up space in your suitcase, it’s a time when travelling light is a necessity (especially if you’re heading away by train or plane and want to save your back and shoulders).

Keep your beauty products to a minimum, without sacrificing on luxuries, by following my tips and recommendations below.

No need to invest in expensive travel-sized skincare products. Instead, treat yourself to a set of empty travel bottles and decant your cleanser, moisturiser, eye-cream, and foundation.
Mister Mascara Limited Editions Large Travel Bag, £6.85 is ideal – it contains everything you need to transfer your favourite products (including small pots, a spray bottle, a pump bottle, and a screw top bottle). Each is small enough to pass hand baggage regulations if you are flying – and they are secure enough to rest easy that your products won’t be acquainting themselves with your favourite clothes in the bottom of your suitcase.

When it comes to haircare, it’s difficult to travel light – especially during the party season when you want your hair to look its best. Thankfully, most of the top hair appliance brands now offer half-size versions of their tools, which will save valuable room in your suitcase for clothes, shoes, and presents.

Your hairbrush is a great place to start downsizing – and I can personally recommend Fekkai Travel Hairbrush, £33.15.

Packing the entire contents of your dressing table when you travel is unnecessary, but nobody likes to rough it during the festive season. Your beauty regime demands advance planning, so think carefully about what will be lighter, smaller, or double up on use.
Hair conditioner, for example, can be used as a shaving cream – thus negating the need to pack a heavy tin of shaving foam. I love the rich silkiness of Crabtree & Evelyn Aloe Vera Conditioner, £7.72. And if you have dry skin and want to pack a body moisturiser, swap to a body oil instead – bottles are lighter and smaller, it can be used in the bath too, and will add a luminous glow to skin for those festive parties. Clarins Body Treatment Oil Soothing/Relaxing, £28.80 is just 100ml, but will go a very long way.

Perfume bottles are notoriously heavy and bulky, but Christmas is a time when wearing fragrance can be more evocative and luxurious than ever. I don’t travel without a bottle (it makes me feel more glamorous with one spritz), but investing in smaller, travel-sized bottles is essential. Thankfully, lots are available – and my pick would be Issey Miyake L’Eau D’Issey Eau de Parfum Purse Spray Refillable, £24.95.

Alternatively, leave your usual anti-perspirant at home and pack a Deodorant Spray instead, which will keep you feeling fresh and smelling fabulous. I love Yves Saint Laurent Paris Deodorant Spray Fraicheur de Rose, £27.65.

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