DECO asked Darrin Thomas, Marketing and Communications Executive at Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. for his Top 10 Packing and Travelling Tips.
“I have a job which requires everything to be planned and ready for any eventuality. I may be on the London Eye in the morning, having high tea in the afternoon and partying with Sir Richard Branson in the evening.”
- The suitcase – the first place to start.
Very exciting when you take it out; not so exciting when you try to get everything you want inside it. Whether you fill it up and sit on it to force it shut, or you leave ample space for shopping, I am all about the bright and the bold. Both my on-board and checked-in luggage are bright orange Travelite hardcover cases from the Trend range. This means that they are easily identifiable on the luggage carousel. Always check the luggage allowance, as there is nothing worse than having to unpack in front of the check-in queue.
- Pack the staples.
I always pack three t-shirts in black, white and grey, three button up shirts in black, white and navy, two blazers in black and navy, a pair of dark washed jeans and black pants. I then add extra items such as a bold patterned shirt and pants for some fun. These can be mixed-and-matched with any basics (Scotch and Soda are my go-to for a stylish travelling wardrobe.) My philosophy is,
If I didn’t pack it, I didn’t need it. You can always buy what you need.
- Plan specific outfits for specific events and don’t touch them until the event, otherwise you will regret it.
- The first thing I do when I check into my hotel is hang up my clothes in the bathroom and put the hot water on. This gives the clothes a quick steam, removing all of the creases and making them look like they have just come back from the laundry.
- Go for a walk or run the first day you land – your body and mind will need it.
- Check-in with ample time. Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses around the world make checking in early worthwhile. Once you experience a Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse, any other airport lounge will seem rather ordinary. A luxurious mix of cocktail bar, boutique hotel and private members club is just a taste of what you can expect.
- Style always trumps comfort when travelling (comfort comes when you are on board the plane). Virgin Atlantic offers all Upper Class passengers sleep suites (both stylish and comfortable) and, for the lucky 1000 passengers, a limited edition onesie (my personal favourite). The cabin crew hang up your suit once you have changed out of it and return it to you the next morning, ensuring you look just as good when landing as you did in the Clubhouse.
- Sleep and stay hydrated if you want to look and feel good when landing. Yes, have a glass of champagne but don’t over indulge. Sleeping isn’t always easy when you travel a lot, but sleeping in Virgin Atlantic Upper Class makes the whole journey easy and comfortable. The Upper Class Suite has one of the longest, fully-flat beds in the sky.
- Talking about looking good when landing; Virgin Atlantic has a secret gem – Upper Class passengers have access to the Revivals Lounge. An invigorating power shower will wake you up while your breakfast is cooked and your clothes are pressed or mended. If you have a little extra time before your limo arrives (yes, limo. Upper Class passengers can get limo transfers), the Revivals Lounge offers a few spa treatments such as a shave for the men and blow-dry for the ladies, leaving you ready for a full day’s business without missing a beat.
- Treat yourself when you travel; after all you have just travelled halfway around the world! If you like it, buy it, and if you’re not sure, just do it because you never know when you’ll have the opportunity again.
Follow @Dazza_J on his whirlwind escapades around the world with @VirginAtlantic.