We’ve all been there. Packing… what a nightmare! Do I need that fifth pair of shoes? Is one coat really enough? What if it’s cold, should I take another jumper? But let’s be honest girls, you don’t want to be lugging about a huge suitcase (think about public transport, and checking in/out times at your hotel). Ideally you want to keep your luggage to an overnight bag/ holdall/ carry-on case, and a handbag/ over-the-shoulder bag, which gives you plenty of room without filling up your hotel room and being a nuisance on the journey.
Planning is key! Write out a list of exactly what activities you have planned for your hen do, and list what clothes you’ll need for each (not forgetting that things like jeans/ leggings CAN be worn more than once!) Of course, there’s more to think about than just looking fantastic, so here’s a helping hand when it comes to deciding what makes it into the suitcase, and what should stay at home!
CLOTHES AND FOOTWEAR
No matter what you wear, we’re sure you’re a stunner, but we all love to get dressed up fabulous for a special occasion, and a hen party is the perfect opportunity!
Making sure you’ve got everything for your perfect night and daytime activities is important! For your nights out, make sure your kitted out with your favourite outfit and heels, and make room for an alternative in your case. We’ve all got to a night out, and realised we aren’t really feeling what we’ve picked out to wear! But to save space, pick something that still matches the same shoes. (Plus don’t forget to pack underwear that is suitable for your outfit… psst… nude multiway bras are a lifesaver!) The last thing you need is realising you’ve packed your black underwear set and a white lace dress!
Of course, all that’s dashed if you’re donning some fancy dress! So don’t forget to pack your costume, your accessories or your personalised t-shirt!
Your daytime activities are likely to vary depending on the Hen, so it’s all down to you to decide what’s suitable. If it’s a pub crawl, that classic ‘jeans and a nice top’ combo, with some pretty shoes or small heels would be ideal, whilst if you’re doing something a bit more physical, some sports leggings and trainers might be your best bet. Don’t forget to account for the weather for your daywear (it can for example be quite cool up here in Newcastle)!
In short, you’ll need your party outfit and killer heels, some fab daywear, and any activity-appropriate dress.
LIPPY’S, LOTIONS, POWDERS AND POTIONS
Even though you’re beautiful just the way you are, we all know how great it feels to get dolled up, and give yourself a bit of a pamper. So remember all your favourite creams and palettes that give you the feeling of that famous Princess Diaries transformation.
To save space though, consider sharing things like shampoos, conditioners, hairsprays, deodorants, body sprays, and body washes. If there is a big group of you, consider packing one set of these per hotel room. It may seem like a small cut back, but it does save a lot of room.
No doubt your routine make up is all packed together anyway, so just add your extras (favourite scarlet lipstick/ fake tan/ lashes/ nails/ that expensive perfume you’re normally too scared to use). Don’t forget your makeup wipes, and some cleanser/ toner, which will help refresh your skin the morning after your night out! There’s nothing worse than waking up to dry skin, and eyelashes stuck together from last nights mascara!
We are in the 21st century, so electricals are generally none avoidable and can take up quite a bit of space. Straighteners, curling irons and hairdryers can be really space consuming. So, as suggested with some of the toiletries, consider packing one for each room, rather than each person. If one person takes one of the items, it frees up more luggage space for the important stuff (clothes, an extra pair of heels, sneaky bottle of Prosecco).
Also don’t forget your phone and camera chargers. Last thing you need is your phone dying if it has your itinerary/ booking confirmations on, or your camera dying before you reach your 100th selfie of the weekend!
THE FUN STUFF (ACCESSORIES/ GIFT BAGS/ PARTY GAMES!)
This is the stuff you’ve spent the last few months organising, making and getting excited about. If you’re the leading lady of the event, you might have made your hens some party bags/ gift bags, or essentials for the weekend to thank them for celebrating with you (for ideas about gift bags see here). So you do not have to carry so many bags around, meet up early to distribute them so the girls can put on all their accessories ready to begin the celebrations!
If the Hen has left you in charge of your own accessories, DON’T FORGET THEM! Whether it’s your sash, a headband, or you shot-glass necklace, make sure it’s one of the first things you pack… or best yet, just put it on now!
A couple of packs of cards, some cheap beer pong plastic cups (and ping pong balls), or some pre-written never have I ever cards always make for some fun party games to pass the time on the train, or as pre-night out games, and also help break the ice for people attending who haven’t met others there!
If you’re looking for some fun, easy games to play on the way there, Urban Outfitters sell a book ‘Games for Bored Adults’ (https://www.urbanoutfitters.com/en-gb/shop/games-for-bored-adults-challenges-competitions-activities-drinking-book) for under a fiver, which has loads of hilarious games for you and the girls! Plus it takes up next to no room in your handbag.
Be sure to see our post on our favourite drinking games too!
GUIDES AND YOUR SASSY GIRL-POWER PLAYLIST
City guides to the best places to eat and drink are really useful if you’ve booked your hen do somewhere you are less familiar with. You can often find great, user-generated lists of the best bars, clubs and restaurants online, and most phones have map apps, which make getting around really straightforward.
For your pre-party/ pre-night out session, packing some portable speakers to dance around to (without annoying your hotel neighbours) is always fun. So you and the girls can dance around to your favourite female powerhouse whether that’s Beyoncé, Shania Twain, Hayley Williams or Joan Jett.
DOCUMENTS AND ITINERARY
Make sure all your travel documents are in order, whether that’s train tickets/ passports/ rail cards/ discount cards. You don’t want to be getting on a plane before realising your passport is going to run out half way through your weekend!
Next, it’s always handy to have everything written down somewhere, whether that’s in your diary, your phone, or print offs. Having the telephone numbers and full addresses of your hotel and the activities you’ve booked means you can get in touch with the right people should something come up, without the hassle of having to find their contact details online.
Also, have your confirmation numbers handy at all times, and have them organised so each confirmation is listed with the correct activity. That way, checking in for everything will be a lot quicker and easier!
THE OBVIOUS STUFF
Bank card. ID. Purse. Phone. Keys. It may all seem like the first things you’d packed, but when your getting excited about your weekend away, and are busy getting giddy with the girls, these are things that are easily forgotten about!