COULD YOU TRAVEL WITH ONLY THE MAGAZINE FREEBIES FROM THE AIRPORT?
MY SISTER IS A GENIUS
I am usually a very good travel packer and can do ‘hand luggage only’ for most occasions, but recently, while packing for a very long trip, my luggage already comprised clothes, shoes, work stuff, gifts, books, kitchen sink… (you get the idea) and it dawned on me that skincare, hair and sunscreen products would take me over my allowance and cost an arm and a leg in excess baggage (!!!) While I was sitting on the floor, bewildered and staring at my case, my sister popped her head around the door to laugh at me; said “You always leave it until the last minute” and then offered these words of wisdom:
“Erm HELLOOOO…. take an empty hand luggage bag and buy it all once you have checked in! And do you want a glass of wine?”
Seriously, I can’t believe I haven’t been using this post check-in shopping technique for years. Is this how everyone travels?? It works even on 2 or more legged journeys, like mine was, because check-in never weigh your hand luggage as long as the bag isn’t over the restricted size (so check the overhead locker allowance size first) and security are fine with bottles over 100ml as long as they are in the sealed duty free bags with the receipt attached. Happy Days!! I also managed to buy the extra value size bottles of my Clarins skincare (an airport only offer) which was brilliant for me as I’ll be away for long enough to use them – extra bonus, woop woop!
On the evening of ‘revelation’ while slurping on wine with my sister, smug in the knowledge that I had at least a day left to pack because I didn’t need to go beauty shopping and that I would probably even have plenty of space and weight allowance for more shoes and accessories now (oops) … and we came up with a challenge:
COULD YOU GO ON HOLIDAY WITH ONLY THE CLOTHES ON YOUR BACK, THE CONTENTS OF YOUR HANDBAG AND MAGAZINE FREE GIFTS FROM THE AIRPORT?
This challenge came up based on all of the magazine freebies we could remember from past such as the metallic, waterproof ‘beach wallet’ from Elle magazine, meant for keeping your wet bikini in, that I have had for years and now use to carry my sketchbook and paints. The perfume samples (woe betide the girl who tested an original formula Christian Dior Poison sachet on the way to school) and how a slightly too see-through pink singlet (Glamour Mag?) an ill-fitting blue bikini, which along with some big plastic Jackie O style sunglasses (free the summer before in Red magazine) became my ‘capsule wardrobe’ until my baggage arrived in Greece 48 hours after me one year.
We sniggered over a free ‘sarong’ which may have served better as a magician’s handkerchief, but came in handy as a headscarf, the racy paperback novel and the countless weird smelling hand creams we’ve all have kicking around for yonks – until the day you go to use it and realise it’s gone off. But we agreed that the quality of free gifts has improved since the 90’s and reckon the trick would be to start snaffling freebies in May (remember your handbag contents are allowed) and then pick up those last few essentials with your August Edition mags at the airport in June and have enough for at least a long weekend away!
So if you weren’t packing for a few months away and you were up for a frugal challenge, here’s what a long weekend with just a handbag and free glossy magazine freebies might involve…
Stuff your bikini into your oh-so cool basket bag (purchased using the ASOS 20% discount card, free in Elle this summer maybe?) and get prepped using your free May and June goodies haul the evening before the flight:
- St Tropez Gradual Tan (Marie Claire, June) saving one top up application for while you are away.
- Nails Inc polish that came with Elle in May (it also came with a free issue of Cosmopolitan, it was a good month).
- Neal’s Yard Bee Lovely hand cream and take it with you to double as body lotion (Marie Claire, May)
Wearing: espadrilles, undies, shorts, white shirt, sarong as a scarf, kimono type duster coat big hoop earrings and
- 100% UV protective sunglasses in either black, grey or tortoise shell – I went for Tortoise Shell (Tatler, July)
And from your August editions at the airport –
- Rodial Glamolash mascara in black (Red Magazine) a free face cream and body scrub sachet from L’Oreal also in the mag.
- Elemis Pro Definition Day Cream 15ml (BAZAAR Magazine) and subscribe to the Mag for 6 issues for £6 and receive a full sized Elemis face wash next month!
- Eyeko Brow Gel, from a choice of eyelash curler, brow gel or mascara (Marie Claire)
- Toni & Guy Damage Repair shampoo and conditioner sample sachets (also in Marie Claire)
Obviously, this exercise was just a bit of fun, but I do think I could cope with a long weekend in the sun ‘baggage free’ for at least a long weekend if I had sunscreen, travel soap and a razor in my hand bag too. Sadly there were no free smutty novels, but I have plenty of magazines to read on the beach!