With the northern hemisphere’s summer well and truly upon us, many Greek Australians will already be soaking up the sun in Greece or well on their way to doing so. Whether you’re packing for a long vacation in Europe or a short domestic stint, it’s always an arduous task. I recently packed my life up into one suitcase and two small hand-luggage cases and set off for South America. Having spent a few weeks in Chile, I now find myself in London with a suitcase that’s looking much worse for wear having endured seven flights in the last month and far too many stairs in London train stations. When you travel you want to be practical and comfortable, but there’s no reason you can’t still be chic.

Handbags and manbags and luggage, oh my!

For those unacquainted with Hedgren bags, they are truly a fusion of function and style. Created by a Swedish company, they’re sold widely across Australia and are ideal for both travel and everyday use. Most people I speak to have had theirs for ten years and they’re still going strong. They’re ultra durable, you can throw them in the washing machine, they’re cleverly compartmentalised, you have hidden pockets for your passport and wallet, and they have adjustable straps that are meant to be cut-proof to protect against mugging. They come in the largest array of styles and sizes, and after starting off in conservative blacks and greys they’re now available in the boldest bright designs and patterns.

Zip-locks: the new ‘it’ bag

International trekkers will be all too aware of the 100ml restrictions on liquids and gels for international aeroplane travel. The new must-have hangbag for flying is a clear zip-lock bag with tiny toiletries. I always pack a Lucas’ papaw ointment, a toothbrush and toothpaste (because most of the airlines don’t give these out anymore), an 80ml Listerine, mini deodorant and moisturizer.

If you try to take a bottle of water through security checks it will be confiscated, but we all know it’s vital to drink plenty of fluids when you’re flying. So my best accessory is always an empty water bottle, which I get the flight attendant to fill up as soon as I’m onboard. It also means you can refill at water taps between security checks at airport stopovers, which is handy when you don’t have the right currency to buy a bottle of water. My favourite style is the Nike Sports bottle. It’s so cleverly engineered; it’s like a pop-top (without the top) so there’s no annoying lid for you to drop underneath your seat. It doesn’t leak, even if it’s upside down in your handbag and is only activated by squeezing the sides.

Lapping up fashion

There aren’t too many people that travel sans laptop these days, so a trusty laptop bag is a must. Crumpler Australia create good quality, strong laptop bags that are also very cool and individual; let’s face it no one would be seen dead carrying a laptop in the bag it came in anymore. There’s an array of styles for both men and women as well as accessory covers for iPads, iPods, iPhones and more.