Ah travel. It is truly food for the soul. I so wish I was headed somewhere exotic, or culturally decadent, or stunning in its untouched beauty. Alas, I sit at my desk and watch the Brisbane River, Brisbane's cultural precinct at South Bank and the ferris wheel spin. Not really all bad, I suppose. :o)
However, Ms Ali IS travelling, and she is doing the mandatory packing cull. I am notoriously bad at this, however I can give you some words of advice:
* Huge YES to the compression stockings for the flight. Not only do they aid in circulation, I have found that their ugliness can be cause for conversation with cute guys on the aeroplane. True Story. It happens every time (trick is to pull them on on the aeroplane, while cute male traveller is taking his seat - much humour and bewilderment ensues). Note that you need to be able to wear your delightful flat shoes with the stockings, so no thongs! (And frankly, when headed to Paris, no thongs at all!)
* Books - I finished A Visit From The Goon Squad a few weeks ago and it is wonderful! And it's the perfect flight book as it's engrossing, a rapid page turning read, and really should be read all in one burst. I'm also currently reading One Day (after seeing the film) and I'm loving it! Another page turner!
* Wonderfully pretty, soft, light-weight scarf that you can wear with anything. Meh. You'll probably buy one. However they're great for flights (if you're a cold traveller like me) and the perfect thing to have in your bag to keep you out on the streets of your interesting foreign city for longer. I am also oddly fascinated by observing the commute home from work of people in another city. Usually by then it's getting dark and a little cold... Cue scarf.
* Shoes. We need to talk about shoes. Because it's Shoesday and all. I always pack a pair of high heels and never wear them. I still maintain that you definitely need a pair! Whether you take them or buy them o/s is an entirely different matter. Remember you will be surrounded by Zara! And generally exciting other Parisian shops. So perhaps you'll buy a pair - you'll be on trend at a minimum. Best thing is, when you're back from your travels and someone asks where your shoes are from, you can breezily say "Oh these are just from Paris" and giggle wildly on the inside as you say it. Best feeling ever.
My main advice re heels is not to go for the uber skinny stiletto (if you're partial to them in the first place). They will get stuck in the cobbled streets, and the heel will wear down like a mo-fo. Go for something with a solid heel, soft leather and comfort. Kinda like these:
Also: flats. I don't think this needs to be discussed in detail. We always walk for miles when we travel, and comfortable pretty flats are essential. Please, no runners - we are not middle-aged folk on a coach holiday. We needn't look completely like a foreigner (our face and hair and accent will do this for us). Please be pretty.
Have a fabulous trip!!!!