I love planning holidays and can happily spend hours researching destinations to make sure I make the most of my time whilst away. The one aspect of travelling I really don’t enjoy though is packing, (and unpacking argh don’t even get me started!) Packing always takes longer than I think it’s going to and I although I always imagine myself strolling thorough the airport with just a light weight cabin bag in hand I always end up with a bulging suitcase full of clothes I won’t wear.
When I was recently packing for a few nights in Lanzarote I started off really well by checking the weather forecast and then laying out a weather appropriate outfit for each day and night. I high-fived myself when it all fit into a small cabin bag and then begrudgingly transferred it all into a bigger bag when I failed miserably to fit in my last-minute toiletries. Of course with more space available I added a few extra outfits ‘just in case’ which as you can guess returned home unworn.
For my next short break in the sun I am determined to avoid checked baggage fees by being a packing pro. So what are the packing essentials for a short break in the sun?
What to pack for a short break in the sun (to avoid checked baggage fees!)
* Clothes for travelling in – I like to wear comfortable clothes for the flight and always try to wear the heaviest shoes I am taking (usually trainers) to cut down on the weight of my bag.
* Swimwear – As I tend to spend the majority of my day wearing swimsuits whilst on holiday I like to buy swimwear that I feel really comfortable in to avoid the need to wear a cover up/sarong.
I tend to have a strapless swimsuit for sunbathing on the beach (and avoiding the dreaded tan lines) and a swimsuit with straps for when taking part in water sports (to give me some extra support when I inevitably land ungracefully into the water).
I love these two swimsuits by Simply Beach which give soft cups for bust shape and extra tummy support avoiding the need to suck in the tummy whilst drinking cocktails on the beach.
* Maxi dresses – I like to pack a couple of dresses which can be worn on the beach and in the bar with the change of shoes from sandals to wedges. My favourite maxi dresses for the last few years have been FatFace ones as they don’t seem to crease and so are perfect for travelling with.
* Shorts & t-shorts – For casual days on the beach, or for taking part in active sports, I like to wear shorts paired with a good cotton fabric t-shirt. (Useful for keeping shoulders covered from the sun too).
* Sleepwear – I find a cotton short set is perfect for humid nights whilst on holiday and not too revealing for enjoying a brew on my hotel balcony in the morning!
* Sandals – I like to pack sandals that will go with several outfits, I find light brown or gold sandals are versatile and have picked up some gorgeous sandals in the past from Accessorize at the airport.
* Trainers – I tend to wear my trainers for travelling and also wear for heavy sight-seeing days as they provide more support than sandals.
* Wedges – I gave up taking high heels on holiday with me years ago as I never wore them. Instead I pack a pair of versatile wedges which can be worn to dress up a maxi dresses or worn with trousers and a nice top.
* Sunglasses – After losing my Prada sunglasses whilst body boarding (my husband never has forgiven me) I tend to throw a cheap pair (with still decent UV filters) in my hand luggage as I can easily replace them if I lose them or they get crushed.
* Sunhat – A woven straw hat is timeless although a baseball cap can work equally well and is easier to travel with. I usually buy a sunhat when I arrive at my holiday destination although I sometimes take it on the flight with me to avoid it getting squashed.
* Jewellery – I never travel with expensive jewellery instead I like to pop a few pairs of earrings and bracelets in my suitcase to jazz up my outfit for the evenings.
* Beach bag – I have a huge sun bag which fits in my towel, book, suncream and water. I have been known to use a beach bag for travelling with too to avoid having to take a hand bag. (Just make sure it has a zip if you ditch your hand bag to keep valuables separate).
* Clutch bag – for use in the evenings.
TOILETRIES (which can always be bought at the airport if you wish to save on check in baggage weight).
* Holiday toiletries – Suncream and lip balm with SPF and after-sun (ideally with insect repellent). Small first aid kit with plasters, imodium and dioralyte for when you’ve had a few too many cocktails!
* Travel sized regular daily toiletries – Shower gel, shampoo and conditioner (although most hotels will supply these if you really want to cut back on baggage), deodorant, cleanser, moisturiser, razors, toothbrush and toothpaste, hair brush and hair bands. If taking in hand luggage make sure they are not in containers bigger than 50ml (or buy at the airport).
* I never travel with my full make up bag but instead go through and pick out my daily essentials including waterproof mascara, concealer, blusher and highlighter.
* A camera, phone charger plus a travel adaptor are a must when travelling. (I also find a mobile charger is essential for days when you know you will be taking lots of photos).
HOLIDAY ESSENTIALS TO PACK IN HAND BAG
* Passport (and visa details if needed).
* Travel insurance documents
* Currency and cash cards (make sure you let your bank know you are travelling to avoid problems whilst abroad).
Disclaimer – This is a collaborative post with Simply Beach. All thoughts and opinions are, as always, my own. Copyright – Images of swimsuits – Simply Beach. Images of sandals – Accessorize.