You've booked the flights, found the dreamy Air BnB and have researched the best restaurants and bars for prime Instabait opportunites but the biggest task is yet to come - the packing. No matter how many work trips or holidays I've been on, it's the one job I always dread. I've packed sober and I've packed drunk and trust me neither option makes it easier, although you do end up with very different results! Instead, the best lesson I've learnt is to be really strict. You don't have time for what if's and they will drive you crazy meaning you'll end up taking way too much stuff and more than likely having an argument with the airline check-in staff. Read on for how to become a packing pro...
First things first, download a weather app like AccuWeather which gives a detailed 7 day forecast. Then think about what you're going to be doing day to day and evening wise. That way you can plan specific outfits rather than just throwing random pieces into your case.
- Dresses – think about fabrics, polyester + heat is going to leave you feeling very sweaty. Instead go for cotton fabrics. Kaftan styles always look chic and are useful for going from beach to bar.
- Shorts – take one pair of denim - go for a looser fit with a frayed edge. Then take a pair in white cotton or sand plus a silky printed pair.
- T-shirts - take two plain in a good cotton fabric plus one slogan. Super useful for teaming with shorts and covering up burnt shoulders.
- Sleepwear - a matching short set or nightie is perfect for humid nights. We love this pineapple printed one from Desmond & Dempsey.
- How many times have you packed a pair of heels for a beach holiday then not even bothered to take them out of your suitcase. Save the space and don't bother. Sand, cobbled streets and sweat equals guaranteed blisters.
- Sliders - useful for mooching around the pool. And cooler than flipflops. Our EIC Charlotte Moore has her eye on a pair from the Gucci menswear collection. Totally copying!
- Trainers - good for sight-seeing and if you're a gym bunny.
- Smart pointy flats or a dressy flat sandal - perfect for dinner when you want to feel a bit more done. Ancient Greek sandals have lots of lovely options if you're willing to spend a bit more and you can't beat Zara either.
- Bikinis - if you're going for a week, take two. That way you can leave one to dry while you wear the other. It's worth shopping for them when they start dropping in March as come August there will be nothing but odd sizes and dodgy prints left on the shelf. Spend time trying on different styles and finding one that really works for your body shape. And make sure it fits. No one wants to go for a dip and emerge topless.
- A one piece is another great option to have especially if you've hit the all inclusive breakfast buffet hard. We love Laura Jackson's Ganni version.
- Sunglasses - go for a classic shape in black or tortoiseshell with a good UV fitler. A cheaper pair you can just shove in your bag/ won't cry if you crush them are also a good idea.
- Sunhat - a woven straw sunhat is timeless. Buy one at your destination to save having to take it on the plane where it will inevitably get squashed.
- Don't take your most exspensive jewellery with you. You'll end up spending your days worrying about it falling off in the sea or locking it in a safe. Instead, just take what you wear on a day to day basis plus a pair of jazzy earrings for the evening.
- Beach bag – go for a simple straw version that you can fit a book and a bottle of suncream in
- A clutch for the evening
- A cross body bag - good for sight-seeing and for keeping your money/ debit cards secure
- Suncream - face and body - you can always buy this at the airport to save on check in weights
- After-sun - one with insect repellent is handy if you're one of those people that mosquitoes seem to love
- Shower gel - although most hotels will supply this
- Your usual cleanser and moisturiser
- Razors - disposable ones will just give you those pesky nicks plus
- Toothbrush/ toothpaste - pop in your carry on so you can freshen up mid journey
- Small first aid kit - plasters, imodium and dioralyte for when you've hit the sangria
- Shampoo and conditioner - go for a deep nourishing one to combat all that sun and sea salt
- Hair bands - a must for sunbathing
- A brush - this is probably the most fogotten item
- A lip balm with an SPF
Don't take your full makeup bag. Going from sun lounger to pool to sun lounger means it will just melt or wash off. Instead narrow it down to your essentials and what you'll need for the evening. A waterproof mascara, concealer and a highlighter to show off that tan are all you really need. Plus decant your perfume into a travel size atomiser.
- A charger plus an adaptor are a must. Plus a small portable charger is always a good idea for snap heavy days.
- Download films, books and TV shoes for the plane plus if you're using your phone to take photos make sure to have plenty of memory.
- Passport – make sure this is IN DATE! Plus you've got all your visa details if one is needed.
- Travel insurance – print out your documents and keep them safe
- Currency - cash cards are also super useful if carrying cash and coins makes you nervous
- Your hotel/ Air Bnb address printed out. That way if you can't get onto your phone you can still tell a taxi driver where you need to get to.
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