Holiday Packing!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

It's that time of year again, where we all start thinking about our summer holidays - and the dreaded drama of figuring out how you're going to fit everything in to your case!

First things first - what to pack?
I like to try to pack things that can take me from day to night where possible.

These two skater dresses from H&M (£7.99) are a perfect example. They are just a casual jersey dresses that can be thrown over a bikini and into a beach bag, but with a belt, some sparkly jewellery and flip flops they are just as great for an evening in the bar.

These skirts are also H&M (£7.99) and again are perfect for day or night.
Both of these items take up very little room in your case too.

Roll, roll, roll! As much as possible. Roll any little vest tops like these, they can then be stuffed into little corners, inside shoes, anywhere there's a small gap that isn't quite big enough for anything else.

Bikinis/Swimsuits. Basically my motto is pack as many as you can physically cram in. If you are having to wear things more than once due to luggage space, you will feel much better if you're wearing a clean swimsuit every day, and these are easy to rinse out in your hotel bathroom sink.

Now your probably saying " a scarf!?! on holiday!?! are you mad woman!?" Well bear with me. When I say a scarf, I'm not referring to your woolly winter scarf, I'm referring more to the pashmina variety you can pick up in Primark for about £4 (like the black one) or your local charity shop (green & pink 50p) Usually if you're leaving the UK it's often chilly (and when you return) so wearing one of these around your neck is a good idea, it also doubles up as a blanket on the plane - I often get chilly due to the air-con, and as a wrap for the evenings on holiday when the temperature drops slightly and the wind picks up.

So how do you get it all in?

Shoes always lay in the bottom

Lay your beach towel open over the top of the shoes.

Put your toiletry bag in the gap created by your shoes. Lay your heaviest items (denim skirt for example) or things that crease little at the bottom, stuffing in your rolled up t-shirts and bikinis into any gaps as you go.

Gently fold up any dresses, linen trousers shirts, anything that will crease heavily right on the top

Then fold the edges of your towel over the top, this will protect your creaseable items and stops everything sliding about as much.

And sit on your case close!

Extra tips
Most long haul carriers will allow you a small handbag as well as your hand luggage. On my return from New York, I had a large bucket handbag and a hand luggage bag. This is not guaranteed so check with your airline. Carriers such as Ryanair insist that everything - including anything bought from duty free, fits inside your hand luggage so its vital you check.

Did you know you can carry electricals in your hand baggage? Some of my heaviest items are my straighteners and hairdryer, so these often go in my hand luggage. That also means I know they have arrived and not got lost on the way.

Spread your packing. If travelling with your other half, split your clothes and shoes between both cases. My future hubby packs far less than me so his case is often much lighter. Not only does this spread the weight, but it also means if one case goes missing you still have things to wear!

Are you travelling in a group? Do you REALLY need a pair of straighteners EACH?! No probably not. Agree for one to take the straighteners, the other to take the hairdryer, another to take shampoo/conditioner, the other to take toothpaste and shower gel. This spreads the weight and prevents unnecessary waste of products.

What are your top tips for packing and travelling?

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