I’m not one of those people who needs extra weight allowance on my holiday luggage. Actually I rarely get even close to the weight limit! I think this is because I love to be really efficient with my packing, and I’ve always hated it when I bring back loads of unworn clothes and unused cosmetics. It can be a bit stressful packing for a holiday though, so here is my easy guide to packing light (or at least efficiently).
My main tip is to do a bit of research into what you’ll need, and what is already provided by your accommodation. You don’t want to be wasting space and weight on towels and hairdryers if you don’t need to! My list here is tailored to my self-catering holiday to Greece.
- Versatile basics. A capsule wardrobe that you can mix and match well together. For my holiday I included shorts, vests and a few light cover-ups
- Special extras. A few lightweight pieces that can be dressed up for evenings. I try and pick skirts and dresses that will work well the rest of my holiday wardrobe
- Swimwear (if it’s that sort of holiday)
- Shoes. I try and keep this to a minimum with pairs that go with anything. For this holiday I took a couple of pairs of sandals, waterproof flip flops and a pair of pumps that I will fly in as they’re the heaviest pair.
- Accessories. Essentials for sun holidays are a sunhat and sunglasses. I also took just a few key pieces of versatile jewellery.
- Underwear and nightwear
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss
- Shampoo and conditioner – I took some smallish Percy and Reed bottles, which were freebies from Glamour and a great size for a week away.
- Soap / shower gel
- Moisturiser – I took a miniature Nivea face cream
- Sun cream and aftersun – Essential for beach holidays. Being fair I took Ambre Solaire SPF30, plus a Piz Buin SPF15 spray (smells amazing) for when I felt braver
- Hair brush and hair ties etc
- Nail file, nail clippers, tweezers (I always regret it if I don’t take these)
- Insect repellent – I took the Jungle Formula one, which I think helped, but I still got bitten a few times
- Hand sanitiser, which goes everywhere with me anyway
Make up – I kept this to a minimum as I don’t like wearing makeup in the daytime in hot countries. I had my eyelashes tinted before I went, braved it without foundation and just took a few small bits:
- MUA eyebrow kit – I used the darker shades as eyeshadow
- Benefit Cha Cha tint – a handy freebie miniature of this worked well on cheeks and lips
- MAC Mascara
- MAC kohl eyeliner
- Makeup remover
- Models Own hed kandi nail polish in Hedonist – a fab neon shade for holidays
- SPF lip balm – to keep lips moisturised and also protected in the sun
- Beach towel
- Travel size hairdryer and straighteners
- A micro first aid kit, including ibruprofen, my inhaler, a few plasters etc
- Canvas shopper bag for nipping to the shops, which doubled up as a beach bag
- Adapter plugs
- Phone and camera chargers
- A few books
- Belvita breakfast biscuits – great to have as backup
Hand luggage: I pick out a few bits so that if my case were to go missing I am at least able to start my holiday: one bikini, a change of clothes, my sunhat (because it’s a straw one and I don’t want it to be crushed in my case), a book…
I also have all the things I need/want with me for the journey: passport, bookings, iPod, money, camera, my phone etc
Here are some of the items in action. I thought my lightweight white casual shirt was a great versatile cover-up over dresses, and I used a sheer pretty printed kimono to dress up denim cut-offs and a vest for a beach-to-bar look.