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  • Writer's pictureSara Marsden-Shreeve

No Need To Pack The Kitchen Sink!

Summer Holiday Packing Guide  | The Image Tree
Don't Panic , Help is Here

Image created by Senivpetro -

You really can't beat that holiday feeling can you? It puts a smile on the face of any sad sack.

The days are counted down and when the week before the big adventure draws, us women-folk start to panic and/or plan about what we’re going to wear and take with us.

Then the suit case is freed from its permanent position in the loft, off the top of the wardrobe or that dank corner under your bed where the fluff hangs out and is promptly polished up with a baby wipe or Dettol-ed to within an inch of its life.

The essential toiletries you’ve stocked up since last November on BOGOF deals, are smugly placed first into the suitcase usually followed by the undies. Your few best matching sets go in proudly first and then you get that rude interruption of realising that you need new pants to replace the oddly coloured ‘grundies’ that no longer go with well...anything. At this point pen and paper is reached for and a list is born.

Socks, hosiery (if required) and nightwear no problem and the ole swimming cossie gets an airing along with the flip flops, beach bag, towel and sunnies, which always seem to club themselves together.

After this initial feeling of euphoria at being so organised, comes the bit that we all dread…what the hell should I take to wear?

Now of course it depends on destination and climate, the type of holiday and how long you’re going for, but being natural organisers (usually) we start to think we need everything …just in case. For instance you might say “It may well be worth snorkelling in Mauritius Sara, so the flippers and speargun shouldn’t be discounted just yet”???? I know slight exaggeration but just making a point…We don’t need to pack for ‘what if’s’.

Keeping it simple and lightweight is key, especially due to the restricted baggage allowance these days, PLUS you can always make an emergency sweater purchase or hire that speargun, if required, when you get there. In the meantime, preparation is key and I’ll give you some basic pointers and packing hacks that always work for me.


· Get out all the outfits you’d like to take and lay them out on your bed, that way you can assess which shoes and jewellery can be used more than once.

· Look at the array of garments and their colour palettes and patterns too and see if they can be swapped around to get more outfits out of them. A good rule of thumb is that most items should be wearable with about two other items. This will also help you to notice any excess that’s not required…If in doubt, take it out. Add to the list any gaps.

· Pack things you look and feel great in…your holiday is a special time to be fabulous not stressed or twitchy about your looks and ill fitting clothes.

· A word about shoes. We love them but they take up room people. So one pair of fancy flats for comfort and one for glamour is an easy rule to follow and your beloved flip flops are a must for sand and pool side.

· I would suggest wearing your simplest and heaviest pair to travel in to save luggage weight and also because having a finger fight with your fiddliest strappy numbers at security is not calming in the slightest.

Pack it Simple for Holidays  | The Image Tree
Keep it Simple, Keep it Comfy with Style


· Roll your flip flops and sun tan cream in your beach towel.

· Once your jewellery essentials have been assessed, you can pop them into bags in the toes of your shoes, providing they’re not uber expensive. Personally, I think that cheap and cheerful baubles are a better idea to take on your hols rather than your family heirlooms, but I’ll leave that to you.

· For rings, chains and earrings why not try a pill dispenser. Mwah mwah, cheeky yes?!

· I tend to put heavy and bulky stuff on the bottom of the case surrounded by rolled up socks, undies, light tops, dress scarves etc. as it creates a nice nest on which to build upwards. Then comes jeans and bottoms folded with everything else on top.

· Items that don’t crease too much are a god send, but the less iron friendly stuff is better packed on the top layer and believe it or not, rolling can be better than lying flat.

· Turn anything with beading, embellishment or delicateness inside out so they don’t have threesomes in your case.

· Don’t forget a zip lock bag or drawstring linen bag for your worn undies and socks. Don’t want to unpack all your holiday smells when you get home let alone in customs.

Suitcase Laundry | The Image Tree
Can You Please Open Your Case Madam


· No matter where your destination is…the plane is always a tad chilly due to the air conditioning, so light layers are a must. One pashmina, lightweight jacket or touch of cashmere will always be useful on a cooler evening in a hotter country. If you wear it, saves on the packing.

· Where there’s heat there’s sweat. So try to keep fabrics natural and lightweight e.g. cotton, linens, modal etc. and avoid silky or synthetic garments that seem to react badly with your armpit cologne.

· Also it’s more comfortable when clothes are looser and manoeuvrable rather than tight and rigid. Stiff denim or leather and sunburn are not good friends…ouch. Of course this rule excludes swimwear and underwear because baggy is not a good look here unless you need somewhere to put your loose change.. lol.

Dress with comfort on Holiday | The Image Tree
Look for chambrays and lighter cottons

· Take two cossies/bikinis so you can wear one and wash one.

· Kimonos, kaftans or maxi dresses are still a great idea to get you from the beach to the street, just pair with some gorgeous flat sandals in the day and something smarter at night. Can be easily dressed up or down with bling or hats.

· Take a lightweight scarf; they are the MacGyver of the suitcase (remember him?). A larger square one can double as a cover up, sarong/beach dress, airplane pillow or beach towel. Whereas a smaller one can be an added accessory or head scarf and takes up no room and are totally sink rinse-able. Unless it’s a Hermes darrrling.


· If you’re cruising or on a posh jaunt, then you may need to up the ante a little on your smart casual look, but this doesn’t mean you need to take that ball gown you’ve had since prom night. Light dresses, classic separates and complimenting accessories will pull looks together.

· A great bag tip I’ve found is to find a nice canvas or decorative tote style that you can use for the journey and then double up as a beach bag. That way you don’t need to cram it into essential space or take another. Plus you can cram snacks in it to your hearts personal favourite.

Savvy Holiday Packing | The Image Tree
Use Your Bag

· On the flipside, a flat envelope clutch or small decorative purse in a metallic or neutral will keep you accessorised for dinner dos. No need to take a collection.

· Think about how much walking you are planning on doing and whether you’ll need to look smart at any time, this will dictate basic footwear and garment requirements.

· A chic Pac-a-mac is much better on the eye these days and you can get hold of a myriad of patterns and colours for a British Holiday. It is no longer just available in bright orange or khaki with tight rimmed elasticated hoods... A train spotter look I had to undergo in days of old…Yuk!

I’m not really sure if one goes on the piste and skiing in the British summer holidays so I’ve not really mentioned what to take here…I imagine it’s quite easy.

1. Ski jacket

2. Salapettes

3. Thermals and socks

4. Ski boots, hats and goggles.

5. No heels

6. Money, pants, bra and passport.

Anyhoo, I think I’ve given you enough morsels to think about and digest for now, so I’m off to watch videos on "100 ways to make your scarf into a three piece suit".

Happy holidays



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