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Packing it all in……or not

Marilyn Thompson shares her Top Tips for avoiding Holiday Packing Hell

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With Summer just around the corner, thoughts are turning to our holidays, our time to relax in the sun. However when it comes to packing our holiday wardrobe into one smallish suitcase we often get ourselves into a panic, then packing too much of all the wrong things.  With this in mind I have put together some tips on packing but hopefully still enabling you to holiday in style.


First of all plan to wear your heaviest clothes for travelling and layer up – so wear your jeans, top, cardigan, scarf, belt, jewellery and your comfy but heavier sightseeing sandals. Take your biggest summer bag as a carry on and this will also be used as your beach, shopping and everyday bag so you only need to pack one smaller evening bag or clutch.


Lay everything you would like to take out on your bed then prepare to get seriously ruthless – you will need to reject about half of it.   If a piece of clothing can’t multi task then it doesn’t go in the case.  If the item of clothing doesn’t have a specific purpose for your holiday, no matter how much you like it, then it doesn’t go in the case. Stick to three shades so ideally all your holiday clothes should work well together and be able to easily mix and match.


In reality you need only pack very little as, unless you are travelling deep into one of the farthest corners of the earth you will be able to hand wash some items and pick up that extra holiday bikini or inexpensive straw sun hat etc when you are there!   So, with that in mind here is a basic clothing packing list:


  • 3 dresses all suitable for evening dinner, shopping and as cover ups
  • 2 bikinis or bathing suits
  • 1 sarong or oversized shirt
  • 3 t-shirts or loose fitting tops
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 1 large scarf – a fantastic item which can be used as a cover up, a shawl, a blanket or a sun shade
  • Underwear and pj’s
  • 1 pair of heels or wedges and a pair of flip flops


Before finishing I must own up and admit that I generally don’t pack until about an hour before I have to leave for the airport. It’s a bad habit I know but for me I find that it makes me focus and pack quickly, however, I have made some monumental blunders doing it this way so perhaps this year I should take my own advice.


In addition, remember to take waterproof mascara, sunglasses, a good book, your passport and your smile!


Happy Holidays!