Six tips for your summer holiday… your guide to packing with style
The summer holidays are here! I am on countdown to the beach, are you?
Lots of people ask me for my summer holiday packing tips! I used to be a nightmare for taking everything (including the kitchen sink)! I'd say to people “I absolutely do not do packing light”. But not anymore thankfully, over the years I've learnt so much and I now know what I need to take (and what I don’t) for sure! I mean don’t get me wrong I’m really not a minimalist backpacker type of girl (and never will be) but I don’t physically need to sit on the suitcase to close it anymore.⠀
So here is my mini guide to all things summer holiday packing, including a few tips for styling and packing from my style studio, tips from my beauty boutique and some secret events tips from my years of evens management travelling too! ⠀
Tip 1: Be prepared! Get everything ready before you start and pack smart, there’s nothing worse than a last minute panic pack or re-packing 20 times the night before you leave. Don’t forget the pre- holiday beauty preparation too, my clients love their lash lifts, a perm for your lashes. It curls them and tints them for a va-va voom natural look to the eyes that lasts for up to 6 weeks – just think no more smudged mascara after those dips in the pool.
Tip 2: Maximise space This isn’t an advert but I really do love them - Packing Cubes (mine are from Amazon), they have honestly changed the way that I pack. These packing saviours come in packs of about 8 and they zip up & some of them slightly compress clothes too. So you then organise and pack your clothes shoes into the different size bags, zip them up and then place them in your case. You can magically get so much in each cube. When you arrive the other end there is no mess, just open the case and take the cubes out and place directly onto shelves, drawers/hang items! These are a packing game changes, especially if you are hand luggage only!
Tip 3: Hand luggage essentials
I always pack my flip flops (I find Havianas the most comfortable) into my hand luggage and a pair of easily foldable shorts (when going from cool to boiling hot) so when I get the other end I pop to the loos and change quickly - holiday ready! I always carry sanitising hand gel in a small travel friendly bottle and a travel fan. Oh and always a light weight on trend summer scarf, an absolute must, looks great with a denim jacket over dresses, skirts, trousers and keeps you warm in flight also acts as a wrap and cover up on holiday… a total travel essential!
Tip 4: A big section on bikinis!
First of all, let’s just say anyone can rock a bikini - no matter what age or size. However, I also understand we might have wobbly bits that we don’t necessarily love, so here’s just a few tips for finding your perfect bikini / swimsuit whatever your size:
● Find a bikini (or swimsuit) that suits your body shape.
● Go for a mid-waist and high leg bikini bottom if you are heavier on the hip area.
● I’m a big fan of the high waist bikini bottom as it’s great for all shapes and hides the
● tummy area - choose a quality bikini here and you’ll notice a massive difference in the cut, fit and how it shapes your bum and tum!⠀
● Wear a bikini top /swimsuit with wider straps if you need more support and underwired is a winner here too!⠀
● If you are conscious of your tum go for a patterned top and a great single colour high waisted bikini bottom - mix and match.
● Use vertical stripes to help elongate the body and horizontal stripes or spots to add dimension to the top !⠀
● Use frills on smaller bust areas - great to draw attention up and away from bigger hips if needed.⠀
● Finally you could add an asymmetric shoulder to draw attention away from wider shoulders - they create an alternative vertical line to the eye!⠀
● Bikini colours: anything goes doesn’t it but this year it’s all about animal prints, neon, yellow, green, pink, florals and of course coral (the Pantone colour of the year) and of course you can never go wrong with a classic monotone bikini / swimsuit too! ⠀
My favourite shops for bikinis this year have been:⠀
M&S for their fab range for all shapes and sizes and they have a sun safe swimwear too
JD Williams - a fantastic online catalogue – I only discovered this earlier this year – they have so much choice, so many brands, great range with sizes, colours and styles for everyone and at the time of writing this blog they are also offering 25% off your first order (T&C’s apply – see website for offer)
Yes, Primark - if you don’t need the extra up top or tummy support but want something bang on trend on an affordable budget - their beach cover ups are great too!
Tip 5: The Maxi Dress It’s all about styling the maxi dress from day to night. Everyone loves a maxi and here’s why I think they’re perfect for packing...
● Wear for travelling - they are super comfortable for long journeys.
● Wear with trainers, heels, flat sandals, espadrilles, flip flops, bare feet - so many options and it still looks great.
● Wear with a denim jacket for evening a dressed down vibe.
● Dress up with a pashmina
● Add a basket bag for a bang on Summer 19 trend.
● Add a sassy statement necklace and heels for the evening.
● Wear over a swimming costume or bikini for a quick cover up.
● I take three dresses away with me - one is always white ... an essential!
Tip 5: Espadrilles go with EVERYTHING!
What can scream more summer and holiday than a pair of brightly coloured espadrilles? I’ve been wearing mine at every sunny opportunity. Perfect with a playsuit, Wear them with summer with denim shorts, dresses and maxi’s too - nothing could be more perfect to take your feet from day to night in the sun – check out Vivid Beach for the most comfortable espadrilles e v e r.
Tip 6: The pre holiday admin
Yes I know its dull but here’s some top tips I’ve learnt through booking hotels for corporate events worldwide & travelling as a mum with kids - I’ve picked up lots of experience along the way.
● Passports - check it’s still valid and check how long it needs to be valid for after you return too Book an airport lounge if you can! It’s so much quieter than main departures - check if this is included on your credit card!
● Dietary requirements - if I book the hotel through an agent I always contact the hotel directly - I email them & tell them we have a special dietary requirements (gluten free for us) & ask them to acknowledge it directly... .
● Seat requests - book these in advance whenever you can - also check out the seat plans for your aircraft online if it’s long haul- look at Seat Guru.
● Mobiles abroad - make sure the kids switch off roaming on their phones - check for countries before you go with your provider ! My son inadvertently ran up a £100 bill texting emojis to friends last year (at this very spot) - we told him, he thought he was on WiFi - he wasn’t !!
● Be aware of pickpockets when you travel. I am a super cautious traveller but last year had my purse stolen in Rome on the metro- it was a cross body bag and I was careful - luckily it was only a 99p Primark purse with a €20 note in it for this very reason (I know what city breaks can be like so carry very little cash & my cards are always separated) - forewarned is forearmed though and it could easily have been a very different story !
● Take a private transfer to the hotel rather than a tour operator coach if you can - the coach may go to a gazillion hotels before it drops you off & it may take ages to get there. Pre book & pay for a private transfer with your operator and take the hassle away ... you’ll be unpacked & laying in the sun quicker than anyone else can say Margarita !
● Car hire - send the other half to the car hire pick up desk (if it’s airside) whilst you wait for the cases to come through– you’ll be out of the airport so much quicker.
● Once at your hotel, If you have a problem with your room or stay speak to the General Manager or Receptionist NICELY , don’t get annoyed (come on you’re on holiday) it really won’t get you anywhere, speak to the hotel and give them the good reason that you need to change and they will usually do all they can to help but do bear in mind its peak season and if they are full they are full so sometimes they honestly don’t have another room to move you to straight away!
Now I know you’re super busy, so sharing things I’ve found, tried and love as well as items recommended to me by others is something I love to do - hopefully it saves you time searching around too, you see that’s my job to save people time and money by helping them make the right choices for their own style confidently.
Happy holidays, get packing!!