Packing for a summer holiday abroad can be stressful when it doesn’t have to be.
Most of us get carried away with our holiday outfits and how much we should take with us and end up packing everything but the kitchen sink.
How many of you take extra outfits just incase? I’m guilty here and you know what, I always come home with so many unworn outfits that I just didn’t need, and a suitcase that weighs a ton that I’ve had to lug around.
Over packing can cost you in baggage charges for extra items that you probably won’t even wear anyway. Remember, you can always wash your clothes abroad with some travel wash or give them a quick freshen up if you need to.
I always try and pack versatile items that I can mix and match to save on space, such as a killer pair of sandals that can be dressed up or down that goes with just about everything. You can also dress many of these items down for the day with a pair of flip flops or sliders or glam them up for the evening with some nice jewellery and a chic pair of sandals.
I have put together below, some summer holiday essentials that are extremely versatile. These are just ideas and I’m not expecting you to go and buy a completely new wardrobe, as you may already have some similar pieces that you can use and put together, so just use it as a guide.
Check the Weather
Before you go or start packing, it’s always a good idea to check the weather beforehand so that you can pack accordingly. There’s nothing worse than arriving unprepared for a week of rain and cold weather when all you have packed are items for a sunshine getaway.
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You may not feel like dressing up for that early morning flight, but I’ve got you covered here. You can still look chic in a comfy pair of trousers that are so soft they feel like you are wearing your pyjama bottoms. Pair them with a crisp white t-shirt and a smart denim jacket that will keep you warm and cosy on your flight, and a nice pair of slip-on sandals that will keep your feet cool when you touch down abroad.
I love my cabin suitcase and take it with me whenever I travel abroad. It’s easy to pull along and lightweight, so no more sore shoulders from lugging heavy bags through the airport. They’re also great, as you can store a few weightier items in them when your suitcase is full. They are also great if you are travelling with young children for storing their toys, snacks and spare items of clothing.
Ted Baker Beau 54cm 4-Wheel Cabin Suitcase available in Pink or Black – John Lewis £160
Keep your passport and travel documents safe with one of these smart passport holders and travel document wallets. The passport holder also has space for storing up to 5 bank cards/credit cards.
Ted Baker Peyten Leather Passport Holder in Pink or Grey– John Lewis £45.00
You won’t need many clothes for day wear as you will more than likely spend most of your time in your swimwear.
- 1 x white t-shirt – wear to travel in and also throw on with a pair of shorts for day wear
- 1 x denim jacket – a great item to take on holiday with you as you can wear it on the plane for travelling, and then slip it on in the evenings when it turns a little cooler
- 1 x pair of trousers – these are great for travelling to and from holiday and a bonus that they are extremely comfortable!
- 1 x beach cover-up
- 1 x beach shirt
- 1 x playsuit (can also be dressed up for evening wear
- 1 x pair of shorts
- 1 x towel (that doubles as a wrap/Scarf)
Cotton Slub V Tee in White – hush £27
Long Harem Trousers in Charcoal – hush £55
Casper Denim Jacket in Denim – hush £89
Linen Beach Cover up in Black – hush £40
DP Beach White Button Front Beach Shirt in White – DOROTHY PERKINS £14.00
Beach shirts are so versatile and are a summer must-have. They don’t just have to be worn during the day at the pool or beach, they can be worn with a vest and shorts/jeans and even in the evening as a cover-up when it’s cooler. You can leave it unbuttoned and tied in a knot at the waist. You could even dress it up with a belt in the evening.
Star Hammam Towel in Grey/White – hush £30
I love this towel from hush which is not only super stylish but also extremely practical. A super versatile and a summer holiday essential in my eyes, as not only can you use it for drying yourself down after a dip in the pool or sea, you can also use it as:
- a cover-up
- a cosy in-flight blanket – be sure to pack it in your cabin suitcase and whip it out when needed to keep warm on your flight
- a stylish evening wrap to complement your outfit.
- a scarf
- a sarong dress
Denim Shorts in Denim – hush £45
Bandeau Playsuit in Dalmation Print – NEXT £24
2-3 bikinis/swimming costumes in different colours is plenty and I always like to have a neutral black one that will go with everything. Bikini tops or costumes can also be worn with a pair of shorts for day wear without the need for a cover-up.
Oasis Leopard Print Ruffle Front Swimsuit, Multi – John Lewis £36.00
Reiss Willa Ruffle Spot Print Bikini Bottoms, Monochrome – John Lewis £50.00
Reiss Willa Ruffle Spot Print Bikini Top, Monochrome – John Lewis £55.00
Reiss Scarlett Bikini Top, Black – John Lewis £55.00
Reiss Scarlett Bikini Bottoms, Black – John Lewis £50.00
Phase Eight Sawyer Striped Swimsuit, Navy/Ivory – John Lewis £59.00
Hats can become easily damaged if packed in a suitcase, therefore it’s best to wear these when travelling. They’re great if you want to have a nap on the plane as you can simply pull them down over your eyes just like a sleep mask!
Woven Visor in Natural – hush £35
Two to three pairs of shoes are plenty. You can wear one of the pairs to travel in on the plane – the heaviest pair would be better, to make for lighter travelling. I mainly stick to flip flops during the day and can’t live without my Havaianas. For the evening I just take a couple of pairs of sandals or wedges. Again, I’m all about comfort and I don’t tend to take heels on holiday with me, especially if I’m walking around to restaurants in the evening. I like to keep it simple.
Havaianas Slim Metal Crystal Flip Flops in Black – Office £32.00
Three Band Buckle Sandals in Black – NEXT £36
Woodstock Sandals in Gold – hush £69
- Maxi dresses x2
- Playsuit x2
- Shorts x2
- Vests/cami top x3
- Denim Jacket x1
- Cover-up x1
- Chic sandals x2
S/S Playsuit in Blueberry – hush £59
Blue Vanilla Black Tropical Tie Front Maxi Dress – NEW LOOK £30.00
Sheridan Shorts in Vintage Floral – hush £30.00
Denim Shorts in denim – hush £45
Lantana Crochet Top in Black/Ecru – hush £59.00
Delphine Top in ecru – hush £49.00
Essential Cami in black – hush £29.00
Black Pleated Layered Maxi Dress – NEW LOOK £34.99
You don’t need to take many bags on holiday with you, but I would certainly recommend having a separate beach bag to hold all of your sun creams and day time essentials, plus straw bags are on trend and all the rage right now.
If you have a cabin case then you don’t need a large handbag for travelling, just somewhere to store your phone, purse and something that will double as an evening bag such as a cross body bag.
Cannes Bag in natural/silver – hush £49
Lauren Ralph Lauren Carter 26 Cross Body Bag in Black – John Lewis £99
Dune Eadaa Faux Leather Clutch Bag, Leopard Print, Leopard Print – John Lewis £68
You do not need to take your entire jewellery collection on holiday with you, and I would advise that you leave any sentimental/expensive items that could get lost or stolen behind. You will only need a few statement pieces that will transform any outfit from day-wear to evening wear. I prefer packing inexpensive costume jewellery that can be easily replaced if lost or damaged abroad.
Shell Friendship Bracelet/Anklet in Gold/Turquoise – hush £35.00
Sea Pearl Pendant in Gold/Pearl – hush £54.00
Friendship Bracelet/Anklet in White/Gold – hush £25.50
Coral Cuff in gold – hush £45.00
Multi Star Choker in gold – hush £30.00
Star Hook Earrings in Gold – hush £24.00
Choose a good pair of stylish sunglasses that won’t go out of fashion anytime soon.
Janey Sunglasses – hush £55.00
You will only need one pair of pyjamas. Something comfy, yet cool for those hot summer evenings.
Chambray PJ Set in mini Mini Pineapple – hush £45.00
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Voila! And that my friends is everything you will need to pack for 7 days of summer sunshine abroad.
Remember, keep it simple, buy versatile clothes, mix and match where possible and don’t forget to throw in a tube of travel wash, to freshen up your clothes and wash out your bikinis and swimming costumes. Oh, and remember to check the weather before you start packing!
Enjoy your holiday! Let me know below, some of the essential items that you travel with and don’t forget to pack a good book or your kindle!