The holiday had been planned a year in advance. I had booked our flights in February, spent hours researching various places to visit and finding the right accommodation. So how come, with all the preparation under my belt and time in hand I found myself on holiday with a badly packed suitcase? Not planning my suitcase properly was a harsh lesson and one I didn’t enjoy, but it did re-focus my efforts going forward. Now I’m sharing my Summer Holiday Packing Tips so you won’t make the same mistakes I did. Please read on and have a great holiday.
Note: this post has been updated from its original posting Holiday Wardrobe Wars, May 2016.
So what went wrong?
Back in 2016, I had, or thought I had, quite a good wardrobe of holiday clothes. Built over many years, I had gradually got rid of items that were passed their sell-by date, didn’t look as great as they once had, or were so out of fashion it aged me. In my head I had what I thought was a decent number of pieces that were perfect for a summer holiday.
So when the time came around for our trip away I gave shopping for new stuff a miss. I just bought one gorgeous cover up in River Island and an on-trend one-piece swimsuit, like one of these for those stylish boat trips, oh and a new hat. That was it. A busy period at work meant that I didn’t have the head space or energy to give it any more thought and anyway ‘I had a wardrobe full of clothes to get me through the holiday’.
I was also trying to lose a little weight. However, I hadn’t got to grips with The Body Coach 90 Day SSS Plan that I had been following (review of that plan here) and was struggling to drop the pounds. I’m sure I’m not alone in looking to lose half a stone before a summer holiday (don’t leave me hanging here girls!) so I simply doubled down my efforts to watch what I ate and hoped for the best.
There Was Trouble Ahead
You don’t have to be a fortune-teller to know what happened next. Yep, I went on holiday with a bunch of stuff that I would literally carry on my back (sadly in a backpack) for the duration of the holiday and not wear. It either wasn’t what I really needed, unsuitable for the trip, or worse still, didn’t fit properly. Over the next two weeks I would curse my lack of planning and attention to detail on a daily basis.
Back home I vowed that this would never happen again. I had a big wardrobe reboot (I can help you with this too) and made a list of items that I keep pinned in my closet which I refer to each and every time I am going away. It gets altered to suit each trip and with new additions, but I know all the items I can choose from depending on whether its a city break, long haul exotic destination or a week in Europe.
The Not Givin In No-Nonsense Summer Holiday Packing Tips
Since the experience I’ve also studied as a personal stylist so I can add to my original list of tried and tested summer packing holiday tips. So here’s my 2019 Summer Holiday Packing Tips. I learnt the hard way so you don’t have to…
- Don’t take the same colour garment that’s cut in three different ways. You don’t need five pairs of beige shorts in varying lengths. Don’t pack for just in case, pack for what you need.
- Don’t take something you have in the wardrobe and always pack, but never wear. (I’m the Queen of this). If you take it each year, but don’t wear it, you don’t really like yourself in it, so pop it in the charity shop and use the space in your suitcase more wisely.
- Don’t take a suitcase full of heels if you can help it. At 5 ft 3 (and a bit!), I do wear heels constantly, but they can take the joy out of relaxing and aren’t great walking across sandy beaches.
- Don’t bother buying a hat before you go. It’s a pain in the bum carting it around. Particularly in departures when you need 12 pairs of hands. There will be plenty of hats at your destination, that can be worn and left to a new owner.
- Make sure you get your holiday wardrobe out for ‘investigation’ at least three months in advance.
- First off, take everything you didn’t wear last time that you went on a similar trip to the charity shop. Chances are it’s been building up dust for years.
- Give some serious thought to where you are going and what you will be doing. Look at your itinerary and think about how you will spend your days. If it helps I would write down what you will be need for each day. Or simply write down what you can wear under headings, such as day-time, beachwear, night-time and sightseeing trips.
- Check that everything fits, comfortably (cause that holiday gelato-a-day habit will bite you in the ass).
- Take a mix of holiday classics and perhaps buy a few new on-trend pieces to go with them. You don’t have to spend a fortune to update your look so that it’s current yet sophisticated.
- Plan how each outfit works together, include shoes and accessories. You can see how these overlap and reduce items like (heavy) shoes as much as possible.
Help Is At Hand
So that’s my top tips for making sure you start your holiday on the right foot. I hope it’s helped. If however, you’ve still got concerns, I can help more with a Holiday Wardrobe Reboot or we can go shopping together to find the pieces you need. Simply drop me a line firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wouldn’t it be dreamy to arrive at your destination, unzip your suitcase and have the best holiday wardrobe of your life? Trust me, you can.
Actually that’s really smart about the hat—buying one at your destination!!
Hats don’t travel that well I’ve found. I always end up sitting on them by mistake!