So much thought and preparation goes into a holiday, whether it’s abroad or in your home country, and if you have your child coming with you then all of that planning is quadrupled!
Not only must you choose somewhere suitable for all of the family and check that there are plenty of activities, places to visit, restaurants to eat in, clean accommodation and instagram opportunities! But, you must also pack.
Most people wince at the word ‘packing’.
If you are staying in UK for example, where the weather has a stinking attitude and can flip out into a dramatic thunderstorm at any minute and then hop straight back to jolly old sunshine that burns your skin off.
There is no easy way to do it, even if you write a list you can’t prepare for every eventuality (I wrote a list this year with everything on it except the travel cot because it was obviously a given that we would be needing it, needless to say we forgot it and had to go back to get it!) and all of those ‘what if’s’ that run through your mind mean you end up packing for 3 weeks not 3 days.
So this is how I do it pack my clothes..
I try to plan specific outfits, which is hard when you don’t really know what you’ll be doing. But, I basically have a quick scan over the weather forecast for the time that I am away and go from there.
1. Firstly, you need to get over the fact that you won’t look like Kate Moss everyday and unless you want a lot to carry you won’t be able to have all the handbags and shoes.
Fortunately that works well for me. Since the end of last year I have been aiming for a capsule wardrobe. This means I have plenty of simple classics that mix and match easily and can be styled up or down which is perfect for packing.
2. I avoid materials that crease if I have no way of ironing them and I always refer to Marie Kondo’s Folding method to keep my clothes as neat as possible and maximise space.
I know I mention her all the time, I love her, get over it.
3. If I take a dress it tends to be one that I can either dress up or down such as a simple denim pinafore style or a shirt dress. However, for day clothes I usually prefer to pack tops and bottoms because it gives me more to mix and match.
4. I always take my denim Levi shorts and wear them loads. They are so simple you can pair them with a silky cami and nice sandals in the evening or vans and a white t-shirt in the day. If I am going on a beach holiday I quite often take a light weight pair with bright pattern on too.
5. I always pack at least a couple of plain (ish) t-shirts either in black or white. Perfect if you’ve burnt your shoulders in the sun, also perfect for looking smart/casual and they can be layered on top of if its chilly! Ideal with denim and can be paired with any colourful bottoms or a skirt.
6. Personally I don’t usually bother with skirts because I prefer the practicality of shorts.. especially if you have a young child you need to bend over and pick up etc. A bumflash is guaranteed in a skirt. However, if I did take one the same rules would apply as shorts. I would take a denim one that goes with anything and a jazzy print one that can go with the plain t-shirts – both in different lengths.
7. I only ever wear bikinis on the beach abroad and doing the gardening at home when no ones around, other than that it feels kind of wrong to wear one in this country for me! I usually take two bikinis that are a different shape to help me blend any strap marks and other tan lines in a bit better.
8. So many times I have packed inappropriate shoes for holiday knowing I probably won’t wear them and didn’t. I’m a big girl now and I have finally learnt to just take the shoes that are comfortable that go with everything.
We do a lot of walking on holidays.. I don’t mean up mountains, I just mean casual walking into town and across to local villages and along the beachfront. We like exploring so I have to wear things I can walk in. For me it’s usually a pair of trainers.. whichever match up best with the majority of bottoms I have packed, usually Vans or Adidas sometimes I pack one pair and wear one to travel in. I always take a pair of leather sandals which can be worn in the day but are also perfectly acceptable in evenings without making me feel to scruffy next to the glamorous people who only come on holiday to sit by the pool and look gorgeous, and I will take flip-flops if it is a beachy holiday.
I always take sunglasses with me every where, every day! So, I find it difficult playing favourites when it comes to packing for holiday. I normal go for a classic tortoiseshell wayfarer style, a black aviator style and round john Lennon lenses that way I feel I have covered all bases. I love sunglasses but I don’t very often buy expensive ones because I wear them so often they get scratched and I’m not too worried about losing them.
8. I always take a very large handbag which will go as hand luggage if we fly, that will also be suitable as a beach bag. I used to also pack a nice simple handbag for evenings, but now I have a child that needs endless nappies, snacks and baby wipes, I just don’t bother.
If I am going abroad in the UK I always pack an umbrella, a lightweight jumper and a sunhat if I have room for it.