I know it is a strange question to ask in October when all of us have put away our winter clothes and are hunkering down with log fires and box sets. However OH (Other Half) and I decided to take a quick break for some late summer sun before we put away the shorts, flip flops and suntan lotion. So, what do you always pack when you go away that you just can’t live without was a question that a girlfriend asked me.
It is quite difficult packing for a week of sunshine when it is cold and grey outside. However to escape the relentless rain (and Brexit talk) that we have been experiencing it is a total joy even if just for one week. I suddenly realised that I must now be a mature woman as I have a list of items that I always pack when I go away. I know it is a bit weird but lists are what make my life work. I use the Reminders App on my iPhone to create all my lists…..books & TV programmes I have been recommended, shopping lists, to do and urgent to do lists etc. I need to then set a reminder to read the lists!
As I prepare to go away it is hard to imagine that only three hours away, still in Europe in every sense of the word (we haven’t left yet), there are cloudless blue skies and hot sun. But back to packing…….isn’t it funny that as we get older our ‘not to be forgotten’ items change so much. Where once the most important item was that tiny bikini that left nothing to the imagination, now it is all about the cover ups that not only hide our lumpy bits but also protect our skin. Of course it used to be the suntan oil that we took to literally ‘fry’ our skin but now it is the factor 50. Then there is all the post sun moisturisers for face, body, nails and hair that seem to take up lots of space in my suitcase.
I use Hairstory New Wash shampoo as it is a non-detergent shampoo and so there is no need for conditioner. Only high-quality essential oils and natural cleansers are in this recipe. Less fading means longer lasting colour. It gets rid of all the suntan lotion and salt after a day at the beach. I decant it into a smaller bottle which they supply you with when you make your first order.
That is just on the beauty side. Now there are things that I take that are slightly more personal. For example a small folding photo frame with pictures of my 4 children. This has been with me for hospital stays, trips abroad and even though the pictures are out of date, it is my lucky charm so I daren’t change the pictures.
Of course I always pack books – ones that I don’t get time to read at home. I like to take a biography and a lighter book ie something humorous. I used to take my Kindle as it takes up less room in the suitcase but to be honest it is yet another thing to charge and I prefer the feeling of a book. Someone told me once that you retain less of the book if you read it on a Kindle. I have found that I can never remember the title when I read on a Kindle so I can not recommend the book to friends. This is probably because I am not picking it up and therefore seeing the title each time I have a reading session.
This holiday I am taking the latest Deborah Moggach, The Carer as her books always make me laugh. I am also taking the biography of Audrey Hepburn, an icon or mine.
My favourite cover up that I wear over swimming costumes and as a dressing gown is from Kettlewell Colours however they don’t make them any more which is a huge shame. This is the nearest (click HERE) they have but mine is slightly longer with full-length sleeves. I do keep nagging them as this is such an admired cover up and I am always being asked where I bought it.
My one is in bright blue and it is just as good as a cardigan over a dress. It folds away to nothing so fits into my handbag.
I also take an ultra light down jacket in cream from Uniqlo that squashes into a pouch and has been everywhere with me, on winter and summer holidays. It is so useful and an extra special warm layer that can be slipped on over a dress on a summer’s evening or under a jacket in the winter.
I used to take teabags as you just couldn’t buy good old builder’s tea abroad but that has all changed as local supermarkets sell all things British like Marmite, PG Tips and Cadbury’s Dairy Milk.
I always pack my Tweezerman tweezers as they are always good for stray hairs, splinter and broken glass extractions and they come in handy forv many other little uses.
I also love my Knomo Mini Beaufort rucksack as I don’t look like a backpacker but I use it to travel with and then on day trips. Each bag has a Knomo ID so that you can register it and if you lose it then it can be tracked for you.
Finally I always pack my Helen Kaminski sun vizor which my children laugh at as it has a huge peak. However it keeps the sun off my whole face and it flat packs which is so useful. Plus when it is not in use it attaches to my bag so I never lose it.
I would love to hear of items that you always pack that you cannot do without. I may need to add them to my own list.
For more Travel posts and recommendations of places to stay click HERE