From bed to beach: multi-use items for a baggage-light holiday

I feel embarrassed to mention the ‘H’ word, i.e. holiday, as I know how difficult it has been for everyone to get away this year. However, with the lifting of some of the restrictions for UK travellers, it seems that many, like my husband and I, have booked to go away in October to get some last-minute sun before the winter. We are currently in Corfu, and it has never been busier for this time of year.

Travelling here was manageable so long as you had printed off your Covid certificate and PLF form as there were many stories of the NHS app not working at the vital moment when you were asked to show it. The journey was smooth, and luckily all our luggage had wheels as there were no trolleys at Corfu airport due to Covid sanitising requirements. They need a crash course in this skill from our local Waitrose trolley supervisor, who seems to have got it down to a fine art.

Anyway, we are here now and feeling very chilled, and the Greeks have welcomed us, albeit with their masks on and quick elbow touch.

My husband was thrilled to see that I had managed to confine my packing to one case (plus a cabin bag), and for once, I have arrived and found I have the right clothes though maybe one too many jumpers as it is not cold in the evenings as is usual for this time of year.

I can only put this down to a few advantageous purchases I have made over the years that, in some instances, have two uses.

CUCUMBER CLOTHING

My first recommendation is CUCUMBER CLOTHING who produce a range of nightwear, often in a unique wicking fabric that keeps you cool and is antimicrobial to keep you fresh, which means they wash and dry very quickly with no need for an iron. Plus, in some cases, I have nicknamed them pyjama to pool or bed to beach items. You will not be ashamed to be seen in these garments if your fellow guests catch you having an early morning cup of tea in your pyjamas by the pool. A few years ago, I bought one of their nightdresses, and I have never stopped taking it on holiday to wear in bed, in the evening, or over a swimming costume. Multi-use garments are what’s needed when you are limited to weight with your luggage.

More recently, they have launched a new range called the Florence Cami Nightdress in 37.5® Technology jersey, and the best news is that it requires just a cold wash, and hangs dry. Another of the fabulous Cucumber Clothing fabrics for which they are gaining an excellent reputation. The Florence is so pretty as the adjustable straps mean it can work for different body shapes.

VIVOBAREFOOT

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We love to walk when on holiday or just away for the weekend; however, a classic pair of trainers takes up so much room in your case. My dentist introduced me to Vivobarefoot as he is standing most of the day, so requires the best possible footwear to maintain healthy feet. All Vivobarefoot footwear is designed to be wide, thin and flexible: as close to barefoot as possible. They promote your foot’s natural strength and movement. They allow you to feel the ground beneath your feet. Vivobarefoot is a B Corporation(™) Certified business for good. B Corp(™) are for-profit companies that use the power of business to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy. 

From 2020, every single shoe has been designed at Vivobarefoot to have an end of life solution. ReVivo is the world’s first e-commerce marketplace for refurbished and repaired barefoot shoes. They are keeping their shoes on our feet and out of landfill.

I wear mine without socks, and they never rub. I wash my white pair in the washing machine (taking out the insole first), and they come up as good as new.

ANYA HINDMARCH

I drive my family mad as I am constantly losing my phone, passport, headphones etc. when travelling. The minutes wasted as I rummage through my bag are countless. However, help is at hand. Who heard the radio interview with Anya Hindmarch where she described that she is slightly OCD, and because of this, she designed her In Flight Bag? It is an investment buy, but if you do travel a lot, it could be an investment well-spent. It has a labelled pocket for everything. Now I just need to remember to put said item in the right pocket. I was also fascinated to hear that during lockdown Anya Hindmarch kept selling out of these.

I also saw at the airport an Anya Hindmarch clip on hand sanitiser holder. We are definitely going to be living with the sanitising regime for some time to come so perhaps a Christmas present?!

ILSE JACOBSEN SHOES

I bought my Ilse Jacobsen Tulip shoes about 5 years ago and they come with me on every holiday. Its flexible outsole made of natural rubber, and upper with a laser-cut pattern, makes it breathable and the perfect travel shoe. The shoe is made of recycled microfibre, and comes in all kinds of colours, from luxurious basic colours to bright, happy colours, with matching stitching. Moreover, the upper construction is made without any glue. This cool and practical shoe is an absolute must-have and will never go out of fashion.

I wear them when swimming in the sea. Again, they are machine washable, very comfortable, and my everyday shoe as I wouldn’t say I like driving in flip-flops. I know some of you are averse to buying from Amazon; however, there is an excellent selection at highly reasonable prices (less than I paid 5 years ago). Click HERE to purchase. For an even bigger choice of colours go direct to the Ilse Jacobsen website.

HAIRSTORY

Finally a new beauty product from Hairstory that I took with me on holiday to try out. Who hates blow-drying their hair in a hot country when on holiday. So I was determined to find an alternative. I needed a product that would give me volume and lift without any blow-drying. The BALM from Hairstory does just that and does not leave your hair sticky or dry. I am a total convert to the Hairstory New Wash which is their shampoo and does not need conditioner to be applied afterwards so it is another dual-purpose product.