Holidays abroad are a bit of a no-go event this year… again. However, my husband and I have a holiday in Corfu with friends rolled over from last year to next month. I cannot get excited as every three weeks we get new travel rules issued by the government. So I am preparing to go but not allowing myself to get excited. Going on holiday requires much planning on my part, as for any woman, and little on my husband’s part. So I thought I would share some of my travel advice, and holiday tips for holiday preparation.
Regardless of what Boris decides to do I need to organise dog care, just in case. I was recommended Housesitters UK by a friend and have been so impressed with the replies. The applicants sent in their CVs and we ended up interviewing by What’s App video. The lady we have chosen has worked all over the world and she sent over her police checks, references and a copy of her passport with a utility bill showing where she lives. Of course, it is a worry to leave someone we don’t know in charge of our house and dogs but hopefully, you can build up a relationship with one housesitter so they can come whenever you are away. They don’t get paid but they enjoy staying in different places and discovering new areas of the UK. My housesitter is a mortgage adviser but she works remotely so her only needs are wifi. She is brilliant with dogs and so I feel they are in safe hands.
Next up I need to prepare myself. I think it is a bit late to get ‘beach-body ready, and I am glad to say that the world now accepts our less than so-called perfect bodies. Meanwhile, I can do polish up some of my bits and bobs. There is a lot of exfoliating, buffing, filing and extracting that needs to go on before I am ready to reveal my body to other holidaymakers – the lumps and bumps I am okay with by now
- Hair: A good cut and some highlights are my tip however if you have long, thick, naturally gorgeous coloured hair without a grey hair in sight then no need. I take my own hair shampoo as I use Hairstory New Wash which is chemical free and there is no need for conditioner.
- Eyebrows: Shape and tint (again to get rid of those pesky grey ones) If you find a good beautician who can shape eyebrows well then lock her up as they are few and far between. I have seen so many disasters just amongst my girlfriends so there are definitely some butchers out there.
- Eyelashes: If you can get them tinted and curled with an LVL treatment as then you won’t need eye make-up as your eyes will pop! LVL is the revolutionary lash phenomenon that reveals your natural lashes in all their glory. With a tan you won’t need any extra help as your eyes will look so much brighter and larger. To find a salon near you click HERE.
- Pedicure and Manicure: Nail varnish from Nailberry because it is paraben free and comes in some deliciously sunny colours. There is a 20% discounted sale for Nailberry on the Look Fantastic website – click HERE.
One important tip is if you have not worn an item in the last year, then try it on before you give it valuable space in your case. It is amazing how the odd addition of a pound (weight) might exclude an item from being worn once you have arrived at your holiday destination. So best to find out before packing. Remember notwithstanding that all diets go by the board when on holiday, you will also feel more comfortable with looser clothing.
Men don’t seem to have this problem and chuck a few well-worn summer items into their suitcase, and then they rely on us to bring all the lotions and potions to get them through the holiday, so we need all the space in our suitcases to be well-utilised.
Here are my packing tips that I have picked up over the years from wiser women than I. I am a lousy packer which, in the past, I have always blamed on having a large family. This lack of good packing skills is because, by the time I have finished packing for four children and eliminated unsuitable items from my OH’s case (read 1970’s flower power shirt!), it is 3 hours until we depart for the airport, always at about 4 am. Consequently, I throw it all in and bear the consequences of being over the luggage allowance at the airport. I then embarrass all of my family and start to redistribute my possessions amongst their neatly packed (by me) cases on the floor of the airport check-in in front of an ever-increasing grumpy queue. I have therefore had to learn through my own mistakes.
- Stick to a colour palette of no more than three shades and you’ll find that all of your holiday wardrobe will work together. I always pack in outfits, this way you won’t end up with one side of your case that doesn’t even see the light of day.
- Lay everything out, even your accessories, and style up each outfit to come up with a mini capsule holiday wardrobe. If you cannot wear something with two different pieces, then don’t add it to your bag.
- An on-trend kimono is a great option for throwing over anything from a swimming costume to leggings.
- The humble white shirt should always be part of your holiday wardrobe.
- Never leave your house without a scarf – if a long-haul flight then make it a cashmere one as the air conditioning can be quite chilly. A large silk square will double up as a sarong around the pool or beach.
- Your cabin bag should be a back-up bag in case your luggage is lost or if you are delayed and have to stay overnight in a hotel. So pack lingerie, swimsuit, sunglasses and flip flops so you are beach ready as you land and can cope until your bag arrives.
- A hat and if not a foldable one then, when you pack it, fill it with socks, knickers etc to keep its shape. If it is too expensive to damage then buy one when you are there and leave it for the next guest at the villa.
- Muji or Boots mini bottles are a must to decant your favourite beauty products into. I always take too much make-up and never wear any of it. I find that a bit of lip gloss and some bronzer powder is all I need especially if I have had and LVL treatment for my eyelashes. Then just concentrate on taking skin protection and after sun products.
- If you have a neutral coloured case then tie something bright to the handle so that it stands out on the carousel. It stops someone else mistakenly picking it up thinking it is theirs.
- Cull all that you have laid out by half as you will not use it even if you think you will!
- Roll all your clothes as this will mean they arrive reasonably crease-free. Also, for some reason everything will fit in easier – don’t ask me why!
- Lastly, a tip from Grace who wouldn’t be without her travel wallet when she’s going abroad. It holds passport, boarding passes, foreign currency etc all in one place. If you choose a bright colour, it will be easy to find too.
For once, I will follow my tips as we are travelling without the family, so I don’t have any other cases to absorb my over-the-weight-limit items.