Summer Holiday Packing Series: How I pack for a vacation

After all the work we have been doing on the house recently we decided we deserved a break! We booked a week long trip to a sun lounger in Rhodes with the sole intention of doing absolutely nothing, except turning occasionally to make sure we tanned evenly!

This is the first summer holiday we have taken in quite a few years and I therefore started thinking about what we would need for the 30 Celsius heat we would be enjoying. Before I go on any holiday, about a month before we go, I have a look at the expected temperatures and weather for that time of year and check out the current weather pattern. I then have a look through our existing wardrobes to see what we have that will be suitable for the weather and the type of activities we intend to be doing. For this holiday it was very apparent that our normal summer wear for a British summer was not going to cut it for 7 solid days of sunbathing and pool splashing. At this stage I wrote a list of what we had and what I thought we would need.

Over the next few weeks I picked up clothes for both of us, shopping online, at lunchtimes and I even managed to convince the other half to go clothes shopping for a day a couple of weekends ago (this is a very rare occurrence). I would normally start collating all our bits and pieces together on the spare bed ready for me to pack closer to the time. Unfortunately, the spare room is still currently being used a bit of a dumping ground following the house move and the decorating projects we have going on. So this time I just had to start accumulating carrier bags in the corner of our bedroom.

For our toiletries I keep ready stocked toiletry bags for weekend and longer holidays with our packing stuff. When I return from a trip I take note of the products we have used up and a few weeks ago I went and stocked up on our missing items. In addition for this trip I added to our standard toiletries baby wipes (to keep in the fridge for an instant cool down), cooling spray, a suite of sun cream options from Hawaiian Tropic, Aftersun, the Elemis Tan Accelerator and an extra face mask because I fancied pampering myself on this trip.

A day or two before the actual trip I start to collate everything together on the spare bed normally, but in this case on our bed (adds pressure because I had to finish packing before we went to bed!). This is also the time I make sure everything we want to take with us has been washed and ironed so that I can pack it.

The keen eyed will notice that this picture is actually from when I packed to come home... spot the sneaky duty free!

Once I have everything laid out on the bed, I start putting it all into packing cubes. I use the Ebags Packing Cubes. I find them perfectly sturdy but flexible, with a good secure zip. I also love the variety of colours they come in meaning I can colour code our packing – I use purple packing cubes for my clothes and black packing cubes for my partners clothes. On the way home I tend to use the colour coding to sort out the different laundry ready for the machine when I get home. I like to make sure I have everything on the bed before I start this part so I can make sure I have used the cubes in the most efficient way. When I’m packing I role most items as it tends to prevent items getting too wrinkled in the case. The exceptions being my other half’s shirts which I iron, completely button up and fold like they come in the shirt packets. When we get to the other end we hang the shirt in the bathroom while showering and the steam helps any creases from the folds to drop out.

Once I have everything piled together in the packing cubes along with other items such as shoes, washbags, sun hats etc I start to pack into the suitcases. We used our new Linea Shell Denim Suitcases for this trip and I took two of the medium sized cases for our checked luggage. I put both open on the floor and started to move items into the cases – I pack both simultaneously to make sure I am dividing out the weightier items evenly. By preparing everything together on the bed this stage takes no time at all, and I am often happy to leave this stage until the morning we leave so that I have absolutely everything ready to pack. 

Once I’ve got everything in I use my luggage scale to check that I’m under the weight allowance and to see how much weight I have left for some holiday shopping!! If the cases aren’t evenly weighted or one of them is over the weight allowance I would normally shift a few things around between the cases at this stage. Once I’m happy I pop the luggage scale into one of the cases so that I can use it when I pack to come home. 

It's taken me a few years to get this packing approach right for me and I started with inspiration from OrganizedJen. Now I'm really happy with my approach and it keeps holiday prep stress free. How do you pack for a holiday? Do you have any other tips or ideas?
Speak soon x

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