Holiday packing is a fine art that demands skill and patience – and few of us get it completely right. But years of bitter experience have taught us that it’s often not what we forget to pack that causes us a headache on holiday – it’s the things we do bring, but don’t really need. Read on for some no-nonsense advice on what not to pack.
One of the clunkiest gadgets you could ever pack. Most hotels, B&Bs and other accommodation types will have a hairdryer you can use if you really want to, but we hope you’ll be too busy having fun to contemplate a full-on blow dry while you’re away. Do you really want to spend your precious time off blow-drying your hair? If you’re going somewhere hot, chances are you’ll soon find you don’t need artificial hot air to fix your hairstyle anyway. Hair straighteners, however – they’re a different story…
Too many shoes
Holiday packing is no time to succumb to Imelda Marcos syndrome. While we recommend packing a pair of shoes for every occasion, think carefully about how many situations you’re likely to find yourself in on your trip. For many, it’s as few as three: beach, night out, walking in town. Add in another pair if you’ve got a particularly active trip in mind (walking boots, trainers or hiking shoes for example) and you’re up to an absolute maximum of four pairs. You can always stock up on inexpensive sandals or flip-flops if your footwear lets you down.
Work, work, work
Switching off from work mode can be difficult if you’ve got a busy and demanding job, but don’t be tempted to ease the transition by taking half of your desk on holiday. If you’ve got a lightweight laptop that can double up as entertainment system while you travel, this should be all you need – along with a short list of any essential passwords or other bits of information you might be called upon to disclose if things blow up in your absence. Hopefully, after the first few days by the pool you’ll be too chilled-out to care…
Holidays are a time to let your guard down, so if you’re lucky enough to own jewellery worth thousands of pounds, you probably won’t want to run the risk of losing it or having it taken off you on your travels. There are also all kinds of situations you’re likely to encounter on holiday that could be damaging to fine and delicate jewellery, such as sea water, chlorine and all sorts of outdoor activities. Bag yourself some cheap and cheerful costume jewellery, and accessorise with peace of mind.
Bulky camera equipment
Feel free to ignore this section if you’re a keen photographer looking to make the most of your hobby while on holiday, but nowadays many travellers find that all they need for decent quality holiday snaps is a compact digital camera, or even their smartphone. There’s no need for multiple lenses and tripods unless you really are determined to nail that award-winning sunset shot.
Your entire skincare arsenal
Can you really not go without cleansing, toning and moisturising for a week or two? Holiday skin is best cleaned with a simple facial wipe (better still, a splash of water from the pool or from the sea!), and you’ll probably find that even if you do want to keep up your usual skincare regime on your travels, those intentions soon go out of the window. A pack of cleansing wipes is light, compact, and squishes neatly into your suitcase. It’s also great for handling spillages en route. Continue reading