A fortnight away is a long time, right? And how else will you manage without a suitcase bulging with every possible necessity and home comfort?
Unfortunately, whilst you might feel happier packing for every possible scenario, strict rules on baggage weight means you need to get tough on what you take on your travels. Think small and pack lightweight gear.
If you are struggling to work out whether you can make do with just the ten bikinis or whether you can cope without your iPad for a week, here are some thoughts about how to enjoy a holiday free of your usual trivial trinkets.
1) Reading material
This might raise a few eyebrows after all, what’s a holiday without a bit of trashy fiction to enjoy by the pool? However, before you turn away in disgust, no-one is suggesting you forego a traditional holiday activity…but there’s better ways to manage it than weighing down your luggage with some hefty tomes.
You may well sniff at the idea of an e-reader being ‘not the same’ as getting lost in the pages of the real thing, but when you are going away you might just want to consider the advantages of being able to carry an entire library with you in one little lightweight gadget which weighs far less than just one book.
2) Why risk your gems?
You might have some stunning jewellery which would look great set against a glowing tan, but perhaps the best place to show them off is when you return? Because if you take them with you there’s always the chance that they might not make it back.
No-one likes to think about the possibility of their belongings being stolen, or being mugged, but it does happen no matter where you go in the world. And whilst travel insurance is an essential that can compensate you financially, you will still be without your treasured possessions. And if they have a sentimental value, no amount of money will be able to replace their space in your jewellery box.
3) On-trend togs
We all like to look good in our holiday’s snaps and if they’re going to appear on Facebook the chances are that you will be especially keen to appear in vogue and on the money.
In your bid to look your best you may even have swept around the shops in a whirlwind shopping binge picking up some of this season’s latest items. However, this might have led to a few dubious purchases…
Bikinis and sarongs are always going to be handy on the beach, but brightly-coloured harem pants and 80s style high waisted shorts are perhaps not the best celebrity style to try and copy. Wherever you are.
4) Beach towels
Even if you are planning an entire fortnight camped out on a sun lounger in front of the ocean waves, taking some towels from home to use on the beach probably isn’t the greatest idea.
In most cases you won’t be able to take your hotel towel out of the complex and if you try, the chances are you will look pretty conspicuous! However, it’s easy to pick up some cheap and cheerful towels from the resort you are travelling to; the chances are they will be perfect for use on the beach, unlike your deep pile Egyptian cotton ones from home.
One of the most tightly controlled substances to take in your hand luggage, the alternative is leaving armfuls of bottles to splurge all over your freshly washed clothes in your suitcase.
Packing a few essentials such as your favourite moisturiser is always a good idea but wherever you are going will sell shampoo. And conditioner. And toothpaste. It won’t hurt you to try out a different brand for a couple of weeks and you will be able to pick up local brands very cheaply.
6) Speaking of hair….
Of course you want to look good in the evenings but spending hours primping your tresses is not conducive to a relaxing time.
The holiday look is all about rocking a relaxed vibe, and then means hair which sports that gently mussed look. Straighteners, tongs and curling irons simply don’t belong in your suitcase; enjoy the freedom of letting your hair do its own thing for a change and give it a break from the stresses of heated styling.
7) Tomato ketchup and Marmite
If you are planning a holiday somewhere more exotic, don’t spend time fretting about missing your favourite food while you are away.
Cramming home comforts like teabags, ketchup and Marmite into your suitcase simply means you won’t have the chance to really experience all there is to offer. Even the fussiest of eaters will be able to find food they like on a foreign menu and the joy of trying a different cuisine is one of the most delightful ways to spend an evening.
8) High heels
High heeled shoes and sandals can be a great way to give a girl an instant slimming boost but taking your tallest stilettos is a short route to disaster.
Even if you don’t plan on quaffing too much Sangria, you might be faced with tiled or cobbled streets – or if you’re on a winter holiday, ice and snow-lined roads – all of which are distinctly incompatible with teetering on your tiptoes.
Flip flops for the day, with perhaps a smarter version for the evening are perfect for a beach holiday but if you really must have a couple of extra inches, don’t be tempted to go for anything more than a pair of kitten heels. Just because you have your travel insurance doesn’t mean you want to end up claiming on it…!
9) Leave technology at home
If you are normally glued to your iPad or laptop it can be tempting to slide them into your case so you can enjoy some quality time with them whilst you are away.
However, this is a bad idea for several reasons. Quite apart from the security risk (do you want to be an obvious target?!) you will have to make sure you have the right power supply converters, find a way to connect to the internet, pay for extra insurance cover plus it’s going to weigh down your luggage. And of course, if you’re supposed to be enjoying time with your loved ones, being glued to your screen means you and your treasured gadget could both end up being tipped into the pool…
10) Hefty guide books
You might well have been so excited about your holiday you’ve been planning where to go and what to do for weeks. However, that hefty guide book is best read and left on your coffee table at home rather than lugging it along.
Taking it out and about whilst you are on your holidays will not just be uncomfortable; it will also mark you out as a tourist and therefore a potential target for thieves and pickpockets.
A better option is either downloading it onto your e-reader or simply photocopying the pages you want and taking those with you. As you work your way through your list of activities, you can simply throw the unwanted pages away!
You might be wondering about the cost of buying new towels, toiletries and dining out while you are away rather than bringing provisions with you. The good news is that all of these things – and more – can usually be sourced very cheaply in most resorts.
However, by shopping around for your travel money before you go, you could also save yourself a fortune on commission and handing costs as well as getting the best exchange rate. Using an online comparison site can help you locate the best deals in the market and even help you find providers who will beat the rates offered in the high street. .
And by getting great rates on your travel money, you will have more cash left in your pocket to enjoy your break. Sangria anyone?