Tick, tick, fun!

Be a pro-packer with a pared-down checklist of essentials for a hassle-free holiday in the sun.

Get your luggage right

Let’s start with the basics – what are you going to put all this stuff in? The right luggage is absolutely key to avoiding any travelling hiccups – no one wants to be the busted suitcase on the carousel or to have to fork out for going over their weight allowance. One size definitely doesn’t fit all – do you need cabin luggage only? A family-friendly four-wheeler? A hard case, or a soft one? Pick the bag that’s best for you. And don’t forget the kids' bags (Argos).


A general rule of thumb is one swimsuit for every other day (ASOS), but if you’re going for longer, pack a travel wash and rinse your cozzies through in the sink or shower. Pack mix and match bikinis (House of Fraser) to add variety and save space, and throw-in a trusty one-piece (Topshop).

What to wear off the beach

Because you’ll have to get up off the sun lounger at some point you’ll need a post-beach wardrobe, not least because no matter how much sun cream you put on, you’ll need a break from those potentially dangerous rays to avoid the risk of illuminating the local town with your megawatt sunburn.

While it may be a scorcher during the day, beware of chilly mornings and evenings. Long sleeves and loose-fitting trousers and tops are essential if you’re somewhere with mosquitoes and other insects that come out to bite after dark. A cover up that can take you from beach-to-the-bar is a great addition to a holiday wardrobe. And then throw in:

  • Shorts x 3
  • T-shirts x 5
  • Comfortable shoes and day shoes – flip flops or sandals
  • A sweatshirt or something you can layer up
  • A hat
  • Loose fitting trousers
  • Lightweight jacket
  • Running shoes or comfortable walking shoes

How to pack

It’s a skill and it’s worth taking some time to learn it to minimise that pre-holiday panic. Of course, there are loads of instructional YouTube videos if you want to go down that particular rabbit hole. Packing cubes (eBay) help you organise your gear into like-for-like bundles, so no more pulling out all your clothes to get to what you want. They are particularly great to sort kids’ daily outfits into individual bags. Take a spare to put your dirty laundry in. Better than taking travel size toiletries (Sainsbury's), decant your usual products into travel-friendly containers.

Foreign money

Don’t assume everywhere takes plastic and carry at least some local currency with you. As a Nectar card holder £200 will get you €223.92 at Sainsbury’s Bank. And don’t go anywhere without insurance. Sainsbury’s Bank will arrange your travel insurance quickly online or over the phone – and Nectar card holders get 20% off.

Your basics

All those bits you always nearly forget !

  • Adaptor – buy a universal one so you’ll be able to plug-in wherever you are 
  • Phone charger – and remember to pack it when you leave
  • Mosquito repellent – don’t let midges turn a paradise into an itchy hell
  • Sun cream – no one looks good with sunburn
  • After sun – just in case you took it a little easy on the above
  • Basic first aid kit – because you’ll never find a plaster when you need one
  • Diarrhoea tablets just in case you eat something dodgy
  • And a good book
  • Just don’t forget your toothbrush!