For many of us, airport security queues aside, packing is the most stressful part of a holiday. How are you going to fit everything you need into one not very big suitcase?
Here’s GoTimeshare’s quick guide to packing for your next holiday, whether you’ll be spending it on a Spanish beach or in the middle of an African jungle.
The Beach Break
After you’ve sorted the tricky bit out – buying a new bikini? – it’s down to clever packing. For women, sarongs come into their own in warm climates, as an evening wrap or a cover-up by the pool. Take two so you’ve got one to wear while the other’s being washed and buy them in multicoloured patterns, so that it’s easier to coordinate your holiday wardrobe with your scarf-sarongs.
Dry-fast clothing is useful, T-shirts or sleeveless tops in fabrics that dry quickly are excellent, and don’t forget one or two long sleeved T-shirt style tops or tunics. Even in warmer climates evenings can cool down a bit, especially if there’s a strong breeze and you’re eating outside.
Accessories are key to create different looks, so take one or two items of costume jewellery to jazz up an evening look, flip flops for the pool and comfortable walking shoes if you’re going to be doing a bit of hiking or city sightseeing while you’re there. Even the most glamorous strappy sandals, or summer heels, however gorgeous, can really start to rub after twenty minutes’ walking so think “practical” and bring a pair of comfortable, already worn-in flats that are sufficiently stylish for the job.
The beach bag – almost as important as your wardrobe, choose a waterproof one with separate compartments so that everything else doesn’t get covered in sand, with inside pockets for stashing away hotel room keys and some cash to buy drinks while you’re down at the pool.
For men, loose layers, smart T-shirts or polos are idea for warm climates, with a cap to shield your face from too much sun during the day. If you’re taking any classic men’s shirts, look for a fabric that is crease-proof and quick to dry. And as much as linen can be a stylish look, it’s incredibly impractical on holiday. One night out and you’ll look like you slept in that crisp, smart white linen shirt for three nights – it’d be better to pack a couple of smart T-shirts or polos instead.
Travel bag – one of the easiest bags to see you through a winter sun holiday is a small backpack. Make sure it’s one that will deter thieves. You’ll be glad you chose something hands-free, so you can work your way through that ice cream cone and make phone calls at the same time.
Out of Africa
An African Safari is one of the most memorable ways to spend your timeshare points, so if you’re celebrating something special and heading to South Africa soon, here’s what to pack.
Your no. 1 concern will be the strong sun, so take a pair of top quality polarizing sunglasses and some sort of head cover, whether it’s a safari style hat or a golf cap.
Women might want to consider taking a sports bra or two as the roads can get bumpy in a Land Rover. Don’t forget that African bush territory can feel chilly in the mornings and evenings, so make sure you’ve got a windbreaker or safari-style jacket and long trousers.
For wildlife-spotting, a good pair of binoculars is essential while a small torch or even a headlamp will be useful after the sun sets, as many lodges run on generators. Earthy, neutral colours are best on safari holidays, and don’t forget the SPF!
The Chic City Break
If you’re on a long weekend, you just might get away with hand luggage only – wear your raincoat and heavier items and boots, and pack lighter items that mix and match in your (small) carry-on case which will be easier to travel with, on and off the underground.
Your most important item, aside from a raincoat, will be your walking shoes. Choose a pair that are stylish yet very comfortable, as you’ll be racking up the miles from tourist landmark to tourist landmark! Smart jeans or black trousers work well, and you can switch out your top for something a little more dressy for evening wear.
Don’t forget the theft risk in cities – handbags with handles are out, what you’ll need is a crossover body bag. For men, a lightweight blazer travels well from museums to late night bistros and for women, a couple of pretty colourful print scarves will dress up a simple black top in ten seconds. Again, there’s more chance of theft in a big city, so don’t bring along any items of very high value – if you don’t want to lose it, it’s best not to bring it. And always spread out your cash and cards, keep some in the hotel room and in different pockets and bags, so in the unlikely event of being faced with muggers, you won’t lose everything at once.