It’s hard to complain about life when I find myself writing this on a Tenerife black-sand beach, with the midday sun basking down. Moments like this can remind you how sweet life can be. Yet a holiday can also be far from this serene idealistic reality, with the constant threat of reddening skin, lost luggage and forgotten essentials. So here are my personal top tips for a summer holiday, so it can go as smoothly as possible.
Make a pack plan
As a serial over-packer, who has an eclectic love for packing, this initial stage of a holiday can be problematic. However, I am far more rigorous with my packing technique now- I would’ve been safely underweight on this holiday if it wasn’t for so many maths textbooks and textiles past papers. To start, a good list is essential. For me, it’s more than just a simple what-to-pack checklist but a what-the-hell-I’m-wearing list (planning possible outfits for days and nights over the week). Not only does this save me from the last-minute panic in that break between the pool and evening meal outfit-change, but it also limits my packing- I can’t pack more than is physically possible to wear. No more I’ll just pop that one in too… moments.
I am a very nostalgic person. One of my favourite sensations is that unique time-travelling feeling that can transport you to anywhere when a new song plays. I love to do this with holidays, so I create a playlist of suitable songs and I’ll listen to them on repeat.
For the first time ever, I also got into podcasts. I’d really recommend downloading a few, especially the ones I mentioned on this month’s MOODBOARD . They’re brilliant for travelling, like the long car journey to the airport, or just an excuse to zone out whilst sunbathing and maybe learn a little too!
Suncream. Yes you need it. Yes factor 50+ is a good idea. I am a suncream-a-holic. I hate burning, I’ve burnt badly in the past to a colour of unhuman standards, so I am always cautious now. I use either factor 50+ or 30 and top is up throughout the day. I like to use the Nivea cream ones and then top-up with the sprays (this is a far less sticky process), but either way wearing and taking plenty of suncream will save you- and you will still tan.
It may also be worth packing a few shoulder-covering tops just in case you do manage to burn. The worst thing is burnt shoulders and nothing to protect them, it will cause you agony… plus you’ll get the judgemental ‘she clearly didn’t wear enough suncream’ look with that exposed crimson skin.
Capturing the moments
Along with that playlist that will let you relive the days in the sun when you find yourself trapped in the lug of normal life, it is always nice to really capture the moments from your time away. I like to take a load of photographs, then scrapbook them with all my memories afterward. I also took my diary with me, my Q&A a day book, so I could capture the tiny memories that will always allow me to look back on the holiday. Plus, who doesn’t want to make everyone jealous through their Instagram snaps?
Hand luggage- bits you have probably haven’t thought of but probably will need
A good idea is to pack your favourite piece of swimwear in your hand luggage- so if you lose your main case at least you have that! You never know when that could happen, best not end up in some cheap swimwear you’ve had to buy for the souvenir shop…
I like to take some food. Yes you can buy this at the airport, but sometimes it’s nice to know you’ve already got it packed. For me, this is normally some sweets or chocolate to boost my energy and avoid the weird tummy that travelling high in the sky will give you- this time was the seasonal classic of mini eggs.
Hand sanitiser is something I rarely use, but use constantly on holiday. In the airport, it is hard to feel clean, and sometimes that can do just the trick to let you feel refreshed. Also the amount of airport loos without soap is horrid, as well as the rushed loo stops on the plane that may leave you feeling half-clean, so taking this in your bag could do you a load of good- I recommend the Soap & Glory Vanilla and Lime one.
Of course you need a book, what is a holiday without one? I recently wrote a review, no spoilers, on the Rosie Project books and I thoroughly recommend checking out the post to see if they sound like a good option for you.
I am also a little budding colouring-in child on my holiday. On the beach or sunlounger, people must walk by and think I’m stupid, but it is so stress-relieving and therapeutic- plus a holiday gives you that perfect excuse and time to get properly into one. My Secret Garden book comes with me on every trip, I hope one day to fill it with drawings I’ve coloured around the world.
Thanks for reading my lovelies,