Summer Holidays Booked? Read our Top Guidelines to Packing

So the summer hols are here. The queue to check in your bags at the airport is getting longer and Dublin airport send out the annual tweet to arrive early for the busy period from June to September. It’s still May (just about) and the airport is busy. I know this as I am currently on my fourth flight in less than a week. So through the bustle of travel, I’ve learned a few things along the way.

What to pack, what NOT to pack, and how to manage security at the airport (smile until your cheeks hurt at the man asking you why you have ten small plastic bags containing your toiletries). Packing can be a serious pain in the bum, so you need to be a little organised to get the stress off your back. So the earlier you can start to prepare, the easier it will be. I know, I sound like a school Principal the night before the Leaving Cert. So, you know me, I love some good guidelines, and here are my top ones for getting you holiday ready this summer.

1. Outfits

Kim Kardashian's luggage on the way to her wedding last year@ Kim Kardashian's luggage on the way to her wedding last year@

Packing in outfits takes a little time but it’s well worth the planning. Let’s make a few assumptions. Firstly, you are having one whole week in the sun. That’s seven days and nights of fun filled bliss. But what that also equals is about fourteen outfits for day and night. Or so you think.

Overlapping items is the best way to make the most of your suitcase space. And if you are in the sun, then washing a few tops is no big deal. They’ll dry in ten mins on the balcony. Avoid packing anything that’s dry clean only; they tend to absorb moisture a lot quicker and this can be damaging. The exception to this is linen which is a very cooling fabric all round.

Like I had mentioned in my post on surviving the three day wedding, lay out all your outfits on the bed, including the accessories that match each one. Again, use the same ones a few times is always handy. AND, you only need one bag for the beach and one evening bag. 

2. Swimwear


Swimwear is the one thing you don’t want to forget (although I have many times and run to the row of little shops outside our house in Spain). Invest in two pieces, or the very trendy one piece that have perfect fit. It’s worth it for the comfort it gives you and thanks to great labels like Seafolly, Freya and Fantasie, you can get the style right on too. These are all lingerie makers, so they know the importance of support.


I once had an incident coming down a water slide at Disneyland in Flordia (which honestly I shouldn’t have been on as most of the other “sliders” were under the age of 6) where as I emerged from the water from said slide, I was without bikini top. Not great for the viewing public or my modesty. Although my four friends still remind me of the hilarity of this. I did not find it funny and promised myself to always buy good fitting bikinis! 

3. Shoes 

€49, New Look €49, New Look

The one I struggle with the most. I’m on my way to London for two nights to cover some events for Xposé and I have four pairs of shoes. I really should practice what I preach but what is it that we find so hard with shoes, that we can’t limit ourselves to one or two pairs? You need to style up the outfits (see point 1) with the shoes that match them and try your bestest to mix and match.

Last year, I get myself a pair of black patent Birkenstocks and honestly I wore them nearly every day on holiday. They were incredibly comfortable and matched everything. I then had flip flops for the beach and one pair of wedge heel espadrilles for evening time. Just three pairs. Oh I wish I could do that on short trips too! 

4. Toiletries

Washbag, from a selection at Marks & Spencer Washbag, from a selection at Marks & Spencer

The rule is for carry on, you are supposed to have just the one small plastic bag. I think I’ve set world records with the amount of things I can fit into the bag. Over the last week I have been re-using the same one, so I think it’s expanded. Nothing the security check needs to know. Nothing to see here.


If you have check in baggage, then it’s a bit easier but you do not need everything you have in the bathroom. Penneys do great travel bottles that fit 100mls which is plenty for shampoo and conditioners. Although I tend to bring two conditioners as my hair dries out in the sun. I buy my sun cream when I get there always to save on space once again. 

Make sense? Getting holiday ready should be stress free, not sweat inducing! So have you any packing tips to share, that I can copy too? 

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