If you are not a list-making control-freak sort of person, then you may prefer to look away now! I am most definitely in the camp for loving the preparations for a holiday almost as much as the actual trip away... this summer we are going very old school and spending two weeks in a villa in Sicily, just the six of us. Time will tell if this is a recipe for disaster or not - but as our lives become more chaotic at home and our eldest has maybe only two summers left before he flies the nest, we decided some quality (read into that a lot of moaning and boredom and in-fighting) family time was on the cards...
So I am in excitement mode as I now can start getting us organised without being ridiculed for peaking too early. We all take hand luggage only. This is a new development in the last few years as I have realised that the majority of the "stuff" we all took away came back home still folded neatly and unworn or unused... Now we take very limited clothing as we will mostly be in swimwear and flip flops (imagine knowing it will be blue skies and hot and sunny EVERY DAY!) with a few sightseeing trips and outings which will err on the side of casual as that is our middle name. As far as our wheelie bags go, I have invested in Samsonite as they really do last forever. I have only ever owned one cabin bag previously and it lasted 20 years, so I figure it is worth the initial outlay to not have to buy these things too frequently.
The "stuff" we pack will include;
adaptor USB plugs : These plugs are amazing - each of us has our own so we only need the leads for each device and then can plug everything in in our own rooms and be sorted. They are great for using at home also...the bright coloured ones are ideal for the last look around the holiday room before departure as they stand out and won't be left behind!
Mosquito Plug-In repellers Playing Cards Monopoly Scrabble Colouring books and pens (including my mindful book which always gets the kids interested in helping me colour Flippers Goggles Headphones Devices Books Top Trumps Snacks
In my suitcase will be:
Toiletries: I make the most of the laid-back beach vibe and stick to minimal amounts. I take my cleanser, moisturiser and mascara (therein lies another blog as I have discovered the most amazing eyelash "stuff" and now swear by my mascara and waterproof sealant!) away. I also pack travel size bottles of my shampoo and conditioner along with a hair protector spray for all the salt and chlorine damage. I always have a few SPF lip balms and lipsticks in every available pocket. I include a mini bottle of shower gel and moisturiser with a holiday scent too. As far as suncream goes, I pre-order online at Boots (when the deals hit) and do Click and Collect airside (after security check) wherever we are departing from. This ensures I still get the brands and sizes I prefer, but don't have to pay horrific European prices...
Shoes: running shoes (hoping it won't be too hot and I can burn off some of the vino and gelato), flip flops (mine are ancient Gap ones with a nice soft toe post as Havianas are just too thick and unforgiving for my feet) and my Sam Edelman Gigis. I will sneak a third pair in to wear en route - my new favourite Gladiators.
Swimwear: black sensible swimsuit for all the crazy pool games with the kids, neon bandeau style Seafolly one piece for tanning and maybe a black bikini since it is just the family! Cover-Ups include a white muslin racerback mini dress, knee length jersey black GAP vest dress, blue and white kaftan dress.
Clothing: As I am mostly going to be in my swimwear, I only need clothes for sightseeing or eating out with the family - all super casual and it is going to be scorching hot. I will take my denim shorts and two vest tops (one black, one white), one navy knee length vest dress, a T Shirt indigo striped dress with cap sleeves, and a striped Hush maxi dress. I will travel in boyfriend jeans and tee with a scarf and longline cardy in case I get cold! I keep the jewellery to a minimum too - just a few waterproof bracelets to jangle around and a Swatch watch which is indestructible!
Bags : I take two BIG beach bags with me - one black and white striped as well as my Longchamp tan coloured, enormous version which the Hubby can carry (with 4 kids there is a lot to carry!) as well as some zip pouches for suncream, goggles, valuables etc. I make sure I have a cross body bag on the plane which will work all holiday as well as a tiny clutch for any evening excursions.
And that is me done! It is then all rolled and squeezed into my bag ...
While I am away I make a list (Memo on my Phone) of what I used and what I really needed and didn't have with me, so that I can remember for the next trip. Equally I note down any items any of the family took and never used! It is always scary closing the bag and starting to second guess yourself as to what you still might need - but rest assured you will manage without, and there are not many places where you won't manage to buy what you desperately need these days!
Enjoy your holidays if you are off somewhere nice! Hope I have encouraged you to pack light?