Seven things you should NOT pack for your holiday

Packing for your summer holiday? Discover the seven things you should NOT take with you – and the 25 things you should!

The school holidays are approaching fast – and with them comes the welcome prospect of an annual family holiday. And with an annual family holiday comes the less-than-welcome prospect of packing!

Seven things you should NOT pack for your holiday

To help you tackle this mammoth task, our fashion editor Karen Skagerlind reveals seven things you should NOT pack.

1) Jeans

Okay, I’m a self-confessed jean addict, but when temperatures start nudging 80 degrees, confining your legs in skinny denim is not such a comfortable idea.

Instead, I opt for t-shirt dresses for day or loose joggers or skirts for the evening as on holiday I’d rather a cool breeze lap around my ankles than sweat in jeans.

2) High heels

I’ve been lucky enough to stay at some luxury hotels, and the one thing I’ve always noticed come balmy evening dinners are the guests that wear high heels – and not for the right reasons.

You’re meant to be relaxing on holiday, not teetering around on stilettos, or trying to stay upright after a few cocktails by the pool.

By all means wear a wedge espadrille for height or a diamanté sandal for added sparkle, but unless dress code demands it keep the heeled sandals at home.

3) Valuable jewellery

Unless you wear your fine jewellery daily then there’s no real reason why the diamonds should come out for a trip away. Take some costume baubles and bangles to pep up outfits and to add colour.

Only take a watch that’s waterproof, too. I’ve seen a dad do an emergency dive fully clothed, shoes and all, after his excited toddler decided to go for a splash while his arm bands were being dutifully blown up!

4) A leather bag

Heat, sun cream and salt water are definitely not leather’s best friend, and will leave stains if they come into contact. Hot temperatures and sweat can also lead to a higher risk of transfer of colour dyes.

How do I know? On a recent humid, sticky day in central London my printed silk shirt rubbed navy dye onto the double CC’s of my beige Chanel flap bag.

I was even more distraught when, after popping into the Chanel boutique (imagining they would proffer a magic formula to bring it back to its original state) they said the only option was to have the leather paint treated!

Gleaned with the knowledge to never let a stain stay for long, I took a whole lunch hour fastidiously but gently lifting off the colour with a dry, clean, fibrous serviette. It worked – phew!

So I would advise to take only fabric, canvas or straw bags or bead or raffia clutches for evening.

5) Heavy hair appliances

If you use straighteners every day, I wouldn’t dream of telling you to keep them at home. But for anyone else who thinks they’ll have the time or inclination to style their hair on holiday, then think again.

Let your hair have a holiday too – the last thing it will appreciate is hot tongs after a day of sun and chlorine!

6) Domestic appliances

If like me, you iron your clothes before you wear them, then do so before you pack. You want to be able to rest on holiday, not end up doing chores.

I often pack my own travel iron since a visit to Venice, when I assumed wrongly that the hotel would have an iron available to use. (Apparently fire regulations stipulate no use of irons in any room so I had to opt for the expensive pressing service instead.)

However, if you roll up your clothes after ironing before packing and then unpack on arrival they should be fine. Leave the worst offenders to hang in steam while you take a hot shower and you’ll be good to go.

(Always check the facilities available beforehand, too. If they have a gorgeous toiletry brand then that will mean a smaller wash bag to worry about too.)

7) Don’t pack last minute

Okay, this isn’t an actual ‘thing’ to not pack, but it’s important advice nonetheless. Packing in a last minute panic could see you stump up for extra weight, or being forced to pay to place your hand luggage in the hold.

Instead, plan your outfits two or three weeks in advance, and take photos on your phone to remind you while you’re away. Include shoes and accessories so that you know everything packed will be used.

Think too about where you will be wearing your outfits. For day outfits, will you be sightseeing or mainly staying poolside or beach? For the evening will you be eating out or BBQing over a camp fire?

Be realistic and ruthless and don’t buy just for holiday. It’s what you wear now that you’ll wear away. If you want to treat yourself then a new swimsuit or bikini will be enough of a purchase to get you into the holiday mood!


And 25 things you SHOULD pack!

If you want to know what you should pack, here’s my 25 item guide, with some of my favourite holiday picks – and links of where you can buy some of this summer’s styles.

  1. Flip Flops
  2. Metallic flats/gladiator sandals
  3. Low block heel tan sandal
  4. Grey tank/T-shirt
  5. White Tank/T-shirt
  6. Nautical stripe t-shirt
  7. Ivory silk shirt
  8. Easy Khaki joggers or trousers
  9. T-shirt dress
  10. Print maxi skirt
  11. Maxi dress
  12. Cotton chambray dress
  13. Printed culottes
  14. Detail shorts
  15. Swimsuit
  16. Extra swimsuit
  17. Bikini
  18. Cotton cable jumper
  19. Hat
  20. Pair of sunglasses
  21. Day bag
  22. Evening clutch or large purse
  23. Scarf
  24. Kaftan or sarong
  25. Chunky necklace

By fashion editor Karen Skagerlind. See more at Mumswear Daily