What NOT to pack on your holiday – five things you need to leave behind

Already stressing about what to pack for your summer holiday? Personal stylist Sally Smy shares five things to leave behind – and a free packing list to help you!

Successful summer holiday packing is as much about what you leave out as what you put in. Unless you have the baggage allowance of Kim Kardashian, you won’t be able to take your whole wardrobe with you. How you look and feel on holiday is all about the edit.

You need to strike the right balance between having enough clothes to look stylish but avoid bringing unnecessary items that you don’t wear. One lone garment will wreak havoc if it makes you feel less than your best or is uncomfortable. 

To help you pack efficiently and ensure a stress-free getaway, here’s a list of five items of clothing not to bring on holiday.

1) Kitten heels

I love the look of them and they look oh flattering in pictures. However they don’t mix well with pavements and let’s not even think about the cobbled streets of a village abroad. If you really must pack a pair, ensure you have enough money for a taxi!

2) Synthetic fabrics

If you’re going somewhere hot avoid man made fabrics such as polyester, nylon and acrylic. They are not good at soaking up moisture (the polite way of saying sweat) as well as being more likely to trap odours and bacteria – ew! Choose natural fabrics such as linens and cottons.

3) Snug clothing

There are garments in most of our wardrobes that are a wee bit on the tight side. You know the ones, the skirt that you can just about do up, the trousers that pull over the tummy or the blouse that gapes over the bust.

Don’t be tempted to take them away even if they are your favourites. Holidays are not a time when we lose weight, in fact it’s the opposite, so leave them at home and with them the stress of not fitting into them.

4) Too many accessories

There is no need to bring your whole jewellery box, all you need are a few key items that work across several outfits. Bringing too many accessories means that you have more decisions to make and who needs that on holiday? The other downside is that you might misplace something precious or worse, have it stolen. 

Once ‘accessory’ you will need though, is an extra large shower cap for your summer braids and curls. And luckily it doesn’t weigh much or take up much space!

5) The one wear wonder

When packing each garment, consider how you are going to wear it. Decide what shoes and accessories it works with and if you can wear it more than once. Packing shoes you can only wear with one particular dress is a waste of space. You ideally need versatile styles and accessories you can mix and match and can wear at least twice. This way,  you’ll  maximise the packing space you have.

Setting time aside to plan what you pack before travelling will reap the benefits on your holiday. You’ll have less decisions to make, less to iron and packing will be less stressful. A well edited mix of clothing will create more outfits so you can enjoy your holiday looking stylish and feeling great. 

No time to plan your holiday packing? 

Don’t worry, help is at hand! One of my jobs as a stylist is to ensure my clients have just what they need when travelling. It’s also fair to say, I’ve been on a few trips myself. 

Over the years, I’ve honed down the key pieces you need to feel stylish from sunrise to sunset whether you’re at the beach, pool, sightseeing or restaurant.  

So to help you know just what to pack for your holiday abroad, I’ve created the ultimate checklist. And what’s more it’s completely FREE! Click here to download it and you can look forward to stress free packing. 

Sally Smy is a London-based personal stylist and shopper, and the founder of Queen Bee Styling.

Photo by Arnel Hasanovic