Packing for my Holibobs

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In two days I will be going on holiday for the second time this year (whoop whoop!) so I thought I would write a blog about what I pack in my suitcase. Whenever possible I only take hand luggage because I am stubborn and refuse to pay for hold baggage. That means I have to travel light as I can’t even take a handbag on with me. This is a skill I am proud to say I have been able to master mainly thanks to various guiding trips I’ve been on over the years.

The first item on my list is my Cath Kidston Travel Document Holder in Mini Dot Vintage Pink because I can’t really get very far without its contents. In here I keep my passport (no matching passport holder because despite the fact that it’s pink, you have to take it out when you get to security and I just can’t be bothered with the faffing), my boarding passes, my European Health Insurance Card and my travel money. Everything in one place and easy to find in my bag because it’s nice and bright.
My suitcase was a cheap and cheerful purchase from BHS (you will be missed), but it’s the correct size for the current hand luggage allowance. It gets used for weekends away and guiding trainings as much as it does for holidays and is still in excellent condition so why pay more when you don’t have to? Mum and I have the same suitcase and they can be easily distinguished by her little teddy bear and my spotty luggage tag (you guessed it, Cath Kidston in Vintage Pink).
I got these packing cubes when I went on an overseas guiding trip for three weeks and needed to keep everything super organised so I could find what I needed quickly. I also got a third one in the set, but it's almost as big as my case so I'm not using it on this trip. When I use these I always roll my clothes so I can fit in as much as possible. Back in May when I went on holiday I took hardly any clothes and still didn’t wear half of it. So this time I am taking my swimsuit, a maxi dress, two long skirts, a pair of shorts, a pair of leggings, two vest tops and a couple of loose tops. I will be wearing my walking sandals on the plane and packing my trusty Birkenstocks. That’s enough, right?
My toiletries bag is huge, but I love the handles because I can hang it up in the bathroom once I reach my destination and the fact it’s clear means I can grab what I need really quickly. As we are staying at our family villa, I don’t need to take anything like shower gel, shampoo, conditioner or toothpaste as there’s plenty down there. However there are some items that I still need to take or just prefer to have my own version of. This bag was the biggest in a set of three from Asda. I don’t use the other two much, but if I do then it tends to be the medium sized one to take the bare essentials when I go camping.
My make-up lives in my toiletries bag when I go on holiday, but I wanted to cover it as a separate item. Some would say I have too much make-up and it is probably the thing I struggle with the most when it comes to deciding what to leave behind. However I know that due to the heat I am not likely to wear it every day and even if I do I will want it to look really natural so I have narrowed it down to these five essentials.
1. Younique Touch Mineral Liquid Foundation in Organza
3. Younique Beachfront Bronzer in Sunset
4. Bourjois Elastic Mascara in 41 Black Unlimited (they don't do it anymore and I may cry when it runs out)
5. B. Smokey Soft Blendable Kohl Eyeliner in Black 100 (I know this goes against the natural look, but I love eyeliner so it’s coming with me!)
5. Moodstuck Opulence Lipstick in Prodigal
I'm not even taking primer or concealer because... effort. As an aside, when I bought the bronzer I was told that it also works well as an eyeshadow if you are trying to pack light. When I tried it I couldn’t believe how bright my eyes looked so now I don’t bother taking other eyeshadows on holiday unless I’m going to a wedding or something while I’m away.

Likewise with jewellery I used to take all my favourite bits with me “just in case”. Not this time. I’m going away for five days to laze by the pool, go to the beach and at most go out for a meal in the evenings. I used to change my earrings all the time, but now I have more piercings I tend to keep the same ones in. I also wear my Fitbit 24/7 so I don’t need to take a watch. All I am going to take with me is a couple to bracelets and necklaces so I can jazz up my outfit in the evening. Whenever I go on holiday I borrow my mum’s mini jewellery box which I bought for her the last time she went out to Australia. It was from Fossil and I loved it so much, but they only had two left and I gave one to my mum and the other to my stepmum. Every year I look to see if they are out again and they never are. Fossil, please take note. I really want one of my own! It has a ring holder which I find really handy as I don’t tend to wear my rings when travelling and a detachable pouch which I usually use for earrings.
My next item is a product that I bought not long after they first came out, but I’ve only used it a couple of times because I don’t really do beach holidays. It’s called an Itsa and it’s a beach bag and sun lounger towel in one. You can secure it to your sun lounger using the ties and then fill the pockets that can be found down each side with your essentials for the day such as your sun cream, sunglasses, book, phone, etc. There’s even a flap at the end that can be used to protect your feet from the sun that also has a secret zip to hide your valuables when you go for a dip in the sea. Then when it’s time to go home you can fold the side pockets into the centre, roll it up and turn it inside out and it becomes a bag. This is taking up half my case, but I’ve decided I’m going to leave it down at the villa as that is where I am most likely to use it so it only has to make the journey one way.
I quite often take my laptop on holiday so that I can get guiding bits done while I'm chilled out and not stressing about stuff. On this occasion I've decided not to as I know I'd be tempted to log on and do some work on a big contract we're setting up at the moment and I need the rest. Instead I'll take my trusty Moleskine notebook so that I can plan my training sessions for October and maybe draft some future blog posts. I've used these notebooks for years after a friend recommended them. The fact that it has a soft cover means I can bend it back on itself or roll it up to fit in a smaller bag and it doesn't damage it. At the moment I'm taking part in The Blurt Foundation's #365daysofselfcare project so I'm taking my sticky notes with me. I also found out about the Currently List Journalling Challenge so I've printed a couple of the cards off for while I'm away.
I’ve left my gadgets until the end even though they’ll probably be what I use the most. When I first got my Kindle I used it all the time, but I missed having the physical book in my hand. Now I tend to just use it when I go away as it take up hardly any room. I’ve somehow found myself in three book clubs and I want to try and read them all while I have nothing else to do. Using the Kindle means I can take them all on holiday and I won’t feel too bad if they don’t all get read as it takes up less space than one book. Plus I am trialing Kindle Unlimited at the moment and two out of the three books that I wanted to read were free on it so bonus! (EDIT: I didn't manage to finish On the Other Side by Carrie Hope Fletcher before going so that's coming with me too.)

My phone doesn’t really get used as a phone when I’m on holiday. I try not to call or text home to keep my bill low so it mainly gets used for listening to music or as my camera. I do have a beautiful DSRL camera that I still don’t know how to use properly and I usually take that away with me. However I do tend to find that my favourite photos are often the ones where I’ve quickly grabbed my phone because it was closer than the camera and taken the photo in that moment. I might also use the Touchnote app to send a couple of postcards. Instead of a picture of a tranquil beach at sunset, my friends and family can have a photo of me lounging by the pool with my niece and nephew in the background pulling faces in the background.
My Urbanears Plattan headphones in Lilac are the last item that will be going into my case. They may be bulkier than my ear-in ones that I use for walking (I was going to say running or the gym, but my friends would just out me as a liar so there’s no point), but they actually fold down quite small. I also find they keep out more noise which means I don’t have to have the volume as high on the actual device. Sometimes I’ll even wear them on the plane without listening to anything just so I can have some peace and quiet and they are super comfy.
So that is what I'm taking away with me. I've managed to pack much lighter than I usually do. I'm actually quite proud of myself. Can't wait for a week in the sun doing not very much at all.
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