Since having children I have developed a deep dislike for packing. Where I once would enjoy deliberating over my holiday outfits, considering which shoes would go with which dress and how many handbags might be excessive for a 10 day holiday. These days my personal packing is last in the queue of four people's bags... and usually happens at midnight the night before we depart.
For that reason I like to keep it simple and, as with so much in my life now, versatile. I want items that are multipurpose, accessories that can dress up a beach dress to make it feel more glamorous for dinner, bags suitable for the beach or a night out, lightweight hammam towels that can be used as a sarong or evening shawl.
Here are my tips for packing like a pro when you are time & space-poor.
These brilliant Wayuu bags take up very little suitcase space and can be folded flat. They expand to carry all your beach paraphernalia and they can fit a surprising amount of shopping in them. They also make great evening bags too, especially if you want to take out a sweater or scarf for when the temperature drops.
Equally, our medium and large cross body bags leaves you handsfree to hold a guide, an iPhone, or, more likely, a dripping ice cream; a straw tote beach bag carries swimwear and picnics.
Hammam towels, packed and rolled up tight, make useful picnic blankets, pool towels or screens for changing at the beach as well as great scarves and shawls.
A lightweight Panama sun hat is the stylish way to stay sun safe; a bright bandana neck scarf works well too.
A simple gold hair slide gives the impression you’ve made an effort and prevents hair from sticking to sun-screened skin and from getting in your eyes on a breezy beach; it also keeps hair dry when you swim.
Keeping my sunglasses on my beaded eyeglass chain has been a game changer. It’s especially useful on a sightseeing trip if you are constantly switching between sun and shade; or if you need to swap between reading glasses and your sunnies. (Of course, not spending my holiday looking for MY sunglasses, frees up valuable time to find things misplaced by other members of the family!)
A cotton scarf works well for warmth on a cooler evening; for sun protection on a hot day; on the plane or in a hotel with air con; as a cover up over swimwear or a sundress when moving from a relaxed to a more formal setting, such as from poolside to terrace restaurant; or when visiting religious sites that require you to cover your shoulders.
A pretty pair of shoes that doesn’t cost your comfort is as crucial as remembering your passport! Shangies are super comfortable, hand washable, and now come in a version with a wedge heel for additional holiday glamour. They are incredibly lightweight and can squeeze into the smallest space in your suitcase.
Our Mohinders shoes will become your most loved holiday shoes for years to come; our rope sandals (flat espadrille sandals) are natural options designed to keep toes cool and comfortable all day long.
Finally, I always pack some artisan jewellery to inject colour to a holiday wardrobe. Some gold and beaded jewellery add a bit of bohemian glamour to simple summer outfits and looks great against sun-kissed skin.
Even putting in a simple pair of beaded hoop earrings reminds me that I am much more than just the sorter out of sandy sandwiches and that alone is definitely worth the case space!