Holiday packing is can either be an exciting bit of holiday prep or become so stressful it results in a pre-holiday meltdown. I've teamed up with Ann Summers Swimwear to bring you my holiday packing essentials and top packing tips to make sure you've got all you need for the perfect beach holiday.
Ann Summers bikini top & bottoms* | HM top, slides and skirt | Piz Buin tanning oil | Palmers Cocoa body scrub | Primark sunglasses & hat | French Connection beach bag via TK Maxx
My main tip is pack light. I know, we're girls and it's certainly not our forté, but last summer I went to Marbella for a week with only a hand luggage pull-along in tow, and it's taught me that I really don't need the majority of stuff I usually bring. Focus on your key pieces and work around them, if I can do it, being the clothes hoarder that I am, you can too.
The bikini; The item you'll spend most of your time wearing on holiday, so make sure it's a good one. This black set by Ann Summers is the perfect fit, its important you find one you feel good in - nothing looks better on a beach body than confidence! I chose this black one because it has some really cool lazer-cut details and the colour will go with everything, including your tan.
The kaftan; rather than going for your average tribal-print floaty number, I've opted for a sporty and sleeker kaftan/ throw-over piece this year. The ribbed collar and striped sleeves combined with the light fabric make for a great beach piece, and the dipped hem is long enough to cover you. Packing pieces like this are great as they're so transitional, alone with flipflops for the beach in the day and then with a leatherette skirt and heels for the bar in the evening.
I say heels, and I do find it hard to resist packing 5 pairs, but realistically on a beach holiday you'll only need one pair, if that. I mostly end up in flats the whole time because I just want to relax. So, for The shoes; opting for a pair of statement flats are enough to keep you comfortable, and these bejewelled slides will certainly stop me feeling dressed down at all. Choosing a neutral colour will also mean they'll go with more outfits, so you wont need to pack as many foot wear options.
The beach bag; my beach bag usually doubles as my hand luggage bag. I like to pick something I know I'll use again, so tend to stray away from your standard straw-like beach bags and save space and any mess in your suitcase. This canvas one is big enough to fit in all your beach essentials and the pop of colour make it perfect for summer.
The hat; essential for protecting your bonce, but a bugger to pack. I usually wait untill the case is half full, nestle it between clothes and fill the head hole with bikinis or a small towel it doesn't get crushed and lose its shape in-transit.
My beach holiday beauty must haves; a good tanning oil with an SPF factor to suit you and wherever your going, this one's great because its waterproof and the bottles a handy size. A lot of people think scrubbing will get rid of your tan, but actually getting rid of dead skin will help you tan penetrate deeper and become more long-lasting, a definite beach beauty must!
Extra tips; if you're struggling with space, try rolling your clothing up into small rolls, this makes them less creased and is more space efficient. You don't need more than 3 pairs of shoes! A pair of flip flops, heels and statement sandals will have you covered. Save on expensive beauty miniatures and get some cheap empty bottles from Boots to fill with your favourite products you already have.