Already panicking about packing? Here’s what to put in your suitcase for any kind of holiday

Summer holidays are on the way and no doubt you’re already dreaming about the moment you down tools and set off to somewhere more exciting.

But not all getaways are the same, so when it comes to planning what to pack in your suitcase, one plan doesn’t fit all.

So whether you’ll be lying back on a beach or getting adventurous in the outdoors, read our guide to getting your packing right.     

City Slickers

There’s nothing as exciting as getting to know a new city.

Scoping out the neighbourhoods, stumbling across local bars and seeing all those famous landmarks up close and personal; it’s a great way to spend a few days whether you’re with friends, your family or your beloved. 

But what to pack? 

1. Flats – these need to be reliable and comfortable. Think sandals, mules and trainers. You’re going to be walking around a lot after all.

2. Lightweight jacket – You won’t want to be weighed down by some heavy outerwear so layer a light jacket over your looks, preferably one which can be tied around your waist if you start to overheat.

3. Cross body bag – This is all about keeping your hands free. While you want something big enough to hold the essentials for a day of sightseeing, don’t go too large or you’ll find yourself with very sore shoulders…

Matalan IT Luggage St Tropez Suitcase Cabin Size (£40)

Matalan IT Luggage St Tropez Suitcase Cabin Size (£40)

Matalan Ditsy Floral Shirred Bardot Midi Dress (£14)

Matalan Ditsy Floral Shirred Bardot Midi Dress (£14)

L-R: IT Luggage St Tropez Suitcase Cabin Size (£40) and Ditsy Floral Shirred Bardot Midi Dress (£14) both at Matalan

4. Cabin luggage – It’s so tempting to over pack, but if you’re only away for a few nights then edit your clothes down to the actual necessities and save yourself some money by just taking a cabin bag. 

5. Midi dress – A pretty midi dress or two will not only be perfect for daytime wanderings but can be easily converted for a night on the town too. There’ll be no need to stop the fun with a trip back to the hotel to change, meaning seamless transitions as you move from dusk to after dark.   

6. Stand out accessories – If you’re keeping your outfits simple then use accessories to dress them up. Statement earrings, bracelets and glamorous sunglasses will do the trick and a silk scarf or headband is very SS19.

Beach Babes

A beach holiday should be the definition of relaxation.

Soaking up the sun, dozing to the sounds of the waves, reading all those books you’ve been meaning to get around to; bliss. And the best thing is you just don’t need to take that much with you. 

But what to pack?  

1. Swimwear, swimwear, swimwear – The reality of any beach holiday is you spend the majority of your time in swimwear. So pack a lot of it in various styles. One piece swimsuits, bikinis, high waist cuts and why not take a few sets that can be mixed and matched together?

2. Stylish cover ups – And the other item you’ll need a couple of options for is beach cover ups. Whether they’re dresses, kaftans, sarongs or oversized shirts, have a few ready to throw on after you’ve had too much sun or just fancy heading to the nearest bar for a Pina Colada.

Matalan Paisley High Neck Bikini (£7)

Matalan Paisley High Neck Bikini (£7)

Matalan Animal Print Swing Beach Dress (£4)

Matalan Animal Print Swing Beach Dress (£4)

L-R: Matalan Paisley High Neck Bikini (£7) and Animal Print Swing Beach Dress (£4) both at Matalan

3. Sun cream – Just do not leave home without it. And get a high factor, especially for children. Then use it religiously while you’re away.

4. A sun hat – Not only are straw hats oh so chic, but they will help to protect your face from the harmful rays of the sun. Try a large floppy style or how about a cool visor?

5. Mini dresses – A cute mini will work well in the daytime but have them at the ready for balmy summer evenings too. Add earrings and a pair of wedge sandals and you’ll be good to go. Plus they’re small and lightweight so will pack easily!

6. A chic beach bag – Days at the beach, or by the pool, require a stylish but roomy tote in which you can carry all your sunny day essentials.

Glam Campers

Ah, getting out into the countryside and getting back to basics is what British summer holidays are all about.

Camping, whether in a tent or a caravan, is great fun. All those barbecues, that feeling of slightly fending for yourself, the cosiness of curling up together in close quarters; memories are there to be made.  

But what to pack? 

1. Denim shorts – Always a classic, always practical and always cool. What more need we say?

2. A raincoat – We don’t mean to be dismissive of the British weather but you know that at some point it’s probably going to rain. A bit. Or a lot. So a raincoat is a must.

3. Wellies – See above… Plus when you need to trek to the loo in the middle of the night you’ll be grateful you’ve got a pair to protect your feet.

Matalan Hooded Preppy Jacket (£30)

Matalan Hooded Preppy Jacket (£30)

Matalan Love Slogan Longline Hoodie (£14)

Matalan Love Slogan Longline Hoodie (£14)

L-R: Hooded Preppy Jacket (£30) and Love Slogan Longline Hoodie (£14) both at Matalan

4. A hoodie – A hoodie (or sweatshirt) is the perfect top to take with you on a day trip away from base camp and is ideal for nights spent around the fire, putting the world to rights.

5. T-shirts and tanks – There’s no need to be too dressed up on this kind of laid back getaway so just take a selection of simple T-shirts and tanks you can wear with shorts, jeans and skirts.

6. A backpack – This will make taking picnics, water and all manner of practical necessities much easier if you’re planning on heading out to conquer mountains, hills and dales.

True Romantics 

Jetting off to spend some quality time with your beloved? Who doesn’t love a romantic break that’s all about the two of you?

Late breakfasts, long languorous lunches and talking late into the night over a couple of expensive cocktails; the perfect way to reconnect.

But what to pack?  

1. Sleepwear – Something slinky should be on your list. We suggest avoiding your oldest pyjamas or one of his old T-shirts on this occasion. 

2. Lingerie – Nothing says romantic weekend away like a new set of lovely lingerie.

Matalan Satin Full Slip (£5)

Matalan Satin Full Slip (£5)

Matalan Daisy Lace Longline Bra (£10)

Matalan Daisy Lace Longline Bra (£10)

L-R: Satin Full Slip (£5) and Daisy Lace Longline Bra (£10) both at Matalan

3. Travel in style – You’ll want to feel gorgeous from the second the taxi arrives to take you to the station or airport, so put some thought into your travelling outfit. Comfort is important but spruce up your jeans and tee with a smart little jacket and special jewellery.

4. Heels – You’ll feel grown up and sexy as you strut your way to dinner in a pair of fabulous heels.

5. A showstopping dress – And you’ll turn every head, not just your partner’s, in your fail safe frock.  

6. A smokey eye – Well, the tools to create a sultry smokey eye anyway. Nothing says adventures after dark like this classic beauty look.

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