What, why and how to pack for a summer holiday (vacation) – Part 2
What, why and how to pack for a summer holiday (vacation) – Part 2

This is the second instalment of your summer holiday (vacation) packing guide. I split my original article into two parts because that’s how I pack. I deal with my main luggage first and leave the wash bag and my hand luggage until the last minute. The reason being is that I have to use some of the stuff before I pack it.

When I was younger and used to go on summer holidays (normally to the Bulgarian seaside), I never used to worry about wash bags, hand luggage and main luggage. I used to take a holdall type bag and quite literally throw everything in it and go.

Back then I was more worried about the nightlife and the parties I was going to than what shampoo and aftershave I was taking with me.

As I get older my habits, preferences and priorities have changed. I get the chance to travel more and I need to make sure I dress appropriately and smell accordingly.

Like for example, you can’t wear your flip flops, vest and shorts, and expect to be allowed in the Casino in Monaco. Not even if you spent thousands on designer vests and shorts.

Wash bag

I normally pack all of my toiletries when I go away. To make it easy to follow and organise, I divide mine into hair, teeth, face and shaving, and body.


The only hair product I take is a shampoo. My scalp is quite sensitive and I have to use a medicated shampoo to keep it happy and flakes free. I don’t pack any conditioners or anything else for my hair. If I had a normal scalp, I won’t pack a (special) shampoo either.


Regardless of the type of your holiday and the purpose of your trip, you should always pack toothpaste and a toothbrush. Don’t bank on the fact that the hotel will provide you with disposable ones. The chances are – they won’t, as I found out in Amsterdam.

Wondering round the streets of Amsterdam in the middle of a cold and rainy March night, trying to find a shop that sells toothbrushes is not fun. I did find one (eventually) but it would have been much easier if I’d packed one.

I also pack mouth wash. You can, of course, buy one of those when you arrive if you are limited for space.


This is the part that takes almost all of the space in my wash bag. I have a very problematic skin on my face and because of that, I can only use certain products. I don’t even use shaving cream/gel because it irritates my skin. Instead, I use a face wash to shave with.

If you use any special products, make sure you pack them.


I always pack a shower gel and a flannel. Normally the shower gel is part of a Birthday or Christmas gift set that I’ve kept to use on holiday. There’s also a good aftershave in my wash bag. If I have room, I pack a deodorant and an antiperspirant roll-on. If not, I buy them on my arrival or the Duty-Free.

Because I am going to spend quite a lot of time by the swimming pool, I am taking a bottle of sunscreen too. I never used to bother with protection from the sun, but as I get older, I begin to appreciate things like risk of skin cancer and sun damage.

I also pack plenty of Paracetamol because I can get pretty nasty headaches. You may wish to pack a condom or two too: you never know who you may end up with 🙂

That’s your wash bag packed. Don’t forget to put it in your suitcase with your main luggage!

Hand luggage

My hand luggage is normally a backpack filled with my precious gadgets. It weighs a ton and I am sure it sometimes exceeds my allowance. I take a laptop, tablet, mobile phone, DSLR with spare lenses and accessories, an old fashioned diary and pens.

I also buy magazines, water, sweets and all sorts of other stuff before boarding which I put in a carrier bag.

I always used to take a book with me too but that’s taken care of by the Kindle app in the iPad.

Don’t forget to take your passport, tickets, wallet and any other travel documents too!

When packing your hand luggage, bare in mind the weight and size restrictions put in place by different airline companies. If you are travelling by plane, make sure you don’t carry any sharp objects and other forbidden items in your hand luggage.

That’s it. What, why and how to pack for a summer holiday (vacation) – Part 2 is done. You are all packed and ready for your summer holiday. Have a safe trip and a great holiday, wherever you are going.

Please refer to What, why and how to pack for a summer holiday (vacation) – Part 1 for more info on packing your main luggage.

[quote_box_center]Photography credit: Kelvin Soh. Products by triumphanddisaster.com [/quote_box_center]