A stress-free and stylish guide to packing for holidays

Corina Gaffey: Sturdy sandals, one piece swimwear and hard-working co-ords are a must this summer

Are you a precision packer, or more of a mumbled throw-it-all-in just-in-case kind of person? Whatever your packing style or baggage allowance, when it comes to jet-setting this summer, it’s not just about packing light but packing clever. The ideal suitcase should unzip to find a curated, sunshine-ready wardrobe that works from sun-up to sundown. So how does one do that? Consider it a capsule collection, and choose interchangeable pieces that work hard in the heat, and can be worn on repeat.

Packing needs preparation

Look away now, last-minuters. Think about what you’ve planned for your holiday – are you sightseeing or just lying horizontal by the pool? Comfortable footwear and robust fabrics that keep you cool would be prerequisites for exploring, and a selection of sophisticated swimwear and cover-ups are integral for lounging.

Try before you fly

Avoid unnecessary space issues by doing a fit check in advance. Anything that doesn’t make you feel comfortable or is tired-looking leave behind. If you’ve managed to do this with time to spare, you could add some new-in flourishes to finesse and knit together your getaway wardrobe.

Opt for hard-working co-ords

This season, the linen shirt and short co-ord is a standout combo across the high street. It’s a holiday wardrobe wonder, with the linen shirt doing triple duty styled up with its co-ordinating piece, paired with a wide-leg trouser, or equally as chic, thrown over swimwear for extra coverage. Also in demand is crochet, coming in iterations of bohemian style maxi dresses, and co-ords consisting of oversized shirting and wide-leg trousers worn over swimwear, thanks to their sheerness. Remaining crease-free if packed in the suitcase, the crochet co-ord can also make for a comfy travel ensemble too, if you rather wear it en route.


One-piece swimsuits trump bikinis

Regarding swimwear, the one-piece swimsuit is a multitasking option and trumps the bikini this season. It offers the ultimate versatility, especially if you opt for a bright block-coloured costume that will make for a great layering piece. It can even fashion as a bodysuit paired with shorts or loose-fit trousers. Look out for interesting silhouettes like one-shoulders, ruffles, or cut-outs to add flair to your holiday wardrobe.

Pack plenty of dresses

Dresses or stylish kaftans are easily rolled up and are super light, so pile plenty in your suitcase. Play with patterns and colours for the ultimate holiday feels. Choose breathable cotton styles or breezy silhouettes in statement shades or prints that are casual enough for the beach, but look refined for sunset with layered jewellery and a block-heeled sandal.

Slinky slip dresses in bold hues are instantly dressy, requiring minimal effort. Pack a hand-held steamer to refresh rolled-up pieces from your suitcase if you can give up the space. Scandinavian brand Steamery has a steamer/iron that can quickly revive crumpled pieces. Make sure to hang your clothing once you arrive at your destination to allow creases to fall out naturally.

Bulky and heavy, shoes require the most thought

Wear your most cumbersome on the plane to save room, and whittle down your shoe wardrobe by choosing only multitasking pairs. Slip-on sandals are ideal for heat-swollen feet, so you don’t have to battle buckles and straps. A chunky style will help navigate tricky terrain on cobblestones or the beach, while a block-heeled sandal is a smart choice for evening.

Scarf, €39.99, Simon Miller x Mango

A sun hat and silk scarf are the must-have accessories

A sun hat is non-negotiable; put it in your suitcase first, roll your clothing around it and utilise the space while preventing the hat from getting squished by stuffing it with socks and underwear. An alternative to the sun hat is the silk scarf. The fashion crowd have reclaimed the classic, styling it as a bandanna for coverage and extra style brownie points. But it will be a sweet addition knotted as a neckerchief, wove through the loops of a pair of denim shorts, or tied to a straw bag.

Two handbags is plenty

Your plane/travel bag should double up as a beach bag and slip a cross-body handbag in to your check-in for hands-free sightseeing and evening time.