Chances are you are one of the 60% of Brits who have booked a summer holiday abroad and will be taking to the beaches of Europe and other destinations. But are you prepared – did you start packing your suitcase weeks ago, or are you a ‘late-packer’ who throws everything in at the last moment? If you are in the latter group, you could be at risk of forgetting some very important and essential items to keep you safe during that holiday that you have worked all year for.
In no specific order, here are your Top 10 Essentials to pack, to give you a trouble-free time and to prevent your holiday being spoilt. We have excluded the obvious items such as passports, tickets and money (we don’t want to treat you like travelling idiots!), but whatever you do, don’t pack those items into your suitcase! If you want to be really smart, email yourself copies of all your vital documents, so if you take a laptop or smartphone, you have those details to hand in the event of loss. So pack up your dreamy summer clothes, selection of swimwear and all those things you cannot live without and get ready!
Remember, many of the items essential for an illness free holiday are extremely expensive in the sunshine resorts, who obviously have a captive audience, so prep up before you go, it will save you a good deal of money and pain.
The sun, as we know, creates havoc with your skin and hair, so you need to pack up a good selection of sunscreen and suntan lotions, as well as some ‘aftersun’ to soothe that beetroot skin after you go madly worshipping the golden sun on your first day and overdoing it. A strong factor sunscreen (we recommend Factor 40 for your first day and only short spells in the sun to prepare your skin) is essential to prevent you spending several days in misery in the darkness of your room. Factor 60 is highly sensible if you are travelling with children who need a deeper protection.
A good pair of sunglasses are essential to protect your eyes in dazzling sunlight and to prevent headaches as much as possible. If you can afford it, don’t go cheap – they are pretty useless when it comes to protection against UV rays.
Your scalp is also a highly sensitive area, prone to burning, so make sure you take a hat or cap to protect you from the rays.
Exposure to the sun will dry out your hair severely, so take a good shampoo and conditioner. When sunbathing, slick up your hair with the conditioner for protection before lying out in hot sun.
Mosquitos aren’t the only ‘biter’ – there are a large selection of flying insects that can bring you out in nasty, itchy lumps and bumps. Ensure you have anti-histamine or an equivalent to soothe any bites you may receive. If you can, take a ‘plug-in’ for your room – these usually contain citronella which wards off the critters, as mosquitos love a hot bedroom at night and come out with a vengeance as you slumber.
Take a selection of items such as plasters, antibacterial creams, and sachets of tummy relief potions – chances are you could get a case of the ‘gips’ from food, contaminated water or just plain over-indulgence. Again, these can be pretty expensive abroad and can make overseas chemists very rich in the hot summer months. Add some headache tablets as well – hot sun will give you a headache, as well as too much alcohol, which will severely dehydrate you.
If you are on any form of important medication, take a copy of your prescription with you if you need to seek a doctor at any time.
Talking of dehydration….
OK, we may be biased, but these can be a lifesaver whilst travelling to and from your destination, as well as being out in the hot sun. Fill up your bottles at home before you leave – you may get delayed and end up spending a fortune on bottled water, even though some airports have dedicated water containers available.
Whilst away, fill up your bottles whenever you go out in the sun, but be aware of the conditions of local water. Your Hydratem8 bottles will be a great reminder of when you need to drink and how much. Remember, we supply smaller bottles for the children as well.
Take some snacks when you travel, particularly for the children, who will get very grumpy when hungry. Destination hubs are always expensive for snacks, so its easy to just take some and pull out of your hand luggage when needed.
Take a selection of plastic bags. These are useful to store items in, as well as the need for them at airport security for perfume, lotions etc. You can use them to bring back wet or dirty clothes as well. Just be careful of how you dispose of them, to take care of the environment. Remember that you will need sealable bags when going through security.
Take an inflatable pillow – useful for longer flights, and also when the little ones get sleepy and you are away from your hotel. Make sure you go to and from your destination in loose and comfy clothes – you won’t regret it. A pack of wet wipes wouldn’t go amiss either, along with books and puzzles (for you and the kids!)
Don’t spoil your holiday for the sake of a few items – most of all enjoy your break and keep safe and well-hydrated. Heatstroke fills up overseas hospitals more than most holiday illnesses, and keeping hydrated will help to prevent this.