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Pack smart this summer

Picture the scene: you've spent the past few months planning the perfect holiday, to a destination you've always wanted to visit, where you'll be doing the activity you've always wanted to do; everything is organised and set to be perfect, and then you realise you have no idea what to pack for your dream holiday! Packing may be one of the most annoying parts of going abroad, a week of relaxation prefixed with a blot of stress, but it doesn't have to be that way! Luckily for you, we at Capital Properties have compiled a list of the essentials you should take on holiday. Unless you plan on scaling the Himalayas or trying to swim with sharks, you can relax, we've got you covered.

Essential essentials

Backpacking through a forestThere are a few essentials that you’ll need to take with you regardless of where you’re going; your passport, various chargers (including an adapter plug depending on where you’re heading), your travel documentation, and of course, the currency of the country you’re visiting (although in most ‘civilised’ countries your credit or debit card should work fine)! Another key recommendation is that you pack light, that way there’s less to pack, and less to unpack when you get home. Packing light also ensures you have room for bringing back souvenirs if that’s your thing. Be sure not to take anything that would upset you if it was lost or stolen; it’s a sad truth but things sometimes go missing, so make sure you don’t pack anything you can’t replace.

If you’re flying and are planning on taking your toiletries with you in your hand luggage, there are a few restrictions you should be aware of. All liquids being brought with hand luggage need to be in a container which holds no more than 100ml; those containers should then be placed in a resealable plastic bag roughly 20cm x 20cm (which is often given or sold in airports). There are other restrictions pertaining to hand luggage which you should read up on before travelling. Furthermore, if you’re traveling to Australia or New Zealand, beware of their restrictions and bans on imports – you could get fine for bringing fruit if you don’t tell customs and throw it away upon landing!   

Backpacking

If you decide to brave the world of backpacking this summer, there are a few crucial things you need to do, the most important being, pack light – which you’re doing anyway!

When it comes to clothing, there’s really not much that you need to pack: a couple of polyester and cotton shirts, which you can and should wear more than once; a long sleeve shirt or polo, ideally made from a light material with sleeves that can be rolled up; a thin fleece (if you’re going to a cold climate then make the fleece a bit thicker); sandals for hot climates and quick drying cotton trousers (be sure to avoid jeans). If you have hiking shoes, wear them for traveling, since they’re what’s likely to take the most space if you put them in your luggage.

Of course, if you are backpacking then the climate and culture of the place you are visiting will vary, and so will some of the things you need to pack; luckily there are guides out there that provide a more comprehensive list of items to take with you. Just be sure to only pack essentials.

Beach break

Relaxing in the oceanBeach holidays are probably the most common holiday type; sun, sea, relaxation and hoping there’s no sharks in the water, beach holidays have it all. They are also probably the easiest holidays to pack for, assuming you plan on spending most of your time by the pool or beachside.

The most important thing you need to pack is sun protection; you might feel tough on the first day, proclaiming “it’s not that hot”, but we wouldn’t want to see how tough you feel once you get sunburn. Sunglasses, hat, suntan lotion (make sure you choose the perfect lotion) are all crucial when it comes to protecting you from the sun. You should also invest in a bottle of after sun lotion to refresh your skin in the evenings.

Other than that, the only things you’ll really need are bathing clothes and towels (although towels may be provided in your accommodation); you’ll only need a couple of each - you could even get away with packing just one - because you can easily wash and dry these overnight if you’re visiting a hot country (which we assume you are if you’re going on a beach holiday). If you plan on going out during the evenings, you won't need more than a couple of outfits, ideally made from 3 or 4 articles of clothing.

City break

If a city break is more your cup of tea then you’ll need to be a bit more ingenious with your packing, but it can be done! When it comes to clothing you need to make sure that everything you pack can be mixed and matched; there’s no use in packing that one pair of trousers or shorts that only looks good when you’re wearing those exact top and shoes.

A VW camper vanSpeaking of shoes, do not use this city break as an opportunity to break in the shoes that you’ve recently bought. Take, at most, three pairs of shoes (although the fewer the better), making sure they match the clothes you have packed. Ideally, one of these pairs will be extremely comfortable walking shoes; no one wants to explore a new city with blisters! Make sure the clothes and shoes you pack are ones you feel comfortable in.

Your clothes should ideally be dark colours or print, as they’re less likely to show sweat and dirt, meaning you can wear them more than once. If you have wrinkle-free clothing then those should be the top priority, though you can roll up your clothes when packing to reduce creasing. If the weather is hot, remember that you can hand wash some pieces of clothes to pack lighter.

One final piece of advice when it comes to city breaks: check at least two weather forecasts, so that you can most accurately prepare for the weather.

Now you are more than ready to pack for your holiday! We hope that this advice has enabled you to take a load off so that you can begin relaxing even before your holiday begins. If you aren’t going away this summer then why not visit one of South Wales’ great beaches, attend a festival or try something a bit different? Whatever you do, have a great time, and feel free to share your summer plans with us on Twitter, Facebook and G+!

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