Essentials list for a week in the sun!

(38 Posts)
RegularVoltaire Tue 20-Aug-13 00:33:22

So, I haven't been on holiday abroad for what seems like a lifetime. My youngest (6) has never been, and my older two have only very distant memories.

We have booked as cheaply as possible, including limiting luggage (although we each have 5kg of handluggage) so I don't want to go overboard and just want to take essentials. There are 5 of us and we are going All Inclusive to Spain for one week.

My list so far consists of:

Euros (have no idea how much to take)
Small medicine box with painkillers, plasters, immodium, diarolyte and anti-histamines - anything I've missed?
Sun lotion (again have no idea how much to take)
After sun (see recurring theme above!)
Beach towels (I'm assuming one each?)
Travel plug
General toiletries including toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo etc
3 pairs of shoes each (one to travel, one day, one night)
4 bikini's/costumes each
7 x evening outfits
7 x day outfits
Cardigan/light jacket in case it gets cold

There are probably a million things I've left out - help!

specialsubject Tue 20-Aug-13 09:47:06

unless it is October, forget hairdryer and straighteners. To dry hair, sit on balcony for 10 minutes. Too hot for straighteners.

take about £50 in Euros. If there is a cash machine in reach, just draw out more if you need it (Tell your bank where you will be).

two evening outfits (alternate for adults) not 7. More for messy eaters.

insect repellent - 30% Deet
forget aftersun, useless. More suncream so you don't get burnt. Kids should be in sunsuits/rash vests.

insurance docs and your EHICs if this is Europe.
guidebook for the area, you may be going AI but you should get out.

specialsubject Tue 20-Aug-13 09:47:28

doh...of course it is Europe, you said Euros!

RegularVoltaire Tue 20-Aug-13 09:57:41

Cheers for that smile

What are EHIC's?
I hadn't thought to tell the bank ... good idea.
Missed insect repellant too -v Yes, definitely need that.
But only two outfits? Really?

asandwichshort Tue 20-Aug-13 09:59:52

As well as travel insurance You NEED to all have EHIC cards(European Health Ins Cards (These are free - don't go on a site that wants to charge) Also a lot of AI provide beach/pool towels for a returnable deposit - check with your hotel because this can save you some packing space. Overestimate for the 6 year old clothes wise due to possible multiple changes due to ice cream, pop accidents etc. Remember also that you can't carry any liquids more than 100mls in hand luggage and any under that you do carry need to be in resealable plastic bag. This includes make up suncream even mascara according to one over zealous checker we went with I'm still thinking - forgive me if any of the above seems obvious!!
As for money - it depends ( I make mine aware before they go - its the AI food and drink only!! - no use paying for AI then buying elsewhere!! I only spend on newspapers,slot machine type kids entertainment and things like pedaloes etc I only take so much in Euros then have a credit card back up for trips etc

RegularVoltaire Tue 20-Aug-13 10:09:53

Righto, so I need EHIC's - where do I get these?

Thanks for the packing tips ...I have no idea with any of this blush

asandwichshort Tue 20-Aug-13 10:12:56
RegularVoltaire Tue 20-Aug-13 10:18:16

Great, thanks smile

girlywhirly Tue 20-Aug-13 10:20:57

I think you could cut the number of outfits per person and if you wear separates in different combinations you can get two wears from each.

Check your accommodation has a hairdryer, they often do so you could leave that at home.

Beach towels one each, but check if towels are supplied for the pool at the place you're staying. That said some will only allow you to use them at the pool and not the beach. We have found microfibre towels really good and absorbent, also quick drying and light and compact. You can get them in Outdoor/ hiking/ camping shops and also places like TKMaxx. We have one beach towel to lie on and use these to dry off after a swim, also handy if you go on a boat trip and they have a swim stop.

Money depends on how much you will need to spend outside the A.I. We have started to use a travel debit card, you load what you need onto it and use as a normal debit card, it's pin protected. You can get money from cash machines too. You need to keep tabs on what you've spent, but if it gets stolen the thief cannot access your bank account because it is completely separate and not linked. Thomas Cook and Thomsons both do them. I would still take a bit of currency as well and credit card.

Medicine/first aid, a few antiseptic wipes are useful to go with the plasters.

RegularVoltaire Tue 20-Aug-13 10:36:38

I love the idea of the travel debit card!

Yes, I think I'll go with the combination separated clothes for me and dh, but maybe stick with an outfit per day for the children.

Would it be a good idea to put the children's clothes into the hands luggage?

Can you use a holdall for hand luggage or had it git to be a 50x40x20cm-type case?

RegularVoltaire Tue 20-Aug-13 10:37:19


RegularVoltaire Tue 20-Aug-13 10:38:12

*has it got to be. Grrr

girlywhirly Tue 20-Aug-13 12:03:01

You can use any shape of bag for hand luggage as long as it weighs less than 5kg and fits in the overhead locker or under the plane seat. We take a change of clothes each (shorts, top, underwear) in our hand luggage, a good idea for DC. If you put them a swimming cossie each and a small towel in they can get straight in the pool if there is any delay with luggage.

Very important to take your travel insurance documents with you, and don't put in hold luggage, all documents should be in hand luggage. EHIC cards have to be kept with you wherever you go in case you have to go to hospital.

It's a good idea to take photocopies of everyones passports in case of loss or damage, (and take them on holiday with you) or at the very least keep a note of all the passport numbers. Then if they need replacing it can be done quickly.

Chewy sweets for take off and landing, will be cheaper if you buy multi packs from the supermarket. So would packs of bottled water, but you are restricted by the 100ml liquids rule, so buy these airside more expensively.

Do weigh all your packed bags (including hand luggage) before you go to the airport, then you can rearrange contents so that they are all under the weight limit. We have occasionally had to put hand luggage on the scales at check-in, and you don't want last minute panic and hold up the queue while you sort it out. They are pretty strict about weights. It's always worth leaving 2-3 kgs under the weight limit in hold baggage in case you buy things on holiday.

RegularVoltaire Tue 20-Aug-13 12:27:38

These are great tips, really useful, thanks everyone.

Love the suggestion of swimming costume, towel and spare clothes in the hand luggage. I totally forgot about the sweets too, and will definitely photocopy all docs.

I don't have scales but have seen case-weighing gadgets in matalan so may go and get one of those ...

Moomoomie Tue 20-Aug-13 12:38:59

We have just got back from two weeks in Menorca.
If you plan to spend a lot of time by the pool, I don't think you need an outfit a day. Also, it is very hot, we did not need cardigans at all.
I took a fair few evening outfits but tended to rotate 3 maxi dresses.
We took spare clothes and swim stuff in hand luggage, so easy to change as soon as we arrived.
If you packed wisely, you could probably get away with hand luggage only for a week.

specialsubject Tue 20-Aug-13 13:08:14

I would take one lightweight fleece each for the plane and the airport where the temperature can be very cold. Or very hot!

the 'liquids' rules for hand luggage are actually 'liquids, gels and pastes'. So the 'overzealous checker' who said it includes mascara was absolutely right. All slap is included in these rules. Put it in hold luggage, it's worth nothing and that way there's no problem.

generally: cabin luggage is valuables, essentials and documents. Nothing sharp.

hold luggage is everything else BUT nothing valuable or fragile.

girlywhirly Tue 20-Aug-13 13:26:54

RegularVoltaire, I have a luggage scale which has a dial, I found that it is about a kg out in accuracy. It's fine now that I know to add a kg onto whatever weight it tells me! I hope that the digital ones are more accurate and reliable.

Previously I used to put cases on the bathroom scales and hand luggage on my kitchen ones as they went up to 5kg!

The whole hand luggage weights is silly anyway, once people get airside they fill them up with magazines, food and drink, duty free etc (wait until you are all airside before buying all these heavy items!) It's a nice treat for the DC to choose what they want to read from WH Smith, although pricey.

Re the change of clothes in hand luggage, just roll each persons things into a sausage and put in the bottom of their bag.

mrsgiggle Tue 20-Aug-13 21:17:12

Have just come home, 2 boys lived in trunks (shorts) in the day and flip flops. Couple of pairs of shorts and t shirts f. night and pumps, akthough ala lot of people were wearing flip flops.

A couple of bikinis for me, 2 t shirts and 2 shorts for dsy. 2 dresses, skirt and pair of trousers, plus 2 tops for night, day sandles and night sandles.

Hairdryer in hotel, check hotel description before you go. Also they hired towels 1 euro each, emailed ahead for that.

mrsgiggle Tue 20-Aug-13 21:38:11

Have just come home, 2 boys lived in trunks (shorts) in the day and flip flops. Couple of pairs of shorts and t shirts f. night and pumps, akthough ala lot of people were wearing flip flops.

A couple of bikinis for me, 2 t shirts and 2 shorts for dsy. 2 dresses, skirt and pair of trousers, plus 2 tops for night, day sandles and night sandles.

Hairdryer in hotel, check hotel description before you go. Also they hired towels 1 euro each, emailed ahead for that.

RegularVoltaire Tue 20-Aug-13 22:13:09

Thanks everyone.

I think I'm starting to get a bit more of an idea of things. Some fab tips here smile

sofi0308 Tue 20-Aug-13 23:31:36

buy suncream, showergel, shampoo, toothpaste when you get there. but pack eyedrops. after a day in sun and sand and pool it may be handy. and yes, you def dont need tonnes of outfits, shorts and a pile of tops (vests better than tees/dont get so smelly!)

RegularVoltaire Wed 21-Aug-13 11:00:04

Thanks sofi. Are the suncreams etc not a lot now expensive over there though?

I've added eye drops to the list smile

RegularVoltaire Wed 21-Aug-13 11:00:33

Thanks sofi. Are the suncreams etc not a lot more expensive over there though?

I've added eye drops to the list smile

Budgiegirlbob Wed 21-Aug-13 13:18:59

Fewer outfits, and a tube of travel wash for emergency cleaning if necessary. 14 different outfits for each person is a huge amount! I'm not sure my kids even have that many clothes! We just stuck to a few pairs of shorts/trousers and a few t shirts/tops, plus a couple of dresses. During the day we only really wore swimming costumes and cover-ups.

Suncream - between 5 of us, we got through nearly a tube a day, it doesn't go far if you put on enough, and every two hours or so. Also my kids all wore sun protecting rash vests, they didn't mind as quite a few kids had them on.

Budgiegirlbob Wed 21-Aug-13 13:19:45

Oh, and I always pack tweezers, my kids always seem to get splinters for some reason.

bigTillyMint Wed 21-Aug-13 13:27:06

Re suncream:
We are 2 adults and 2 teens and have just come back from 2 weeks in the sun. We put it on a short while before we go out in the sun and maybe top up shoulders/back/chest after lunch.
DH and DS wear rashies and long shorts the whole time so only cream their lower arms and lower legs and faces. They use factor 50 - one big bottle (400ml?)
DD and I wear bikini's. We use factor 30 - two big bottles (800ml)
None of us burned at all, and DD and I came back nice and brown!

If you don't take aftersun, take a good body moisturiser as the sun really dries you out. Probably 800ml max for 2weeks.

girlywhirly Wed 21-Aug-13 14:15:38

Another tip: pack all toiletry containers in resealable food/freezer bags within your wash bags if packing in hold baggage, it saves an awful lot of mess if any tops get broken or containers get damaged because it is contained in the plastic bag. (We had this happen with a small bottle I had decanted DH'S shower gel into, it had a split in it. Don't think baggage handlers helped the situation!)

I use travel wash as well Budgie, but only on two week hols. Can take less underwear as well as clothes. There might well be a laundry room for guests use at an A.I. hotel. We only go B+B basis and it's not such an imposition to wash through a few bits by hand if there isn't one.

RegularVoltaire Thu 22-Aug-13 00:25:05

I've got loads of body butter, will that do the same job?

These are great tips - thanks all smile

girlywhirly Thu 22-Aug-13 07:53:01

Body butter or any good body lotion would be fine, although DH might appreciate something with no scent! I like to use an aloe vera lotion which is very gentle for sensitive skin. I've never bothered with an actual aftersun product.

specialsubject Thu 22-Aug-13 10:35:05

careful with over scented lotions as the mossies will think it is Christmas. And make sure you don't wear anything with excessive scent in the sun as it can trigger photosensitive reactions.

girlywhirly Thu 22-Aug-13 11:31:42

Yes good point about the mossies special. The aloe vera lotion I use is called Aloepura. it's organic and has no smell at all.

RegularVoltaire Thu 22-Aug-13 21:51:00

Good points ... thanks.

sofi0308 Fri 23-Aug-13 09:35:43

re suncream, all the supermarkets have their own brand so dont buy nivea/garnier at the beach for 10 euros a bottle, get it in the supermercardo for half that and save a tonnage on your luggage.

Walkacrossthesand Tue 27-Aug-13 17:03:50

Bear in mind that a cabin-sized suitcase weighs at least 2kg so uses up a chunk of your 5kg allowance - 5 kg is easy to carry so I'd go for a wheel-less hold all that will weigh much less & let you carry more. Ryanair, I presume?

WelshWereRabbit Tue 27-Aug-13 19:52:58

Suncream is always expensive in resort - buy at Boots airside in the airports, they often have offers on, same as on the high street. Once you are airside you don't have to worry about the 100ml limit or bottles bursting over your hold luggage. Also buy water, sandwiches etc for the flight, selection will be much better and cheaper than on the plane.

Ememem84 Tue 27-Aug-13 20:00:48

If ai do you need towels? We've booked ai in turkey. Towels supplied by hotel.

RegularVoltaire Tue 27-Aug-13 21:48:06

I've bought suncream - 2 x 50, 2 x 30 and 2x 15 spf. Does that sound like enough? The 30 and 15 are big bottles and the 50's (for younger dd's) are slightly smaller. I thought I'd buy any extra in the supermarket if we need it.

No walkacrossthesand - we are flying with Thomsonfly.

I can't find anything in the hotel facilities that state AI get towels, so think we need to take our own.

NoComet Tue 27-Aug-13 22:01:34

All the shorts I own aprox 4 pairs
Seven T shirts
Two evening outfits (always shower before dinner)
One costume, 2 tankis, rash vest- I burn long before DD2
Light weight but long trousered traveling clothes because we are cheapskates and tale night flights to get 7 full days.
14 pairs of knickers, stack of bras, less if you wear bikinis. I feel stupid in them. Always did even when young and slim.
Beach towels
Suncream-no two for one offers
We do after sun because the DD like it even if they aren't burnt.

Long trousers for DH and older teen boys, some hotels say long trousers for dinner. Certainly smart shorts.

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