What I Can’t Live Without When I Travel

By Adele Sharman

27 October 2021
If you had asked me this ten months ago, I would have given you a very long list. However, since my ten-day holiday turned into ten months, I have realised I DO NOT need half of the items I take away with me.

If you had asked me this ten months ago, I would have given you a very long list. However, since my ten-day holiday turned into ten months, I have realised I DO NOT need half of the items I take away with me.


We all like to turn up at the airport with a nice suitcase at the beginning. Well, don’t bother anymore. After a few flights, that lovely pink case has black marks all over it, and one wheel has decided to do its own thing. I have been there and spent a small fortune on matching luggage, and the cases weighed too much to start with, so my 15 bikini and 22 cover-ups and ten pairs of shoes would add to the weight straight away. I will be honest. I do go for a material case now. I find that I can pack more in and go for one with an expandable zip, and I don’t pay a small fortune for them.

Packing Cubes

Packing cubes are the way to organise items in your suitcase. Don’t forget to tie them leads up with cord organiser straps, pants and bras in one section, belts and jewellery in another. There is nothing worse than getting your chain out and it’s tangled up. Who wants to sit trying to detangle it? Twenty minutes in, and you are losing the will to live. The cubes are so easy to place in a draw, and you know where everything is. Another tip: if you don’t have a jewellery case, place it on some card and sellotape the back of the chain. You will get no tangles.

Wash Bags

I always put a few wash bags in as well. They come in very handy for sandy flip-flops or dirty knickers that you repack with all your clean clothes on your return journey. I always take a small box of fabric sheets or just put some in a clear zip-seal bag. They make your clothes smell super fresh. You can always put some sheets in your hotel or apartment drawers because nothing is worse than a smelly drawer. A plastic bag is good to have in your case for the wet swimsuits you have from your last day. You always want that previous swim before you leave; you never know when your next holiday will be. All of these things do not take up much space and are super helpful.

‘No’ to hairdryers

I take my shampoo and conditioner, but I decanter them into travel bottles and have learned which size to take. Yes, I did run out after my ten-day holiday, and my hair was fine. It survived the hotel toiletries. I never take a hairdryer since I have short hair. I could pop my head out on the balcony, and it would dry. I feel they take up too much space and most hotels or apartments have them. Although, if your hair doesn’t style without that particular hairdryer, pack it.


Take extra medication or a copy of your prescription (or even a letter from your GP) if you are on any long term meds. I also take a photo of my passport and print it off, and it goes with my paperwork. I always take a transparent file with all my paperwork. I am old school, and I can’t help it. You never know what can happen to you especially travelling during a pandemic. Always have a paper copy because that trusted wifi might just not work. If you do online banking, take your security key with you to always make online payments.

Miscellaneous items (a phone charger, sewing kit, water bottle and…paintbrush!)

A portable phone charger is a must and not the one with the size of a small suitcase, a nice slim one. A universal travel plug is a must (my European plug wouldn’t have worked in the USA). I still take a little sewing kit even though most hotels have it. They seem only to have one safety pin and not even enough cotton to sew one button on. An insulated water bottle is an excellent buy to pack in my case. I always throw in some neoprene bottles or can holders. These are great to keep my drinks chilled and don’t cost a lot from Amazon; you will pay more in the resort. Yes, to a paintbrush! Don’t worry – it’s not for redecoration. The paintbrush is excellent for getting the sand off your feet.

I am a lay-my-clothes-flat kind of girl and fill in the sides. As long as I am happy with everything I pack, I set myself off to enjoy a holiday.

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