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My last trip away was a disaster, at least in terms of packing. We spent a week in Monaco in early April and it poured with rain all week. This was most unusual for the time of year and our silly assumption that the weather would be better had resulted in seriously bad packing. In fact, my son was the only one who ended up bringing a waterproof coat with him.

Unfortunately, to counteract my son’s joy of being dry, I forgot his scooter. So everyone ended up being miserable. As I waded through puddles in high heels with my son complaining that his shoes were squelching and with my husband shivering on the other side of me, I was reminded to always pack layers… and a waterproof coat.

Here is a list of what I think are essentials to pack as a result of our less-than-successful trip. I hope it helps you for your next vacation too.

Passport, Wallet, Phone & Tickets

All are essential if you travel abroad. Worst case, you can buy what you forget. If you have tickets, you will need these too (although nowadays, most tickets are emailed to you, so make sure you can access your email on your phone).

Fee Free Card

My Revolut payment card offers fee free foreign exchange payments and withdrawals abroad. I swear by it and it saves me hundreds if not thousands every year. You can read more about the FREE Revolut card here and apply here.

Layers of Clothing

Whatever you expect the weather to be like.. it might let you down! If it does, either by being too hot or too cold, layers of clothing that you can add or takeaway is the solution.

Coat & Pyjamas

Separate items but both easy to forget. Just ask my husband!

Swimwear

Swimwear is small and can easily be forgotten. If you forget your bikini or trunks and you are lucky, the resort will sell them, but at a high price. The alternative… well, no-one wants to see you in your underpants by the pool! You can pick up some fantastic designer swimwear for a bargain in our Luxury Travel Auction.

Makeup & Toiletries

Obviously. Include a shaver to avoid hairy backs, legs and worse. I also pop in my voyage room fragrance for travelling spray. Some hotels I stay in have their own scents, others don’t. I have a variety of room fragrances that I take with me which help me de-stress when I arrive as they make my hotel room smell like home.

Medicines

A basic medical kit with painkillers, plasters, insect repellant, Imodium, antiseptic creams will help keep you safe and healthy.

High heels

They take up a lot of space but make you look great!

Ear Plugs

For noisy hotel rooms.

Electric Adapters & Associated Devices

For us that includes phone (again), laptops, Nintendo switch and iPad.

Your Son’s Scooter

Added into the number 11. spot is one thing that may well only be relevant to me. For my family, a scooter is an utter essential to avoid very-sad-little-boy syndrome…

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