How To Stress-Free Pack To Avoid The Holiday Hassle

I’m heading off on holiday on Thursday to Las Vegas (for the billionth type), with Ben (for the first time) and whilst I’ve got a lot of other crap going on in life – job changes, funeral planning, wondering if I’ll ever be able to pull an outfit together (who doesn’t – eh?), one of the things that stresses me the most is getting organised for going away.

So I thought I’d write this post in less of a ‘here’s my advice, do things my way’, kinda way but more of a, ‘here’s what I’m doing to alleviate pre-holiday stress so that I don’t drink 6 bottles of tequila and put all my money on red upon landing’, sorta way.

stress free holiday packing tips

If you’re going on holiday this year, you might find these tips handy and if you’re not, I’m sorry for being a braggy twat.


Start from the bottom

When I’m prepping for holiday, my method comes in a few waves but each of them ‘start at the bottom’ – let me explain…

If you always start at your feet and work your way up, mentally checking off items as you’ve bought/packed them, until you reach the top of your head – you should remember everything!

Stress-Free Buying Things For Holiday

Ask yourself – how much will I be on my feet? If it’s A LOT, like constantly walking between all 4 of Vegas’s Sephoras, then you need to assess how comfy your current footwear options are and if you need to purchase anything new.


Then assess your actual feet – do you want to do your toenails? Scrub away 4 years of hard dead skin? Now’s the time to invest in a pedicure before jetting off.

Now it’s onto ‘bottoms’. Where are you going? Do you need to buy warm trousers? Or loose fitting babes that won’t trap the sweat in your undercarriage? Do you have a good mixture of trousers, shorts, skirts?

(At this point you may freak out about getting your legs out – PRO TIP: remember that no one cares about your legs and you need to let some sun onto them for the first time in 11 months so stop panicking)

It’s pants time. I ALWAYS like to buy new Primark pants for holiday. Comfy, mother-Bridget-Jones-fucking, LOOSE AND BIG PANTS. Pants that can go under any outfit. Pants that will withstand the heat. Pants that don’t smell after 15 hours of flying (or do but are cheap enough to dispose of in the airport bin immediately upon landing).

As we’re on the bottom layer – I now think about bras. For holidays I only ever take neutrals and blacks. Bras that go with everything and can be worn more than once because honestly – who changes their bra every day? So if your whites aren’t looking that fresh, this is a good time to get a new one.

This is the part where you start thinking about putting holiday looks together – tops – again, you assess your current wardrobe and very quickly realise that the destination you’re travelling to is NOTHING like the UK so your jumpers, hoodies and everything snow-proof probably isn’t going to cut it in 25+ degree heat. BUT it’d probably be wise to invest is some clothes that will also work at home on the 4 days of summer we actually get.

Pop over to my ‘Shop‘ page once you’ve finished reading to check out some of the tops I’ve bought to take on holiday and the ‘bottoms’ I’ll be pairing them with.

Now we’re thinking about outfits, we can think about what we’re going to wear in the evenings. I don’t know about you but I LOVE planning evening outfits on holiday but after my 4 hour mid-afternoon siesta, ALL OF THE WALKING and the over-priced G&Ts I’ve sunk I can rarely be arsed to get properly ready again and will resort to wandering to the restaurant in whatever comfy outfit I’ve worn during the day.

So here’s where JUMPSUITS come in. Versatile, smart-casual, all-in-one garments of dreams. They hide a multitude of sins, look effortlessly smart and only have one downside – changing out of them and going bare-ass in a toilet cubicle every time you want a wee.

So that’s shopping for holiday clothes sorted. I will now just have a quick browse round the shops for new sunglasses, hats, bags and belts to bring all of my outfits together!

stress-free holiday packing tips

Stress-Free Holiday Packing

‘Start from the bottom’ – pack your suitcase in the same order as buying things for holiday.

Start with shoes at the bottom, then underwear, then outfits, accessories, toiletries, make-up.

I often make a list in this order and visualising everything I need to take from my toes to the top of my head makes things SO MUCH EASIER.

In fact, here’s a screen shot of my list for packging for Vegas…

stress free holiday packing tips

Chub rub.

Yep. I actually have an all-natural saviour for the dreaded phenomenon that is the rash that develops between your thighs after those sweaty bad boys have been rubbing together all day. And it’s here. The Lush product, ‘Silky Underwear’.  An invisible dusting powder that melts into your skin and prevents sweat as long as you re-apply every couple of hours. Life changing. You’re welcome.

If I didn’t pack anything to combat chub rub, my holiday would NOT be hassle free. It’s important, y’know.

Please feel free to use above list and adapt to be more descriptive/proper English.

Stress-Free Hand Luggage Packing

The most stressful of all packing items – hand luggage. Why, you ask? Well hand luggage is normally where all of the important, ‘can’t-lose-or-there’ll-be-no-holiday’ type stuff lurks. So AGAIN, I have a system…

I imagine myself walking through the airport and pack the hand luggage bag with items I would need as I go.

First up – I’d arrive at the check-in desk so I need my travel documents including my passport. Ensure to pack this somewhere you can easily get to to check it 257232 times before leaving.

Then I’d visit the shops – possibly to pick up books, magazines and snacks that I’d need on the journey. If I’ve been organised enough to get these things prior to travelling then I’d pack these now.

I’d also need money for the airport/station to buy junk food, a fry-up or an 8am G&T because LOL It’s Gatwick. So then I’d pack my purse with my British money in.

As soon as I’m aboard my transport, I’d need my travel insurance handy incase of an accident (cheery) or loss of baggage, so I’d pack my insurance documents or at least a phone charger/adaptor because they’re stored on my emails.

During the journey I may need things like; skincare, socks, snacks, earphones, entertainment etc so I’d pack these now.

Upon arrival I’d need my foreign money so I’d make sure I’ve gotten this and packed it (and not left this until the terminals because the exchange rate is often SHITE) and I’d hopefully need my sunglasses, (not so hopefully) a change of pants or possibly a change of clothes – if I’m going from one set of extreme temperatures to another.

And I think that’s pretty much it.

I’m sure I’m forgetting something, because I am THE most annoying/least organised traveller EVER – so if I have, please slide into my comments and preferably before I next fly somewhere.

What are your packing systems? I’d love some of your tips!

If you found this somewhat helpful, please pin it for later and if you’re curious about my previous travels, then scroll through my burgeoning travel section here.

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  1. Asti
    March 25, 2018 / 4:05 pm

    Ooh, thank you for that chub rub information. I’ve bookmarked that for later because that’s one of those things in life that has always bothered me in the moment but I’ve never really quite thought about what I could do to avoid it after the fact. My thighs will be thanking you when summer comes along.

    And I almost commented to say you forgot underwear until I remembered that lovely difference between Americans and Brits where pants are bottoms for us and underwear for you! I really need to get that back in my head since I’ll be moving back to the UK in a month or two.

    Enjoy your upcoming trip to Vegas! And my favorite thing to remember for these trips: as long as you have the important shit like medication and travel documents, it really isn’t THAT big of a deal if you forget something. It’ll just give you another excuse to shop on holiday!

  2. Emma Harrison
    March 25, 2018 / 4:19 pm

    I am a big believer in packing cubes … they save me so much time and hassle when packing!!! I have a set for me & a set for Mr D and use one for swimwear/ underwear, one for day clothes and one for evening clothes – I tell you they are a DREAM!

    Maybe I should do a packing video of sorts for Ibiza?

    Emma |

    • Alex
      March 28, 2018 / 6:22 pm

      Do it please! I’m having to pack hand luggage only for my first grown-up trip to Ibiza in June so would love some tips! x