By: Susan Gerle

There are so many things to consider when you are packing for a holiday now. You may as well forget the idea of just taking a carry-on, even though it may still be possible with some airlines. Security has tightened up so much that it is no longer an option in some countries.


A carry-on suitcase is still the ideal size to travel with though. Check with different airlines first to find out what is the most common carry-on bag size allowed. When you go shopping, make sure you purchase one made of fabric with reinforced corners and heavy-duty multi-directional wheels, if possible. They are much easier to maneuver. Find one with a pull handle that is comfortably long enough for you and that slides down into a zippered compartment. It is a good idea if the suitcase has an extension area built in too for all those souvenirs you are going to buy. Attach a bright coloured cord or luggage tag so you can easily spot your bag on the luggage carousel.

What should you pack?

Clothing for the Gals

Take clothing items that are light-weight and roll easily. Many of today’s fabrics, like interlock cotton, will keep you cool and look good layered. Colour coordinate 1 hip-rider skirt (much cooler in hot climates), 2 sleeveless tops, 1 long-sleeved stretchy scooped neck top and a light cotton sweater. The next items to add for casual wear are 2 pair shorts, 1 pair capris, and 1 pair long pants. It’s always good to take 2 bathing suits and a cover-up that can be used as an extra day dress. Otherwise, you’ll need 7 pairs of panties and panty liners, a couple of thin nighties, 2 bras (one that converts to strapless – just in case) and a sun hat.

YelapaFor that romantic dinner out bring 2 jersey or stretch cotton sleeveless dresses that hang fairly loose. Something to the knee or a bit longer will be the best length. Get dresses that don’t require slips underneath. A cotton shawl is a nice evening cover.

Footwear is always an issue. The best choices are one pair of attractive looking, comfortable sandal wedgies for dress-up and a couple pair of flip-flops. Don’t worry about runners unless you plan to do some marathon walking!

Consider taking a fairly large fabric shoulder bag as a purse, which will double as your beach bag. You can throw in your camera, a sweater, your bathing suit and towel and a book to read.

Clothing for the Guys

Guys always seem to get away with far less clothing for a trip to hot climates than the women do. Make sure you have a couple of pairs of walking shorts (better in dark colours) along with half a dozen cotton t-shirts. Loose fitting jockey shorts are more comfortable in the heat. Throw in 7 pair. Don’t forget your PJs if you wear them.

For the beach, a couple pair of bathing trunks and a cap is all you should need. Also “guy bags” are becoming a more popular item for carrying your towel, etc. and are available in fabric or leather.

2 pair of white or beige slacks with a couple of coordinated short-sleeved shirts will prepare you for dining out. You might want to throw in a tie, just in case. For cool evenings bring along a light-weight jacket. A good pair of leather sandals or slip-ons and a couple pair of flip-flops should do for footwear. Leave the socks at home.

Guys and Gals

Make sure you have all your toiletries and a shaver you can convert for power, if necessary, or safety razors. Bring a small, convertible hair dryer too. Don’t forget your meds either and it’s good to have an extra prescription if you end up needing more. It’s a good idea to bring condoms from home because the quality is not always the best in other countries.

Take along an extra pair of sunglasses, an extra pair of prescription glasses if you use them, and your favorite sunscreen. Buy beach towels wherever you are going. It’s a good souvenir to take home and something that won’t take up space in your suitcase on the way down.

Don’t forget the extra batteries or charger for your camera and it is good to bring a spare card for your digital camera too.

Leave photocopies of your credit cards, medical travel insurance, and ID at home in case you have any problems. Make sure someone at home also has your itinerary and contact numbers.

Otherwise, have a great holiday and relax and enjoy!

About the Author:

Susan Gerle has her luggage lists depending what part of the world she is planning to travel to next.