Leave the kitchen sink at home


Packing for a family holiday has been likened to moving house!

Packing for a family holiday has been likened to moving house! However, ‘upping sticks’ is tempered by the knowledge that you will be able buy those ‘essentials’ such as washing powder and soap in your new home... is it so different when you go on holiday?

It’s estimated that every year Brits spend £118m in holiday destinations on items they forgot to pack. Why stress trying to cram everything including the kitchen sink into your case when you can lighten the load – physically, and mentally – by buying what you need at your destination?

Let’s look at it from a different angle: what do you leave behind in the resort when you’re packing to go home because they take up space and weight in your suitcase... remember you brought these items with you! According to one apartment complex manager here on ‘Paradise Island’, these are the most common items:

·         hair products

·         sun cream

·         water toys (inflatables, body boards  etc..)

·         flip flops

·         beach tents

·         beach bags

·         sunhats

·         ketchup

·         brown sauce

·         tea bags

·         coffee

·         Rolex watch

OK forget the last one she thinks it may have been a mistake!

If you were holidaying on Tenerife prior to the 80’s we would have some sympathy.  There was no airport in the south, Costa Adeje didn’t exist, Los Cristianos truly was a fishing village. And as for supermarkets, it was a case of ‘local shops selling local produce for local people’, enough said. 

Today with 1.6 million UK visitors per year, rest assured the tourist machine over here knows what the average Brit wants after 40 years’ experience and what they are willing to pay, which means many items on the list are similar in price and in some instances cheaper than back in Blighty.

On larger essentials such as prams there are holiday rental companies such as Mr. Cool who will deliver to your door saving you the time and trouble of lugging that extra piece of luggage. You wouldn’t bring your car over so why bring the kids ‘transport’ when you can rent it here?

The golden rules still apply - passport, tickets, money – but please avoid the bizarre, such as duct tape in case your suitcase zip breaks, and superglue should your sunglasses snap. A new suitcase can be had for €40 (hardly a bank breaker) and with a bit of haggling, you can pick up a pair of designer(ish) sunglasses for less than the price of an in-flight meal.

There are countless articles from travel writers telling you the essentials needed to avoid a ‘disastrous holiday’. Of course it depends on where you’re going and what you intend to do when you get there. Backpacking around Australia is a somewhat different experience to an apartment complex in downtown Las Americas, but with the rise of budget airlines and the introduction of charges for luggage, plus the rules and regulations associated with heightened security over recent years, isn’t it time you revisited your ‘essentials’ list?

The simple solution is pack less, and shop when you get here.