There’s nothing more exciting than getting the girls together for a getaway. You’ve prepared for it months in advance, agreed to a date and budget, found the right place and made the booking – and now the day is coming.

Ideas for outfits float inside your head, and you start to shop for the perfect holiday wardrobe, discarding last season’s bikini for a wonderful one-piece swimsuit.

There’s one part of the holiday experience that you may find traumatic, through – packing. Whether you’re very organized and have it all ready for weeks or pack everything in the last-minute rush, the task is the same. If you try and take too much, you’ll struggle to keep under the weight limit imposed by the airline. Instead of paying exorbitant fees for extra baggage, it’s best to plan accordingly and pack smart.

Here are our top five tips from holiday swimwear brand Coco Bay that’ll help you do that:

Travel in the Right Clothes

It’s best to travel in your warmest, heaviest clothes. This will help keep weight down in checked luggage and make sure you stay warm during the flight, too, so it’s a win-win. The outfit can be worn in evenings and on your return journey.

Another good thing to do is make sure to pack emergency travel essentials and a change of clothes, in case the checked bag gets lost or delayed. If you have toiletries, remember they should be under 100ml.

Get the Right Suitcase

It’s best to invest in a case that’s lightweight and has four wheels, so you can roll it at your side easily without any strain. If you’re travelling to the US, it’s a good idea to get a case with a TSA lock, so that if the case is selected randomly for search, the customs officers will check it out without breaking your lock.

Don’t Take Anything That’s Supplied

Make sure to check whether the resort supplies items such as shower gels, conditioners and shampoos. If they do, you don’t need to pack any of these. In most cases, you’ll have access to a hairdryer and towels, at least.

Be Honest About What You Really Need

Before you start to think about what you’ll take, make sure to check the free checked bag allowance since it varies from one airline to another. Then think about how many items you are taking.

We all have packed half our wardrobe and ended up using two or three outfits for the entire trip, and it’s great to avoid that if you can. Some hotels will even offer a laundry service, and if it’s worth the price for you, it will help keep packing to a minimum.

Make a List

The biggest mistake we make when packing is taking too many of the wrong items (like eight different pairs of shorts) and forgetting essential ones such as toothpaste. To make sure you don’t leave out anything important, make a list of the essentials and stick to it. Here are the basics we recommend you never leave without.

In your Hand Luggage:

  1. Passport
  2. Boarding Pass or Booking Confirmation
  3. Phone, travel charger and headphones
  4. Bank cards and currency
  5. Camera
  6. Emergency clothing and toiletries
  7. Travel Insurance Policy as well as EHIC (when travelling in Europe)
  8. Magazine or book
  9. Travel pillow, earplugs, and eye mask
  10. Magazine or book
  11. Empty water bottle (refill after getting through security)

In the case:

  1. Cosmetics and toiletries
  2. Straighteners and hairdryer (if not supplied)
  3. A beach bag (which could double up as carry-on luggage)
  4. Cover up and swimwear
  5. Bandana, scarf or hat
  6. A small bag to use day-to-day
  7. Jewellery (leave anything with sentimental value at home)
  8. Camisole tops and t-shirts
  9. Skirts and shorts
  10. A fleece or sweater
  11. One long pair of jeans/trousers (if you don’t wear it on the flight)
  12. Dresses for evening and day wear
  13. Pashmina for the cooler evenings
  14. Underwear
  15. Nightwear
  16. Spanx or some other big shapewear (to use as foundation garment)
  17. Trainers, heels and sandals
  18. Electrical chargers and plug adaptors
  19. A money belt
  20. Sunscreen, after sun cream, and insect repellent

We hope this list will help you plan a wonderful holiday, where you know you’ve packed sensibly, not taking too much and not missing anything.