What to Pack: Your Summer Holiday Essentials

Ready for your summer holidays? Make sure that you’ve packed all of your summer sun essentials before you go.

A bright pink pool lilo floats on the clear blue water of a swimming pool. There's a pair of blue sunglasses resting on top of the lilo

Ready for your summer holiday?

I usually like to spend my holidays either travelling to a new city or by the sea. But sometimes you can’t beat a few days of relaxation, lounging by the poolside and sipping on something cold.

Whether you go to stay in a luxury villa with a private pool, or spend your break by the pool in a hotel, it’s a great way to wind down and destress.

I’ve picked out some of the essentials you will need for your summer break by the pool.

Sunscreen and Skincare

This one is a real essential, and should be the first thing you pack for any trip. If you’re going to be spending time by the water, the UV rays will be even more intense than usual. So make sure to put on plenty of sunscreen with the right SPF for your natural skin tone. For example, if you’re fair skinned, you will need a higher SPF than if your skin is naturally olive.

And if like me, you have tattoos, don’t forget to cover them up with a high SPF sunscreen or sunblock, to keep the colours looking bright.

Many of the high street stores have special offers on sunscreen from  Spring onwards, so shop around for the best prices.

After sun is also important, as the sun will really dehydrate your skin. I like to use Palmers cocoa butter to keep my skin soft, and an aloe gel is very cooling if you spend a little too long in the sun.

A pool lilo, sunglasses and a sunhat - some of the essentials for a summer break by the pool.


Sunglasses are not just a fashion statement, they’re also really important for the health of your eyes.

Your eyes are very susceptible to damage from UV, so it’s important to protect them. And that’s even true when you’re sitting in the shade poolside, because the UV rays will bounce off the water.

So be sure to check that the sunnies you buy have lenses with UV filter on them. There should be a sticker or tag on them saying if they do.

It might be tempting to buy a cheaper pair of sunglasses, but the health of your eyes is worth the investment.

Good Hydration

Fresh juicy watermelon decorated with heart-shaped pieces of watermelon, pomegranate, and a sprig of mint

No, I don’t mean a great cocktail list!

Obviously, it’s lovely to be sipping on a cold cocktail or mocktail as you float around on your pool lilo. But it’s even more important to keep hydrated on a poolside holiday.

Your body will already be getting dehydrated by the hot sun, and alcohol will dehydrate it even more. So give it some help by drinking enough fluid. If you pop a water bottle in your suitcase, it’s easy to make sure that you’re keeping hydrated.

Do check that tap water is safe to drink in your holiday destination. If in doubt, refill your bottle with mineral water.

Chilly’s water bottles are great because they’re reusable and made of stainless steel, so they’re BPA free. They keep cold drinks cold for 24 hours or more, or you can use them to keep hot drinks hot for up to 12 hours.

And with different sizes and a range of fab colours, you’re sure to find the perfect Chilly’s bottle to suit your needs. Click here to check prices and colour availability on Amazon*

But you don’t have to stick to plain water – you can get some great mocktails and soft drinks, or cool down with an ice lolly or some chilled fruit.

And if you’re going abroad for your poolside relaxation, do check if the water is suitable for drinking, and stick to bottled water if you are unsure.

A Good Book

A good book is always a travel essential for me, but even more so if I’m going to be relaxing by the pool for a few days.

I like to take my Kindle* with me, so that I can load it up with plenty of books to choose from. But it’s always fun to pick up a new paperback in the airport as well.

If you’re not already an Amazon Prime member, now’s a great time to sign up. As well as Unlimited free premium shipping for millions of items, unlimited storage space for photos using Amazon Cloud Drive (fab for your holiday photos!), and free streaming of 2 millions songs, as a Prime member, you’ll also benefit from free lending of selected e-books.

If you’re looking for inspiration for your summer holiday reading, click here for some of my Summer book suggestions.

Swimsuit or Bikini

Obviously you need to pack something to wear by the pool. And the decision of whether to opt for a one piece swimming costume or a bikini is entirely up to you.

My thoughts are that you should wear whatever makes you feel happy and comfortable. But do make sure to take something to cover up when the sun is at its highest and UV rays at their most intense.

A summer hat is great for keeping the sun off your eyes and the back of your neck. I love this floppy sunhat that is perfect for keeping you cool, and looks so pretty as well.

And a cover-up like this pretty one from Phase Eight will help to keep the sun off your shoulders when the sun is at its strongest.

It is made from a beautifully soft fabric and features stunning embroidery with a drawstring detail at the neckline and waist. It’s perfect for slipping on to walk down to the pool.

Pool Lilo

A pool lilo or inflatable is a fun addition to your poolside holiday packing list!

Pool loungers and inflatables are a simple way to add a bit of extra fun to your poolside break.Whether you go for a lounger with a drinks holder, a mattress to let you lie back in the sun, or an inflatable chair, pool lilos are a great way to relax in the pool.

This giant strawberry would be perfect for relaxing on the pool with a cold drink at hand!

Last year, inflatable flamingos and unicorns were hugely popular and they seemed to be on everyone’s Instagram feed. I can’t wait to to see what the trend is for this summer!

Where would you like to be spending your summer holiday? What are your Summer Holiday essentials?

263 thoughts on “What to Pack: Your Summer Holiday Essentials

  1. Megan Williams says:

    I would love to be in the Cayman islands…I unfortunately think it will more likely be my garden!

  2. Krupa says:

    I’m looking to go in on holiday in October / November time, just before my maternity leave ends. I’ve been researching winter sun and have found Oman to be quite interesting and cheaper than Dubai, yet just as luxurious.

    It will be our first gangly holiday with my baby boy, so I’m not sure how much relaxation I shall get, but I’m super excited to make some memories!

  3. Martina Pichova says:

    I would love to go somewhere exotic like Morocco… but Cornwall seems more likely option this summer.

  4. Steph Louise Gibson says:

    I will be sunning myself up in Majorca this year and hopefully a cheeky Canaries break in October . I always take a good book and I need some No7 in my life too

  5. Christine Taylor says:

    I’d love to be sunning myself in sunny spain, luckily it’s all booked for two weeks in august ;) x

  6. Nicola S says:

    It would have to be somewhere sunny, by a pool and very private. Good food and wine would also have to be very important.

  7. DonnaK says:

    Fabulous prize for summer. Possibly might manage a holiday to Italy this year, hoping it’ll be sunny in the UK though!

  8. Jackie says:

    I’d love to enjoy the sun in my beautiful garden, if I need to go and find the sun then I would probably head for one of the greek islands.

  9. Rachel Craig says:

    Guernsey. May well be nice for sunshine, events, restaurant meals etc. Some years since I last visited Guernsey.

  10. Kim Carberry says:

    We’re moving house soon to somewhere with a garden so I will be quite happy with that after not having a proper garden for years!

  11. Mark R says:

    I’d be happy sunning myself at home in the garden if we finally get some summery weather like last year.

  12. Carol Thomas says:

    Presently I am on holiday in Kefelonia where we come every year and have been for 13 years. You can leave Kef but it will never leave you. 80% of the visitors yearly are returning visitors

    Where else would I like to go in the world? Hmm tricky as we have done alot of the inexpensive bucket list. I guess New Zealand would be the one

  13. Lorna Ledger says:

    I would love to go to Hawaii, it seems like such a beautiful place, with an amazing culture, people, food, eco system and traditions, I would like to experience an action packed day there with everything the island has to offer, finishing off with a bonfire at the beach!

  14. Ruth Harwood says:

    we had planned to go to Portugal, but had to cancel due to the operator, who gave full refund, so we’re saving for a last minute break hopefully somewhere nice like Greece or Spain xx

  15. Jade Jones says:

    I would love to be going to turkey with the cousins this summer and the 2 stepdaughters but as im high risk pregnancy im not allowed to fly so this year ill be chilling by the canal, in the park and at local events with family

  16. Rebecca Salmon says:

    Anywhere other than my back garden, I broke my heel 2 weeks ago and I’m house-bound for another 5 weeks!!!!

  17. JULIE FOSTER says:

    Hello Sally My Favourite Place To Be Sunning Myself is in The Dominican Republic , It So Beautiful There , Hot But Breezy , So I Need good Sun Protection , To Cover Up When I Can And Have Lots Of Fluids Too . Same as in the UK where I’m Usually Found Out In My Garden . Thank You for a Fantastic Giveaway . Xx

  18. Maria F says:

    My absolute summer essential? A large Mojito. Then it doesn’t matter where you are or what the weather is like!

  19. Josephine Pett says:

    I’d like to be sunning myself with my family in corsica. I’ve heard that it’s a beautiful island ️

  20. Sandra Fortune says:

    Not going away during the summer just some day trips but will be sunning myself in the garden . Love boots no 7 my favourite products

  21. Kerry says:

    My dream would be Iceland but the only sunning myself I’ll be doing will be looking after the plants on my allotment unfortunately.

  22. Carly Belsey says:

    I am lucky enough to live near a beach so this is the place we will be sunning ourselves as a family this year

  23. Christine Hobbs says:

    Sorrento on the Amalfi coast just down from the delights of Pompeii. Italian food hot sun and beautiful views How TANtalising

  24. Kay Broomfield says:

    I’d love to return to Costa Navarino in Greece. We had the best family holiday there a couple of years ago!

  25. Paula Tarling says:

    I’d love to go on an aeroplane anywhere! I love holidays. Unfortunately funds aren’t available for a holiday abroad so we will be in Woolacombe this summer x

  26. Adrian Bold says:

    We’re off to Rome in August for a family holiday. We haven’t been to Italy before so we’re very excited about it!

  27. Fiona jk42 says:

    I’d love to go somewhere really exotic such as Tahiti, however I’m more likely to be at a beach local to us in the Wirral!

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