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Tips to make holiday packing quick, easy

world Updated: May 01, 2013 00:26 IST

I’m not the best person to advise you on holiday chic. I can’t do chic travel. Or louchely glamorous travel, like Kate Moss lolling atop a super yacht with a fag on the go. I’m just back from holiday. I was assembling Lego as our plane took off, and the only thing I wished I’d packed was a pair of rubber gloves.

It seems impeccable globetrotting and small children just don’t go together. Alas. Alack. And yet my experiences have taught me how to survive a family holiday with my sartorial spirit (mostly) intact. I might prevent you getting done for excess baggage or ending up with photos that make you want to set fire to your wardrobe when you get home. Here goes.

To pack (and dress) fast, limit yourself to three (complementary) shades. Then everything goes together without being too matchy.

Like sportswear, Holiday Clothes are performing a function, especially on a family holiday. Don’t feel obliged to maintain your usual look. Simplify, and don’t pack anything you can’t wear three times or three ways (er… apart from knickers).

Layers. If you are holidaying in the UK keep them light but numerous, and you should be climate-proof and able to close your suitcase. Dresses you can wear with leggings, a rainproof poncho to go over a light jacket, a big multifunctional scarf (sarong, baby blanket, extra layer in the evenings).

Shoes. Even if you’re going for a month, you only need three pairs: flipflops, ballet pumps and a pair you can walk all day in.

Crease-free fabrics. Jersey, Lycra and a couple of light wool bits are your best bets. Ironing on holiday is illegal.

Don’t forget the things your family routine demands. If yours wake early or you might be up in the night, a robe might be worth taking.

A sun hat is not an investment purchase. They always get ruined and/or you’ll have to wear it on the plane home and feel like a knob. Buy one you can abandon.

Guardian News Service