So next week I go on holiday, and I don’t know why it has taken me until now to realise my need for a monogrammed sun hat.
As a pale person, the sun is not always my friend when away (the freckles are already out in force), and so I will often have to don a hat. Last week a lovely email dropped into my inbox with the wonder of a glamorous personalised hat.
Needless to say I really, really want one but am dubious as to whether it will arrive in time for my trip.
This then got me thinking about the accessories to take away. With a week of walking along the beach and days discovering one of Spain’s old cities planned, I will need a variety to take with me, but not too much as I only have a carry-on size case.
Shoes are an issue in the heat. Heels are a no go (and dangerous on cobbled streets) and flip-flops are a pet hate of mine, so a mix of sandals that will go with day dresses and then some prettier ones for the evening have started to take up packing space before I’ve touched anything else.
Scarves are next on the list. Yes, I know you’re thinking, 'she’s mad'.
Spain will be hot, but in reality throwing a lightweight scarf across the shoulders is much better than struggling in a cardigan. You can also channel some Marilyn Monroe chic.
Next, jewellery. In hot countries I try to avoid it as the metal can get hot, you’re just asking for strange tan lines (I have a terrific watch mark that I fear will never fade), and when you’re applying sun cream and insect spray it will just ruin some metals and make them sticky.
And lastly, handbags. I am an serious offender when it comes to always having to have a large handbag with me, but really when you’re wandering around exploring a city and it's rather hot and sticky, the last thing you need is a heavy leather handbag to ruin your hands and you also ruin the handles.
I have small crossover bags purely for holidays that are the right size for my purse, camera, sun cream, lip balm, anti-bacterial gel and a map. For anyone who knows me and my large bag collection, this is serious scaling down.
But I quite enjoy it when I’m away I can easily just whip out my camera or map when I inevitably get lost and not dig around through a Mary Poppins bag.
For the beach, bag rules can change. I have a Longchamp Pliage bag that can fold up in my case and then come out for an afternoon by the sea. It's the perfect size for a towel, change of clothes, water bottle, book, sun cream and insect spray.
Don’t go all Ab Fab on holiday. I am the Queen of overpacking but over time I have scaled back and found I don’t need three outfit options for every day, plus the accessories to match.
Plan to pack things that match other clothes you’re packing. Can two tops go with one skirt to wear during the week? Do you have tan sandals that will easily go with everything yet reamin comfortable for days exploring? And is there just one bag that will easily take the bare essentials for the day? Don’t pack panicked, it’ll all be fine.