Holiday Essentials Buying Guide

For many people, kicking back and having some fun on holiday is the highlight of the year. However, planning a holiday can often be a nightmare. There's so much to think about, from getting the right suitcases to making sure you've got comprehensive travel insurance. Hopefully, this buying guide will give you some handy holiday hints and advice and ensure that you turn up on holiday with everything you'll need to have a comfortable and enjoyable time.

Suitcases/Scales/Luggage Straps

Everybody loves taking the suitcases out of the attic, dusting them off and packing them ready for the next holiday, but with tighter restrictions on baggage allowances, it's important to ensure that your cases are made from the lightest material possible. For an accurate reading of how heavy your suitcase is, considering purchasing one of our digital luggage scales.

One of the most popular items, the 6-piece luggage set, is made from lightweight material, which won't take up excess weight, meaning you can pack more into your cases. The extendable handles and wheels on all 4 of the larger cases allow them to be transported easily and conveniently without you having to lift them and subsequently put strain on your back. The 2 larger cases are great for family holidays, while the smaller cases could be used for business trips, and the cabin bag could be taken on the plane with you to store all your flight essentials. There's even a handy toiletry bag included in the set for shampoo, soap, toothpaste etc.

The 6-piece set isn't the only luggage solution we offer. We also stock a range of 4-piece sets in various brands and styles, such as Skyhawk. Unlike, the 6-piece set, the 4-piece sets do not generally come with a cabin bag or a toiletry bag.

We even sell novelty luggage solutions too. 'His and Hers' suitcase covers can be slipped comfortably over your case to add for a bit of fun and to allow you to identify your cases easily on an airport carousel. We also stock kid's cases in the shape of animals, which encourage a child to pack and carry their own case.

If you want to be able to easily identify your case without having to buy a novelty case cover, then a personalised luggage strap might be worth considering. These bright, colourful straps wrap comfortably around your case, allowing them to be easily identified. The strap can be personalised free of charge with a name of up to 11 letters or up to 3 initials, which prevents other people from confusing your case with their own.

Passport Covers

Keeping your passport safe, secure and free from damage is incredibly important. Without it, you won't be able to leave your home country. Tighter airport security has resulted in a crackdown on damaged passports, so if yours is tattered and frayed you may be refused permission to leave the country.

A passport cover will keep your passport protected from the weather, spilled liquids and general wear and tear. Most covers are made from bright material too, meaning you're less likely to misplace or lose your passport.

Many of our passports can be personalised free of charge with up to 3 initials. For larger families, passport cover personalisation reduces the risk of somebody picking up your passport by mistake.

Women's Clothing and Footwear

There are plenty of options available for women when it comes to holiday clothing. Obviously, the most essential item is the swimsuit. We have a fabulous selection of swimsuits available in a wide range of styles and sizes, many with tummy control. They're fantastic for lounging about on the beach or simply taking a dip in the hotel swimming pool.

To complement your swimsuit, you might want to consider a kaftan. They loosely hang over your body and give you the option to walk comfortably from place to place without having to put a dress or skirt back on over your swimsuit. For the full beach look, add some sandals and a pair of fashionable shades to your outfit.

For holiday evening wear, maxi dresses seem to be leading the way. Their long, flowing design keeps you feeling cool, which is fantastic if you're on holiday in a location that stays warm in the evening. We have an extensive range of maxi dresses. With so many styles available, there's a maxi dress to suit every taste and every body shape.

Men's Clothing and Footwear

Finding men's holiday clothing is a relatively simple task. For the day time, 4 or 5 pairs of medium length shorts should do the trick. Do note that this is based on an average 7 day holiday and taking a few extra pairs might be advisable for longer length holidays. Waterproof shorts are more preferable as they can be used for swimming too.

Sandals and flip flops are a great idea, especially if you're going to a hot country. Nobody feels comfortable walking around in trainers in plus 30 degree heat. However, do take some trainers with you for the night time, as walking around pubs, bars and clubs in sandals isn't advisable. For extra comfort in the heat, consider purchasing a few vests too. They're light and airy and won't stifle you in the same way that a t shirt might do.

For the evening, a pair of casual jeans with a loose fitting t shirt is a great combination. You'll look smart and sophisticated, while feeling cool and comfortable.

Kids' Travel Gadgets

Travelling with children can be a stressful experience. Keeping them entertained while attempting to juggle flight/train delays, security checks, carrying luggage etc. is a real challenge. Thankfully, we have a great selection of electronic gadgets which are guaranteed to hold a child's attention for hours, making travelling a more relaxing experience.

Hand-held games consoles are extremely popular with children. Both the Playstation Vita and the Nintendo 3DS allow children to play their favourite games on a small, compact machine. Both devices can also be used to take photographs and watch movies too, giving a child extra entertainment options should they get tired of playing games.

For a larger screen for watching TV shows and movies, consider purchasing a portable DVD player. Generally, portable DVD players come equipped with a 7" screen, which is ideal for watching movies on the go. One of our most popular products is the Lava portable DVD player, which comes with 8 fantastic family movies, 2 games controllers, an in-car charger, plus much more. It's also available in 2 screen sizes; 7" and 9".

One of the newest kid's gadgets on the market is the 7" Kurio tablet. Designed primarily for kids, the Kurio tablet allows the user to play apps, watch movies and browse the web. Full parental controls are available so you can rest easy knowing that your child will not be exposed to any unsuitable material.

Cameras

Taking photographs is the best way to preserve your holiday memories. With the invention of the digital camera, we're now able to upload our photographs onto our computer and share them on social media sites, as well as being able to print them off and put them in albums too.

We offer a superb selection of cameras that would be ideal to use on holiday. Your first option is the waterproof camera. These allow you take pictures underwater at depths between 3 and 6 metres, depending on the model you choose. If you're looking to take pictures in the pool, then a waterproof camera is definitely the way to go. In terms of picture quality, our waterproof cameras are available with 14 or 16 megapixels, both of which are considered to be above average. Price wise, waterproof cameras range between £129.99 and £189.99.

Another option to consider is the basic point and shoot camera. These are generally cheaper to purchase than waterproof cameras, but don't allow you take photographs in the water. Point and shoot cameras are small and compact and can be carried around comfortably and discreetly in a pocket, handbag or beach bag. Picture quality can vary quite dramatically with point and shoot cameras. More basic models offer 8-10 megapixels, while more advanced can offer as many as 15 megapixels. Point and shoot cameras start at roughly £39.99 and go up to around £129.99 for more advanced models.


For more detailed camera information, please take a look at our cameras and photography buying guide.

Travel Beauty Essentials

We all like to look as great as we feel when we're on holiday, but we don't want our suitcases over-cluttering with beauty products either. With our mini travel essentials range, you can look your best without weighing your suitcase down. The mini travel hairdryer performs just as well as many regular sized dryers, while the mini straighteners, waver and curling iron allow you to experiment with your hair to achieve the style you want. Our mini travel range is extremely affordable too, with the hair dryer costing just £6.99 and the straighteners costing as little as £4.99.

If you're not a fan of using the toiletries and cleaning products that hotels provide, then consider taking one of our travel essentials packs on holiday with you. Inside, you'll find mini bottles of body wash, body cream and bath soap, plus a handy toiletry bag to keep everything secure.

Other Useful Holiday Items

  • Beach Shelter
    When on holiday, it's important to not spend too long in the sun. If you're planning on spending a day on the beach, consider taking a beach shelter with you. They provide you with a place to rest in the shade and allow you to take a break from the sun, thus reducing your chance of picking up sunburn or sun stroke. Beach shelters block out the wind too, which is particularly useful when taking a holiday at a British seaside resort.
  • Kindles
    Getting stuck into a good book on the beach or by the pool is the ultimate form of relaxation for many people. However, trying to find room in your suitcase for books can be a bit of a hassle. With a Kindle, you can take an entire library of books on holiday with you and store them all in one convenient place. Both the original Kindle and the Kindle Paperwhite use anti-glare technology, making them perfect for reading in bright sunlight. If you'd like some extra features with your Kindle, such as the ability to watch movies and update Facebook/Twitter, then you may want to consider a Kindle Fire HD. These have a colour, touch screen interface and a wealth of advanced features, making them more of a tablet computer than an e-reader.

    Check out our full range of Kindles here

  • iPods
    The huge storage capacity of iPods means you can take literally thousands of songs on holiday with you. We currently stock 4 different types of iPod, all with their own unique benefits. The iPod Touch is the most advanced member of the family and allows you to listen to music, take photos, browse the web, play games, update social media and more. The iPod Nano is essentially a smaller version of the Touch, but without the touch screen interface. The iPod Classic is modelled on the original iPod and is primarily used for just playing music. It doesn't have a colour screen, but it does offer by far the largest amount of storage. Finally, there's the iPod Shuffle, which is the smallest and most affordable iPod available. It doesn't have a screen, but its compact design means it can be stored securely out of sight. It's worth bearing in mind that you have the option to play your music library out loud by purchasing one of our iPod speaker docks.
    Browse our full range of iPods here.
  • Beach Bags
    For long days lazing about on the beach, you'll need somewhere to keep all your belongings safe and secure. Our beach bags are stylish and spacious and can be used to store and transport anything from towels to sunglasses and sun cream.
  • Beach Towels
    Beach towels may not seem like much of a necessity, but they really are. Without them, you won't have anything to drape over your sun lounger for comfort, nor will you have anything to lay on the sand to sunbathe on. Beach towels are much larger than normal towels, which makes them great for drying off in after a dip in the sea.
  • Burt's Bees After Sun Lotion
    After a day in the sun, it's important to moisturise your skin to prevent it from becoming dry and flaky. After sun not only moisturises your skin, but cools it down too, making you feel more comfortable and helping you to get a better night's sleep. Burt's Bees after sun lotion is 99.5% natural, making it safe on skin.
  • Portable iPhone/iPod Speaker Dock
    Having a place to play your music is always handy on holiday. With a portable speaker dock, you can hook up your iPhone or iPad and play your favourite tunes by the pool, on the beach or simply on the hotel balcony while you're eating breakfast in the morning. The dock charges your device too, giving you a back-up power source should you lose your iPhone or iPod charger. You could even leave your chargers at home if you wanted to.

Holiday Tips

  • Dress comfortably to travel - Travelling can be stressful and delays on flights are always likely to happen, so make sure you're prepared for any prolonged stays in the airport by dressing comfortably. Make sure you wear comfortable footwear that can be slipped off easily on the plane too. Restrictive footwear can be bad for your health, especially on long haul flights.
  • Always get travel insurance - Hopefully, you won't have to use your insurance on holiday, but if something does happen, it's good to know that you're protected.
  • Watch out for mobile phone data charges - Before setting off on holiday, be sure to find out how much your network charges for making calls and sending texts abroad. Many networks offer roaming bundles, which could dramatically reduce the cost of using your phone overseas. You should always avoid using your phone to browse the Internet abroad. Downloading a 10 minute movie clip could cost you as much as £200. If you want to surf the web or access Facebook, seek out an Internet cafe.
  • Don't buy cash at the airport - Purchasing foreign currency at the airport is a big mistake. You'll get a poor exchange rate and be hit by some pretty hefty commission charges. It's a much better idea to get some currency before you set off on holiday.
  • Beware of hidden debit card fees - You'd be forgiven for thinking that banks don't charge for drawing money out abroad on debit cards, but many of them do. Check with your bank before you go on holiday to find out what rates they charge for withdrawing money abroad. The fees usually aren't too big.
  • Take paracetamol and plasters with you - You never know when a headache or toothache is going to strike, so take some painkillers with you. It's better to take tablets you trust than using unknown tablets from a foreign shop. Plasters are a great idea too. You're more likely to fall and cut yourself when you're out and about having fun on holiday than you are when doing nothing at home.
  • Don't forget your passport! - It may sound obvious, but in the frantic rush of getting to the airport, many people actually do forget their passport. You'll be going nowhere without it.