Packing List: Winter Sun Essentials for your Suitcase

If you’re heading off for some winter sun this year, here are some of the essential items that you should be packing into your suitcase!

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When the days are cold and the nights are long, our thoughts often turn to summer holidays.

But if the idea of waiting til the summer for some sunshine doesn’t appeal, you might be tempted to book a winter break in a warmer climate.

So here are 10 essentials to pop in your suitcase if you’re heading off for some winter sun.

Swimming Costume or Bikini

The first thing you’ll probably be throwing in your suitcase is your swimsuit or bikini, ready for days lazing by the pool or on the beach.

Obviously there won’t be much choice available on the High Street in the winter months. But luckily you’ll have much more luck if you’re looking to buy a swimsuit online.

I love this fab swimsuit from John Lewis. It has a twist front that’s great for flattering your curves, and a medium-control tummy zone. The fixed cups and smooth back lining will give a smooth shape.

It’s available in sizes 10-20 and it has a gorgeous navy nautical stripe which will look great on the beach or by the pool.

Click here to check price and availability at John Lewis

Kaftan or Cover-up

And a kaftan or coverup is another essential item on your winter sun packing list.

They offer coverage when moving from beach to bar, and help to shade your shoulders in the afternoon sun. A good quality cover-up is both practical and flattering, and definitely a must-have for your winter sun holiday.

Shorter kaftans are more informal, like this white crinkle kaftan from John Lewis. The soft fabric and curved hem gives it a lovely swing, and it has a diamond pattern lace edging around the neckline and sleeves.

The three-quarter length sleeves and extra length at the back of the kaftan make sure that you get coverage from the sun, and it looks lovely by the pool.

Click here to see this kaftan at John Lewis

Or you could opt for a longer kaftan or cover-up dress, perfect for a casual evening after a day by the pool.

This navy dress is made from soft jersey and pulls on overhead so you can cover up with ease. It has a deep V neck and an elasticated waist with pull ties so that you can adjust the silhouette.

It’s ideal for relaxing in at the end of a day in the sun, and definitely one of your winter sun essentials

Click here to check price and availability at John Lewis

Get Covered with Travel Insurance

The next item on my winter sun essentials list isn’t as fun as a new bikini or pair of sunglasses, but it’s vital for a great trip.

Always make sure that you take out travel insurance for your trip. It will cover you in the event of illness, if the company you are using runs into financial problems, or even if your gadgets go missing on holiday.

And it’s worth checking that you have the right kind of cover. Ever since I got stranded in Portugal when the Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted in 2010, I’ve made sure that we have enough cover to be sure that we don’t have to worry if a natural catastrophe happens during our trips.

If you tend to travel a few times each year, it usually works out cheaper to take out an annual policy.

Sun Protection

One absolute must-have for any winter sun holiday is a good SPF. It’s vital for helping to prevent skin cancer, and also helps to protect your skin against the ageing effects of the sun’s UV rays.

I love this Nivea Sun Cooling Suncream mist. It comes in a range of SPF to suit different skin types, and is really simple to use – even in the hard to reach spots!

And don’t forget to reapply your sun protection regularly, especially if you’re taking a dip in the sea or pool.

Click here to see this product at Boots

Soothing After Sun Lotion

These days, we all know how important it is to avoid getting sunburnt. But even if you’re being really careful, spending time in the sun can still have a drying effect on your skin.

So a good after-sun is fantastic for cooling and soothing sun-kissed skin.

This Nivea Sun After Sun Tan Prolonging lotion has a hydrating formula to moisturise your skin. It helps to avoid peeling and flaking, and the pro-melanin plant extract helps to make it easier to keep a long-lasting, beautiful tan.

Use this lotion to soothe and hydrate your skin after you’ve enjoyed a day in the sun.

Click here to see this product at Boots

A Sun Hat

If you want to get ahead, get a hat.

Yeah, I know it’s a cliche, but in all seriousness a sunhat is an important part of your winter sun wardrobe. Not just because it makes you look fab, but also because it can help protect you against sunburn and stop you squinting in the sun!

If you pick a hat with a wide band, it will shade your face and neck from the sun, as well as looking sophisticated!


Don’t forget to protect your eyes on your winter sun holiday as well!

A good pair of sunglasses will not just help to make you look stylish on holiday, but will also help to protect your delicate eyes from UV rays.

It’s up to you whether you go for a pair of outsized retro sunglasses or a modern minimalist look. But make sure that you pick sunglasses that offer UV protection, even if that means that you have to spend a little more.

And if you have to wear glasses to see clearly, don’t worry – there are plenty of fab brands available as prescription sunglasses.

Click here to view sunglasses online at Boots

Travel Adaptor

If you’re anything like me, you’ll be taking quite a bit of electrical equipment with you on your winter sun holiday.

Not just your phone, but maybe a tablet or laptop, or your Kindle loaded with holiday reading. And of course there’s your hairdryer and maybe a set of straighteners as well.

So don’t forget to check what plug adaptors you need to pack for the destination you’re visiting.

If you’re only going to Europe, a pack of UK to European plug adaptors will be enough. You can pick them up at the airport if you forget, but you’ll get a much better price if you shop ahead of your winter sun holiday.

Click here to check pricing at Amazon

If you’re going further afield, or travel regularly, it might be worth spending a little more on a Universal USB Travel Adaptor.

The one pictured ahead also has USB ports and can be used in most countries around the world.

Click here to check pricing on Amazon

Packing Cubes

Packing cubes are a fabulous invention that make packing really easy. They help keep your clothes organised, make it easy to find what you need, and help you fit more into your suitcase.

Larger cubes are suitable for clothes and beach towels, while the smaller ones are great for storing toiletries, underwear and electronics.

This set of six packing cubes from Savisto would be perfect to help you keep your holiday essentials in order, a real must-have travel accessory.

You can either buy a set of mixed sizes, or you can choose a pack of large cubes if that suits your needs better. And they come in a variety of colours, so you can pick your favourite!

Click here to check price and availability on Amazon

Travel Toiletries

If you don’t want to take up room in your suitcase with full sized toiletries, it’s worth investing in a set of refillable travel toiletries bottles.

This will allow you to just take what you need for your holiday, and really cut down on the weight of your luggage.

This pack of 14 travel toiletries bottles is made from BPA-free plastic, and includes a varieties of tubs, bottles, sprays and tubes to suit all kinds of beauty and skincare products.

They’re also really useful to have on hand if you’re travelling hand luggage only for a short break. Each of the bottles is 100ml or under, so they’ll comply with the regulations for taking fluids in hand luggage.

Click here to check pricing on Amazon

Beach Bag

Of course, if you’re heading down to the beach for the day, you’ll need a bag to carry all of your essentials.

So you need to be sure that you pack a gorgeous beach bag when you’re heading off for some winter sun.

This beach bag looks gorgeous, and will easily fit your book, phone, sunglasses and all of the rest of your accessories. It has leather shoulder straps and is also perfect for shopping days if you fancy a break from the beach.

Click here to check pricing for this bag on Amazon

Or if you prefer a cotton beach bag, this navy bag from Seafolly is ideal. It will fold down easily to pack into your suitcase, and has an internal zip pocket to keep your valuables secure.

It’s perfect for long sunny days at the beach!

Click here to see this bag at John Lewis

Those are my Winter Sun essentials – what else do you pack when you’re escaping to the sun?