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!
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 gorgeous Miraclesuit Shiraz Illusionist Swimsuit from Simply Beach. It has crossover styling which is great for flattering your curves, and the padded foam cups give a smooth shape.
This swimsuit not only looks gorgeous, but it is also made of Miratex fabric, which has twice as much Lycra as regular swimwear. And I just love this rich burgundy colour!
Kaftan or Cover-up
And a kaftan or coverup is an 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, while a longer kaftan is perfect for a casual evening after a day by the pool.
This gorgeous Melissa Odabash Maxi Kaftan from Simply Beach is made from a flowing silk and viscose mix fabric. It is an elegant maxi length and the tie belt gives a flattering silhouette.
One absolute must-have for any winter sun holiday is a good SPF. It’s vital for protecting your skin against the ageing effects of the sun’s UV rays, and also to help prevent skin cancer.
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.
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 will make it easier to keep a long-lasting, beautiful tan.
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.
If you pick a hat with a wide band, like this Pia Rossini Black Romero Hat from Simply Beach, 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.
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 EU adaptors will be enough. But if you’re going further afield, it might be worth spending a little more on a Universal USB Travel Adaptor like this one, which will have USB ports and can be used in most countries around the world.
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 pack of six packing cubes from Savisto would be perfect to help you keep your holiday essentials in order, a real must-have travel accessory.
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.
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 SeaFolly Carried Away beach basket from Simply Beach looks gorgeous, and will easily fit your book, phone, sunglasses and all of the rest of your accessories. It’s also perfect for shopping days if you fancy a break from the beach.
The last 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. Take a look on comparison websites like Quidco to make sure you’re getting a great deal on your insurance.
Those are my Winter Sun essentials – what else do you pack when you’re escaping to the sun?
This giveaway is now closed, and the winner was Amy P. – Congratulations, Amy!
Are you ready to pack your suitcase for some winter sun? You could be packing some brand new beach wear if you win my fab new giveaway!
Simply Beach will be sending a £150 voucher to one lucky reader to spend on beachwear. You could treat yourself to a new swimsuit or bikini, a gorgeous beach cover-up or some fabulous beach accessories.
For your chance to win this fabulous gift, simply log into the Rafflecopter below and answer the easy question. There are also some bonus social media entries that you can use to boost your chances of winning.
The giveaway will close at 11.59PM on Friday 18th January, 2019 and is open to UK entrants aged 18+ only.
And the question you need to answer to be in with a chance of winning this prize is:
Take a look through the Simply Beach website – what would you like to buy if you are the lucky winner?