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Date: 25/09/2013

Suitcase Essentials

If you're heading off for some winter sun, or catching the last rays of summer sun at a Mediterranean resort, then you need to make sure you pack all the essentials for a great holiday.

But what are the essentials you can't live without - surely they're different for everyone? Actually, there are some things we all need, no matter where you're headed; here are just a few ideas.

Sun lotion

Total sun block, factor 15, children's lotion...there are so many different types of sun cream that it can be hard to know where to start.

A minimum of factor 15 is recommended to protect you from harmful UV rays and you should always choose the type of lotion that suits your skin best - oily or sensitive skins will benefit from a non-greasy spray which leaves no residue, whilst everyone else can stick with using oils or creams.

Try to look for one which protects your skin from sun-related allergies such as heat rash, particularly if this is usually something you suffer with.

First aid kit

A holiday essential, your first aid kit should be the first thing you pack, no matter where you're headed.

Always include basics such as plasters, antiseptic cream, wound dressing and painkillers. You may also want to include medicine for upset tummies, antacid tablets and bruise cream such as arnica, particularly if you're travelling with children.

Make sure you have travel insurance in place to protect yourself and your family before you jet off abroad, as GP and hospital charges in some countries can be extortionate. If you're travelling in the EU, a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will provide you with free access to public healthcare in most European countries.


Don't forget your camera; whether yours is the latest Nikon DSLR or disposable camera from a high street store, you never know when you'll need it.

Photographs are the best way to capture all those special moments on your holiday and great to show friends and family when you get back home.

Guidebook and map

Whilst you probably have a smart phone with GPS, you should never underestimate the importance of a map and guidebook.

Data roaming costs abroad can send your phone bill spiralling out of control and it's much more fun to sit and flick through a copy of Lonely Planet or a Rough Guide to see where you'd like to go next. You can even mark your favourite pages.

These are just a few of my holiday essentials that I can't live without - other people probably have their own list to add to this. So make sure you don't forget any of your essentials this year and have a great holiday.