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Packable Panama Hat
“Keep pale pates away from the sun under a classic Panama hat,” says Rebecca. “This version is slightly different to the original in that it’s ultra pliant and can be folded up and packed in even the smallest piece of hand luggage. Hand woven from natural straw, it’s an elegant piece of headgear for the discerning traveller,” she adds.
Where: Magellans (020-7819 3980; www.magellans.co.uk)
How much: £19.98
North Face Paramount Surplus Shorts
Just right for walking in hot countries whether it be a serious trek or an amble around the old town. “These are a personal favourite of mine,” says Tom. “They have massive deep pockets secured with Velcro which go right down to the back of the legs - ideal for a camera or guidebook. Plus, they are quick-drying which is a real bonus on holiday, and they’re very durable so will last for years.” They are available in sober asphalt grey and taupe to hide those stains when you’ve worn them a few days too many.
Where: Ellis Brigham (www.ellis-brigham.com; 0870 444 5555)
Stormlite Soft-Fibre Towel
“A wet towel is heavy and smelly in your rucksack so pack one of these instead. It is so light and small and the speed in which is dries means you can use it one night and dry it in time for the next day. It has an antibacterial finish that lasts for over 30 washes, making it great for a tropical climate,” says Tom. Because it takes up so little space you can fit even more clothes in your bag. It can even be used as a throw or improvised sarong while on the beach.
Where: Field and Trek (0844 800 1001; www.fieldandtrek.com)
How much: £9.99
“Anyone who is undertaking an epic journey but wants to make sure they have an array of chic clothing options on hand should check out this ingenious frock. Made from soft black jersey, it can be tied, twisted and turned inside out to make 10 different dresses,” says Rebecca. “It’s not cheap but it is versatile, even if only a few of the styles will suit each individual.”
Where: Plumo (0870 241 3590; www.plumo.com)
How much: £298
“Every UK airport has at least one Accessorize outlet, waiting to catch the magpie eyes of tourists with its array of sparkly stuff. Ignore the earrings and instead pick up a real holiday must-have in the form of a 100% cotton sarong,” advises Rebecca. “Wear it on the beach as a cover-up, as a scarf to pep up an outfit or wrap it around your head to protect it from the sun. It can be used as a shawl in the evening and as an impromptu towel if you’ve left yours poolside.”
Where: Monsoon (0844 811 0069; www.monsoon. co.uk)
How much: £15
Apair ofSpeedos might not be the most fashionable travel essential, admits Simon, “but they are very light and practical and if you are in France it is practically illegal for a man to go swimming in anything else. Also, pretty much (Where:ver you go away on holiday there will be a chance to swim. It might be in a local pool, a river or the sea so a pair of these are a must if you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity.”
Where: Speedo (0115-910 5267; www.speedo.co.uk)
How much: from £5.95
“A trip to Muji is always a good bet before heading off on your travels, and not just because it stocks cheap flip-flops and myriad little plastic bottles. Those are great, but what has caught my eye this summer is the range of shrink-wrapped T-shirts now available,” enthuses Rebecca. “While a T-shirt might not take up much room in your case, I defy you to fold one up this small.” (Where:Muji (www.muji.co.uk)
How much: £9.95
Life Venture Clothes Line
An odd thing to take on holiday, but packing one of these will save you the time and trouble of having to find someone towash your clothes for you. “Whether you are travelling for a few days or months there will always be something you’re going to want towash. And the beauty of this product is that you can use it any(Where: you want to,” says Tom. This one comes with hooks attached and is very durable.
Where: Blacks (www.blacks.co.uk)
How much: £3.49
Junior Potty Hat
Keeping kids cool and sunburn free isn’t always easy on holiday but this great little hat does a great job at keeping the sun off their sensitive skin. “Hats like this are absolutely synonymous with going on holiday for me. They look fun, they are quick drying and they keep your kids cool by reflecting away the sun. They are a great little investment and will last years and years, or until your children loose them,” says Tom.
Where: Safariquip (01433 620320; www.safariquip.co.uk)
How much: £7.99
Blue Harbour Drawstring Trousers
Marks and Spencer can always be relied upon for those lastminute holiday purchases and these light pure linen trousers are no exception. Complete with drawstring, they are perfect for a stuffy summer’s evening when you want to look smart but not roast in formal trousers or jeans. Available in navy, grey and natural they go with almost any casual holiday outfit.
Where: Marks and Spencer (0845 609 0200; www.marksandspencer.com)
How much: £29.50