Wales' Premier Independent Travel Magazine

What To Pack For A Summer Break

Boutique owner Nicola Venetia-Steele's go to items for a short break
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I love travelling! I love immersing myself in the culture wherever we go. I love eating where the locals eat, smelling the different aromas and scents, and getting away from the humdrum monotony of home. Don’t get me wrong, I love my home and my home life, but it is nice to get away once in a while. It makes you appreciate what we’ve got on our doorsteps.

The one thing I’m not so keen about when going away, for short trips especially, is what to pack. How much to pack, and how little I can get away with packing! I always seem to pack too much and end up bringing it all back home, only to wash it again!

I was mentioning this to Nicola Steele of Venetia Steele Boutique, and she said she’s got things down pat! I bow to anyone who has the packing dilemma nailed so this is what Nicola says she puts in her case.

What do you pack for a sunshine holiday?
That’s a much easier conundrum. Packing for a beach holiday is a breeze. All you need is lots of swimwear – bikinis if your body is up to the challenge and one pieces if you’re a bit more body conscious. Little cami tops with high waist shorts and a few wrap dresses thrown in and you’re good to go. Add in a pair of strappy wedges for the evening and flats for daytime, with a clutch and a beach bag and hey presto!

And what about a short city break?
Ah that can be a bit more tricky but doable. Here are a few of my mini break essentials which should help you when struggling with those pre-city break meltdowns and just your knickers and toiletries sorted.

The maxi dress
or jumpsuit
winner in my book. You can wear it in the evening with layered jewellery and some strappy sandals, or layer it over your bikini for the daytime with some stylish flat sandals.

The white T-shirt
As I just mentioned, it’s perfect for layering, and ideal for everyday wear in general. Pack a couple if you can, they will always come in handy. Especially if you reach your hotel and find that you’ve forgotten your pyjamas.

Stretchy patterned trousers
These are great for sight-seeing, and you can dress them down with said white T-shirt and flat sandals for that laid-back vibe or with a blouse tucked in and some strappy sandals and a bit of jewellery in the evening.

The versatile blouse
I always pack a little blouse that can be worn in a few different ways. I’m loving the off the shoulder look at the moment. Again, you can wear this type of blouse on the shoulder with a pair of jeans, shorts, linen trousers or patterned trousers and flats for the day or jazz it up by wearing it off the shoulder with same bottoms and wedges for the evening. Don’t forget, your shoulders never age so wearing a blouse like this off the shoulder is very flattering.

What about accessories?

You only really need a couple of pairs of sunglasses on your break. An elegant pair for the evening time and a fun pair for sightseeing.

I’d really recommend laying all your outfits out if you have time, that way you can see what accessories match with what, and you’ll avoid taking too much….

Raffia totes are ideal for the day and are so in right now. I like the ones with funky slogans which makes them a bit more unique. And for the evening, a clutch is the girl’s best friend. Again, raffia is your best bet during the summer months as anything leather might look a bit too heavy.

Comfort is key as you’ll more than likely be traipsing around the shops and places of interest so make sure you pack a comfortable pair of slides or sandals – super simple, go with everything, and really lightweight in your suitcase/to carry around on holiday. Don’t forget to pack some plasters. You never know when those blisters will strike, even if you’ve worn your sandals in for some time. Your tan or nude coloured wedges coming into their own in the evening when you’re dressed up to go to dinner or the theatre.

Optional extras that are easy to pack. and are very often overlooked…

A pashmina or scarf for the evenings
This is something that’s a godsend when you’re out and about either during daytime when the sun is hot, and your shoulders are burning or during the evening when the sun sets and the chill sets in.

Red lipstick & accessories
I’m known for my red lipstick. Find a shade that suits your skin tone and this, with a bit of mascara to open up those peepers is usually enough. If you’ve caught the sun on your face, you could get away without blusher but if not, pop a dot of lippie on your cheeks, blend and that should do the trick.

A stand out piece of costume jewellery can make a huge difference to an outfit and can also elevate a simple daytime look into an evening one.

And what’s the one gem that helps in your packing routine?

The layout
I’d really recommend laying all your outfits out on your bed, that way you can see what accessories match with what, and you’ll avoid taking too much.

Happy packing!
Nicola x

Thanks to Nicola Venetia Steele
Nicola’s boutique is in the Vale of Glamorgan. If you would like to buy items from Nicola’s online boutique, then visit it at

Happy shopping and happy vaycay!

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