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Summer holiday packing essentials

Some were born to pack whilst others… not so much. But the truth is that before you can reach your much-anticipated summer vacay spot and enjoy all that sunshine and relaxation, you’re going to have to throw a thing or two into a bag. We’ve put together this list of holiday essentials that will hopefully make the pre-getaway preparation that much easier – happy packing!

Fist thing’s first: make a list

Before you start actually packing, make a list of all the things you may need, including the things that you still have to buy. Try doing this in advance so that by the time comes to pack, you’ll already have everything you need. The list can help ensure you don’t forget to take anything with you and should make the entire packing process more efficient and less stressful – a great way to start that holiday.

Map book

Yes, whilst we do live in a technological age in which we tend to rely on a GPS, Waze or Google Maps to get us from point A to point B, you never know when signal may suddenly disappear. That’s why we recommend you take an up-to-date map book along with you. It won’t take up too much space in the car and it certainly won’t hurt to have on hand if you suddenly find yourself without connectivity in unfamiliar territory.

First-aid kit

This may not be the first thing you think to pack but it’s actually really important. A basic first-aid kit containing items such as plasters, bandages, antiseptic solution, sharp scissors, tweezers and suitable medications should be included in your list of essentials.

Necessary extra: We also suggest sachets of rehydrate are included too especially since you’ll be spending plenty of time in the sun.


Another one for those of you hitting the road to get to your summer destination... It helps to have something to snack on during the long stretches when there are no places to stop. Nutritious nibbles such as nuts, dried fruit, biltong and pretzels are perfect for keeping you going. Don’t forget to take some refreshments too to wash it all down and of course keep you nice and hydrated.

All chargers and adapters

Whilst our electronic must-haves are one of the first things we pack before a holiday, we can often forget the little bits that give them life. Don’t forget to make sure that all necessary chargers are thrown in along with the cellphone, iPod, electric shaver and whatever else you think you’ll need. A few adapters can also be useful, especially if you have quite a few items that will need charging.

Remember: Make sure to charge your cellphone fully before you hit the road so that you’re able to make a call in case of an emergency.


Nowadays, our cellphones are able to take pretty amazing pictures, but sometimes nothing says a summer holiday quite like a camera. It also means that the chance of your phone dying earlier than you’d like isn’t as great since you’ll be using your camera to capture all those special holiday moments instead.

PS: Don’t forget the camera charger and if you have a spare battery that would be good idea to take as well.

Beach essentials

This one is of course a no-brainer. Most South Africans tend to head to the coast for the summer holidays so all those beach essentials are, of course, essential. We’re talking everything from beach towels, to swimming costumes, an umbrella, beach chairs, slip-slops, sunglasses, hat and a suitable beach bag to carry all. The most important thing though has to be sunscreen, one with a high enough SPF (we say 30 and above). Protecting your skin is vital, even more so when you’ll be spending more time outdoors in the sun.

Don’t forget: the after sun too. Should you get a little too crispy this can help soothe and moisturise.

A great read and guidebook

Nothing beats getting lost in a really good book while kicking back on your vacay - some may even say that summer was invented for the sole purpose of us devouring plenty of books. If you’re a fast reader, we say pack a few and throw in a few magazines while you’re at it. If you’re visiting a new place, an easy-to-use guidebook can also be a really excellent addition. Filled with lots of information, tips and suggestions, it can make getting around and discovering local gems that much easier.

No matter where you’re headed this summer season, be sure to take all the essentials with you so that you can relax and unwind without a care in the world after a long year. Travel safely!

Our reservations team can help you enjoy a trip to remember – drop them a line for all your accommodation enquiries, all year round. Take a look at the various Portfolio locations on offer here.