family packing their car to get ready for a holiday

Staycation or Vacation? Which is it? These are strange times indeed. After a beautiful, stunning spring with amazing weather, the great British summer has reverted back to normal hasn’t it? Consequently the lure of warm, balmy mediterranean temperatures and guaranteed sun becomes more and more appealing as the days tick by this month.

So, what are you going to do?  Unfortunately without a crystal ball who knows where the next ‘lock down’ may occur. So whilst we cannot provide any insight on this, we can help with some brilliant family holiday packing list ideas. An ultimate guide of essential items which we think will be really useful for you, notwithstanding whether you holiday in the UK or decide to go abroad.

So here is our guide to essential packing this summer, July 2020.

Beach Blanket / Picnic Rug

Regardless of whether you are staying put in the UK or travelling abroad, our Quick Dry Beach Blankets are an easy, light weight picnic rug.  Super absorbent whilst also being machine washable means that they are ideal to quickly pack into your rucksack or picnic basket.  Their expansive size allows for there to be enough room for several members of the family and if after your picnic, a quick dip in the local river, swimming pool or sea is in order, then you can shake off the crumbs and use it as a beach towel also. A perfect accessory all round.

Be quick! We only have one left in stock – Quick Dry Round Beach Blanket, Phi Phi Pink – currently on sale at £27.50

Reusable Water Bottle

Next on our list is the reusable Water Bottle. Investing in a reusable water bottle helps the environment in all ways plastic water bottles harm it. By using fewer resources, emitting less harmful gas and protecting water resources and the creatures who live underwater, these are all ways reusable water bottles help the environment.

According to Hydration Anywhere, over 17 million barrels of oil is used to create more than 50 million plastic water bottles per year in the US. If used for another purpose, that amount of oil could fuel 1.3 million cars for an entire year or power 190,000 homes. That fact alone should make you stop and think next time you reach for a single use, plastic bottle out of convenience.

Here at Gift It 2, we have a variety of Water Bottles to choose from; foldable, dishwasher and freezer friendly, flat pack Aqua Licious Water Bottles which are just £5.99 each (or 2 for £10); British fire extinguisher shaped Gulp Water Bottles or Skittle shaped bottles with Face Lids for kids and teens, plus Ted Baker stylish, sleek insulated Water Bottle, such as this one in Gold, for adults. All reusable, refillable and practical. Take your pick!

Beach Bag

Which brings us neatly onto Beach bags. Whether you are heading out to the local park for a day with your children, planning a trip to the beach or whatever your plans maybe, a large, robust bag that you can simply throw everything into is an absolute must.

What you need is something that is easy to carry over the shoulder, leaving your hands free for beach spades and buckets, spare clothes, picnic bits and bobs, etc. Therefore here at Gift it 2 you can’t go wrong with a large Tote Bag – such as our Zebra Tote, with it’s on trend animal print fabric you can look chic as well as practical on your outing.

Alternatively we have the Sparkle Star Holdall, which has short leather handles as well as an adjustable canvas shoulder strap. Fully lined with a star motif on the front. Or our third option is the Freedom of Star Canvas Tote Bag which continues the eco-friendly theme as it is made from recycled army tent canvas, khaki in colour with contrasting white stars and stripes to reflect an ethnic vintage look.

Hand Sanitiser & Face Covering

Being the summer of Covid 19, you will of course require some antibacterial hand gel or hand sanitiser. This is particularly important following the outbreak of coronavirus and whilst it is often available in public spaces, it is still a good idea to have some of your own. 60-95% alcohol content is the level needed for it to work to inactivate viruses including COVID-19.

Obviously there are a variety of brands available, but as always we like to support UK businesses such as Hand Sanitiser by Hands Free, which is available to buy online via Amazon.

Also of course face coverings are quickly becoming compulsory in most European shops, indoor public spaces and tourist attractions. There are so many now available online that it is difficult to pick out one brand or design in particular. However that said, as you know at Gift It 2 we always like to find something that is a bit different … so watch this space! We hope to have some soon – albeit ours will definitely be a bit different.  Again they are made by a British company, and will be brilliant when they are ready for sale. Sneak preview below …..

Hair Wrap

For those who like me, haven’t been able to visit the Hairdresser yet, a Dock & Bay Hair Wrap is incredibly useful. Having reinvented the towel to be sand free, quick drying, odourless and colourful too, Dock & Bay added one size, quick dry hair wraps to their range last year and haven’t looked back since.

Incredibly easy to use – simply cover your wet hair with the wrap, twist the hanging end and then secure in place by means of the elastic loop and button – nothing could be easier. Also, like the rest of their range they fold completely flat, so will not take up any valuable space in your suitcase.

They are in stock currently in Kuta Pink, Bondi Blue and Goa Grey.

Wine Carrier / Beer Caddy

There is nothing more pleasant than a cool glass of crisp, dry white at the end of a glorious day on the beach or at the park. But in order to carry your bottle easily and also keep it cold we strongly recommend our Double Wine Bag – also made out of repurposed canvas and fully lined, these bags have enough space for a bottle and a couple of glasses with corkscrew, or alternatively two bottles. They will also accommodate two champagne bottles if required.

Designed for ease of carrying with recycled leather handles, your favourite tipple can be comfortably transported whilst being kept beautifully cool, to your end destination seamlessly.

Furthermore if the boys in your party wish to bring cold beers, then we also have two different Beer Caddy designs. Again made from heavy duty canvas with spacious pockets and leather carry handle, they are ideal for transporting cans or bottles. Currently we have two different styles in stock: Beer Caddy “Save Water Drink Beer” and Beer Caddy “Brew Enjoy Empty Repeat”.

Family game

Finally, to ensure you keep the kids entertained whilst you have your evening drink, why not slip a game of cards into your bag also?

Campfire Survival Cards are more than just your normal playing cards, as they are waterproof and contain a little anecdote for your survival, which hopefully you won’t be needing, but it provides an interesting talking point.

Alternatively Dressed Up Dogs Memory Cards – a beautifully illustrated game of matching pairs where you have to match the dog breed to its namesake is a great game for younger children.  Or for the older teens and young adults, why not test their musical knowledge with a Pop Music Quiz from the Noughties? This pack has 140 question cards with multiple choice answers that cover a wide variety of music from artists like Avril Lavigne, The Black Eyed Peas, Rihanna and lots more!

Whether you are jetting off for a family holiday, a trip with friends or a romantic break with your other half, we hope you have enjoyed our good-to-know, family holiday packing ultimate guide.  Now all you need to do is work out how to fit it all into your suitcase!

Bon voyage, Anne-Marie