Last minute holidays can be the perfect way to explore new places around the world, but for far less cost than you may expect. Companies like HolidayGems.co.uk excel in displaying top quality trips for great prices, providing you are able to travel within a few weeks to a few months of booking. Our most recent trip to Cyprus was a last minute treat to ourselves, and was an amazing price for what we got.
Having only recently come back from Iceland in March, we knew we already had Amsterdam booked in September, but what about in between the two trips? April came and went, and with that the April showers. May arrived and with that, spring flowers; and yet, we still hadn’t decided where to go or when.
After a bit of research, we finally settled on Cyprus with less than 4 weeks to go.
And with that, came the little bit of panic rising in my throat. What would I wear? What would I pack? I always like to provide myself with a shopping trip before travelling to rejuvenate my wardrobe. But this time, there was a little less time than normal. What to do?
Tip #1: Find your favourite online shops
With the time until your holiday slipping away with every minute, precious time to snap up bargains, hot new products and essentials also ebbs away. After all, the closer it gets to your holiday means you’re more likely to be busy planning your itinerary and booking excursions. This is where online shopping becomes your new best friend. Some great online websites include Boohoo.com, ASOS and Amazon (particularly if you have an Amazon Prime membership). Alongside online stores, shopping in department stores is a great time saver – not only can you pick up that must-have dress, but you can also grab your shoes, accessories and sunscreen. Stores like Debenhams, TK Maxx and Matalan are great options and always have great deals on too!
Tip #2: Perfect the ultimate capsule wardrobe
Time and time again, capsule wardrobes are declared all the rage when it comes to last minute (and lightweight) packing, and I’d have to agree with that. Separates are the best way to perfect your capsule wardrobe, and colours and patterns should be able to mix and match with one another, such as neutral, white, floral and plain fabrics. You should also ensure that your shoes and accessories can fit in with your various outfits – personally, I believe silver and crystallized jewellery to be the best for this, and of course my trusty cream hat follows me everywhere. Just take this cute outfit as an example – the neutral accessories would fit in well with most clothing, whilst the cute jewellery helps liven up the neutral colours.
Tip #3: Snap up multi-purpose items
Whenever you find an item that can be used in a large variety of ways, this item should always be on your last minute packing list. A firm favourite of mine is the sarong – from wearing as a dress, to keeping your water cool and drying your dishes, there are so many uses for a sarong. In fact, this is such an amazing multi-purpose item that I’ve created a list below of all the best ways you can use one whilst travelling. Alongside a sarong, a Swiss Army Knife and Wallet Ninja are two other fabulous multi-purpose items you should add to your list.
10 Awesome Ways You Can Use a Sarong on Your Travels
1. Multipurpose Towel
A sarong can double up as both a towel for the beach, or even a towel you can use to dry your dishes. Definitely a lot more lightweight than packing a proper full size towel.
2. Privacy Screening
Whether you need to change into your swimsuit at the beach or in the car, a sarong can be used as a privacy screening to block prying eyes whilst you change.
3. Travel Pillow
Some hotel pillows can be frustratingly flat and sometimes even lacking in quantity. Use your sarong to beef up your pillow for the best night’s sleep. You could also use your sarong as a pillow on the plane too.
4. Water Cooler
Help keep your water cool whilst you sight-see, by wrapping your sarong around the bottle. This works especially well if you also freeze your water overnight first. By the time you’re ready to drink it, the water will have started to melt but also be kept cool when wrapped in the sarong.
5. Body Warmer
Whether you opt to use your sarong as a blanket, scarf or shawl, either way it can help to take off the chill from your body in the summer evenings.
6. Respectful Cover-up
If you’re visiting countries that require you to cover up certain parts of your body, such as covering your hair, legs or shoulders whilst visiting temples; then keeping a sarong in your handbag ready to cover up with is a great way to ensure you don’t cause any offence abroad.
7. Sunbed Identifier
Sunbeds on the beach look so similar, that they just become a sea of row upon row of white plastic. Help your sunbed stand out in the crowd by draping your sarong over your chair, or hanging it from your parasol. Brightly coloured sarongs are best for this.
8. Dress or Skirt
Given that sarongs are normally quite a large piece of material, it can be possible to use them as skirts and dresses. A favourite look of mine is to tie the ends around your neck as a halterneck dress. However, those of you like me who are graced with fuller assets may struggle with this, so perhaps a skirt would be a better option for us curvy ladies.
For those of you like me who are clumsy and particularly prone to accidents, a sarong that can double up as a bandage can come in really handy! In my case, I’d managed to scrape my arm on some rocks in Cyprus whilst out snorkelling. Some antiseptic wipes and a sarong later, and I was back in business!
10. Tablecloth or Table Runner
If you’re treating yourselves to a romantic meal at your apartment, you may wish to use a pretty sarong as a tablecloth or table runner. Although try not to use your best sarong, or at least be careful with any clumsiness – a stained sarong is definitely not a good look!