It’s quite possible that as you’re reading this I’m lying by the side of a pool with a cocktail in one hand and a book in the other, with views of the Black Sea having just devoured a delicious breakfast. I’m currently on holiday in Bulgaria and after the craziest nine months of working, studying and generally stressing out about life/work/assignments/the future, a relaxing break is SO needed. I’ve also not seen Dan properly in what feels like forever, as he’d been travelling and I’d been bogged down with work, so it will be so nice to spend some time together. 

Anyway, enough about me and my daily stresses! Today’s post is all about the absolute essentials that I have to take with me on every holiday. I don’t know about you, but when I’m packing I write about five hundred lists in preparation, and then still end up taking way more stuff than is needed. This results in me (okay, Dan) breaking my (his) back whilst carrying my suitcase, and always being frantic at the airport incase I’m going to face extra charges for going over the luggage allowance (which I nearly always do). This year though, I’ve been good. I’ve stuck to my guns and only taken the bare essentials – as well as several pairs of shoes – and here it is…

The ESSENTIAL Essentials

Okay, sounds ridiculous but without your passport, money, travel documents, insurance and general admin shizzle there could possibly be no holiday at all. I’m like a crazy woman checking my bag every five minutes to ensure I’ve got everything tucked away safely, so I always like to carry my belongings in a handy little file. Any one will do, even if it’s a see through plastic envelopes from Tesco. Cheap as chips, ensuring everything is kept altogether in one place, and saving you from searching and rummaging through your bag for everything. 

I also consider my camera, phone (obv), chargers, plug adapters and Amazon Kindle to be essentials. The electrical equipment can often be so heavy in your suitcase, so I usually take mine in my hand luggage. Firstly, this means I know it’s safe and secondly, I can snap away from the time I reach the airport. After all, that’s when the holiday truly begins!



We all love to catching a warm summer glow, but it’s so important to keep our skin safely protected from the sun’s strong rays. Last year Dan and I headed for a stroll from our hotel to the beach and I burnt my chest so badly that I had to hide away in the shade for days, and spent the majority of the holiday slathering myself in aftersun and aloe vera to try and combat something that could have so easily been avoided had I ensured my sun protection was topped up. This year, I’m more than prepared!

I always take two lots of suncreams with varying factors. The one pictured is the Calypso Deep Tan Oil has an SPF 15 to help me catch a little colour at least, but I also take a Factor 30 to ensure my skin is well looked after, as well as The Body Shop’s Skin Defence Multi-Protection Moisturiser which as an SPF 50. I usually keep my face and head out of the sun, as I don’t like getting too hot and try to avoid UV rays as it causes ageing and wrinkles. I also hate applying suncream onto my face as it’s always so thick and oily, which causes breakouts and clogs my pores. I’ve chosen this product as it’s really lightweight and sinks easily into the skin. I’ll be sure to review it as soon as I return home!

After a day in the sun, a little pampering to ensure your skin is hydrated and moisturised is essential ,and for this I always use The Body Shop’s Coconut Body Butter. It’s so thick and really helps to keep my skin feeling soft and supple, and it also smells absolutely gorgeous. I’ve decided to pack my St Tropez Gradual In-Shower Tanning Lotion as I rarely catch a tan so this will give my skin a little helping hand. I’ve also purchased this Imperial Leather Foamy Banana Body Wash, as it smells freakin’ delicious. 

For facial skincare, I’ve bought minis of my favourite Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions skincare. I use this morning and night, and find it helps to keep my skin feeling so fresh and clean whilst on holiday. It will also be ideal for using before bed to keep any breakouts at bay and to clean off any excess oil from my skin.


The MAKEUP Essentials

This is where I always go overboard, but I’ve limited myself to a few lipsticks including (from left to right) Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Rose, Topshop Mink Lipstick [discontinued], Max Factor Colour Elixir Lipstick in Mulberry and MAC Brave Lipstick.

There are a range of colours that should work well with all of my outfits and I’ve been sure to pack my trusty Bare Minerals Ready foundation, which is so lightweight, gives a flawless finish and is perfect for warmer climates.

No face is complete without some vamped up eyelashes, something that is easily achievable with Clinique High Impact Mascara, and I could not survive without my trusty Gimme Brow from Benefit. It’s perfect for giving your natural brows a little colour and definition and it’s the only makeup product I would ever consider wearing by the pool as it’s sweat proof and waterproof too! I’ve also packed my fave setting spray by Sothys Fix and Fresh Mist (read the full review here) to keep my makeup in place in the evenings.


The HAIR Essentials

I like giving my hair a little spruce for evenings out when on holiday, but find it gets incredibly dry thanks to the chlorine and sea water. I’ve been loving Redken’s Pillow Proof Hair Primer (read my full review here) and it’s the perfect product to feed my hair with moisture whilst protecting it from heat and giving it volume and hold too! I’ve also packed away my trusty Batiste Dry Shampoo as it always helps with styling and keeping my hair feeling fresh.

As for shampoo and conditioner, I’ve got some of my favourite Tresemé Shampoo and Conditioner into these handy travel-sized tubes. The full bottles themselves are quite pricey but you can actually buy these in Home Bargains or TK Maxx for a fraction of the price, and they’re so long lasting too. They also leave your hair feeling so soft, and I feel like it’s really helped with my hair growth. I also take a mini can of hairspray with me as I like to style my hair in the evenings and always need a little spray to hold my curls in place. 

What are your holiday essentials?

Lots of love, 

Jessie. xoxo

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    • Jessie-Ann Lewis
      July 13, 2016 / 10:32 am

      I really love it! xx

  1. Heather Nixon
    July 5, 2016 / 1:21 pm

    MAC Brave has been on my wish list for ages – great post xHeather | Of Beauty & Nothingness x

    • Jessie-Ann Lewis
      July 13, 2016 / 10:32 am

      Thanks lovely! : ) xx

  2. HayleyDarling
    July 7, 2016 / 11:12 am

    I will defiantly looking into some of these things. loving your blog xx

    • Jessie-Ann Lewis
      July 13, 2016 / 10:33 am

      Thanks so much : ) xx

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