Affordable holiday essentials

Holiday essentials can be expensive – from sun cream to mosquito spray. Yet all are vital for staying safe on holiday. Here’s how to be savvy when you shop for your holidays and save money on your travel must-haves.

Sun cream

If you’re flying to somewhere sunny (or going skiing), sun cream is essential. It does tend to be cheaper to buy sun cream in the UK, but be aware that big name beauty brands don’t necessarily do a better job. According to tests conducted by Which? in 2017, some supermarket own-brand creams worked better than the more expensive versions.

Insect repellent

Not all insect repellents are created equal. Do some research to find out what kind of bugs or mosquitoes are likely to pounce when you get to your destination: the Mountain Warehouse guide to insect repellant has useful info on which insect repellant to choose. Wearing an insect repellant band can also be effective and might work out cheaper than covering yourself in bug spray every day. You can buy them at Boots or on Amazon for around £5.

Toiletries

Before you cram your cosmetic bag with bottles of shampoo, shower gel and conditioner, check the website for your accommodation to see if they provide complimentary toiletries. Not only will you save money, your luggage will be lighter.

There’s also no need to get stung by overpriced travel-size bottles of shampoo and shower gel. Decant the toiletries you already have at home into small reusable plastic bottles you’ll save yourself a load.

Towels

Your hotel might provide towels… but what about the beach? To avoid weighing down your case, microfibre travel towels are compact, lightweight and highly absorbent. They’re also great to use at the pool or gym back home, so you’ll get your money’s worth.

Holiday medication

Apart from packing standard painkillers, you probably don’t need to splash out on a massive range of medication: most destinations have chemists, so second-guessing your holiday health can be a costly waste of time. Look into the likely issues at your holiday location (on travel forums) and find out where the nearest chemist is to your accommodation.

Sun hats and sunglasses

Beach traders across the globe make a fortune from selling hats and sunnies at a premium to underprepared holidaymakers. A good pair of sunglasses and a chic sunhat will cost less at home, and they don’t take up much room in your luggage – if you wear them. Do you love designer sunglasses? Try TK Maxx for women and men (and check the Clearance section in-store for the biggest savings).

Swimming kit

Swimming outdoors is a holiday joy, but if you forget to pack your kit, you could lose out. Beautiful trunks and bikinis are placed in the windows of hotel boutiques to tempt travellers – but they are usually horrendously overpriced. So that you won’t be tempted, do your swimwear shopping at home, checking out the latest trends for summer before you buy. And if you match your costume to your favourite beach accessories you’ll be even less likely to succumb to a random purchase on holiday.

Now all you need to worry about is bagging a sun lounger!