A week on a sun drenched beach or discovering the charms of an exotic far flung paradise? Most of us would like to spend our Easter break this way enjoying a change in routine away from the demands of work or home.
If you are one of the lucky ones with a healthy bank balance or are someone who puts a little aside weekly not so much for the rainy day as the sunny sojourn, then you are probably counting the days until your holiday.
Deciding what to bring with you is a major consideration. We have all been guilty at some stage of trying to pack far too much into our suitcases. Airline restrictions have forced us to travel lighter nowadays but that still leaves us with the million dollar question of what to pack and what to leave at home.
Most of us err on the side of taking too much with us and research bears this out. It is estimated that women bring six times too much baggage with them when going on holiday.
They start out being very selective and organised but then throw caution to the wind and take six outfits instead of three and throw in a few extra tops, T-shirts, and pairs of shoes for good measure. They speculate about the weather and decide to take enough clothes and make-up to get them through a variety of climatic conditions.
However, most of us end up wearing a few simple outfits which require minimal accessories. The rest of our clothes are crammed into a suitcase and never used. They just weigh down jaded and sunburned shoulders and take up space better reserved for holiday bargains.
A little pre-planning can save a lot of heartache. How many times have you vowed to travel light on your next holiday? To be able to cast a neat travel bag over your shoulder and walk elegantly onto the bus, train or aeroplane. Well, the time has come!
If you would not venture outside your home without make-up be sure to pack all your cosmetic essentials as well as a selection of suncare products. You do not need a cavernous make-up bag with you. Buy small quantities of cleanser, moisturiser, and foundation. Many of the cosmetic companies produce travel packs which are ideal for taking on holiday.
If you want to conserve cash look around your bedroom and see if you have any small containers that you could use. Use a tinted moisturiser instead of foundation. You will not only cut down on baggage but will look better because some foundations can look heavy in summer. Choose lip gloss instead of lipstick and a tinted powder to remove excess shine from your face.
Bring an eyeshadow compact which includes several colours. That way you will be able to mix and match to produce the shades and depths of colour you require.
Pink eyeshadow can double as blusher for evening. Opt for small sized shampoo and conditioners. Ensure you take suncare products which are suitable for your skin. If it is fair opt for a high factor sun protector. If you intend to swim make sure your suncreams are water resistant.
If travel plays a major role in your holiday plans make provision for this. Travel sickness can ruin a holiday so pack some travel sickness tablets.
If you are travelling by sea stay on deck when possible. Avoid diesel and galley smells. Do not read if travelling as a car passenger as the motion may make you feel unwell. If flying it is wise to have a light snack before boarding. Avoid rich and fatty foods.
Medicines on the continent are unlikely to have English texts. It is sensible to bring any drugs you are taking or some painkillers or remedies for tummy upsets with you. It will save a lot of time and expense.
Be careful about drinking water abroad. It is always safer to boil it before drinking or use bottled water. As ice in bars is usually prepared from tap water it should be avoided also. When having cold drinks choose those chilled in a bottle. Peel all fruit, including tomatoes. Unpeeled fruit, such as grapes, should be washed in “safe” water. Try to avoid salads unless you prepare them yourself. Be wary of food on open display and leftovers too.
Keep your passport, credit cards, air tickets and cash in a safe place. Never leave them in your bedroom nor keep them in a back pocket. Make sure they are separated and if you are holidaying with family it may be a good idea to split money among the various members.
* Holidays are meant to be times when you can take a break from routine and unwind. So, forget about elaborate beauty routines. Opt instead for a speedy, holiday look which you can achieve in seconds
* Avoid pan-stick make-ups or foundations. If you cannot bear to face the world make-up free choose a bronzing powder or light tinted moisturiser
* Forget about heavy eye make-up and mascara because they look out of place on a sun holiday
* If you are taking your children on holiday ask your pharmacist for sun creams with a high protection factor. When you get to your destination make sure you apply their cream several times a day, especially on sensitive areas, such as the back of the neck and shoulders, the back of the legs and feet
* It is best to stock up on creams before you go because foreign resorts often only carry stocks of suntan lotion suitable for people who already have a golden tan
* If you are bringing jewellery with you choose inexpensive pieces. Leave the valuable items at home
* Make sure your hair is in good health before you go on holiday. That way, it will withstand the effects of the sun, sea, and chlorinated pool water. Hair experts advise letting your hair dry naturally to prevent further damage.