[Ad: This article is a paid partnership with JD Williams.]

As I write this, in little more than my underwear, it’s a scorching 38.5 degrees centigrade outside, the hottest day in London on record. We’re three days into the school holidays and the kids, usually throttling each other by now, are too lethargic from the heat to even argue.

What to pack for a multi-activity UK holiday with unpredictable weather? The answer is everything, and I can tell you how to pack it and where to buy it.

I’m not complaining. In fact I’m hoping that the heatwave will continue into August when we will be much further north, in Scotland.

An unusual staycation

Our two centre staycation takes in three days of outdoor adventures followed by a long weekend city break. We’re staying in a spectacular lodge in the Scottish Highlands, where we will be kayaking and pony trekking before driving to Edinburgh to see a load of shows at the Fringe Festival. I’ll write up my adventures in a future blog.

The question is, what do you pack for a staycation, particularly one with so many different activities and potential weather conditions?

What to pack for a staycation

If you’re the kind of traveller who can fit a week’s packing into one carry on suitcase, then you might want to avert your eyes.

I start with the largest suitcase I can find, and then fill the space available. It’s the Parkinson’s Law of packing. We’re taking our car on this trip, which means I have the luxury of taking different bags for the town and country elements of our holiday.

We need to include everything from swimming costumes to waterproof jackets; suncream and potentially also wellies.

What to pack for a multi-activity UK holiday with unpredictable weather? The answer is everything, and I can tell you how to pack it and where to buy it.

Here’s my personal packing list for the first few days in a log cabin near Inverness (with all the mod cons – we’re not camping). The list does not including the obvious stuff like underwear and toiletries.

  • Pack of cards
  • Books
  • Sun hat
  • Sun cream
  • Sunglasses
  • Waterproof coat/Pac a Mac
  • Long sleeved top & loose trousers – lightweight for warm weather, but to cover up my skin while we’re kayaking.
  • Jeans and t-shirt – for pony trekking
  • Walking boots
  • T-shirt, cardigan & joggers for hanging out in at night

 

And here are the additional items I’ll need for our city break in Edinburgh:

  • Swimming costume (just in case)
  • Sandals
  • Sun dress x 2 – for hot days
  • Denim jacket – for cooler evenings
  • Skirt and top x 2 – for the evenings


The one stop holiday shop

Fortunately there is a one stop shop for absolutely everything on my list, from suncream and swimsuits, to sandals and the suitcases to pack it all into. I had no idea that JD Williams sold suncream, and not just any old suncream – but Pixi by Petra Sun Mist.

I’m a big fan of JD Williams, a brand which represents the full spectrum of shapes and sizes, catering specifically for us mid-lifers. They asked me to choose a few items I’d like to take on holiday. I chose this stripe trapeze cami maxi dress, with adjustable straps and a flattering empire waistline, Heavenly Feet flower detail silver sandals, sunglasses and hat.

What to pack for a multi-activity UK holiday with unpredictable weather? The answer is everything, and I can tell you how to pack it and where to buy it.

The Sun Mist made it into my packing list, as did this lovely Joanna Hope Chain Print Mesh swimming costume

What to pack for a multi-activity UK holiday with unpredictable weather? The answer is everything, and I can tell you how to pack it and where to buy it.

Top tips for packing like a pro

I have a few packing hacks which are good space savers, will keep your clothes clean and make unpacking slightly easier. I have learnt some of these the hard way. If you’ve ever seen your knickers going around and around on the luggage carousel, you’ll know where I’m coming from:

  • Roll, rather than fold your clothes. You’ll have more space and the clothes will be less in need of an iron.
  • Pack light coloured clothes inside out. If they get dirty no one will know.
  • Pack your shoes at the bottom of the case, and cover the soles with disposable shower caps to keep your clothes clean
  • Use socks and pants to fill the little spaces in between clothes and around the edges.
  • If you are taking more than one bag, mix up clothes and toiletries in each. Then if one bag goes missing, you will still have some essentials.
  • If you’re taking a towel, pack it last. Tuck it into the sides to prevent everything falling out when you open your case.

 

I think I’ve got the packing list nailed. Now please can we all pray to the sun gods to make it shine on Scotland.

What have I missed? Let me know in the comments below.

Much love, Vx

[Disclosure: This article is a paid partnership with JD Williams. I use affiliate links and some of the items in this post were gifted.]