10 Ways To Lighten Your Holiday Load

How to guarantee a beautiful long weekend away without turning it into a yomp

With shorter breaks and staycations becoming ever more popular it's becoming impractical to lug bags of lotions, potions and prettifiers everywhere we go. Don't despair! With a bit of pre-preparation, and some canny packing with multi-tasking products you can pack light and stay at your glamorous best.

 1   Prepare   You want to enjoy yourself on holiday and whether it's lazing on a beach or by a pool or museum hopping, shopping and dining out, you don't really want to spend half your well-earned vacation time primping and preening. By being prepared – exfoliating and moisturising skin, deep conditioning hair, grooming brows and getting manicured and pedicured – before you leave home you'll avoid all that fussing. Book time at a salon, or simply have a pamper day at home. We like: Philosophy salt scrubs, L'Occitane's Ultra-Rich Shea Body Cream, Shavata brow products.

2   Protect   Make sure you take a good-quality high SPF product. You can use it as sun protection and body and face moisturiser. We like: Ultrasun products for their once-a-day protection. Once generous coat of Ultrasun and you are pretty-much done for the day. Remember, though, to follow the instructions and re-apply ANY sunscreen after bathing, showering, swimming or sweating a lot. And don't forget that, while it protects you, it doesn't give you carte blanche to spend all day in the sun without shade breaks!

3   Go Neutral   We all like colour and we all like a bit of variety in our wardrobes when we go away for the weekend. To make sure everything tones you could take, say, only black and white clothes, or go nautical with blue and white, or even all red. But, even over a couple of days, that's going to get a bit boring. And, provided you take neutral basics you can easily slot in a lot of varied colour. For a city break, smart jeans and a couple of bright tops will see you happily through daytime. A couple more tops and perhaps some linen trousers for night and you're away. But what about nail colour?  I like to stick to neutral tones – pale creams, taupes and so on for fingernails, particularly in summer because they really will go with any outfit I choose to take. Plus, and a big plus here, the nuder you go the less obvious any chips will be. Pedicures always last longer than manicures, and in our experience toenails look better in stronger colours, so this is where you can really go for that red, coral or shocking pink shade. We like: Perfect Formula Pink Gel Coat, Nails Inc Porchester Square & Jermyn Street, OPI's The Thrill of Brazil, Bright Lights Big Colour & Pink Flamenco. 

4   Multi-task    Some products are so adaptable and useful they simply cannot be left behind. From that shimmer powder that highlights cheeks, shoulders and shins to the scarf that'll serve as wrap, shawl and hair accessory we all have something both adaptable and effective. Our favourite such product is L'Occitane's  Pure Shea Butter which comes in a handbag-sized option, and now a range of fragrances. It's melting texture is non-greasy yet deeply moisturising and is great as a lip balm, to sooth dry patches of skin, soften feet, tame frizzy or curly hair and also makes a great cuticle treatment. We like: L'Occitane Mini Shea Butter in un-fragranced, vineyard rose, orange & honey and apricot flower.

5   Keep your cool   If you can keep your hands clean, cool and moisturised, even the hottest day can be more bearable. But the idea of applying a rich hand cream on such a day is never appealing, so we prefer to travel with a lighter cream with a gel texture that's easily absorbed and cooling on the skin. We like: L'Occitane's Rose Jardin Delice Hand Cream Gel & Verbena Cooling Hand Cream Gel.

6   Take a sample   Throughout the year those glossy magazines are packed with samples of the latest beauty creams, lotions and cleansers. Collect them year-round and come vacation time you can save so much space and lighten your load.

7   Double up    One of the greatest innovations in beauty is the combined shower gel-shampoo. Granted you might prefer to use a specialised shampoo and conditioner when you're at home but, do you really need to take separate products for a quick weekend mini-break? Many ranges now offer shower gels that work perfectly adequately as shampoos. We like: Philosophy 3-in-1 Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath with it's wide range of fragrances and smaller size options.

8   Colour Up Cleverly   Many cosmetics brands now offer tint products for cheeks and lips. Provided you apply cautiously (to avoid that Aunt Sally look) and blend properly they offer long-lasting blush and lip colour that rarely needs retouching throughout the day. We like: Benefit's Benetint, Posietint & Chachatint.

9   Be Compact   Even Raggedy Ann Girls know, as minimalist as we like to be on holiday, we would never think about going away for the weekend without taking a good range of makeup with me. But, rather than an entire bag, we prefer to take a compact palette with us. And we prefer one with neutral tones. It might not be very exciting, but it's certainly more practical. We like: Bobbi Brown, Smashbox, Benefit & New C-ID.

10   Activate   Unless you're an exercise obsessive, it's unlikely that you'll be finding time to fit in a full-on workout, or morning jog while you're away. So why not take a pair of toning shoes with you? At least you'll be making the most of that walk to the beach, or the stroll down to breakfast. We like: Skechers Tone-Ups, FitFlops & Marks and Spencer's StepTones.