|Crane Beach, Barbados|
Barbados has some fabulous places to eat - it's strongly recommended to book ahead with all the good ones if you want to make sure you can get in - so I've reserved most nights in advance. Most good restuarants have a dress code - smart casual, no shorts or flip flops which I quite like although each to his/her own, but there's nothing more offputting than someone sitting in your eyeline not suitably dressed i.e. straight off the beach. There's a time and place for everything.
With this in mind I like to take a few little dresses (nothing too dressy) with a splash of jewellery .. there's no point taking high heeled shoes as there could be cobbles, decking or even sand to walk on. I like strappy sandals, ballerinas or low wedges. My flip flops are purely for the pool and beach.
During the day it's swimsuits and cover ups. Again there's no point taking too much as you end up wearing pretty much the same few things all the time. I have a few different swimsuits which I alternate. Who would want to wear the exact same thing every day in normal life? It may be useful to take some good walking shoes too just in case there's a day trip involved.
Make up wise, less is more and so my personal kit is as small as I can make it. No need for foundation although I've found it's always worth taking some or tinted moisturiser in a small bottle just in case you need to cover up a blemish, bite or dare I say a little sunburn! I concentrate on my eyes for evening so a bit of my favourite shadow, some eyeliner, khol and mascara and a couple of lip glosses and I'm good to go. Hopefully the healthy natural glow from being outdoors will suffice. I also try to remember to throw in a nail varnish to match my fingers and toenails just in case any chips need patching up. And not to forget that all important sun screen and perhaps some insect repellent just in case.
I never really trust the toiletries at hotels (although some do provide high end brands) so I always take my own. Shampoo, conditioner, hair oil (to stop frizz) and shower gel all dispensed in travel sized containers. Sometimes I treat myself to some duty free Jo Malone body wash and body cream at the airport. A real treat after a day on the beach. My usual cleanser, toner, moisturiser and lip balm come with me too - at the moment I'm using the Indeed brand which I quite like. I don't bother taking a hair dryer - I air dry my hair and restyle with my GHD heat stylers if I have to.
Of course it goes without saying that you need your passport and travel documents, hotel vouchers etc. local currency and I highly recommend a currency card which you load before you go - saves carrying cash and you don't pay exchange fees. Remember to pack chargers for your all your electronic devices - and a universal power adaptor.
Oh, and a hat!
Now you know what's going in my bag .. I hope I haven't forgotten anything!