Living Articles

Holidaying out of season is harder than I thought

In which Emerald Street’s weekend editor Anna-Marie Crowhurst discovers the packing struggle is real


Two weeks to go:

I have been thrown into a funk by packing for a holiday. This is not usual. My foreign holiday modus operandi is to buy some new sunglasses and a bikini and put them in the suitcase the night before departure, along with whatever I have in my wardrobe that seems a bit summery (leaving room to invest in hats, sandals and whatever sort of novelty kaftan beachy business I can manage local-side).

But then, I usually go for a cheap week in Europe. I am currently packing to go to South India for my honeymoon; specifically, Kerala, specifically, soon. India is not Europe. It has very complicated weather. For the two weeks we are there, my research tells me, it will be hot (hovering around the 30°C mark), humid and, being at the end of an unpredictable monsoon season, wet to very-very-wet. There will be showers: for this I’ll apparently need a pac-a-mac type thingy, an umbrella and rubber flip-flops (but not wellies or substantial waterproof footwear because: hot).

Between that, it’ll be sunny and warm, for which I’ll need light clothing, and a scarf in case I want to go to a temple or generally cover up a bit. But when we go up into the hills it’ll be cooler (according to my weather app, by around 9°C) so I’ll need warm things too, and jeans. Maybe a proper jacket. I’ll need “walking shoes” (huh?) for the 10km uphill hike we’re doing, and long trousers for the visit to the wildlife sanctuary (the professional folder of bumph from our holiday gurus Audley Travel also says we might need to hire leech socks: WHATWHATWHAT *whimpers*).

I’ll need swimwear and a sarong-esque cover-up for the beachy part at the end, and sun-tan lotion, of course, and maybe a hat. I’ll need mosquito (#WORSTNIGHTMARE) repellent for the parts of the trip we spend by water. I would also like to take my usual beautifying accoutrements, some nice clothes to wear for dinner in the evenings and a decent amount of books. Basically, I calculate I need everything but the kitchen sink, for every possible temperature, activity and eventuality.

One week to go:

Everyone relax because it’s only India and they have shops too. I have gone full Hideous Kinky with the look and despite the fact that all the sales have ended, acquired some embarrassingly boho separates – including a drapey jacket and some drawstring trousers that are wide beyond all sense – and also some vintage 70s cheesecloth tops and dresses using the wonder of the internet. My least-chic-ever capsule wardrobe will also include some minimal t-shirt dresses, utilitarian lightweight YMC trousers and the most “sporty” pair of sandals I could bear to purchase. I toyed with going deep into the method by purchasing something long and wafty from Free People but decided being 5”5 and from Berkshire, I might not be able to carry it off.

The best part of all this is that I will wear the same four things the entire two weeks and return with a suitcase full of clothes I will never wear again. Wish me luck!

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