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Travel Trends

Average woman over-packs her suitcase with 26 items… just in case

Jul 12, 2011

NEWPORT, Wales - The average woman over-packs her holiday suitcase with 26 items which will never see the light of day, according to research.

A detailed study found typically a woman needs 34 separate items for a week-long break - but packs 60 "just in case".

Which means almost HALF of the contents of her suitcase will remain untouched for the entirety of the sunshine break.

Indeed, 58 per cent of women find it nigh on impossible to stay within their designated weight limit when going on holiday.

But 77 per cent claim they like to pack extras of everything in case they can't decide what to wear when abroad.

Jeremy Cryer, head of travel at, said: "Women are notoriously bad for making decisions on what to wear day to day, let alone for a seven day break.

"And women like to prepare for every eventuality - which means packing for all weathers, the possibility of day trips, evenings out, sports and activities, you name it.

"Whereas the average man would probably pack no more than a couple of pairs of shorts for a sunny holiday, women like to have several choices of outfits for both day time and evening."

The survey shows 72 per cent of women ALWAYS over-pack for a holiday, and a fifth of women have been faced with additional baggage costs at the airport after filling their suitcase to the brim.

Unsurprisingly then, 65 per cent usually find it hard to close their suitcase once they have decided what to pack.

And yet 42 per cent are still planning to go shopping for clothes while on their break.

The results show the average female will pack 19 tops for her holiday - including t-shirts, cardigans, blouses and evening tops - but will only wear 10.

She will also cram the case with 16 'bottoms' - such as trousers, shorts and leggings - but will come home with eight unworn.

A further five accessories such as hats, sarongs, pashminas and sunglasses will return home unused, after women pack a total of nine.

Female holidaymakers will also return home with one pair of shoes which never made it out of the suitcase, a spare bikini and a couple of pieces of underwear.

In addition to the clothes, women also fill their suitcase with sun tan lotion (73 per cent), make up (53 per cent), and electrical gadgets such as hair dryers (43 per cent) and straighteners (41 per cent).

And even hand luggage causes problems for women as they struggle to fit everything into their handbag.

The average female's holiday handbag has to fit everything from beach reads, phones, MP3 players, digital cameras, sun tan lotion, and sunglasses.

Jeremy continues: "Packing for a holiday requires a certain amount of organisation, and it certainly pays to work out what you need in advance.

"The danger of over-packing is that you risk losing even more should you lose your luggage or get it stolen.

"Travel insurance [ ] is an absolute must but we would also advise leaving any really valuable items at home.

"That way if your case does go missing it's mainly clothes you'll be replacing on the insurance'

At, you can compare 27 travel insurance providers and choose the level of baggage cover you need.


Shoes 4 1
Swimwear 3 1
T-shirts 4 2
Vest tops 4 2
Evening tops 4 2
Cardigans 3 1
Jumpers 2 1
Blouses / shirts 2 1
Shorts 3 1
Skirts 3 2
Trousers 3 1
Leggings 2 1
¾ length trousers 2 1
Dress 3 2
Sarongs 2 1
Hat 2 1
Scarf 1 1
Pashmina 1 1
Sunglasses 3 1
Pants / underwear 9 2

TOTAL 60 26

Average woman over-packs her suitcase with 26 items… just in case

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