Holiday packing tips

Regular travelers in Bahrain give us the lowdown on how they tackle the packing problem

Australian  designer Kristina Zanic
Australian designer Kristina Zanic
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Jordanian banker Ziad Nasr Image #4
Jordanian banker Ziad Nasr
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Bags of style

As the executive director and founding partner of dwp architectural design practice with offices in 10 countries, Australian designer Kristina Zanic travels extensively for work. So where does she go to unwind, and what does she never leave home without?

What is your favourite holiday destination?
I lived in Bangkok for 15 years, during which time Koh Samui became my favourite escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. My best place to stay there is the Baan Taling Ngam ( for its spectacular cliffside setting, and I always pay a visit to the Tamarind Springs day spa (, which has an amazing steam room built into a natural rock formation.

In the last few years, I’ve enjoyed island-hopping in Croatia. It’s hard to choose a favourite island, but Hvar and Korcula are in my top five. Hvar Town is full of life, and the island is covered in lavender, rosemary and heather, which makes driving around very scented and beautiful. Korcula, on the other hand, is a Dalmatian medieval town steeped in history, with cobbled streets and old buildings (including Marco Polo’s former residence) that are wonderful to sketch. I plan to spend my next holiday there at a brand new boutique hotel called Lesic Dimitri (

What’s always in your carry-on luggage to ensure ‘plane’ sailing?
My iPod, magazines, a bag of almonds for a healthy snack, and a sketch book and pencils because I like to draw on the flight.

Do you have a favourite luggage label?
I never use anything but Tumi for check-in, and I love my soft leather pink Loewe bag for carry-on, which fits everything in.

Do you have any holiday dressing rules?
I like to keep things simple but coordinated, and usually dress in white or tones of blue during the day, throwing in something with a bit of bling for the evening.

What are your summer-holiday essentials…
…for the beach?

Short kaftans and flip-flops, plus a one-piece swimsuit and a few bikinis in various colours, always including an all-essential white one.

...for sightseeing?
Cotton, cotton and more cotton, preferably in white, jeans, a scarf for colour, comfortable sandals and a few pairs of sunglasses.

...for after the sun goes down?
A nice top with a bit of bling, a beaded handbag and resort-style shoes that will go with several outfits to save on packing space; I keep jewellery to a minimum. maintenance?
My Mac make-up, including two shades of lipstick, Estee Lauder day and night creams and eye cream, and Clarins sun products. read?
Travel books, because I’m always planning my next trip; right now I’m reading up on trekking in Nepal and India.

No matter the destination, what do you never leave home without?
My workout gear.

Any handy packing tips?
Never roll clothes; rather pack them flat, with items that don’t need ironing at the bottom. Keep footwear to a minimum, as this is heavy and takes up space, and leave room for holiday purchases.

Gulf Air( flies to Bangkok; Thai Airways will take you on to Koh Samui. British Airways ( flies to Dubrovnik via London Gatwick.

Packing for Positano

Jordanian banker Ziad Nasr lived in Saudi Arabia, Boston, New York, London and Belfast before touching down in Manama to take up a new job a year ago. But even when he’s not relocating, he’s hopping on planes in the name of mastering the pleasure principle.

What is your favourite holiday destination, and why?
Nothing beats Positano, a small town on Italy’s Amalfi Coast that hasn’t been architecturally altered in 150 years. The whole town is built on a steep hill, so the colourful houses look like they’re stacked up on top of one another. My wife and I love the Sirenuse hotel (, which is quite high up and very romantic. It’s a long walk down to the pebble beach and an even longer one back up, but nothing beats the views from the hotel balcony, and the walk down to the coast is never dull, as the road is lined with restaurants, stalls and pottery shops, with designer-label stores and even a custom shoe boutique at the bottom. Another reason to go is the delicious food at restaurants like Ristorante Max, which is decorated with 18th century paintings and furniture. It’s not a cheap holiday, but it’s such a unique place and guaranteed to be unforgettable.

What do you always pack in your carry-on luggage for the flight?
Chocolates (I suddenly develop a love of chocolate on planes, I’m not sure why), car and electronics magazines, at least one book on finance to help me catch up and put me to sleep, my iPod and PSP, and Paracetamol (because it’s a safe drug to travel with).

Do you have a favourite luggage brand?
This question makes me laugh because I’ve yet to understand the point of buying very expensive luggage to check on a plane. You might as well write, ‘Steal me’ on it.

Do you have any holiday dressing rules?
Sporty casual during the day, and tailored at night.

When packing for Positano, what do you take…
…for the beach and daywear?

A couple of pairs of swimming shorts; my Armani flip-flops. A few basic T-shirts and vest tops, from places like H&M; sunglasses.

…for the evening?
A couple of blazers, including at least one by Dolce & Gabbana, who is my favourite designer, a couple of shirts, a few pairs of jeans, linen trousers and a nice closed shoe.

…in your toiletry bag?
Toothbrush, toothpaste, shaving blades and foam, because hotels charge a lot for them; scissors and tweezers; my favourite cologne, Tom Ford Black Orchid and sunscreen.

…to read?
A guidebook.

What would you never leave without?
My watch, my passport, one of those crazy European plugs… and my wife would kill me if I left without my wedding ring.

KLM Flies to Naples via Amsterdam. Take a taxi to Positano, 55km to the south.

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