Our amazing trip to Thomson’s Sensatori Resort Mexico, and packing for holidays, with a little help from The Online Stylist

So it’s just one more sleep until we jet off for our fabulous holiday in Mexico!

It’s an amazing opportunity – we’re going to check out Thomson’s 5T Sensatori Resort Mexico (it’s a funny link – scroll down).  Located on Bahia Petempich beach, the spa hotel and resort is Thomson’s flagship Sensatori property in a long haul destination.  There are six restaurants in the property, and I’m planning on visiting each of them at least once – especially the Mexican restaurant… well, when in Rome, eh?

I’m not just visiting for the luxury though, oh no…  The Sensatori Resort Mexico has achieved ABTA’s coveted Travelife Gold standard.  The businesses with this award ‘display a very high commitment to sustainability. They encourage others to get involved, constantly seek new opportunities for improvement, and actively communicate their progress to others’ and I’m looking forward to seeing this sustainable approach to hospitality in action.

While we’re there, we’re going to have the most amazing experience: a visit to the villagers of Chumpon to see first hand how their new ‘jungle jams’ project is getting on.

Thomson recently helped this co-operative of Mayan women to set up their own jam-making business.  They supply local hotels and tourism businesses and the best thing is that they can earn an income without moving away from their village.

I promise I’ll take tons of photos (and maybe even a vlog *cough*) so you can hear all about our big adventure.

But wait – what to wear to such a fabulous location?  Being somewhat fashionably-challenged, I’m very lucky to have a most gorgeous and stylish friend in the form of The Online Stylist, and – excitement! – she’s written a blog post just for me to give me lots of advice for my trip:

‘Dear Wardrobe Mistress’  – The Online Stylist

It’s a hand luggage only affair – we’re only going for seven days and we’ve got to fly from Dublin to Gatwick to catch our flight.  This has caused a bit of head scratching, and sadly the inflatable dolphin has had to go back in the cupboard, but I think I’m there.  Plus, of course, travelling light isn’t just handy for avoiding the dreaded luggage carousel, if a third of holiday makers left that extra 25% of unused luggage at home it would save 7,537 tonnes* of carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere each year.  This equates to taking a staggering 2,216 cars family cars off the road each year.**

Here’s my guide to packing light for a week away, with fantastic suggestions by the Online Stylist:


Daytime: hopefully I’ll be on the beach, so I’m taking two bikinis (one drying, one to wear – see below), a couple of cover ups (check out the gorgous kaftans in the Online Stylist article), vest tops, t-shirts (I’ve just been told that the lovely chaps at EcoCreeper are going to send me some of their fabulous 100% organic t-shirts), and a pair of linen shorts. I’d usually take a denim skirt, but weight is an issue (the bag, not me.  Cheeky).


Don’t go mad.  I don’t wear heels, as I look like a drunken giraffe when I do (it’s something about the leg to body ratio – don’t ask), but will be taking a pair of sparkly sandals to do me for evenings.  Add my flip flops (below) for the daytime, some Converse trainers for travelling and for our trip and I’m done.


The best people to talk to about the world of swimmers are the lovelies at Figleaves.  They always know what’s going on, and I grilled gorgeous Hayley to find out what’s going to be big this summer:

‘In terms of this season, green is a massive beach trend – across all shades lime to grass!’  So these Havaianas from Office should be just perfect:

Hayley mentioned that ‘floral prints were also big news on the Miami swimwear catwalk’, which is good as I have a flowery bikini from Next, and that ‘the nautical theme is always a good bet’, which is also a bonus because it just so happens that I already own Monsoon’s ‘Stella’ stripy tankini top.

I’ve got plain blue bikini bottoms, but they do the complete set too.

Lastly, ‘…the fashion catwalks were big on bright colours, clashing bold shades’, which is fantastic if you want to mix and match a little.


dresses are the order of the day – nice and light to pack, easy to wear and you can choose what suits you, from a cover-all maxi dress to a little strappy cotton number.  I got this beauty from Asos.com (free delivery, even to Ireland.  Magic).

I also got a gorgeous stretch jersey wrap from Zara, which I shall be using as an extra layer on the plane and a quick cover-up on the beach, plus I’ve got a cardi in case it’s nippy.  I’m going to do as I’m told and wear lightweight trousers for travelling and also for our trip into the jungle.  Sadly, I haven’t got the bottom (or the budget) for Houlihans, so I got some linen ones from Vero Moda instead.  I hope the Stylish One approves.

And so to packing.  Here’s my top tips:

Roll don’t fold – everything’s going to get squished, but if you roll a couple of items together, it minimises creasing.  Hang it all up in a steamy bathroom when you get there and it’ll soon uncrease.

Stuff all the little edges with your underwear (keep it neutral) and add a sun hat.

Stick your shoes in plastic bags to stop them making your clothes dirty, and pack them next to the wheels at the bottom (if you’ve got wheels).

Electrical items:

Don’t forget the appropriate travel adaptor, and all your chargers – in our case, that’s about 20 with all the phones, iPods, PSPs, laptops, etc…

Skip the straighteners. In fact, skip the hairdryer. Most hotels provide them and if there’s not one in the room, you’re bound to be able to borrow one at reception.  Pack some hair clips and be creative!


Remember that everything in your hand luggage has got to be under 100ml.

Make use of multi-use items. My favourite is Dr Bronner’s liquid soap, which can be used for everything from shampoo and shower gel to washing your smalls. You can even use it as toothpaste (the minty version is obviously best for this!).  They do a travel size of 59ml too.

Decant!  It’s always cheaper to buy bigger sizes, so buy travel bottles (check out www.icklebockles.co.uk) and decant into 100ml measures.

Don’t take the mini antiperspirant sprays, they’re a waste of money and don’t last the week.  I like the solid antiperspirant sticks, but if you prefer a roll on, take one of those.

Pack wet wipes. They’re great for freshening up when travelling, and taking make-up off when you get there too.

Before you fly, split your make up and toiletries into a couple of different clear bags. Remember each bag can’t be more than 20 x 20cm and must seal at the top.

I’ve been using Marks and Spencer clear toiletry bags with no problems for several flights, but in Cologne they made me throw them away and use plain ziplock bags, which was annoying.


The decision on whether or not to take a towel will depend upon where you’re headed.  I got a fabulous thin hammam wrap/towel from The White Company that doesn’t take up much room but does the job.


I’m sure you can buy 100ml suncreams and after sun lotions, but honestly, if you’re headed to the beach, you know you’re going to need loads more than that – at least 1 bottle per person per week, in fact – so I’m going to buy them at the airport – that way I can buy decent sizes.  My friend, Poppy’s Mum told me recently that she buys ALL her toiletries when she gets to the resort.

Add your camera, sunglasses, a bit of jewellery, a bag for the beach and a small first-aid kit (this will depend on the age of your travellers – I got a little ready-made one from Boots and just top it up when necessary) and you’re done!

My little luxury is a gorgeous travel candle to make the room smell nice (I adore the Jo Malone shop at Dublin airport – I wish I could live there).

So that’s me, then.  I am packed, waxed and ready.  I’ll see you very soon xx

*Based on 1/3 of Thomson’s airline, Thomson Airways passengers packing 25% less luggage. Fuel and carbon calculations based on popular mid haul route flying 223,724 hours.


26 replies
  1. jennynib
    jennynib says:

    Photos, Missus!! Lots and lots and lots of drooly, filthy, close-up porno shots of yummy dinners, please!!

    Oooh! And one of Hubbs in a Mankini!! ;P

  2. Baino
    Baino says:

    Very envious, not so much of the holiday but that you guys have Zara and probably one of my favourite stores in Europe, H & M almost worth an OS trip to shop there. Have fun

  3. Taffy's Mum
    Taffy's Mum says:

    I wished I could pack light but always need everything including the kitchen sink!

    Have a wonderful time and the green eyed monster of jealousy (aka myself) will be looking out for your blog report when you get back – maybe I can persuade OH to take me somewhere hot and sunny ;)

  4. TheGlutton
    TheGlutton says:

    Brilliant post and the resort looks amazing! Great tip on bringing hang luggage – we never use everything we bring and on our last US holiday we had everything laundered at the end of our first week for $9! Much better way to travel. Hope you all have a fantastic time. Safe journey x


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