Packing for a holiday is exciting but can also be a little bit stressful - we've all had those last minute panics about those essential items we might have left behind.  

To help make your holiday go as smoothly as possible, we asked some of our favourite authors to share their summer packing essentials, as well as the book they'll be putting in their suitcase this year. 

Jane Green 

My holiday packing essential...

High sun block, and a hat (I’m taking two). As a former sun-worshipper, post-melanoma girl, I now go to great pains to stay out of the sun.

My holiday read...

My summer reading essential is The Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal, which is a gorgeous, lush, escapist read, and my favourite book of the year thus far.

Jane Green's Summer Secrets is out now.

start reading summer secrets


Lucinda Riley

My holiday packing essential...

Wax earplugs for noisy neighbours and swimming.

My holiday read...

My recommended read is Amy Snow by Tracy Rees.

Lucinda Liley's The Olive Tree is out now. 

Start reading The Olive Tree

Diana Rosie 

My holiday packing essential...

A torch. I like holidays with a touch of adventure - Tibet, Mongolia and Bolivia are among my favourite destinations. But adventure comes with the risk of power cuts and outside toilets so a torch has come in handy on many occasions.

My holiday read...

If I were choosing a book to take on holiday, I'd pick The Book Thief  for its perfect blend of writing that should be savoured, and page-turning storytelling. 

Diana Rosie's Alberto's Lost Birthday is out now. 

start reading alberto's lost birthday

Diane Chamberlain

My holiday packing essential...

The one thing I never go on a summer holiday without is my mini spritzer fan. When I’m on the beach or hiking, I can spray a light mist of cool water on my face and forget about the heat for a while.

My holiday read...

My holiday read this summer is Mary Kay Andrews’ The Weekenders. Mary Kay always keeps me laughing. 
Diane Chamberlain's Fire and Rain is out now.

start reading fire and rain

Elaine Everest

My holiday packing essential...

I often holiday in the UK with my dog and husband so an essential packing item for me is an umbrella so that I'm able to enjoy my day and stay dry.

My holiday read...

My recommended book would be The Secrets of the Sewing Bee by Kate Thompson as there is an interesting blend of history and fiction within the covers.

Elaine Everest's The Woolworths Girls is out now.

start reading the woolworths girls

Joanna Rees

My holiday packing essential...

I’d like to say it was some kind of posh factor fifty face cream, or a floaty designer kimono, but actually my one packing holiday essential is a box of teabags. Nothing fancy. We’re talking normal builders tea.  Seriously. I can’t leave home without them. It’s that extra brewed cuppa in the morning that gets me going and those weak little paper sachets on strings don’t cut it.

My holiday read...

I love reading on holiday – the only time I ever get to read in the day. I love a psychological thriller – of which there are many brilliant ones around. I’ve just finished Renee Knight’s Disclaimer. My favourite book of last summer was easily The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt which I couldn’t put down. I also like reading cookery books whilst I’m swinging in a hammock contemplating making a long delicious lunch.  I’m taking Spring, Skye Gyngell’s new book with me on holiday this summer.

Joanna rees' The Girl from Lace Island is out now. 

Start reading The Girl from Lace Island