By Ian Lewis
Most of the clothes many women cram into their holiday suitcases will be carted back home unworn, new research suggests.
The average female holidaymaker's luggage will contain around 150 items, including an array of skirts, tops, swimwear, pyjamas, underwear and shoes. But, on average, only 57 of the items packed for the two-week break will be needed.
On the other side of the gender divide the average man will only pack around a quarter as much, taking just 40 items for a fortnight's holiday.
The survey, conducted by Debenhams, found that more than three-quarters (79 per cent) of the women questioned admitted packing extra items, most saying they do so "just in case".
But nearly a third said their over enthusiasm has returned to haunt them at the airport when they are landed with excess baggage charges. Almost half of these admitted they had lied to their partner about the weight of their case before setting off for the airport as they did not want to have to remove items that might be considered unnecessary.
Many of those questioned also owned up to squeezing more sun cream, make-up and hair appliances than they were likely to need in a fortnight into their suitcases.
The items of clothing most likely to come home unworn are daytime outfits. The survey found most women spent their days around the pool or on the beach, covering up only for meals or the occasional walk.
Excess footwear, hats, sunglasses, jewellery and smaller bags also get crammed into cases but many remain unused, Debenhams found.
Hand luggage doesn't escape women's enthusiasm for packing either. More than half (59 per cent) cram their carry-on bags full of clothes, swimwear, shoes, miniature toiletries and spare underwear in case their main case gets lost.
Meanwhile, packing enough items for a six-week holiday still isn't enough for the 44 per cent who say they shop for new items while abroad, meaning even more has to be packed into their cases for the journey home.
A spokesperson for Debenhams said: "Women plan their holiday wardrobe months in advance, with new dresses, shoes, swimwear and accessories purchased. Cases are packed full of new items, but women also want to take their favourite wardrobe staple summer items too -- their fail-safe bikini, beach cover-up and comfy wedges also have pride of place in their suitcase!"