Vacation to Jersey Channel Island UK

What We Packed – Jersey, Channel Islands, in September

Being five months pregnant during this trip, and unsure when I booked in advance exactly how well or active I would be feeling at the time, we opted for the ‘safe' and near destination of Jersey in the Channel Islands. A short flight, UK-style healthcare, English-speaking – all reassuring factors whilst still feeling like we were ‘getting away' and a bit further south to promise slightly warmer weather.

We booked a nice hotel (the Hotel de France in St Helier) with lovely grounds and a spa, and didn't plan to do anything too energetic or adventurous – relaxing whilst we still can!

The island though offers a mixture of countryside walking, history, beaches and attractions – whatever we felt like doing on the day. In an area covering just 9 miles by 5, everything is easy to get to and it looked like the local bus network was well-connected.

Jersey

What we packed

Our flight to Jersey was a mere 30 minute hop across the English Channel from Southampton airport – so quick and easy, and being a ‘domestic' flight no hassle with immigration or the like.

However the planes are small (we went with FlyBe) – just two seats down each side of the aisle and cargo stored at the front. As such the carry-on baggage restrictions are quite tight, purely because there isn't much room on board. We didn't really have enough suitably sized bags, and with a total weight allowance of just 10kg per person – doable but fiddly balancing it out – it seemed easier to just pay for a hold bag (one between us). In hindsight no-one seemed to check anyone's carry-on bags, but we did see a few people struggling to wedge them in the overhead lockers (and get them out again).

Working from our UK packing list, I checked the weather forecasts for Jersey that week – temperatures and conditions looked mixed and unpredictable (just like at home). I also considered our likely activities – we'd ruled out any strenuous walking and it wouldn't be warm enough for the beach, so really we just had to cater for leisurely sightseeing.

As I was mostly wearing maternity clothes at this point – or at least baggy/stretchy tops – that did narrow down my choices of what to take but as always, co-ordinating layers were the key.

To travel in I wore:

  • Jeans
  • Camisole
  • 3/4-sleeved t-shirt
  • Light jacket
  • Pashmina
  • Trainers
  • And carried my Vacay beach bag with a small handbag and travel wallet inside

I packed:

  • 2 pairs of leggings
  • 1 dress
  • 2 casual t-shirts (1 short-sleeved, 1 3/4-sleeved)
  • 2 smart/casual long-sleeved tops
  • 1 tunic/kaftan
  • 1 zip-up fleece
  • 1 smart cardigan
  • 1 sarong/scarf
  • 1 belt
  • 1 pair of ballet flats
  • 1 pair of flat ankle boots
  • Underwear & socks
  • PJs
  • Swimwear (for the hotel pool)
  • Microfibre towel (in case we went on the beach)
  • 1 set of costume jewelry
  • Sunglasses
  • Foldaway raincoat
  • Umbrella
  • Hat
  • A clutch bag

Peter wore:

  • Smart jeans with a belt
  • Short-sleeved t-shirt
  • Light jacket
  • Trainers
  • And carried a backpack containing books, games, camera etc.

He packed:

  • Convertible walking trousers (zip-off to form shorts)
  • 3 casual short-sleeved t-shirts
  • 2 smart long-sleeved shirts
  • 1 smart short-sleeved shirt
  • 1 fleece
  • 1 smart cotton sweater
  • 1 pair of lightweight smart shoes
  • Underwear & socks
  • Swimwear
  • Sunglasses
  • Foldaway raincoat
  • Cap
  • A backpack for day trips

The above (including toiletries) all went in our one hold case with ease, weighing in at around 15kg.

In the end, we didn't use the pool (read more here about what we did), nor did we need our raincoats or an umbrella (we avoided the worst of the weather and our other jackets were sufficient).

Everything else worked out perfectly. Nowhere was overly smart – a bit surprising as there are lots of city/bank workers etc in St Helier – but apart from a couple of ‘trendy' bars it didn't feel that upmarket; casual wear would take you anywhere. You should definitely pack for comfort and practicality if exploring this island.

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