Holiday Packing Checklist

Jane Wardle

Written by Jane Wardle on February 4, 2019

Updated June 3, 2019

Travel check list

Preparing for a trip away is an exciting time, whether it’s a holiday to some exotic beach location, an adventurous city break, or an action-packed trip away. All us holidaymakers want is to get away and begin enjoying a hard-earned break, but before you can get your holiday underway, you need to do all the relevant planning.

Packing is often one of the most dreaded parts of any holiday, and the stresses of forgetting something vital or overpacking and being charged for going over your luggage allowance can put a real downer on your much-anticipated trip.

The easiest and simplest way for a stress-free packing experience is to have a well-planned and organised holiday packing checklist, detailing everything you need to bring away with you. Read on for our ultimate holiday packing checklist for any trip away, as well as some handy packing tips to help you out along the way.

The essentials

Before you begin thinking about how many bikinis you can cram into your hand luggage, you should first focus on the essential items that you need for your holiday:

  • Passport: Ensure you have passports for everyone travelling. Keep them somewhere safe but easily accessible.
  • Booking confirmations and tickets: Print and bring with you all confirmations for your trip, such as flights, accommodation, car hire and activities.
  • Travel insurance: Be sure to have adequate insurance for everyone travelling and bring the documents with you just in case.
  • Money: Whatever form you are bringing your travel money in, be sure to pack it but don’t keep it all in one place.
  • Driving license: If you are hiring a car while you are away.
  • Plug adaptor: Be sure to bring multiple travel adaptors for your holiday and think about how many devices you will need to plug in at any one time.
  • Chargers: For phones, cameras, laptops and any other electrical items you are bringing with you.

If you have an itinerary planned for your trip then print a couple of copies and bring those with you as well. Include full addresses and details of the places you have scheduled to visit.

The holiday wardrobe

Once the essentials are sorted, you can begin packing and planning for what you will wear during your trip. It can be tempting to pack loads of clothes just in case, but be ruthless to pack only the things you really need:

  • Light jackets and cardigans: Depending on where you are headed you might need some warmer clothes, especially in the evenings. Bring a cardigan or jacket that is lightweight and can be easily layered.
  • Trousers: Bring one to two pairs of trousers for evenings and cooler days.
  • Shorts and skirts: Bring one or two pairs of shorts or skirts away with you, perfect for beach days or adventuring warm cities.
  • Tops: Bring enough tops for each day you are away, and think about tops that can be layered for extra warmth.
  • Evening wear: Pack a couple of outfits for the evenings, think no-crease dresses and shirts for visiting nice restaurants.
  • Underwear: Takes up such a small amount of space there is no need to hold back, bring enough for every day, plus some spares.
  • Closed-toe shoes: Important for any type of holiday, particularly if you are planning on walking a lot.
  • Sandals / flip-flops: Essential for hotter climates and around the pool or on the beach. Bring sandals or light shoes that will go well with your evening wear as well.
  • Socks: Pack enough to have a pair a day – although if you are in flip flops most of the trip, they probably won’t be necessary.
  • Swimwear: Whether you are going to a beach destination or somewhere colder, but your hotel has a pool, be sure to bring enough swimwear to get you through your stay.
  • Sleepwear: Bring one nightshirt or pyjama set.
  • Handbags: Pack one small handbag for when you are out and about, and also bring a larger bag for days at the beach.

Wear the heaviest items of clothing for travelling, including jumpers, trousers and closed-toe shoes. This will keep your baggage allowance to a minimum and keep you warm on the flight.

The toiletries

One of the most difficult parts of travelling is knowing what toiletries to bring and what to leave, and if you are flying with hand luggage only, you will be limited to what you can bring with you. Keep toiletries to a minimum and remember you will be able to buy most items at your destination:

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste: Pack a travel sized toothpaste to save on space.
  • Roll-on deodorant: Is usually safer to travel with than aerosols.
  • Make up: Bring the essentials and not your full make up bag, if you are lounging by the pool most days, you won’t need much make up.
  • Razor
  • Moisturiser
  • Hairbrush
  • Medication: Pack essentials such as painkillers, plasters, a small first aid kit, diarrhoea medicine and any personal medication you require.

Don’t bring anything that you can buy out there, including shampoo, conditioner and body wash. Check with your hotel if they provide towels and hairdryers for your stay.

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