The Ultimate Packing Guide for the Holidays


With the current chaos at UK airports, anyone going on holiday right now may be feeling a bit anxious. In such difficult circumstances, it’s easy to forget sunscreen or, more importantly, your NHS Covid pass.

Plus, it might be a while since you packed up for a big trip abroad and you might be feeling a little rusty. To help you, we have compiled a list of essential things to remember to bring on your vacation.

Check the items below on your packing list before you set off on your trip – and don’t forget to scroll through the guides for beach vacations, camping trips, and skiing.

For all holidays

  1. Hand sanitizer
  2. Face masks (if your destination – or your airline – still requires them to be worn in certain settings)
  3. Tissues and wet wipes
  4. hand soap
  5. Driver’s license, rental car code; email yourself a copy of both
  6. Plane, train or bus tickets
  7. Mobile phone and charger
  8. Batteries to reduce the need to hand your phone to others to charge
  9. Music on your device of choice to play in the car (and matching cable)
  10. Wallet with credit and debit cards and some cash
  11. Keys
  12. Camera and charger
  13. Backpack or other hands-free bag to carry everyday essentials
  14. Clothing: socks; shoes (at least two pairs); Pants; arms; shorts; shirts; warm diapers; swimsuit; rainy day gear; pajamas
  15. Medicines (anything you take regularly plus Calpol) and a copy of your family’s prescriptions
  16. First aid kit
  17. Contraception
  18. Tampons and sanitary napkins
  19. Layers
  20. Face wash in a small container, if traveling by plane
  21. moisturizer
  22. Shampoo and conditioner
  23. Toothbrushes and paste
  24. Glasses or contact lenses plus case and lens solution
  25. Sun glasses
  26. Hairbrushes for young and old, as well as hair clips
  27. Books and magazines for all ages
  28. Tablet loaded with offline viewing programs for planes or cars
  29. Drawing supplies
  30. Play cards
  31. Extra bag for dirty laundry
  32. Water bottle to fill

To go abroad?

When traveling to another country, take the above plus the following:

  1. Passports with all entry requirements double checked. Some countries will require you to have a certain number of months left before expiry – remember it now takes up to 10 weeks to renew a UK passport, so check expiry dates well before you travel.
  2. Proof of vaccination (if required by your destination).
  3. Coronavirus test results or recovery certificate (if required by your destination).
  4. Proof of relationship If your children have a different surname to yours and you are traveling without the parent who shares the same surname, bring proof of your relationship (more information here) – this is not mandatory but can speed up immigration queues.
  5. Visa document; email yourself a copy.
  6. Insurance documents (including the European Health Insurance Card if you are traveling to one of the 27 countries of the European Economic Area) and their copies; email yourself a copy. Check that your insurance includes Covid coverage.
  7. plug converter

Traveling with baby and/or toddler

When traveling with young children, the following are essential:

  1. Hand luggage or car bag: two spare clothes; in-flight entertainment that is not noisy; snacks
  2. baby monitor (both parties), although many places provide these
  3. Cups and cutlery that your child likes
  4. bibs
  5. Bottles/formula
  6. Diapers, diaper cream, wipes
  7. Buggy – the lighter the better
  8. Sling

Beach and water sports holidays

When heading to the coast, pack the following items in addition to the above:

  1. Swimwear
  2. Protective glasses
  3. Sun glasses
  4. Sandals
  5. sun hats
  6. Beach bag
  7. Beach umbrella
  8. Bucket and shovel
  9. Frisbee or beach games
  10. Snorkeling kit
  11. Combination
  12. beach blanket
  13. Insecticide
  14. Towels – if not provided by your gite or villa or hotel
  15. Bottled water and snacks if beach cafes are closed or you want to minimize contact

Camping holidays

  1. Attempted
  2. Sleeping bag and sleeping mat
  3. Pillows
  4. Warm layers
  5. Waterproof layers
  6. hiking boots
  7. Trainers
  8. Flip flops for showers/toilets
  9. Folding chairs
  10. Backpack
  11. Bottles of water
  12. Stove or portable cooking grill; pans; utensils
  13. Cutlery
  14. Cups and bowls
  15. Tea towel
  16. Dishwashing liquid and bowl
  17. matches
  18. Torch
  19. Compass
  20. Map of the region
  21. Sun hat
  22. Insecticide
  23. Towels
  24. Food or downloading a guide to the best local buys; campsites may have poor wifi, so it’s wise to have a hard copy

Ski and snowboard stay

  1. ski coat
  2. Ski trousers
  3. ski gloves
  4. ski hat
  5. A ski mask
  6. Sun glasses
  7. snow boots
  8. Ski socks
  9. Ski helmet
  10. Skis or snowboard
  11. Backpack
  12. Base layer shirts
  13. Underwear
  14. Solar cream
  15. Lip balm
  16. Turtleneck cover-up

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