A simples guide

Guide - Holiday Checklist

Going on holiday requires a lot of planning. Before take-off, most of us put together some kind of holiday checklist to help us remember what to pack, and what paperwork we need. But it can be easy to forget something, especially if we’ve got extra family to take care of such as elderly relatives or little ones. 


Before you start packing...

So with that in mind we’ve put together this super helpful holiday packing list that will come in handy when you’re next travelling (we recommend you save or bookmark it now for when you need it later). It outlines all the important things you need to pack, as well as what you’re allowed to carry in your hand luggage.

Plus it’s a reminder of the possible vaccinations you may need and documents that are required for your destination.

Before you even start packing you need to check:

  • Your passports are all valid
  • You have travel insurance arranged
  • You’ve arranged car hire (if you plan on using a car)
  • You’ve arranged airport parking (if you need it)
  • You’ve arranged airport transportation from the airport to your hotel (if you’re not hiring a car)

Got all that? Let's get packing.

straw hat with luggage
family deckchairs

What essentials do you need for your holiday?

Let’s start by taking a look at all the personal items you need, - those things you probably carry around with you every day.

  • Mobile phone
  • Keys
  • Wallet/purse
  • Watch
  • Glasses/case
  • Contact lenses
  • Hearing aid
  • Medication

Next up on our holiday checklist are the all the essentials we need for any far-flung jaunt.

What documents do you need to remember?

  • Passport. Take a photo too, or scan it and email it to yourself in case you lose it.
  • Driving licence including the code for car hire.
  • Travel documents such as airline, bus or train tickets.
  • Visa documents. As with your passport, take a copy.
  • Travel insurance documents (including an EHIC card if you’re travelling within Europe, Norway or Switzerland) and copies of them. Email copies of these to yourself, too.
  • Your latest holiday invoice.
  • Your ATOL certificate if you’ve booked a flight with an inclusive holiday.
  • A copy of your resort information pack, too. Either printed or downloaded. 

Electronics and equipment

So we’ve got documents covered. How about gadgets? You may fancy a completely gadget free holiday. But if you’re travelling with teenagers chances are you’ll be taking most of the following:

  • Phone and phone charger
  • Electronic plug converter
  • Earphones or headphones
  • Tablet or iPad and charger
  • Laptop and charger
  • Kindle or other eReader and charger
  • Camera and camera charger
  • Music player (iPod or other mp3 player) and charger
  • Batteries

Toiletries and personal items

No holiday is complete without a trip to your high street chemist to stock up on toiletries. Luckily, lots of them come in travel sizes these days.

  • A copy of your prescription  
  • First aid kit
  • Contraception
  • Tampons and sanitary towels
  • Antibacterial hand gel
  • Wet wipes
  • Hand cream
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Deodorant
  • Contact lens solution
  • Face wash
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Face and body moisturiser
  • Lip balm
  • Tissues
  • Sun cream
  • After sun
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Hairdryer
  • Hair brush
  • Hair clips and ties

Money and valuables

  • Local currency
  • Credit and debit cards
  • A lockable case for any valuables
  • Jewellery

Essential travelling items

Ok not all are essential, but very useful:

  • Neck pillow
  • Blanket
  • Eye mask
  • Ear plugs
  • Books and magazines
  • Phrase book/app for the country you're visiting
  • Pen
  • Playing cards
  • Umbrella
  • Sealable plastic bags for toiletries
  • Extra plastic bags for dirty laundry

We’d also recommend taking a list of essential numbers along with you, as these will come in handy in case of an emergency, like if you were to lose your phone or credit/debit card. Keep all your documents together, too, in a plastic folder. 

What should you pack in your hand luggage?

We’ve broken this part into three categories, to keep it...well, simples!

The Basics

  • Passport
  • Wallet, cash, credit cards. A minimum of two cards that will allow you to access cash overseas
  • Itinerary with flight, hotel and car reservations plus all other documents. You may need to show these when you enter another country
  • Phone
  • Eye drops. Aircraft cabins are low humidity environments and eye drops will help prevent that tired, red-eye look
  • Eye mask
  • Ear plugs
  • Pen for filling out immigration and customs forms
  • Eyewear (contact lenses, glasses etc.)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Face wipes
  • Lip balm
  • Moisturiser

The Extras

  • Headphones
  • Tablet device with power cord
  • Scarf, shawl or blanket

The Overnighters

  • Charger and adapter plug
  • Daily medications and vitamins
  • Toiletries
  • Socks, underwear
  • Shirt/t-shirt

And lastly, do you need any vaccinations?

You will if you’re travelling to certain destinations so check the requirements and recommendations with your GP before you travel.

One of the most important vaccines that’s needed is the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. This is routinely given to all children in the UK, so if you grew up in the UK then the likelihood is you’ve had this jab. If you’ve not had it done, or if you’re unsure, then speak to your GP about it.

Vaccinations will depend on which part of the world you’re visiting. So if for example you’re flying to Africa or South America then you may need to add the yellow fever vaccine to your summer holiday checklist. Or if you’re travelling to parts of Africa, Asia or Latin America then you may need to get the typhoid vaccine.

It’s important you do get your vaccines as some countries require an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) and may not allow you through without one.

That's it. Print out this handy checklist for your holiday and stick it to your fridge. Don’t forget our useful travel insurance comparison service. And the last thing to remember to? Enjoy yourself. 


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