The Best Holiday Packing List – 39 Travel Essentials

Holiday Packing List - Travel Essentials

Holiday Packing List - Travel Essentials

Always think you’re forgetting something for your holiday?

I get that feeling too, which is why I’ve created this super helpful holiday packing list for men and women, that ensures you remember to bring all your travel essentials.

Click Here to Download Our Holiday Packing Checklist Now!

Absolute Must Holiday Essentials

This section contains things that you absolutely must NOT forget for your travels. Failure to bring any of these holiday essentials and you’ll end up with a ruined holiday. Not all of these will apply to all travellers, but many will.

1. Passport

Make sure that your passport is up to date. Incase you accidentally lose your passport, it’s a good idea to make a copy of it and send it to your email address, and also take a picture of it on your smartphone. If you’re the organized type, you may want a travel document holder to carry your passport.

2. Visa Document

Check if the country you’re travelling to requires a visa for your passport’s country of issue. British passport holders can travel visa-free to 175 countries and territories (2016) and can apply for a visa on arrival (often saving costs) for certain countries.

3. E-Tickets & Boarding Pass

You’ll get your boarding pass once you check-in at the airport with your e-ticket that’s sent to your email if you booked your flight online.

4. Travel Insurance

Many people wonder if travel insurance is absolutely necessary. The answer is that it’s not, but for peace of mind incase anything happens to you or your belongings during your travels, you’ll be covered so it’s often worth buying, especially if you’re going to a country with high crime rates and/or you’ll be doing some adventurous activities.

Upon purchase of your travel insurance, you’ll receive an email confirmation and the relevant documents. It’s not necessary to print this information out, but you may want to take a snapshot of your reference details.

5. Travel Vaccination/Jabs

This is another area where it’s not a legal requirement to get vaccinated to travel, but the risks involved if you’re travelling to a country that’s full of health and hygiene risks, makes vaccinations a smart choice.

The type of vaccination you should get will depend on which country you’re travelling to, but certain vaccinations are common throughout the world. You may be able to receive some travel vaccinations for free on the NHS (for UK citizens). Find out more information on travel vaccinations directly from the NHS here.

6. Medication

Remember to bring any medication that you’re required to take on a regular basis. Once again, travel medications are not essential and they’re generally considered less important than travel vaccinations.

One of the most common travel medication is malaria tablets that may help to combat malaria. The downsides to many travel medicines are its high costs, requirement to take them daily or several times a week, and their side effects.

Consider this statement by

“Antimalarial medications do not prevent infection with the malaria parasite, rather, they suppress the symptoms of the infection by killing the parasites either in the liver or as they leave the liver and enter the bloodstream.”

Basically, what that means is if you get bitten by an infected mosquito, you’re still going to get malaria, but the antimalarial tablets are designed to suppress its symptoms.

I have personally never taken any travel medication (but I highly recommend that you get the right jabs done) as I feel there’s too may downsides for them, but you may feel different about it.

7. Travel Money in Cash

It’s always useful to bring a bit of cash in both currencies. You’ll need your local currency for the journey to and from your own airport. You can get some great rates from some specialist travel money providers, and you’re often able to get good exchange rates from travel agencies in your destination country.

Bring a bit of travel money (I usually take 3-4 days spending money in cash), but you should avoid bringing too much incase it gets lost. If you do decide to bring a lot, then split the cash up and put them in different places (some in wallet, suitcase, pockets etc.).

8. Credit Cards or Travel Money Cards

Bear in mind that you’ll incur some hefty fees from your bank when drawing cash out from an ATM (cash machine) abroad. To combat this, you can use credit cards that offers better rates and insurance, but a prepaid Travel Money Card is a better choice because it offers better security, flexibility and control.

9. Driving Licence

Bring this only if you plan on driving abroad in countries that accept your country’s driving licence. You can use a UK Driving Licence to drive in all EU or European Economic Area (EEA) countries and Switzerland.

You may also apply for an International Driving Permit but some countries do not recognize this so it’s best to check the driving rules of your destination beforehand.

10. Laptop For Business

If you’re a travel blogger or run an online business, then you’ll likely want to bring your laptop to keep an eye on your business. An alternative would be a tablet but I find that things are easier and faster on a laptop. You may want a travel backpack that’s secure enough for a laptop.

Useful Things to Pack For Your Travels

Everything that can easily be purchased or replaced is listed below. Many of these items are entirely up to you whether you bring them (or how the amount you bring).

Holiday Packing List - Travel Essentials

Clothes and Accessories

Unless you’re travelling for several months, you should always pack less than you think you need, allowing more space for other holiday essentials. Besides, you can always buy a cheap pair of undies if you need to.

Excluding the basics like t-shirts and underwear, here are some clothing and accessories that needs highlighting:

  • 11. Sandals and Flip-Flops (you’ll need a pair or two each of sandals and flip-flops if you’re going to a hot country.
  • 12. Pair of Trainers (or sandals designed for walking and hiking) incase you end up on an arduous walk).
  • 13. Sunglasses
  • 14. Sun Hat
  • 15. Glasses or Contact Lenses
  • 16. Scarf – If your destination is cold.
  • 17. Swimwear (don’t forget the large beach towel and swim bag!)
  • 18. Watch (will be uncomfortable to wear in hot and sticky climates)


If you’re travelling in a group, you can save luggage space by planning who brings what toiletries that can be shared. There’s no point adding extra to your holiday packing list. Most hotels will provide the basics such as shampoo, body wash, towels, cotton buds etc.

  • 19. Sun Cream
  • 20. Moisturiser
  • 21. Razors and Shaving Cream
  • 22. Wet Wipes (these are a lifesaver in plenty of situations!)
  • 23. Insect Repellent (particularly in hot countries with lots of annoying mosquitoes)
  • 24. First Aid Kit
  • 25. Nail Clippers
  • 26. Microfiber Body Towel (most hotels will provide towels but bring your own if you’re staying in hostels or guesthouses).
  • 27. Make Up
  • 28. Perfume/Aftershave and Deoderant

Electronics and Entertainment

I always keep my most expensive electronics in my hand luggage because checked in luggage often gets thrown around and beaten up. You won’t be happy to discover a broken laptop screen.

  • 29. Tablet (a must have for long flights!)
  • 30. Spare Mobile Phone (preferably small, cheap and unlocked to take any sim card)
  • 31. Power Bank (a lifesaver to charge up phones and tablets when their batteries die!)
  • 32. Universal Travel Adapter (some hotels will have different plug sockets to cater to international travellers, but budget accommodations often do not).

Other Non-Essentials For Your Holiday Packing List

  • 33. Local Map (unless you’re an adventurous and spontaneous traveller, using a map is a hassle. For better convenience, use Google Maps on your smartphone instead)
  • 34. Travel Pillow (it may help you to sleep better on the plane!)
  • 35. Eye Mask
  • 36. Extra Bags (for dirty laundry and footwear)
  • 37. Travel Wallet/Pouch (your ordinary bi-fold wallet or purse may be bothersome to carry depending on what type of travelling you’re doing. Instead, a good travel wallet/pouch offers more storage, protection and security).
  • 38. Reading Books
  • 39. Notepad (travelling brings out an abundance of ideas and inspiration so jot them down before you forget!).

That pretty much sums it all up! While all of these travel essentials may seem like a lot, it’s important to cross off your holiday packing list what you probably won’t use. Travel light and embrace the beauty of simplicity!

Click Here to Download Our Holiday Packing Checklist Now!