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What you need to pack for a holiday: 88 must-have items

A handy checklist of what you need to have in your suitcase

Remembering to pack everything for your holiday used to be hard enough, but it's now become a mammoth task following the ongoing coronavirus drama.

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MORE: Flying during the pandemic? Essential items to take on the plane

With travel restrictions (seemingly) easing, you may be thinking about booking a proper holiday next year– and you'll need even more essentials for your break, including hand sanitiser and face masks. Whether you're hoping to jet away for a family holiday, a trip with friends or a romantic break with your other half, we've done the hard part for you by compiling your need-to-know packing guide - so now there's just the small matter of how to fit it all into your suitcase!


Discover your ultimate guide to holiday packing

Travel documents:

These are the items you can't afford to travel without. Make sure you have your passport and various travel documents - such as your travel insurance - safe in your hand luggage. It’s also worth making a copy before you travel in case anything goes missing.

MORE: 7 best UK holiday cottages to rent in 2021 for a post-lockdown minibreak

Valuables, tech and entertainment:

From the all-important phone and charger to your travel currency and camera, you're going to want to save plenty of room in your hand luggage for these valuables and entertainment. Make sure you take an appropriate plug adaptor for your destination, and download some of your favourite films or TV shows to watch on the flight if you have a long journey. Picking up a phrase book or travel guide to the country you're visiting will prove invaluable in helping you to find your way around and impress the locals with your lingo – or at least try.

These are the essentials you can't forget in your hand luggage or suitcase:

1) Passport


Tiger Passport Holder, £9, Paperchase


2) Insurance documents - if you're concerned about coronavirus, we've taken a look at travel insurance policies.

3) Boarding pass

4) Visa documents

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5) Any other holiday documentation


Joules Travel Wallet, £27, John Lewis


6) Driving licence

7) Phone

8) Phone charger

9) Plug adaptors


iBlockCube Worldwide Travel Plug Adapter, £27.99, Amazon


10) Purse and travel money

11) Keys

12) Laptop or tablet

13) Charger for laptop

14) Headphones

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15) Camera

16) Camera charger

17) Portable phone charger

18) Pen and notebook

moleskine travel notebook

Moleskine Voyageur Travel Notebook, £22, John Lewis


19) Books or magazines

20) Phrasebook or travel guide to the country you're visiting

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These essentials will help to make your journey more comfortable, and will also come in handy once you arrive. Save money (and single-use plastic) by taking your own refillable water bottle that you can fill up after passing through security, and don't forget your sunglasses if you're travelling somewhere hot.

READ: 9 best insect repellants to buy for summer: From sprays to candles and the popular Mosi-Guard

21) Disinfectant wipes. You probably touch your phone as much as you touch your face. To minimise the risk of spreading coronavirus, clean your phone and other belongings with a disinfectant wipe. Keep a pack handy for any surface you might need to clean as you move through public spaces.

disinfectant wipes alcohol 70 on amazon

Alcohol wipes 70%, pack of 50, £7.99, Amazon


22) Glasses or contact lenses

23) Sunglasses

READ: 10 cosy winter hotels with roaring fireplaces for the perfect staycation

24) Tissues

25) Antibacterial hand gel or hand santitiser - this is particularly important following the outbreak of coronavirus. The ideal is at least 60% alcohol. 

hand sanitiser 75 alcohol on amazon

Halo Instant 76% Alcohol Hand Sanitiser Gel 100ml Pack of 10, £14.99 Amazon


26) Face mask - when it comes to cloth masks, there are plenty of fun face masks for kids, as well as stylish alternatives to shop online. You can even buy a HELLO! face mask! On Amazon you can shop disposable FFP2/KN95 face masks, too.

kn95 face masks on amazon

Pack of 25 FFP2/KN95 Face Masks, £19.95, Amazon


27) Any medication you need (plus prescription)

28) A clear sealable bag for your liquids 

29) A bag for your cosmetics - we love this ultra portable one from Glossier.


Holiday Beauty Bag, £55, Glossier


30) Refillable water bottle - take it through security empty and fill it up once you're through

best water bottles on amazon

LARS NYSØM stainless steel water bottle, £19.99, Amazon


31) Hand cream (under 100ml)

32) Moisturiser (under 100ml)

33) Sleep kit for longer flights with eye mask and earplugs

34) Travel pillow


If travelling with children:


Keep little ones comfortable and entertained on your travels with snacks, toys and games. Don't forget a spare change of clothes for the journey, as well as any nappies, wet wipes and medication you may need.

35) Change of clothes for the journey

36) Nappies (including swim nappies for the pool) and/or underwear


Huggies little swimmers swim nappies size 3-4 12 pants, £5.50, Boots


37) Wet wipes

38) Snacks and enough baby food/ milk for the journey

39) Medication

READ: 20 of the best luxury spa breaks in the UK

40) Dummies or comforters

41) Toys, games or books

42) Clothes

43) Sun hat

44) Bucket and spade for beach entertainment

45) Specific toiletries for children such as sensitive shampoo


Hold Luggage:

It goes without saying that you're going to want to pack beachwear, swimwear and lots of sun cream if you're going somewhere hot. Make sure you take enough sun cream and after sun to see you through at least the first few days, and pack bug repellent, antiseptic cream and a first aid kit to keep your family happy and healthy throughout your trip. 

While you can pick up many toiletries and emergency supplies close to most resorts, taking your own will give you peace of mind that you have everything you need on hand, while saving valuable time to enjoy by the pool or on the beach.

Fingers crossed everything will be perfect on your trip, but it’s important to prepare for all eventualities – from packing an umbrella or waterproof jacket for any sudden downpours to taking a small sewing kit for any clothing malfunctions.

46) First aid kit


Travel first aid kit, £12, Boots


47) Toothbrush

48) Toothpaste

49) Mouthwash

50) Dental floss

51) Face creams 

52) Body lotions


HELLO! loves: Seychelles Staycation Travel Essentials, £30, The White Company


53) Cleanser

54) Deodorant

55) Perfume

56) Bug repellent

57) Hairdryer

ghd best travel hair dryer

GHD flight travel hair dryer with protective bag, £59, LookFantasic


58) Shampoo and conditioner

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59) Hairstyling products such as hairspray or gel

60) Hairbrush


Balmain travel pouch with detangling brush, argan moisturising elixir and leave in conditioner, £99.95, Lookfantastic


61) Hair bobbles

62) Travel-friendly hair tools


ghd Unplugged Cordless Hair Straightener, £299, ghd


63) Antiseptic cream

64) Makeup

65) Makeup remover

66) Sun cream

67) After sun


Herbivore after sun skin soothing mist, £11, Revolve


68) Razor

69) Beach umbrella

70) Umbrella

71) Waterproof jacket

womens packable rainjacket

Packaway waterproof jacket, more colours available, from £21.99, Amazon


72) Mini sewing kit

73) Underwear

74) Packing cubes with a laundry bag

packing cubes set

Eono by Amazon 8-piece set of packing cubes, more colours available, £27.99 , Amazon


75) Clothes

76) Sandals and trainers

77) Swimwear

78) Pyjamas

79) Handbag

80) Beach bag

81) Beach towel


Sustainable beach towel, £12.99, Wayfair


82) Goggles or snorkelling mask

83) Fabric spray


The Laundress Fabric Fresh spray, £13, Selfridges


84) Belts

85) Jewellery and accessories

86) Disposable camera


Kodak Single Use FunSaver Camera with Flash, £20.95, Amazon


87) An extra bag for waste, laundry, etc.

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