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What you need to pack for a holiday: 90 must-have items

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

Leanne Bayley
Leanne BayleyDirector of Lifestyle & Commerce
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Packing for a holiday is all part of the fun. No, honestly it is! 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!

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Holiday suitcase© Photo: iStock

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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.

personalised passport holder

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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.

cable tidy

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

1) Passport

2) Insurance documents 

3) Boarding pass

4) Visa documents

5) Any other holiday documentation

6) Driving licence

7) Phone

8) Phone charger

9) Plug adaptors

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universal plug

10) Purse and travel money

11) Keys

12) Laptop or tablet

13) Charger for laptop

14) Headphones or earphones

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15) Digital camera

16) Camera charger

17) Portable phone charger

18) Pen and notebook

papier travel journal

19) Books or magazines (or a HELLO! magazine subscription!)

20) Travel phrasebook or travel guide to the country you're visiting. 


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.

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21) Disinfectant wipes. You probably touch your phone as much as you touch your face. 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. 

22) Glasses or contact lenses

23) Sunglasses

sunglasses holder

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24) Pocket tissues

25) Antibacterial hand gel or hand santitiser

sanitiser travel holder

26) Face mask 

kn95 face masks on amazon

27) Any medication you need - a personal pill organiser will come in handy

28) A clear sealable bag for your liquids

29) A container for your cosmetics - we love this ultra portable one from Amazon.

makeup case

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

best water bottles on amazon

31) Hand cream (under 100ml)

32) Face moisturiser (under 100ml)

33) Travel sleep kit for longer flights with eye mask and earplugs

34) Travel pillow

chin pillow

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If travelling with children:

children holiday

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

37) Baby wet wipes

38) Travel snacks and enough baby food/ milk for the journey

39) Medication

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40) Dummies or comforters

41) Toys, games or books

travel activity case

42) Clothes

43) Sun hat

44) Bucket and spade for beach entertainment

45) Specific toiletries for children such as sensitive shampoo

luggage packing

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

first aid kit

47) Toothbrush

48) Toothpaste

49) Mouthwash

50) Dental floss

51) Face creams

52) Body lotions

templespa set

53) Cleanser

54) Deodorant

55) Perfume or fragrance

56) Bug repellent

57) Travel hairdryer

58) Shampoo and conditioner

59) Hairstyling products such as hairspray or gel

ouai hair travel set

60) Hairbrush

61) Hair bobbles

62) Silk pillow case and face mask for sleeping 

silk pillow case wht

63) Antiseptic cream

64) Makeup

65) Makeup remover

66) Sun cream

67) After sun

68) Razor

69) Beach umbrella

70) Umbrella

71) A steamer

72) Waterproof jacket

73) Mini sewing kit

74) Underwear

75) Packing cubes with a laundry bag

76) Clothes

77) Sandals and trainers

shoe bags

78) Swimwear

79) Pyjamas

80) Handbag

81) Beach bag

82) Beach towel

fit flip

83) Goggles or snorkelling mask

84) Fabric spray

85) Belts

86) Jewellery and accessories

jewellery tidy

87) Disposable camera

88) Laundry bags

laundry tidy bags

89) Handheld fans 


usb handheld fan


handheld pink personal fan

This fan is a dream. It has a powerful three settings option and is extremely quiet and lightweight so you can take it anywhere. With a handy USB charging point, too! 

90) Your copy of HELLO! Magazine for the plane - obviously. 

MORE: 12 best handheld fans to keep you cool

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