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What you need to pack for a holiday: 86 must-have items

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

Chloe Best

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

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With the end of lockdown finally in sight, you may be thinking about booking your holiday – 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

boden travel wallet

Leather Passport Holder, was £48 Now £24, Boden


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


Cath Kidston travel documentation wallet, £19.95, Amazon


6) Driving licence

7) Phone

8) Phone charger

9) Plug adaptors


iBlockCube Worldwide Travel Plug Adapter, £25.99, 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.

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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.

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Alcohol wipes 70%, pack of 50, £5.99, Amazon


22) Glasses or contact lenses

23) Sunglasses

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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, £11.99 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.

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Pack of 25 FFP2/KN95 Face Masks, £16.95, Amazon


27) Any medication you need (plus prescription)

28) A sealable clear plastic bag for any toiletries

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

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LARS NYSØM stainless steel BPA-free insulated leakproof hot-cold water bottle, £20.99, Amazon


30) Hand cream (under 100ml)

31) Moisturiser (under 100ml)

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

33) 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.

34) Change of clothes for the journey

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


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


36) Wet wipes

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

38) Medication

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

39) Dummies or comforters

40) Toys, games or books

41) Clothes

42) Sun hat

43) Bucket and spade for beach entertainment

44) 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.

45) First aid kit


Travel first aid kit, £11.99, Boots


46) Toothbrush

47) Toothpaste

48) Mouthwash

49) Dental floss

50) Face creams 

51) Body lotions


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


52) Cleanser

53) Deodorant

54) Perfume

55) Bug repellent

56) Hairdryer

ghd best travel hair dryer

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



57) Shampoo and conditioner

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58) Hairstyling products such as hairspray or gel

59) Hairbrush


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


60) Hair bobbles

61) Hair straighteners or curlers

62) Antiseptic cream

63) Makeup

64) Makeup remover

65) Sun cream

66) After sun


Herbivore after sun skin soothing mist, £10, Revolve


67) Razor

68) Beach umbrella

69) Umbrella

70) Waterproof jacket

womens packable rainjacket

Packaway waterproof jacket, more colours available, from £20.99, Amazon


71) Mini sewing kit

72) Underwear

73) Packing cubes with laundry bag

packing cubes set

Eono by Amazon 8-piece set of packing cubes, more colours available, £17.99 , Amazon


74) Clothes

75) Sandals and trainers

76) Swimwear

77) Pyjamas

78) Handbag

79) Beach bag

80) Beach towel


Tropical beach towel, £13.99, Wayfair


81) Goggles or snorkelling mask

82) Fabric spray

fabric spray and other stories

Fresh laundry-scented fabric spray for clothing and shoes, £11, & Other Stories


83) Belts

84) Jewellery and accessories

85) Disposable camera


Kodak Single Use FunSaver Camera with Flash, £14.98, Amazon


86) Extra plastic bags for waste, laundry, etc

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