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Including short breaks travel packing checklist

Many people take short holidays. Perhaps a couple decides to have a romantic getaway for a weekend. It could be a business trip. Or maybe a student decides to take a few days out to visit his family. Whatever the reason, traveling light can prove challenging as our list of creature comforts grows longer and longer. Here’s how to avoid taking more than you need.

Make sure you look at all our packing lists here:

The Ultimate Travelling Checklist: What to Pack, Top Tips, and Essentials

The Essential New York Winter Packing List

Long Haul Flight Essentials You Need to Pack for 2021

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Essential things to pack for travelling

Get ahead of the game by making a list of essential items. The most efficient way to do this is to create a list over a typical day or two of things you really need. For example, after taking a shower, you might add to your list “shampoo, conditioner, deodorant.” You leave the house to go to work: “keys.” When you get home, you recharge your phone: “charger.”

By keeping this list over the period you’re planning to be away, you’ll discover exactly what you need to survive during that time. Anything you think you need which has not made it onto the list is superfluous. Bear in mind that if you do forget something, you can always buy it when you arrive at your destination.

This travel packing list covers everything for small trips and city breaks.

Make sure you download our Ultimate packing travel checklist here.

Use a Smaller Case

It might seem obvious, but if you use a smaller travel case, you’ll be less tempted to overfill it with items you don’t actually need with you.

In order to save space, fold your clothes in half lengthways and then roll them. Pack them tightly. If you need to take extra pairs of shoes, wear your heaviest, bulkiest shoes while traveling. This has the added advantage of making your case easier to lift if you want to place it in an overhead compartment.

Ask yourself repeatedly if you really need to take so many clothes. Will you have access to laundry facilities at your destination? If so, cut back: you can wash and re-wear your clothes while you’re there.

Our top three favorite city break suitcases are:

Amazon Basics Premium Robust Hardside Suitcase* – This has a protective hard shell and scratch-resistant finish. It has 3 zip pockets that are great for storing any travel documents or toiletries in.

Underseat Holdall* – This comes in a range of different patterns and colours. It measures 40x25x20cm which means that it should fit under most airplane seats. It features a strong handle and a handy side pocket.

Karabar Hard Cabin Hand Luggage Bag* – This four-wheeled suitcase is perfect for smaller breaks. It’s easy to wheel, lightweight, and has organizational pockets so you know exactly where everything is.

Travel water bottles

Travel bottles are an excellent way to save both space and money. A good set from Boots costs around £5. These sets can be reused over and over, making them both cheaper and more ecological in the long run than buying miniature versions of your favorite products. This also prevents frustration, as not all products are available in travel size.

The exception to this is pressurized containers: it is not safe to attempt to transfer such products into different bottles. If you use spray deodorant or hairspray, get a miniature or make it fit.

To save even more money, take a look around your home. Do you already have small bottles leftover from product samples? Rinse them out and reuse them.

Passports and visas

If you are traveling aboard then make sure you have easy access to your passport and any visas or other travel documents you may need.

Arrange travel insurance

Even for small breaks, things can go badly wrong. Make sure that you have insurance to cover everything that could happen from your missed flight to your belongings. Medical insurance is really important wherever you decide to go. This covers you for everything you need medical wise. Get a free quote with Travel Insurance 4 Medical.*

Book transfers, hire cars or parking

Before you go on your trip make sure you book any transfers or hire cars that you need. Shop around as you can get a good deal if you don’t leave it to the last minute.

Credit cards and debit card if needed

Even if you don’t think you’ll need them, take them. Even if it’s just one. This covers you for any emergencies that may happen that you can’t foresee.

Set up data roaming

This will save you money when you use your phone abroad. You may not think you’ll need it but it could come in handy as a navigation tool or even as a phone in an emergency.

Phone charge,  portable phone charger and adapters

We personally use our mobile phones for everything from a camera to our foreign exchange calculator. Make sure that you bring the charger to keep it full.

Flip flops

We buy a pair of cheap bathroom flip-flops for every trip. This is for hygiene reasons especially if we are camping or staying in an Airbnb.

Medicines, painkillers and first-aid kits

If you use any medicines on a daily basis then make sure you pack them. You may need a doctor’s letter if you need them in your flight back so make sure you research this first.

Pack the normal painkillers like paracetamol and make sure that you have a full first-aid kit which includes:

gauze dressings in all shapes

4 sterile eye dressings

triangular bandages

crêpe rolled bandages

safety pins

disposable sterile gloves



alcohol-free cleansing wipes

sticky tape

digital thermometer

skin rash cream

insect bite cream

antiseptic cream

cough medicine

antihistamine cream

distilled water

eyewash and eye bath

Clothes and underwear

Think about how long you are going to be away? What are you really going to use? How many shoes do you need? Do you need coats and hats? What are the washing facilities like?

Coats and jackets

Remember your outerwear as well. You may prefer a light jacket if you plan on doing very little outside walking or a waterproof one if you are sightseeing all weekend.


Making sure you have the right shoes for what you have planned is key. Take some walking shoes if you plan on exploring a lot as comfort is key.


We made sure that we pack:

Toothbrushes and paste

Baby wipes

Make up

Make up remover

Shower gel

Shampoo and conditioner

Body wash, including wash for sensitive skin for tiny children



Shaving gel

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Sun cream and after sun

Hand sanitizer


Nail scissors or clippers.

Lip Balm

By packing well in advance, you’re sure to save time, stress, and hassle. Enjoy your journey!

Laura x

If you enjoyed this post and would like some more travel tips then have a look at our section here for our full guide to what you need for the perfect holiday. You could also pop over to our Pinterest boards for lots more travel tips on Travel Tips for Beginners and Beginner Travel Guides.

This is the best short break travel checklist that can help you keep track of what to  pack. We've included everything you'll need by Laura at

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