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Notepad, phone, hat and other travel items

Including a travel checklist PDF

It’s not easy to know what to pack as a solo traveller or as a family. We all know that you need different things depending on the type of holiday that you are going on.

It’s not just about clothes either, it’s about the kind of travel gear you may need or other essentials that you might not have even thought about yet.

Keep reading down for our travel packing checklist PDF that you can print off and tick off as you pack.

Knowing how to pack and what to pack is an essential skill that none all of us are taught, and let’s be honest, there is only so much room in our brains.

Saving space is really important when you are packing. Try and fold clothes efficiently so that you can fit more in. Try and put the heavy items at the bottom of the suitcase and any spaces put add your toiletries bag then put things you’ll need straight away when you get to your destination at the top. Things like your swimming costume or clean underwear. Think about rolling up your underwear and putting it in your shoes to save room too.

Before you pack anything make sure you have some really good suitcases for your travels. It pays to have good ones!

Free packing guides printables

Our Resource Vault is free to use! Join us now and download our free travel printables as many times as you like. We’ve got everything from packing lists to bland travel guides you can use.

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Essential things to pack for travelling

These are the essentials that you’ll need for every trip. Keep reading down this post for more packing tips depending on your vacation trip.

Arrange holiday insurance

Once you’ve decided where you are going, its now time to arrange your travel insurance. You have a range of options with insurance that means that you are either covered for your health while away, something happening to your holiday before you go, and something happening while you are on holiday.

The amount of cover you decide is completely up to you. Make sure that you compare prices and check what is covered and what isn’t.

Start comparing prices by looking at Travel Insurance 4 Medical* which can give you a base line of what you’d be expected to pay.

Check your passports and visas

Wherever you decide to go, you’ll are not going to get very far without your passport. Check that it has at six-months left on the date as many countries will not accept entry without it. Make sure you fill out the correct visas before you go. You can now do this online from home before you travel.

Research and book vaccinations

Depending on your vacation destination, you may need to update your vaccinations and have proof that you’ve had them. It’s best to check this on the countries official website before you travel. Many private clinics and high street pharmacies offer holiday jabs at very competitive prices so it pays to shop around.

Book transfers, hire cars or parking

Make sure that you book any transfers that you need before you go, especially if you’ve never been to the country before. You can normally do this when you book your holiday trip.

If you need to hire a car then shop around before you go as booking last minute doesn’t normally pay.

If you are flying then it may be cheaper to drive your own car and book a space for it. Do this as soon as you book your holiday as the prices normally rise the closer you plan to use it. Many airport parking also offer transfers to your airport of choice within the price.

Check if you need local currency and buy it

Do you need local currency? Check the best rates and keep an eye on what the price is doing. Shop around and see what deals you can get. We buy our local currency online but it may be worth just using your credit card. Check the exchange rate and work the maths out now.

Credit card 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.

Research the current power adapter that you need as different countries have different needs. We buy three of each one as we normally bring a lot of technology with us that needs more than one plug.

We like the iBlockCube® Universal Travel AC Power Plug Adapter with International Socket & 4 USB*. It covers over 150+ countries and can charge most items.

Arrange a pet holiday or passport

If you plan on bringing your pet along then you will need to get through some tape. Make sure that you research exactly what your pet needs to be allowed into each country.

Digitalise your travel documents

Having them in more than one place is a good idea anyway but making them digital means that you have access to them wherever you are.

We scan and take photos of our important travel documents then email them to ourselves. That way, if our bags are stolen with our documents in we have copies in our email to show the correct authorities.

Up your home security

This is a must. It doesn’t matter how many days or weeks you plan on going away for, knowing that your home is safe is key.

We have the Ring Doorbell* and security sensors that mean we can look at our home at any time, anywhere, and know that it is safe. It also means that if the worst happens we have it all on CCTV ready for the police.

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.

Water bottle

We all have our own water bottles to drink from. This is great for those long days out on holiday and means that you know you have fresh clean water to drink.

Underwear and socks

Everyone needs to pack more socks, right? They help yo keep your feet warm and extra pairs can always be stuffed in shoes with underwear.

Sun cream and other medicines

Sun cream does depend on where you are going but always buy more than you think you’ll need. We buy ours in bulk from Amazon and use NIVEA SUN Protect & Moisture Sun Spray SPF50* for us and the roll-on for the children while at the beach.

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


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?

Carry-on packing list

If you are going on a long flight then you need to remember the carry-on items you’ll need for the flight too. Think about the items that you use every day that you may need to make yourself more comfortable. Our carry-on packing list suggestions are:

 Passport and visa

You need to keep these items handy as you’ll need them multiple times throughout the day.


We have a huge list below but we pack our toothbrush, deodorant, and hand sanitizer. They help to wake you up after a long flight.


Having a guidebook not only helps to answer any questions you have about the country you are visiting but also makes for great reading material on your long flight.

If you prefer fiction books then have a look at our top selection here.

Maps and directions

Have all your travel information to hand. We keep ours on our phone and print it off so we have it in at least two places.

Phone, wallet, and keys

Make sure that you have all the basics on you. Is your wallet empty apart from the essential cards that you need? Do you have some spare cash in case you need it?

List of medications

Keep the list handy in your bag in case you or someone else needs it. Keep it with any doctor’s letter you may have.

Chewing gum

This helps to stop your ears from popping on the flight.

Ear Plugs

In case you want to get any sleep.


Pack energy bars and other snacks that will keep you full.

Eye mask

Having your own comfy eye mask can you get some sleep on a long flight.


Listening to your own music is a great way to relax on a long flight.

Lip Balm

Always lip balm as your lips are more likely to get dry during a long flight.

Toiletries packing list

This is our huge toiletries packing list. Use this to make sure that you have everything you need.

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

Sun cream and after sun

Hand sanitizer


Nail scissors or clippers.

Travel first aid kit list

This is a complete list of the items you’ll need for your travel first aid kit. Pack everything to cover for whatever happens.

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

Beach packing list

This is your complete beach packing list that you can use so you don’t forget anything.


Swimming costumes

Beach shoes

Sun cream

Buckets and spades

A windbreak or beach tent

A picnic blanket.

Self-catering holiday packing list

Self-catering holidays are a great way to have a flexible holiday. You can do whatever you want and eat whenever you want. This does come with a little extra packing though. Our recommendations are:

Kitchen essentials

Washing up liquid

Washing powder

Tea towels

Kitchen roll

Scrub brush

Tinfoil or sandwich bags

Bin bags

Cleaning products like multi-surface cleaner and antibacterial wipes.

Bathroom Essentials

These are bathroom essentials that you may need if you are staying in a caravan or glamping. We also used these for our chalet holiday.

Toilet roll

Foldable washing basket

Hand soap

Camping packing list

This is the ultimate travel packing list if you are camping for the first time.

Shelter checklist


Our top five tents that we have brought ourselves over the years are:

GEERTOP 4 Season 2 Person Waterproof Dome Backpacking Tent for Camping Hiking Travel Climbing

This is a portable tent that has aluminum poles. It’s waterproof with tape-sealed stitching to keep water out. It’s really stable and great in all weather, including the wind.

Naturehike Cloud Peak 4 Season Backpacking Tent for 2-3 Person Hiking Camping Outdoor

This two persons tent is great for backpacking. It’s easy to pitch and includes pegs and ropes. this has a ventilation opening at the top to help stop condensation.

FE Active 4 Person Camping Tent – Four Season 3 to 4 Man High-End Waterproof Rip-Stop Tent Compact

This 6-pound tent is great for four people and makes a great emergency tent if needed. This is great for strong winds and really sturdy if you get caught in a storm.

Asteri Lightweight Camping Tent 2-4 Persons Double Layers Waterproof Backpacking Tent With Fly & Floor Mat Easy Setup Hiking Tent

This durable tent has steep walls and with an adaptable rain-fly and mesh to help let condensation out. it’s heavy-duty too so great in the cold winter months.

GEERTOP 1 Person Backpacking Tent 4 Season Single Outdoor Lightweight Waterproof Camping Tent

All packed away, this tent only weighs 1kg and can fit into a backpack perfectly. With just two tracking poles, this tent can be put up quickly then rolled to close.

Sleeping bag

This needs to match the kind of weather that you’ll be sleeping in. Read as many reviews as you can to find the right ones for you.

You’ll also need:


Sleeping mat or camp bed if tent camping

Table and camping chairs

Mallet, spare pegs and puller

Spare batteries, portable charger and cables

Torch and head torch

Tent repair kit, paracord, gaffa tape, cable ties, sewing kit

Air pump if needed for an airbed


Air beds

Clothes packing list

Waterproof jacket, trousers and umbrella

Clean and dry clothes to sleep in

Woolly hat, gloves and sunhat

Suitable footwear

Spare underwear and socks

Lightweight and fast drying materials

Sun protection and sunglasses

Kitchen essential list

Camping stove



Chopping board

Dishcloths and sponge

Tea towels

Washing up liquid and bowl

Rubbish bags

Tin & bottle opener

Water container

Cool box

Kettle and pans

Cooking utensils

Plastic bowls and plates


A sharp knife

Camping chairs

Camping table

Other camping items:

Any toiletries like soap, shampoo, and conditioner


First aid kit like above.

Hand sanitiser

Insect repellent

Toothbrush and toothpaste


Caravan packing list

This covers everything you’ll need to make sure the caravan holiday the best one ever.

Kitchen roll

Toilet roll


Tea towels

Tea and coffee

Condiments and fridge basics

Easy cook meals

Cooking oil spray


Antibacterial wipes

Bin bags

First aid kit.

Glamping checklist


Cooking equipment

Toilet and shower facilities

Food storage


Power points.

Festival packing list

Head torches for kids

Waterproof trousers and coats


Toilet roll

Fancy dress

Face paint and glitter

Camping trolley

Picnic blanket

Plus the camping essentials that are above.

Chalet packing list



A bath mat

A torch


A portable barbecue

Folding chairs for sitting outside

Bottle opener

plus items from the caravan packing list.

Cruise packing list

We use the pack from our essential things to pack for travelling list above.

Here’s what to pack for a cruise with babies and toddlers:

Baby formula


Wet wipes

Yoys for your cabin

A compact pushchair or travel stroller

A baby or child carrier for excursions

Washing liquid

Here’s what to pack for a cruise with kids:

Colouring books and crayons to use at dinner


Pool toys and swimming aids

Here’s everything else for your cruise packing list:

A torch for your room in case it’s dark

Reusable drinks bottles for those days off the ship

Magnets for putting things up on your cabin walls/door

Pegs so you can dry things in your shower

Power adaptors

A lanyard for your cruise card

Sun cream

A rucksack for shore days


Your travel documents and digital copies.

Related Posts: 

Travel checklist for city breaks

Any city maps you need

Sensible shoes

Comfy backpack


Reusable drinks bottles

Light waterproofs.

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 ultimate travelling checklist! We've included everything you'll need to pack, buy and have a great holiday by Laura at

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