The Ultimate Holiday Checklist

suitcase packing

We’ve suitcase packingall been there. You finally arrive at the hotel, tired from a long day’s travelling, and you get started on unpacking that suitcase – only to discover that you’ve forgotten your underwear/swimsuit/toothbrush/ticket home! That’s why a good holiday checklist is so important.

Why it’s important

A good checklist really can help to take the stress out of holiday travel, giving you peace of mind and helping you relax before your trip has even begun – and knowing that you have everything you need for a hassle-free break makes it much easier to unwind when you do get there.

Tailoring your holiday checklist

It’s getting your holiday checklist right in the first place that’s so important. You see, what’s a vital part of one traveller’s rucksack is completely superfluous to another’s.  A holiday checklist for women is going to look quite different to a holiday checklist for men.  And what might be essential on one trip – like insect repellant in a hot climate, might be completely unnecessary for the next. So much depends on the individual type of traveller, the type of holiday, and the destination too.

Those irreplaceable bare essentials

But when it comes to the bare necessities, we think there’s always a little common ground. While a beach holiday checklist is going to differ greatly from a skiing holiday checklist, we’ve picked out the key holiday items that we can never do without, whether we’re going off piste or planning to lounge around on golden sands.

So, the next time you jet off to foreign climes, give this holiday abroad checklist a whirl. It makes a great basic packing guide that’s guaranteed to help you avoid a holiday disaster, and it’s easy to add extra items to create a personally tailored and totally foolproof way to pack.

Passport and travel docs

If there’s one thing to put the nail in the coffin of any holiday, it’s leaving your travel docs behind. Always make sure you check your passport well ahead of your holiday to ensure it’s not going to expire anytime soon.

And don’t wait until the last minute to pack it – you might be 100% certain that you last saw it in the kitchen drawer/filing cabinet/desk in the study, but we can guarantee it’ll be anywhere but when you go to retrieve it on the morning of your flight. Avoid last minute panic and pack these essentials well in advance.

Online check in

Many budget airlines now require passengers to complete their check in process online ahead of their departure date. Usually you can check in anywhere between four weeks and four hours of your flight. Make sure you’ve done this with plenty of time to spare, and printed off and packed any boarding passes you might need too.

Phone and charger

Having a mobile phone on holiday can be a godsend, particularly if you’re travelling as part of a group or family. Making arrangements to reconvene, sending a quick text just to make sure everyone’s ok, and of course, a lifesaver in case of emergencies. But your phone’ll do nothing for you if that battery dies. Depending on where you’re travelling too, finding a replacement can be tricky, so double-check your charger’s packed away in your hand luggage on the day.


Many travellers these days rely on hard plastic to see them through their holiday spending, without the worry of possibly losing a wad of bills. But it’s well worth having some local currency handy for taxis, public transport, snacks and emergencies.

If you want to save on commission fees, it really does pay to plan ahead and exchange your currency anywhere but at the airport!

Debit/credit card

To save carrying large amounts of cash, or travellers cheques- which only seem to get harder and harder to cash these days, you might want to pop a debit or credit card in your pocket – just make sure to let your bank know you’re going away, otherwise your card can be blocked.


If you take any regular medication, this should definitely be a major packing priority. Book an appointment with your GP well ahead of your holiday so that they can arrange to give you a prescription big enough to see you through your trip.

Travel insurance info

Should anything go wrong abroad, your travel insurance company will be one of your first points of contact. Make sure you have your policy details, and their contact details close at hand, and ideally pack these alongside your travel docs.

So, what do you think of our ultimate checklist? Are there any items you think we’ve missed? Let us know what you can’t live without, no matter where you’re headed!