Choosing what to pack can be daunting. What counts as hand luggage? What’s the weather going to be like? There are a lot of things to consider. While some take care of it weeks in advance, others do it the night before, or even on the day. Either way, packing your suitcase/backpack can sometimes be the most laborious – and downright confusing – task of your trip.
With our travel packing list, you’ll (hopefully) never stress about it again.
1. Take care of general admin
Before you pack anything, you should take care of your documents at least two weeks prior to departing. This includes booking airport transfers, sorting out your visa (if you need one), and making copies of your passport and insurance. As well as keeping a paper copy, scan them and send them to your personal email address. This way you have a backup. If you have a pet travelling with you, it’s important that you sort out the most appropriate vaccinations for it, as well as documentation, as some countries require proof of this.
Then get ready to put your out-of-office on (no doubt one of the best feelings in the world!)
2. Only pack the essentials in your handbag
Choosing what to put in your hand luggage can sometimes be tricky, due to restrictions by certain airplanes. However, your electronics, snacks, book, wallet, and passport are a must for your handbag/backpack. If you travel with kids, a colouring book with crayons and sweets will come in handy to keep them happy during the flight.
3. Pack according to the weather
The weather can be unpredictable everywhere… we’re used to it. We’re Brits. If you’re travelling to a sunny country, make sure you don’t only take light clothes with you (although we appreciate your optimism). Be sure to throw at least one or two jumpers, as well as a light raincoat, in your suitcase. If you’re going to a colder destination don’t forget to pack enough warm gear, such as a windproof jacket, gloves, a hat and scarf and activewear to use as layers underneath.
Worried that your clothes might take up too much space in your suitcase? Our top tip is to use the rolling method, which will also reduce the risk of wrinkles.
4. Weigh your suitcase before leaving for the airport
Baggage regulations differ between airlines, but usually, it’s around 23kgs for checked baggage. But just to be on the safe side, make sure you weigh your suitcase before heading off to the airport. The fees for paying extra weight can get expensive (and no one needs the extra stress). Plus, who wants to be paying extra for luggage when you could be spending it on cocktails or a meal in a sunny destination?!
5. Don’t forget about health and beauty essentials
While most of these items can still be purchased at your destination, you should play it safe and include toiletries, medication – including a first-aid kit – and make-up when packing your suitcase. There is nothing more annoying than not having a toothbrush when you arrive late at night or no make-up on the morning after arrival (or maybe there is, and we’re just being a bit dramatic).
6. Bring your travel pillow and sleep-mask
Everyone knows, sleeping on a plane is not exactly the most comfortable (unless you’re flying first class – wishful thinking!). If you want at least a little more comfort, a travel pillow and sleep-mask will be of good use. Sweet dreams!
7. Check your medical needs
While we hope that you won’t need any medication or first aid on your holidays, we do recommend to take the essentials with you. If you require prescription medicine, make sure to get these in advance of your holiday. Keep in mind that you never know what the pharmacies and general health care systems are like in your chosen destination. Get informed about the risks in the country, such as Malaria or yellow fever, and take action to avoid it.
8. Sort out your holiday entertainment
Does your ideal pool or beach day involve reading a good book, or blasting music on your headphones? We thought so. Lucky for you we came up with a list of the best books to read this summer, so you don’t have to spend too many hours figuring out which one to bring with you. You’re welcome. There are great summer playlists on Spotify as well – perfect to get into the holiday mood!
9. Buy a phrasebook for the country you’re visiting
“¿Cómo te llamas?” “Un caffe per favore!” Knowing the basic words and phrases in the language of the country you’re visiting can be a handy tool. Plus, just think how pleased you’ll feel when you can communicate (at least a little bit) with a local in their language! And they definitely appreciate it too.
10. Get your own sealable plastic bags for airport security
Heathrow airport may give you the luxury of free, sealable plastic bags, but other airports won’t. That’s why we recommend you bring your own to avoid having to spill them out on your security tray. Save that bit of extra stress and wasted time, and treat yourself to a pre-flight drink instead!