What to pack in your suitcase

If you struggle to know what to pack and are always frightened of forgetting something, you may find out basic packing list useful to have as a check list. The items below will be good for all types of holidays but don’t forget to check our lists for Ski packing tips, Golf packing tips and Cruise packing tips.

PASSPORT – When packing to go away to a foreign destination the first thing you need to look out is your passport, hopefully you will have checked it’s validity at the time of booking your holiday so it will definitely be a valid passport.

If you suddenly realise that your passport has expired then you need to contact the UK passport office immediately to organise a personal emergency appointment to have the passport issued while you wait, beware it may not be the same day that you call them so make sure you always check your passport at the time of booking and not when packing to go away!

TICKETS – It’s always good to make sure you have your tickets and that the dates are correct before you start packing. Hopefully you will have checked this when they arrived and not left it to the last moment. If you do see any problems with your tickets, contact your travel agent or tour operator straight away.

CURRENCY AND MONEY – As long as you pack your passport, tickets and money your holiday will get off to a good start. Forgetting a favourite tie or scarf is not as bad as forgetting your credit card or foreign currency. On the subject of credit cards, even if you do not use them normally it is always advisable to have an emergency credit card available to use just in case you get stuck. Just think of the Tsunami, ash cloud and hurricane incidents that left people stranded for days over their planned stay.

TRAVEL INSURANCE POLICY – Always have a copy of your travel policy on you or with a partner or travelling companion. It is essential that you have adequate travel insurance and if a UK resident travelling in the EU then a must for a selection of free treatment is your EHIC 9European Health Insurance card apply online. If you are travelling with a group then make sure someone knows where your insurance details are in case of an emergency.

DRUGS – Make sure any prescription drugs, vitamins or headache tablets are in your first items to pack and include a copy of any regular prescription.

UNDERWEAR – It always helps to make sure you have the undergarments packed along with socks and stockings etc.

CLOTHES – Don’t be tempted to take your whole wardrobe with you, plan what you are going to do each day and decide which outfits you need. Always consider something for the cold and rain even if visiting a hot destination, you just never know.  Remember you can always launder clothes when away at your hotel, on board a ship or if staying self catering by yourself.

SHOES – Depending on the type of holiday you have booked you probably wont need more than 2 or 3 pairs of shoes. Consider something for during the day, smart for the evening and flat for walking.

TOILETRIES – If you wish to take you toiletries on as hand luggage make sure you pack them into a sealable clear plastic bag measuring 20cm x 20cm and ensure that no items are over 100 mls. For more information visit the directgov site.  Also consider first aid kit. If you are checking a suitcase, to avoid any items being confiscated,  pack your liquids in that there to have a hassle free experience  when going through security. Consider packing items that you may not always use but may need when away, such as insect repellent or insect bite cream. Remember prices for drugs and toiletries can be quite expensive in other countries.

ACCESSORIES – Below are some items you may wish to make sure that you have packed in your suitcase.

  • Sunglasses, sun hat, sun screen, insect repellent
  • Guide books, reading book, Kindle,
  • I pod, I pod Speakers,
  • Pen and paper
  • Umbrella,
  • Sun tan lotion, after sun, mosquito repellent or bite lotion
  • Swimming costume if the hotel has a spa or swimming pool
  • First aid kit
  • Always make sure you can lock your personal items away in a safe when out of your room.
  • Alarm clock if you don’t use your phone alarm
  • extra hangers
  • batteries
  • camera memory cards
  • ear plugs,
  • plastic bags for transporting liquids or wet things
  • power adapters to charge all your electronics.

Remember to leave some space in your case to bring back some Souvenirs and remember the destination for your holiday.

Lastly always make sure your luggage is well labelled with luggage tags and contact telephone in case it has to be checked if you have over packed. Always check the baggage allowance for checked luggage and carry on baggage allowance with your airline as it can vary from 15kgs checked to 20kg and 7kgs to 10kgs for hand luggage on some low cost carriers which have a strict policy of one piece of hand luggage including handbags and duty free purchases.