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Travelling is one of the most exciting things in life, especially if you’re preparing for the trip of a lifetime that you have been looking forward to for months.

However, with all the excitement, it’s easy to over pack and end up paying hefty charges at the airport for extra luggage that you won’t even use when you reach the other side.

It’s also just as easy to make it halfway across the world before you realise that you haven’t bought something super important with you – such as socks or your toothbrush.

So I wanted to make your summer holiday that little bit easier by putting together my list of essentials that you are going to need for your trip. 

Below is everything you will need for a one week holiday – if you’re going for longer than that then just double everything in the clothing category (except shoes) for each additional week – all the other categories will remain the same. 

Hey! Could you use some extra spending money for your next trip? Check out 11 Ways To Save Money In Summer That You Haven’t Thought Of to save some precious pennies for vacay!

Essential Packing List – plus, what NOT to take to save space and money!


  • Two pairs of shorts
  • 5 day tops (tshirt, blouse, cami – whatever your preference)
  • 2 dresses which can be worn day to night – women only
  • 3 smart button down shirts for evening wear – men only
  • 1 pair of jeans or chinos – wear these on the plane to save space
  • Two bathing suits
  • One lightweight cardigan, pullover or hoodie for chilly evenings
  • 7 pairs of socks
  • 7 pairs of underwear
  • 2 bras
  • One set of pyjamas
  • 1 beach coverup
  • One evening clutch bag
  • One daytime bag, I prefer a mini rucksack or fanny pack
  • One sunhat
  • 1 pair of sandals or flip flops
  • 1 pair of sneakers – wear these on the plane as they’re the bulkiest
  • 1 pair of evening shoes or heels for women


  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • Kindle – although if taking an iPad too then consider leaving your Kindle behind and downloading the Kindle app instead
  • Camera
  • Headphones
  • Laptop if you need to work while you’re away – if just for browsing then stick to your iPad.
  • Chargers for all of the above – if you’re travelling with somebody else then share chargers to save space
  • Travel adapters if you are visiting a different country


  • Makeup
  • Hairbrush/comb
  • Skincare – just the essentials 
  • Prescription medications
  • General medications such as ibuprofen, paracetamol and anti diarrhea (unfamiliar water and naturally grown produce can cause digestion issues)
  • Perfume – decant what you will need into a travel dispenser to save bringing a full size glass bottle that could get broken
  • Toothbrush and charger if using electric
  • Dental floss
  • Contact lenses and solution
  • Birth control
  • Feminine hygiene items
  • Tweezers

FINALLY – keep these in your carry on for a smoother trip

  • Passports
  • Foreign currency
  • Credit cards and travel banking cards
  • Travel pillow
  • ID Cards
  • Travel documentation
  • Car keys
holiday packing list - how to travel light on your next vacation

What NOT to take

  • JEWELLERY – wear what you want to have with you to avoid losses or damages – if you do want to have some more options for evenings then take cheap costume jewelry that doesn’t matter if it gets lost or tangled on your travels
  • TOWELS – hotels can provide towels free of charge and if not, then you’re better to buy one at a supermarket then use up valuable suitcase space
  • TRAVEL APPLIANCES – speak to your hotel before travelling to find out if they provide a hairdryers, hair styling tools and an iron before you pack these with you
  • TOILETRIES – only take the absolute essentials such as medicated lotions or things you can’t buy while you’re away. In order to avoid impeding on your weight limit by transporting heavy items, all of the following should be purchased when you arrive from a supermarket:
    • Shampoo
    • Conditioner
    • Shower gel
    • Mouthwash
    • Toothpaste
    • Sun lotion
    • Deodorant
    • Body lotion
    • Hand sanitizer

To Finish Off…

Followed this packing list line by line but you’re still struggling for space in your luggage? Well, I’m sure you’ll find some useful space-saving tips in this post 11 Tips For Travelling Light On Holiday That Will Save You Money and Stress.

I hope that you found this post helpful and that packing for your trip will be a little bit easier with this to follow.

Let me know if you have any top travel tips to help things run more smoothly and make sure to check back here soon for more lifestyle tips and advice! 

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