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What to pack up for holiday? 20 things you can’t forget at home

Great, you have already decided that you’re on a trip (where are you going, where?). It’s the day before (yes please, don’t leave it for the same day, you dummy), and you have to pack up. But… what to pack in the suitcase? Oh boy, that feeling that you are forgetting something … With this post I’m going to help that feeling and those nerves disappear, because I’m going to give you a list with 20 things that can not be missing in your suitcase, that surely comes in handy while you are preparing the suitcase or you are checking that you have left nothing.

1. Personal ID and documents

You’re not going to leave the house without all the documentation, are you? Here are some of the things you should not forget:

  • Personal ID in order (Be sure it’s not expired or going to expire soon)
  • Passport in order (if you travel outside the EU you’re going to need it)
  • European Health Card
  • Health or travel insurance (optional, in case you have ordered it)
  • Driver’s licence (optional, in case you’re going to rent a car at your destination)

2. Tickets and reservations

In addition to having them on your phone or tablet, print all the bookings you have made and put them in a document holder (or a portfolio), for example:

  • The hotel reservation (or hotels)
  • Car rental reservation
  • Tour bookings
  • Tickets for shows
  • The ferry ticket
  • Etc

3. Money

Nowadays everybody’s accepting Visa and Mastercard, so you should have no problem with this, no matter where you go, but just to be sure, bring a credit card (you can also ask for some information at your bank, they will sure be able to tell if X card is OK or not to travel abroad).

Also bring some cash in your destination’s local currency. Make an approximation of how much you are going to spend before you leave (I prefer not to carry much cash and pay with card so I don’t get ripped off with the currency exchange). Here you should pay attention to my grandmother, and carry the money in several purses or pockets; for example one with you and another on that you can leave in the hotel / suitcase. She also tells me to put my money inside my socks, but I think that with the above tips you’ll be okay.

4. Clothes

T-shirts, trousers, underwear… Think about the garments you are going to need (I always do this: “days I’m staying + 1”, just in case), and make and approximate planning on what you are going to wear each day, this way you won’t make short or bring too much clothes.


Check the weather of your destination before you go there: will it be cold? or hot? Is it gonna rain? Should I bring 7 coats, or 1 will do? Am I going to the beach, do I have to bring my swimsuit, flip flops and a towel? Or am I going to need a hat, scarf and gloves?

You can also bring one change of clothing in your hand bag, also just in case.

5. Shoes

Shoes are one of the things that take up more space, so don’t bring all of your shoes (well, you won’t be able to do so even if you want). It is better to take those that are more comfortable for you to walk for a long time (for example sports or mountain boots). Forget the heels, the dress shoes, take a pair and put another in the suitcase for whatever it may happen, and you’re ready.

We always wear sports and training shoes, these with grip on the sole, comfortable, waterproof …

And do not even think about wearing new shoes, you don’t know if they will hurt you!

6. Personal care

Even at most hotels you will find the basic amenities, take a toiletry bag with the essentials:

  • Toothbrush + toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Gel / shampoo / cream / conditioner / lacquer / foam / etc
  • Shaving razor / Venus
  • Nail clippers + file
  • (Optional) Pads and tampons
  • (Optional) Contact lenses
  • (Optional) Glasses

7. Beauty

Another toiletry bag to keep you that beautiful/handsome wherever you go, with:

  • Hairbrush / comb
  • Makeup (the right one to look good in the photos, don’t overdo)
  • Cologne
  • Tiny mirror
  • Flat iron / Hair Dryer
  • Hairpins / tweezers / diadems / etc

Note: most men won’t need this kit. Extra space! 😉

8. Mobile phone

What were you going to do without your cell phone, you have it all there! Fully charged, with the extras you require, and remember to put it in airplane mode during the flight. My advice is that, if you travel outside the country, you remove the data connection, put the airplane mode and turn it off during the flight, so when you land you don’t get any message or get any unexpected expense.

9. Camera

Same here, what is a vacation without any pictures? Take your favorite camera (or the most comfortable, for some trips there’s no need to bring the reflex + 7 lenses + tripode…). Also fully charged! If you have spare batteries, bring them too.

10. Other electronic gadgets

They say this is the electronics era… Well they’re right. Tablet, e-reader, the kid’s video game console, the other cell phone (really, why do you need two of them?), mp3, laptop…


11. Chargers

And of course, all of these gadgets need to survive… To be sure you don’t run out of battery, bring every charger, extra batteries, batteries (if you have anything from the previous century that works with batteries)…

12. Pen and pencil

I know, you’re now thinking “Girl, I own a smartphone, why the hell do I need a pencil”… I know, I know, but if you run out of battery you may need it, and for God’s sake, it takes little and may take you out of a hurry.

13. Solar protection

If you’re travelling to a sunny place, or it’s summer and you have milk skin like mine, don’t forget:

  • Sun cream
  • Aftersun
  • Sunglasses
  • Cap
  • Solar lipstick (UVA)

14. Guides, maps and apps

They might not be printed ones: all of the guides you have downloaded, maps, dictionaries or translators, apps… don’t miss a thing!

15. Basic medical kit

I don’t wnat to be a jynx, but it may happen something that makes you need a basic medical kit. For instance, once I was on a beach in Galicia and cut my foot sole with a shell, and guess what I didn’t have…

  • Bandages
  • Alcohol
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Gauze / bands
  • Iodine
  • Insect repellent

16. Medicines / drugs

If you take something on a daily basis, don’t forget to bring it! Also take some of those pills for any occasion, just in case (yes, always “just in case”…). Some examples:

  • Ibuprofen or paracetamol (for muscle pain or headaches)
  • Frenadol / fluimucil / similar for colds
  • Pills for stomach pain or acidity
  • Allergy pills
  • Diabetes pills
  • Anxiety pills
  • Sleeping pills
  • Etc

17. Plastic bags

Well folded, they occupy little room and they may come in handy to keep your dirty clothes, shoes… I think that 2-3 will do.

18. Entertainment and others

In order to not get bored on the plane, or during the hotel nights, you may want to bring:

  • Magazines
  • Tablet
  • Book / ebook reader
  • Mp3 player
  • The Rubik’s Cube (Really?)
  • Umbrella
  • Kleenex
  • Raincoat
  • Condoms
  • Power adapter
  • A backpack of these folding
  • Energy bars or something to snack on the plane (trust me, they will be so expensive if you buy them there)
  • Etc

19. Some room

Do not press so hard, it doesn’t all go in! Let’s see, the 500-page book, out. Those 600 socks, out. Those three sweatshirts “just in case” even though you go to the Caribbean, out too. Get rid of anything that is not essential and leave room for possible purchases (or that mysterious material that makes the things that you got in the suitcase occupy more now).

20. Home keys

Hey there, you need to come back some some day! Do you imagine coming back so tired, thinking about having some rest, and instead stand at the door like an idiot because you can’t open it? It would be so “funny”… so let’s avoid this situation 😉

You don’t need to always carry the keys over, you can use a little purse and keep it in the suitcase (I think you won’t be needing the keys while you’re going for a walk down the 5th Av in New York…).

Some final advice…

– Only take what is necessary and learn from experience. Do you remember that trip in which you took 5 skirts and wore not even one? This time take only one.
– Pack the suitcase in advance, not on the same day of departure. You will avoid nerves and you will have time to think and add whatever it is in case something comes to your mind.
– Order in a suitcase is relative: things go where they fit. Leave the socks to the end, they fit in any gap, spread out.
– Make sure the suitcase measures and weighs what it as to weigh, depending on each airline. If you are going to travel by car, bring only what fits in the trunk, so you don’t have to throw your kids through the window to use the back seats.
– Do not bring liquids of more than 100ml in the hand luggage.
– Label the suitcase with your name and phone number, so you can be contacted in case it’s lost.
– Check this list when you’re done. Is something missing?


Do you think I missed something? Tell me in the comments and I will add it to the list! 🙂

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