18 Must-Pack Travel Items (the ultimate holiday packing list)

18 Must-Pack Travel Items (the ultimate holiday packing list)
It is finally vacation time! The moment you’ve been waiting for so long. You only want to get on the road to your destination and the least you need is to forget something important on your travel items packing list.

No worries this is why we prepared this ultimate holiday packing list for you. It contains the most important items we need when we travel and start packing. We are sure it will be very useful for you too.

Let’ make your packing experience easier and your vacation or travel adventure carefree!

Before you read further we wanna let you know that this blog post contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission to fund our coffee drinking addiction. This will only happen if you use the links in our article to make a purchase. You will not be charged extra, and you’ll keep us supplied in caffeine 😊.

You should already know that we only recommend stuff we would buy for ourselves or we personally tried, and love. We always have our readers’ best interests at heart.

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You have doubts making your holiday packing list: GuideMust pack travel items


1. IDs & Documents - make sure you have them on your packing list for any travel not only holidays

Holiday Packing Checklist Preparation Pack and check your ID & Passport on the list
Pack and check you have your ID & Passport

One of the most important must pack travel items are the IDs and all the important documents one needs:

  • Passport or National ID card
  • Driving license
  • Visa – if needed
  • Travel insurance
  • Plane tickets or any other tickets (bus, train, etc.).

So first, check that you have all the documents you need with you. It would be so not fun to realize at the last moment when you are at the airport that you do not have your ID with you.

Holiday Packing List

2. Digital and/or Paper Copies of Documents

Must be on your holiday packing list: When traveling or heading to holiday check your list to make sure you pack the travel documents
Don't forget to make Paper Copies of your Documents

Make sure you always have a backup. We recommend you to have both digital and paper copies of the important travel documents.

These would be:

  • All the above documents
  • Hotel location related documents
  • Coupons, Vouchers

Holiday Packing List

3. Phones, Laptop, Camera, Tablets, E-Book Reader

Electronic devices must be on your Holiday Packing List
Electronic devices must be on your Holiday Packing List

Check that you have all the electronic devices that you need. Did you know that the number 3 items most people forget are their phone, keys, and wallet?

Holiday Packing List

4. Pack Chargers and Adapters - have them on your holiday checklist since in some destinations they will be hard to buy immediately

Now, this is an important item as well, some of the essential things to pack. They should be on your packing list and in your bag.

So first make sure you packed all kinds of Chargers: for your phone, laptop, camera, eBook reader, tablet, etc. Having suitable chargers and adapters is one of the many tips and tricks we wrote for you in our travel like a PRO guide. 

Speaking about chargers, this is such a cool product: Multi USB Charger that makes travel life easier.

While traveling to a foreign country you will also need an adapter and we recommend you to take a universal one.

There is a huge variety of plug shapes and sockets around the world. In this article, you can find all of them so that you know which one you need according to where you are traveling.

When choosing an adapter, always check:

  • The number of plug types it supports;
  • The number of power outlets it has;
    We travel with many devices, so we need to be able to plug in more devices at the same time. This is an important feature since you can find adapters that can’t charge more devices at the same time.
  • The number of USB ports;
  • The power surge protection;
  • The load rating;
  • The voltage conversion;
  • Size & weight.

When it comes to adapters, we have some favorite items that are so useful when traveling.

Hyleton All in One Travel Plug Adapter covers a range of over 200 countries. 

It is a universal travel adapter that automatically recognizes devices and provides the optimized electric for the device.



EPICKA Universal Travel Adapter One International Wall Charger – this is a good adapter, an all in one world multi function Travel Adapter covers more than 150 countries with US/EU/AU/UK plugs.

But it has the downside of not converting the voltage.


Holiday Packing List

5. Pack Batteries and External Chargers / Power Banks - don't omit them from your checklist before you leave on vacation

These come so handy especially if you take as many photos as we do.

If you travel with many photo accessories then you must have a special backpack for it. This makes it a little bit harder to forget them.

Regardless, always make sure you have your batteries and external chargers with you. They can be a life savior especially when not having suitable adapters.

Holiday Packing List

6. Credit Cards and Cash - they are essential for every travel or holiday

When checking your holiday list Remember to take some cash and credit card when packing for holiday - checked
Pack some Cash and make sure you take your Credit Cards

By all means, do not forget your credit cards!

And, about cash, depending on where we are traveling, we usually don’t carry much cash with us. Dealing with money while traveling has become so easy ever since we have our Revolut cards.

Here you can read more about what Revolut is and how we managed to save money while we travel since we use Revolut card.


Holiday Packing List

Holiday Packing List

7. Pack a Money Belt - a hidden belt will make your money and holiday safer

A money belt is useful especially when you don’t want to carry a backpack with you. Or in places where it is better to not show your money.

There are many money belts out there, but what we like to use is a running belt. It is smaller, we only put money or phone in it and the best part: it is not trackable.

Here is what we recommend:


Holiday Packing List

8. Noise-canceling Headphones or / and Ear Plugs - important item when preparing your holiday packing list

  • When it comes to headphones there are 4 important aspects you must look at. These are sound quality, noise suppression, battery life, and weight.

If you do not care that much if they are lightweight or heavy let this aspect slide. But the other ones are very important.

Keep in mind that if you are looking for a quality product they are not cheap. But your comfort worth every penny.

If you don’t know what to buy, here are our recommendations:


Holiday Packing List

9. Packing Cubes - should not miss from your holiday packing list

Packing cubes are such a great invention! We can’t believe we traveled without one for so long.

We know that many people have not tried them yet all though they must have heard about them by now. But to be honest they were such a game-changer for us.

Packing should be putting a few clothing items in a bag and nothing more. But that is only true until you start packing.
Many times what we thought would take no more than an hour, turned out in a packing nightmare.

Rolling, layering, nesting, giving stuff up. Or hardly stuffing everything in, changing the place of items in the bag to better fit. Or, even ending up sitting on the suitcase to get it closed has happened we guess to any of us.

If this sounds familiar and you are looking for an easier and practical way to do this, the answer is packing cubes.

They make packing so easy and you end up with all your stuff so well organized and easy to access.

When packing our bags for a holiday or any kind of travel, we use the LeanTravel Packing Cubes and we love them:

A must be on your holiday packing list: The Lean Travel Packing Cubes always useful when preparing our vacation. do not miss them from our holiday packing list
The Lean Travel Compression Packing Cubes, Shoe Bags, and Pill Organizer
  • The LeanTravel Packing cubes are lightweight.
  • They also have a mesh top for ventilation that also lets you see what’s inside.
  • If traveling with a partner and you have to share packing space, it is so cool that each will have his packing cube. This way you can find your stuff so easy.
  • They fit perfect in all suitcases, carry-ons, and all kinds of bags.
  • The cubes have an extra zipper for added compression feature. This reduces the packing cube thickness and makes more space in your luggage.
  • They are made out of quality and resistant materials.
  • If you pack an extra cube you can use it as a laundry bag.

There are many alternatives out there when it comes to packing cubes. You can choose from different materials, colors, and different dimensions. We only used the ones that Lean Travel make until now and we are super excited about them.

A must be on your holiday packing list: Lean Travel Compression Packing Cubes - Use them when traveling or in holiday to gain space in your luggage
The compression feature is one of the best

Our holiday packing checklist also includes:

Lean Travel Premium Shoe Bags that are perfect for keeping your shoes inside your bag. You can also use it as a small laundry bag.

LeanTravel Premium Pill Case Organizer & Passport Wallet

We love this one, we have the small one, it is so cool for organizing our vitamins and pills. This way we don’t have to carry pills bottles with us anymore. Moreover, the pill case compartments are removable.

No matter which packing cubes you prefer, we totally recommend you to get some. Your packing days will be so much easier.

Holiday Packing List

10. Microfiber Towel or a Tesalate Towel

When it comes to traveling, you sure need space in your bag and a towel that is efficient.

What we recommend is that instead of a regular towel you buy a microfiber towel. This will save you space, dries quickly and it does not weight much.

But, if you want the best alternative then a Tesalate towel is already the next level.

A must be on your holiday packing list: Tesalate Microfiber Towel Sand free, super absorbent, quick dry
Tesalate is the best sand-free microfiber beach towel
A must be on your holiday packing list: Into the Wild Tesalate Towel - One of the most popular choice
Into the Wild Tesalate Towel - One of the most popular choice

Tesalate is the perfect sand free towel:

  • It absorbs water very well (over 1 liter of water);
  • The towel dries quickly;
  • It is easy to carry since it is very compact when rolled;
  • You can even use it on the plane or as a yoga mat or even a gym towel;
  • The Tesalate towel is the perfect choice both for the pool and the beach;
  • We love the high-end and colorful design;
  • It has its own packing bag that helps to better pack it.
A must be on your holiday packing list: Tesalate Microfiber Towel - travel loonies, amazing colors in our holiday packing checklist
The Bohemian Tesalate Towel has our favorite design

We have the big one, 160cm x 80cm / 63 x 31 inches and it weighs only 550 grams.

Gone are the days when we would carry sand home in our beach towels or when our towels took half of our luggage space.

Moreover, if you are in love with the beach as we are this is the best sand free beach towel ever. 

In other words, what is characteristic for Tesalate towels are quality, lightweight and compactnessNot to mention the design…which is absolutely fabulous and the packing bag it comes in.

You can explore and find you own Tesalate towel.

We are totally in love with ours 😊. 

Holiday Packing List

11. Pack a Travel Pillow

A travel pillow is necessary especially on long flights. Even if you cannot sleep on a plane, the simple fact that you can relax your head and your neck make you another person. Once you step out of the plane you will see the difference.

If you care about your comfort, don’t forget your travel pillow.

Holiday Packing List

12. Pack a First Aid Kit - must be on your holiday packing list

Must be on your vacation packing checklist:Always pack your First Aid kit with you when you plan your vacation, put some medicines on your checklist
Always pack your First Aid kit with you

Talking about the essential to pack, always take some pills with you and something like a first aid kit together with your toiletries.

Here is an idea of what we always pack when traveling:

  • Pills: ibuprofen, painkillers, Vitamin C, etc.

Vitamin C is good in so many cases if you feel tired if you are about to catch a cold. Definitely put this on your list.

  • Band-Aids

Always come handy, you never know when a shoe can harm you or when you get a scratch, or even cut yourself by accident.

  • Wet wipes

Needless to say that these ones are a lifesaver. Especially when you do not have a water source nearby or the possibility to wash your hands.

  • Hand Sanitizer

Get the clip-on kind that you can attach to your bag for ease of access.

  • Throat Lozenges

We find these so helpful when traveling. They can make the difference between throat discomfort and actually getting throat pain.

It is true that the last item you can also buy from a convenience store or the closest pharmacy. Our experience thought us that we needed them in the worst moments. Or when we could not buy them, so our recommendation is to put them in your bag. They do not take that much space after all.

Holiday Packing List

13. Pack a Hat and a Scarf

Holiday Packing List - Never forget your scarf and hat
Never forget your scarf and hat

Now, these items are also essential. The hat protects you from the sun, the wind, the cold air in the plane and in the airport. The scarf you can use in so many ways in the heat and in the cold.

Make sure you take some with you.

Holiday Packing List

14. Water Bottle or better yet Filter Water Bottle - essential on your holiday packing list

This is one thing that helps you get rid of the “need to buy water” situation. And it helps you save some money while traveling. Not to mentions the planet.

If you drink as much water as we do (and you should drink your water) then you must know by now that you have to buy a lot of water while traveling.

And without changing the topic of this article, the water companies don’t produce water. They produce water bottles. Most of the cases plastic ones.

Having your own water bottles that you can refill already makes a difference. Yet, we recommend you have a filtered water bottle. This way you can refill it from everywhere, even from a muddy puddle.

SurviMate Filter Water Bottle

The ones that we use are from SurviMate.

We love this water bottle because:

  • It has durable and replaceable filters, 4 different ones. A Coconut Shell Activated Carbon filter, one in the form of Antibacterial Beads. And also a Medical Grade Hollow Fiber UF Membrane filter and a Medical Grade PP Cotton filter.
  • Using these filters, SurviMate will eliminate for you the heavy metals, harmful chemicals, viruses, protozoa, and bacteria.
  • The filters are replaceable (they last for around 8 months).
  • SurviMate bottles are made out of a Food Grade Tritan copolyester material that is BPA-free and odor-free. This will keep the water clean and with great taste.
  • You also get a unique design with a standard compass on top that helps you always know the direction.
  • It is easy to use there are no pumps, batteries, chemicals, no squeezing needed (after 5 to 8 sips you have clean water).
  • The price-quality ratio is great.

Holiday Packing List

15. Pack Sunglasses

Must be on your holiday packing list: Take your sunglasses in all your holidays. Check them on your list when you pack
Keep your eyes safe! Sunglasses can be a life savior in every type of climate.

We always have sunglasses with us no matter where we go and it is such a breeze when the light is too strong.

Holiday Packing List

16. Pack Sunscreen - don't forget it from your holiday packing list

Always take sunscreen with you, even if it is not summer and you don’t go to the beach.

Why? Long story short, here is one of our Peru experience. We were at more than 5000 m altitudes, and there was snow. At that altitude and in a cold environment, we faced a very powerful sun. So powerful that we got burned on a tiny face area where apparently we did not apply  the sunscreen well.

Think about that for a moment and go pack your sunscreen.

Holiday Packing List

17. Pack Rain a Coat and a Jacket

Needless to say, this comes so handy when it rains or it is cold.

Holiday Packing List

18. Pack Zip-Lock Bags

They can help in many situations and we will name a few:

  • As a small trash bag;
  • To pack small bottles, cosmetics, or other stuff;
  • To put your phone in to protect it from getting wet;
  • To protect other stuff from getting wet.

Packing some extra zip-lock bags is all the time handy.


The Ultimate Holiday Packing List - Packing like a PRO will let you focus more on your travel than on your forgotten items
Packing like a PRO will let you focus more on your travel than on your forgotten items

If you consider all these things next time you start packing, you will have smooth packing experiences.

We can only wish you the best travel adventures and remember to stay hydrated and enjoy life!

For more travel tips, make sure you check Our Best Travel Tips blog post. We gathered here our best practices, after 15 years of traveling. These can be very helpful along the way for every traveler. 

Please take into consideration that our recommendations come from our experiences. They are not general truths, they make our travel life easier and we are convinced it will help you too.

If you have questions or recommendations for us, we would love to hear them in the comments section bellow.

Also, if you find this holiday packing list useful, do not keep it only for yourself 😊. Use the share buttons to spread our blog post with your friends on your social media platform. 

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Holiday Packing List

6 comment(s)

Hi Kacie,

Thank you for the feedback. Indeed a travel towel is always handy especially when you travel with an infant 🙂 (Read your blog as well 🙂 ). If microfiber towel…much better.
So keep it on your holiday packing list :).
We think you are also doing a great job with your blog.
Stay tuned to ours to discover inspiration for your future destinations/challenges 🙂

Keep smiling,
Oana and Cristian (the loonies behind Travel Loonies)

Great list! You are right, I still haven’t got packing cubes. One person warned that since they make life easier an over-packer like me might go overweight more easily when packing. 😅

I would add having plastic bags too. I know they’re bad, but I bring plastic bags to shield germy stuff in my bag, and on my last trip they came in handy when my husband was throwing up on our bus from food poisoning.

Hi Kara,

Thanks for the reply. We totally appreciate the feedback.
Indeed the packing cubes made our holiday packing list/process much more easier :). It is really easy to search in your luggage when at the airport…You know that feeling? When you have to “unpack” in the airport because you had the feeling you forgot something or you put in on the bottom of your baggage? Yes, that one.
And you are right, with packing cubes there is a “risk” of overpacking due to the great compression feature. But most definitely in every house there is a scale. For example, we weigh our luggage before leaving for the airport. And so we have a worry-free travel. 🙂

Traveling bag is covered by our recommendation 18 – Pack Zip-Lock Bags :). Regarding plastic, we are trying to minimize using it paying a deep respect to our amazing planet. Instead, we recommend using the biodegradable compost mats.

PS: We love your Meteora Monasteries blogpost. We will use it when we will plan a trip to Greece. We will keep you posted with our adventures as well 🙂

Keep smiling,
Oana and Cristian (the same loonies)

Thank you so much for the feedback 🙂 It means a lot to us.
We are so glad that our Ultimate Holiday Packing List is helping you too.
Since we made this packing list with the essentials to travel with, our packing life is so much easier.

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