Holiday checklist, packing tips and interactive lists

From packing tips to a holiday checklist to help cover all aspects of your holiday, we’re here to help take the stress out of air travel…

Use the following guides and checklists to help ease the anxiety as departure day approaches.

Interactive holiday checklists

Forget the scrappy bit of paper... we've the list solution you need

Forget the scrappy bit of paper… we’ve the list solution you need

Avoid departure day stress with our interactive packing lists. We’ve lists for documents, clothing, baby, toiletries and hand luggage.

Don’t worry… our lists remember your selections on the computer you made the selections on, so you can come back and check-off items as and when you pack them. Simply pick your list below. Can’t see the lists? Just click here.

Documents and essentials checklist

Ensure all your documents, permits and booking confirmations are  all in place.

  • Passport
  • Flight Tickets
  • Currency
  • Travellers Cheques
  • Cash passport currency card
  • Credit cards
  • Visas
  • Photocopies of passport/Insurance
  • Sports licences/documentation
  • Holiday Insurance EHIC health card
  • Contact numbers
  • Holiday hotel/appartment address
  • Directions
  • Copies of paperwork property info
  • riving licence – and view my licence code from June 8 more here
  • APH parking booking reference…..

Clothing checklist

Make sure you have packed all the clothing required for your trip

  • Shorts
  • Tee Shirts
  • Jeans
  • Trousers
  • Shirts/tops
  • kirts
  • resses
  • Jumpers
  • Warm top
  • Bras
  • Pants
  • Socks
  • Tights
  • Stockings
  • Swimwear trunks and costumes
  • Sarong
  • Wedding clothing (for nuptials abroad)
  • Suit
  • Nightwear
  • Dressing gown
  • Slippers
  • Shoes
  • Sandals
  • Flip flops
  • Trainers
  • Walking socks
  • Walking boots
  • Coats and light jacket
  • Waterproofs – even in warmer climes
  • Specialist sporting clothes/shoes/boots

Baby checklist

Don’t forget the soother…

  • Bottles
  • Sterilising equipment
  • Powdered milk
  • Baby food
  • Changing mat
  • Changing bag
  • Wipes – in hand luggage and hold
  • Travel cot
  • Travel highchair
  • Buggy/pram
  • Baby sling – must-have for the beach
  • Baby car seat if not hiring one
  • Booster seat car and table
  • Baby clothes
  • Nappies
  • Swimpant nappies
  • Plastic plates and bowls
  • Plastic cutlery
  • Dummies (plenty of)
  • Bedding
  • Night light
  • Monitors
  • Fave toys or blanket

Toiletries checklist

Keep fresh with this checklist

  • Suntan lotion
  • After sun lotion
  • Fake tan
  • Lip protector/balm
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Hair products and gels
  • Soap
  • Bath/shower products
  • Antiperspirant
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Electric toothbrush/ charger
  • Dental products floss etc
  • Razor
  • Shaver
  • Shaving cream or gel
  • Aftershave
  • Moisturiser
  • Beauty products
  • Perfume
  • Make-up/brushes
  • Nail varnish
  • Make-up bag
  • Tissues
  • Toilet paper
  • Female hygiene products/tampons
  • Flannels
  • Wet wipes

Hand luggage checklist

Keep on top of what needs packing for the airport and plane

  • Keep on top of what needs packing for the airport and plane
  • Passports and visas
  • Airline tickets and accommodation documentation
  • Credit cards
  • Driving licence
  • Foreign currency/travellers’ cheques and cash
  • Warm clothing for plane
  • Mobile phone and iPod
  • Books/magazines
  • Sweets
  • Medication (leave in original packaging)
  • Activity books/magazines
  • Snacks and drinks
  • Travel sickness medicine
  • Clothes
  • Favourite teddy/toy
  • Blanket
  • Travel wash bag for hand luggage
  • Travel sweets
  • Nappies and travel changing mat
  • Change of underwear for kids
  • Emergency dummies
  • Milk powder
  • Baby food
  • Nappy cream
  • Blanket
  • Hand luggage

Please keep a copy of all lists filled in here.

Our top 20 packing tips…

We'll help you pack with our top 20 tips

We’ll help you pack with our top 20 tips

Here are our packing tips to help ease the strain as you prepare to jet off…

Check out the latest airport security regs: All your expert packing could come tumbling down around you if you’ve neglected to read the latest airport security regulations. Having your bag pulled apart to remove banned items is only going to end badly. Read the latest security restrictions right here.

Don’t put wrapped goods in cases: Spending hours intricately wrapping gifts could be a counterproductive waste of time. If your case is inspected, it’ll be ripped apart and is unlikely to receive the same love and attention from the overworked security officer when he/she puts it back together.

These shoes are made for packing: Don’t waste any space; stuff your shoes with rolled up socks, or anything else that will fit.

Don’t downsize: Buying travel-size toiletries to beat security rules is a pricey and pointless exercise. It’s unlikely you’ll need to brush your teeth, take a shower or have a shave during that 3-hour flight to Spain, so pack your full-size toiletries in the hold and save yourself the 600% mark-up that applies to some such packs.

Keep it locked: Any bags you check in should always have a lock. If the case isn’t secured, it could invalidate your insurance should anything decide to jump out and change its travel plans.

Pack your medication: If you’re taking medication, stash enough in your hand luggage for two days – just in case there are unforeseen delays. Pack the rest in the hold and, once again, add a few extra just in case. Remember, you are allowed to take more than a 100ml of essential medicine through security and into the cabin, but you should get a letter from your doc to back this up. Finally, make sure you keep medicines and pills in their original packing, as this will help avoid problems with security checks.

Get the facts straight: Don’t start packing until you know exactly what weight you’re aiming to achieve. Most airlines have different baggage restrictions, so check your booking confirmation or head to the carrier’s website to ensure you know your enemy. Getting this wrong could result in wasted space – or crippling excess charges.

Pack an emergency meal: Going on a self-catering holiday, then you might want to pack an emergency meal to keep you going until you can make it to the nearest supermarket. This will help you avoid minimarts in the resort with their rip-off prices. Here’s our easy-to-pack emergency meal…

holiday packing tips

Save weight with your case: Don’t waste a large chunk of your weight limit by packing your gear in an ancient suitcase formed from reinforced concrete. Invest in the future by getting yourself a lightweight case that’ll mean you can use your allowance for what it was intended.

Don’t pack too much: Once upon-a-time, it was important that you packed your own supply of HP Sauce and Heinz Ketchup etc, however, nowadays it’s even possible to buy Marmite, real teabags, baby food and toiletries in countries other than Blighty.

Edit your reading list: Holidays are a great time to catch up on your reading, but a pile of books will munch valuable space and weight, so the time has come to donate your paper to charity and get yourself an e-reader. You don’t need to spend a fortune, with Nooks available from £30 and basic Kindles from £49. Get more information here

Prevent bottles leaking: Finding your clothes soaked by leaking liquids can result in a less than stress-free start to your hols. Avoid unhappiness by removing lids, covering the neck in cling film then replacing the tops. No more leaks.

Order your baggage allowance online: We all know that various airlines charge for your luggage, so when booking space from carriers such as easyJet and Ryanair, make sure you reserve space online because it will be considerably cheaper than paying at the check-in desk.

Keep a trace on your smalls: Using a service such as Calluma lets you rapidly trace your luggage should it go missing. Tag&Track provides you with special tags that will keep an eye on your bag’s location. The service costs £14.95 but could save a lot more in stress and spoiled holiday time. Get the full lowdown here.

Don’t ‘weight’ until you get to the airport: Returning from holiday with a few extras in your bag? Don’t just cross your fingers and hope for the best at check-in, make sure you always travel with a set of handy luggage scales. Make sure you get a lightweight option such as these digital scales

Get the kids involved: Dragging a suitcase used to be something that kids avoided like double maths homework, but that was before Trunki hit the scene. Employ the magical powers of this mysterious plastic beast to mesmerise kids and cut the amount of lugging you’ll be required to complete yourself. Make the experience even more immersive and irresistible to the kids by letting them design their very own personalised Trunki. Get them designing here.

Look the business: Travelling on business? Roll a belt inside the collar of your packed shirt to keep it the shirt looking sharp.

Non-suitcase checklist

'Did you remember to turn the cooker off darling?' Our essential guide to what needs doing before you head to Gatwick Airport

‘You did remember to turn off the oven, didn’t you darling?’

Your suitcase might be packed and ready to hit the holiday highway, but don’t forget to check out this list of tasks and issues that might need addressing before you set your sat-nav for the airport.

Essential checklist: Read this before you set off

Airport parking: Don’t ever forget to pre-book your parking. Turning up on the day without a booking will see the airport’s car park take a seriously greedy chomp out of your holiday budget. Get the best prices by booking ahead with APH.
Get your airport parking here  

Passport check: Ideally you would do this around two months before travel, but if you’ve left it late and found your passport is about to expire then calm down, take a deep breath and read our ‘Passport Panic’ guide to fast-tracking your application.
Read our passport panic feature here 

Download your airline’s app: This will save you time and help dodge airport queues by checking-in and downloading your boarding passes to a mobile phone.

Book a pre-flight hotel: Early flights needn’t fill you with despair… simply book a pre-flight stop-over at one of the great hotels near Gatwick Airport.
Choose your hotel here 

Pets: Fido and Barry the cat won’t be happy that you’re heading on holiday, so make sure you’ve organised reliable cover to take care of them while you’re away. Alternatively, join the thousands of pet-crazy Brits who are taking their significant animals on holiday with them.
Read our guide to taking pets abroad

Jabs and health: Pay a visit to your doc and discuss vaccinations and any other pre-existing medical conditions that could affect your travel plans.

Don’t tell the world: Taking to Facebook and boasting about your upcoming trip to the world famous instant noodle packaging museum in Japan (yes, really) will not only result in social exclusion, but quite possibly a visit from the local housebreaker. Save your social media assault for when you return home.

Cancel deliveries: With Amazon deliveries replacing milk bottles as a visual clue to your absence, don’t forget to schedule your parcels around holiday dates.

Tell the neighbours: Providing you don’t live next door to a convicted housebreaker, let your neighbours know that you’ll be going away – they’ll help keep an eye on your property.

Sort your car hire: Don’t leave car hire until you arrive – this could end up adding hundreds to your bill. Book it before you travel.
Here’s our guide to saving hire-car cash 

Get an EHIC: If you’re travelling to Europe, you should take a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
Apply for one here

Leave your heating on low: Avoid burst pipes in freezing conditions by leaving your heating on low while you’re away.

Airline extras, such as checked luggage, seat assignments, and meals, can add significantly to the cost of your flight. However, there are a few things you can do to minimize the impact of these extras on your budget.

Go like a pro…

Now that you’ve packed your bags, you don’t want to be damaging your ankles as you negotiate the train or airport transfer bus. Simply book yourself one of the many meet and greet services offered by Drive straight to the airport, unload your bags and head straight to the check-in desks as a fully insured chauffeur parks your car in a secure car park for the duration of your trip. He’ll even meet you on your return, so lugging bags will become a thing of the past.

Get your meet and greet parking quote here

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36 comments for “Holiday checklist, packing tips and interactive lists

  1. Linda says:

    Never leave without your soul mate

  2. janine mackenzie says:

    i always take my solar charger for kindle so i can read whilst on my sun bed and its harging up at the same time,what a clever idea

  3. Linda Jones says:

    I have a red teddy bear given to me many years ago by my best friend of fifty years, and it goes everywhere with me. I am 62!

  4. Dilys Fitzgerald says:

    I never leave behind my husband, someone has to carry the suitcases. Love him dearly though.

  5. Jane says:

    The most useful thing, that I never leave behind, is an extension lead. There’s always so much to charge up in the evening after a busy day, and so few plug sockets, I like to keep all electricals together so they’re easy to find when packing the rucksack again the next morning.

  6. ann kelly says:

    never leave behind my common sense x

  7. Gaynor says:

    I never leave home without my best friend. You can buy everything else x

  8. Paul houghton says:

    We always take a a four way extension lead and put a European plug on it,so you charge iPads phones etc.theres never enough plugs in a hotel this is very useful

  9. Heather says:

    I always take a photo of family I’ve left behind and my medication

  10. l.s.hill says:

    What I would pack and make sure I didn’t forget, is my aloe Vera drink that I try to have each day, as I believe it is slowing down my cancer reoccurence, I have already managed to keep the chemo at bay for 9 months, by keeping too fit and healthy! Apart from this it would be the normal of kindle and iPad!

  11. Ges McShane says:

    I would never leave home without my keys as it’s difficult to get to the airport without the car and embarrasing to have to break back in to your own house! Yes of course I speak from experience.

  12. Helen says:

    As regular self-caterers we never leave home without oven gloves, rubber gloves, and dishwasher tablets.

  13. Rachel says:

    Toilet roll!!

  14. Gary says:

    We always pack a small bottle of 30 ml fairy washing up liquid which will last a week or more on our self catering holidays

  15. Tracy McCloskey says:

    I never leave behind my travel kettle, it’s surprising how many hotels abroad don’t supply these, and you can’t beat a cuppa first thing in the morning to start your day off to a good start.

  16. Janette Bryan says:

    Never leave home without passport, money, credit card and husband

  17. rich says:

    my suitcase is always padlocked wherever I go!

  18. john says:

    Never leave the wife behind because she will have all the documents, passports and money,including your wallet.
    Us Men always forget these things as we are too busy loading the car for the airport and being knagged at about stopping the milk and newspapers as well as making sure everything is switched off except a light to warn off unwanted visitors while your away.

  19. Denise Tyas says:

    We always pack some portable scales so we can weigh our cases before we leave for the airport on our return journey. This avoids repacking at the airport, having to offload items or pay for the excess.

  20. Nicolas says:

    I always pack my swimsuit! You never know where you will end up!

  21. Anne-Laure says:

    I never leave behind my underwears!!! :-)

  22. Michele Platman says:

    Passports, tickets and parking vouchers are always at the top of our list, but next in line is my ipad. Even if there’s no wi-fi, i can read my books, take pictures, play a few games and even watch catch-up TV on the plane … ideal for those long-haul flights!

  23. Angela Beighton says:

    I never leave behind – my hubby! Going on holiday with your best friend and soulmate means you always have the best time and can overcome any little holiday glitches together. Travelling is never a pain when you have someone you trust by your side!

  24. David says:

    Few years ago found a combined smoke/ carbon monoxide alarm always take it with whether we are camping caravanning or hotel/B&B’s it’s no good at home whilst we are not there

  25. Christine says:

    Never leave without your passport!

  26. catherine owen says:

    Never leave behind passport boarding pass money and visa if require. These are the most important.

  27. Jane Smith says:

    My paperwhite kindle – I used to take a pile of books, worried that I wouldn’t have enough, and then couldn’t read them at the hotel because the lighting was so poor. I now carry hundreds of books weighing less than a paperback, and it’s backlit, so I can read anywhere. Wonderful.

  28. ALAN SANBROOKE says:

    I always pack a fire/carbon monoxide alarm with battery. Think safety first for me…

  29. Dave Love says:

    I never leave behind my patience and sense of humour when I go on holiday.

  30. Robert Green says:

    Unless I am going on a cruise I always pack my telescopic fishing rod

  31. Lucy says:

    What you never leave behind when you head on holiday…I never leave behind my camera. A camera makes pictures which are memories and make you want to return!!

  32. Margaret farrow says:

    Medictations, always take a few days more of your medications than you are actually going to need, you only need to be delayed, as lots were with the volcanic ash, and you are desperately trying to find a doctor.

  33. Louise Walker says:

    Our only essentials are remembered as ‘PMT’ – passport, money & tickets! Generally everything else can be purchased at destination or airport!

  34. nicola murphy says:

    What you never leave behind when you head on holiday……….. when we go on holiday you NEVER leave behind the passport …………………………

  35. Elaine Williams says:

    Ice cube bags for the essential G&T with ice!

  36. Jacki Hall says:

    What you never leave behind when you head on holiday…. we never leave behind our pillows :-)

    they squash down in the top of our suitcases, don’t weigh much but they are needed especially in the self catering holidays in Greece that we go to. We have been taking them for about 10 years now and I would rather go without extra shoes than my soft comfy pillow.

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