Holiday & Vacation Packing Checklist

Holiday & Vacation Packing Checklist

One of the most stressful things you have to do before you even get into the car to head to the airport, is packing for your holiday or vacation. This handy list might help you before you start packing and it might help you ensure that you don’t leave home missing essential items to pack into your suitcase for your holiday.

This list is not complete nor will it suit everyone or every type of holiday since a packing checklist for a city break will be different to a packing checklist for a 3 stop long haul trip.

Simply cross out items you don’t need then tick off the items from the list by your suitcase as you pack for your holiday.

The list below does NOT include clothes as everyone is different and hopefully this packing checklist will help with the other items which you may wish to bring. If you spot any omissions please make a comment and we can add it to the list.

Packing Essentials


Passports (ensure they are at least 6 months in date)
Drivers License (should you wish to hire a car)
Airline Tickets
Visas if required by your destination
Wallet – Debit and Credit Cards
Cash / Travelers checks
Emergency phone numbers
Hotel, rental car, confirmation details
Copies of your travel insurance

Guidebooks & Maps
Contact numbers to report lost credit

Electric Plug adapter
Cell Phone adapter
iPod / iPhone Charger
Books and magazines
iPod Earphones (ideal for the flight)

Personal Items / Toiletries


Travel alarm clock and batteries
Glasses, sunglasses and contacts
Birth control
Anti-bacterial hand gel or wipes
Hand lotion
Small first-aid kit
Travel pillow
Shampoo and conditioner
Hair Brush
Cosmetics & Soap
Razor and shaving cream
Sunblock & After Sun
Insect Repellant

Extra Items


Locks for your Luggage (and keys!)
Luggage name tags (include phone and

Sewing kit
Hiking Boots (make sure they are very
clean prior to packing if traveling to Australia
or new Zealand)

Camera, Flash & Lenses
Camera Mini-Tripod (for the photo

Camera Battery Charger (e.g. Canon DSLR

Extra film or memory card
Memory Card Holders (to keep them safe)
Journal and pen (if you like keeping notes on where you were)
Sweets for the Journey
Finally is the house locked and is the heating off and everything plugged out?

I hope this packing checklist helps you on your vacation

Remember to put all liquids and gels into your checked luggage.
Remember to check there are no sharp items in your hand luggage.
Remember to ask a neighbour to check in on your house when you are away.
Remember to have a good time on your trip.
Updated June 2015

Enjoy Your Holiday!

Park Plaza Hotel, Victoria, London

Park Plaza Hotel, Victoria, London

Every year I head to London with Friends and have done so for the past few years, with 2015 being the 5th year. Initially we stayed in budget hotels and quickly found that for a few extra pound per night we could stay in a very nice and comfortable hotel. In 2014 we chose the Park Plaza Hotel, Victoria.

Located only 5 minutes walk from Victoria Station, the Park Plaza Victoria was ideal for us as we flew into Gatwick Airport and the Gatwick Express terminates in Victoria.

Check in was very good and we were advised of the facilities on site including fitness centre, bar, and restaurant. and a Big Plus from Shane’s Travel Reviews … Free WiFi (it always annoys me when hotels charge for WiFi).

Park Plaza Hotel, London - Lobby

Park Plaza Hotel, London – Hotel Lobby & bar area

The room was very nice, bright, clean and comfortable. The room had a view overlooking the city and you could see the Shard and other landmarks in the distance. Another plus in the room was the very well provisioned bathroom which was of a decent size. Also in the room are tea/coffee facilities and a flat screen TV with a multitude of channels. At night there is no noise and a sound sleep can be guaranteed.

Park Plaza Room, Hotel London, Park Plaza Hotel Victoria, London

Park Plaza Hotel Victoria, London – Room Photo

Having stayed 2 nights here we all agreed that we would return to the Park Plaza as it was so good. So in Mid May 2015 we will be heading back to the Park Plaza Hotel Victoria to enjoy yet another relaxing break in London.

What’s nearby?

The Park Plaza is located only 5 minutes from the Apollo Theatre where the show Wicked is running, and is only 10 minutes walk from Buckingham Palace, St. James Park and Green Park. If you enjoy walking you can reach Piccadilly Circus in only 30 minutes walk from the Park Plaza.

If you are looking for a very nice city centre hotel in London, check out the Park Plaza Hotel Victoria, London.

Location Details

Hotel Address: 239 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 1EQ, United Kingdom
Hotel Phone:+44 844 415 6750
Hotel Location Map
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The Hampton’s – Review, Luxury B&B accommodation, Kaikoura, New Zealand

The Hampton’s – Review, Luxury B&B accommodation, Kaikoura, New Zealand

This is a B&B review of the Hampton’s luxury B&B in Kaikoura, New Zealand

Kaikoura was the first stop after visiting the very friendly city of Christchurch. We spotted The Hampton’s Kaikoura on the app which is one of my first-calls when booking accommodation online. The pictures looked amazing and the reviews were very positive.

On arriving we met Patrick the owner and he showed us to our room. Wow…. When I saw the room and view on checking in I was blown away. Patrick brought us through the features of the room plus advised us on the route for the local peninsula walk.

The Hamptons, Kaikoura, Review, The Room

The Hamptons, Kaikoura- The Room

The room was amazingly comfortable with cable TV, free WiFi, tea and coffee making facilities plus fresh home-made cookies.

The bathroom included a very nice power shower and was well maintained.

The views from the room were of the beach area and were amazing. A very comfortable place to stay in Kaikoura.

The breakfast was delicious and more than enough for me. Overall a wonderful place to stay and worthy of such praise. Thank you again to our hosts Patrick and Marie Claire.

The Hamptons, Kaikoura, Review, View

The Hamptons, Kaikoura – The View from the room

Overall Rating : 10/10

The Hampton’s
138 Esplanade
New Zealand

The Hamptons Location Map:

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Hotel on Davenport, Hotel Review – Tauranga, New Zealand

Hotel on Davenport, Hotel Review – Tauranga, New Zealand

Hotel on Davenport was booked as our 2nd last stop in New Zealand. The area around Tauranga is wonderful and we should have spent a bit more time here and also around Mount Maunganui which is very scenic.

We arrived at Hotel on Davenport around 4pm on a Saturday. The check-in was quick and friendly and we got a free WiFi code. We were given a room in Harbour-view wing with great views.

The hotel compendium states that Hotel on Davenport is a boutique hotel with a big heart and that is true – we were only in the room 10 minutes when we got a welcome drink and some snacks which was very nice.

Hotel on Davenport - Hotel Review - Rooms

The room was very comfortable with really plush carpet and great bathroom which included bath and shower as separate installations – Always nice to see this. The bed was very comfortable and overall this was a very pleasant stay and had we more time we would certainly have extended our stay in this wonderful part of New Zealand.

I would certainly recommend Hotel on Davenport and next time we are in this part of the world we will be back.

Hotel on Davenport - Hotel Review - products

Products in Bathroom : Hotel on Davenport – Hotel Review

Hotel on Davenport - Hotel Review - Bathroom

Overall Rating : 9/10

Address: 72 Devonport Rd, Tauranga, 3110, New Zealand
Phone:+64 7-578 2668
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Review – La Frontiere, Luxury Accommodation in Gisborne, New Zealand

Review – La Frontiere, Luxury Accommodation in Gisborne, New Zealand

If you intend visiting Gisborne when in New Zealand then I highly recommend La Frontiere, a luxurious modern self-contained studio, set on an avocado orchard and farmland, and is about 5 mins drive to Gisborne city centre. This was one accommodation which we were very lucky to get at the last minute.

We booked the accommodation via the AirBnB mobile app, our last resort as all hotels and motels in the area were booked up on the day of our visit, due to a Maori event.

Jennifer was the most wonderful host. On arrival we got a tour of the villa which was decorated superbly and had wonderful colours and quality furnishings make this villa compete with 5 star hotels when it comes to comfort and making you feel at home.

The villa has an excellently fitted and provisioned kitchen which ideal for whipping up some dinner of your own. The bathroom is very nice with a power-shower. The villa also comes with a private spa hot tub and swimming pool.There is fast and free Wifi, radio and a wonderful smart TV also available.

La Frontiere, Gisborne, New Zealand - Luxury Accommodation

The bed is very comfortable and it’s very easy to oversleep and miss your check-out time. La Frontiere is like a home away from home.

We had a wonderful time and would certainly return. It was great to also make the acquaintance of the dogs and cats on site – it is such a relaxing place to stay. Thanks again to Jennifer for her hospitality. We look forward to returning if we are lucky enough to get back to New Zealand again.

La Frontiere, Gisborne, New Zealand - Luxury Accommodation


La Frontiere, Gisborne, New Zealand - Luxury Accommodation Pool

Overall Review : 10/10 all round

La Frontiere Location & Information:

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1 Main Road , Makaraka, Gisborne, New Zealand
+64 6 8684931. +64 274412876

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Information on Gisborne :

Top 5 Things to Do in Christchurch, New Zealand

Top 5 Things to Do in Christchurch, New Zealand

Christchurch, New Zealand has had it’s share of troubles in the past few years. The last time we were here was 2011 after Two large earthquakes and thousands of aftershocks resulted in much of the city having to be demolished. At the time we were not able to access the city. This time, we found that the residents of Christchurch were some of the Most welcoming people we have met during our time in New Zealand and although parts of the city were blocked off at the time of our visit (July 2014), we still had a jam-packed 3 days in the city.

Even after these huge events there are still plenty of things to do in Christchurch, and these are below, in no particular preference…

This is my top 5 things to do in Christchurch

Take a Tram Ride

The ticket shop for the tram was located only a few minutes around the corner from the Novotel Christchurch at which we were staying. The Tram actually drives through the shopping mall where the tickets are sold which is an ingenious feat of engineering when you see it.  Much of the tram lines were damaged in the earthquakes but this line from New Regents Street and the Botanical Gardens still runs.

Christchurch Tram

There is excellent commentary on board and you certainly learn a lot about Christchurch and it’s history.  The ticket is hop on, hop off and is great value for the day.  On our trip, 2 wizards dressed in Lord of the Rings style garb actually boarded the tram with staffs aloft – something you won’t see every day.

See the Botanical Gardens

At the end of the Tram trip we arrived at the botanical gardens. The gardens are located on the River Avon and welcome over 1 million visitors per year. There are many walking trails and you could easily spend a few hours here. One of the highlights is the Native New Zealand gardens with stunning ferns and native plants. Also, don’t forget to take a trip to the Visitors Centre which was opened in April 2014 and encompasses a cafe with delicious food and botanically themed gift shop which has lots of very nice gifts to bring home. The visitors centre is also a hub for the operational side of the Gardens, with a working nursery, potting shed, herbarium and reference library.

Go Punting on the Avon

We noticed a few signs along the river for Punting. Now, I never punted in my life so I didn’t know what I was in for but it was to be a memorable experience. On a chilly July afternoon, the temperature was about 8C we got to the offices for ‘Punting on the Avon’ and we were welcomed by a chap in 1920s style clothing, we paid and were welcomed on board and given a blanket and 2 hot water bottles which was a really nice touch.

Punting on the Avon, Christchurch, New Zealand

The trip was about an hour from the time we arrived and we got to see the River Avon at a very relaxed pace, while listening to some local history. This was one of the highlights of the trip to Christchurch, as well as being the most relaxing.

Visit the ReStart Mall

One of the terrible outcomes of the earthquakes were that many of the shopping malls were either demolished or are currently unusable. Retail outlets have used an ingenious method for getting back on their feet. Using steel shipping containers, outlets have been able to re-open with great effect.

Restart Mall, Christchurch, New Zealand

Not only is the ReStart mall a colourful and enjoyable place to shop but the stores which are there give great value. We did some of the best shopping in the ReStart mall. Also, check out the Hummingbird Café for great coffee and food.

Eat at Cafe Valentino

After the walking, shopping and punting you will be hungry. If you are looking for good food in Christchurch, you have to eat at Cafe Valentino. Great food, extensive menu and great staff. The mussels were on special on one of the evenings and on the other it was a chicken dish.

Christchurch in conclusion

Christchurch is one of the places which, before I went, I wasn’t sure what to expect and also I wasn’t sure I would enjoy. To me it was just the place we were flying into. But, having been there, having seen the city, having met the people … I flew in so that I would fly back again soon.

It is a great place to visit and I wish I had more time to spend there and with the great people of Christchurch


POI Map for Christchurch, New Zealand

The map below shows the above 5 locations which may help with your trip to Christchurch.

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