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!

Things which annoy me about some hotels

I really enjoy checking into a hotel and finding that everything is as you like it. It’s your home away from home for a few days, so you want a relaxing time and some time to enjoy the facilities of your chosen hotel.

However from time to time hotel stays are not 100% perfect and I have listed some areas where hotels have let me down in the past in my “Things which annoy me about some hotels” list …

  • Noisy or non functioning air conditioning
    Worse than a window not opening, a hotel which advertises air conditioning and it barely manages to keep the room at 20C or rattles like a coffee grinder when you have it on. Some of the best Air Conditioning was in the US, where you could have the room at 10C if you so wanted.
  • No provision of parking or local car park which is then validated
    This is a real problem for me. If I’m staying at a hotel and there is no hotel parking the least I expect is that the hotel have a deal running with the local NCP or city car park and therefore validate the car parking for you.
    Some of the best examples of this recently was at Future Hotel Bristol and The Bristol Hotel, both of which validated our car parking. I would return to these 2 hotels as a result!
  • Badly maintained bathrooms
    Please enjoy our bathroom but ignore the rusty tap, the missing shower head and the mould around the tiling… also if the toilet takes 30 mins to refill that’s normal …. NO it’s not ! Having a well maintained bathroom is vital to an enjoyable stay.
  • No free WiFi in rooms (or it so crappy you may as not be connected at all)
    There is nothing worse than checking in and then accessing your smartphone or tablet only to find out that there is a charge for WiFi. You may have paid a lot for your room, yet you are not given free Wireless Internet.
    Even worse is when you have chosen the hotel based on the Free Wifi promise, you check in and the WiFi times out or fails to load even the most basic web pages. If I’m paying for an expensive hotel room I don’t want to have to pay $20 or €10 for WiFi.
    Free WiFi is something I now look for in a hotel!
  • Tea and Coffee Facilities – only 2 milks yet 4 tea bags
    You come back after a day out and fell like a cup of tea for 2 only to find that you have to call reception to get more tiny UHT milk packets delivered to your room. Even worse is when no tea/coffee facilities are provided.
  • Finding things left from last visitor
    There is nothing worse than seeing evidence of the last visitor in your room, like a sweet wrapper under a chair and in Australia visible evidence in my hotel that the pillows had not been changed and that the previous visitor had a bad cold! (we swiftly left that hotel)
  • Housekeeping ignoring ‘Do Not Disturb’ signs
    If you are in need of some rest and just don’t want to be disturbed, you hang the little do not disturb sign outside the door… some time later you get a knock or a “Hello, House Keeping” – Why? It’s on the door …. Do Not Disturb!
    In one hotel we were disturbed exactly 1 hour after check-in … asking “Do you need more towels?” — what could I have done in 1 hour which would result in requiring more towels?
  • No electrical plug sockets near the bed
    This is very annoying for iPhone charging especially if you use your smartphone as an alarm clock or radio… or indeed if you log onto Facebook at 2am. Having a plug near the bed or bedside locker should be standard.
  • Uncomfortable beds or pillows
    One of the things I really hate is a hotel which markets the room as having a double bed which is actually 2 twin beds stuck together and you end up falling down the gap.
  • Windows that will not open at all
    I understand for health and safety you have to prevent people from opening the windows too much but when they don’t open at all it really feels claustrophobic – it’s nice to let some fresh air into your room!
  • A TV… with 4 channels
    So we have a TV, lets have a look BBC1, BBC2, UTV and a Local Channel … that’s all?
    You may as not have it at all! I’ll read a book !


Do you have anything to add to this list?

What was the worst thing you ever saw in a hotel? (Please don’t mention names)

Keep Your Belongings Safe at airport security checks

Keep Your Belongings Safe at airport security checks

In the past 6 months I have experienced two separate incidents of items going missing at airport security checks. Basically, people stealing things from they security trays. The items went missing somewhere between the entrance of the X-Ray machine and the area where you are cleared and can enter departures.

Having retraced the steps in my head I can see now where the window of opportunity might exist for an opportune thief to strike and take your belongings from your security tray.

Here’s the scene, you are preparing to have your belongings scanned and you are preparing to walk through the X-Ray device. It can be a bit stressful, take off your belt, take off your shoes, empty your pockets, turn off your phone, take your laptop out of its bag, do you have any liquids or gels? … Therefore you are a bit on edge just waiting for this to be finished and you might not be fully alert to the possibilities.

So if during these airport security checks, you leave your tray and just want to get through the X-ray door / device, your tray is still on the entry side of the X-ray machine. Anyone can now take an item from your tray and place it in theirs. This is what I believe happened – I had walked through and my tray was unattended. An easy thing to do especially if you are simply wanting to get through security.

Security at Airports - airport security checks - Keep your belongings safe in the airport security areaSo the tip is, stay with your tray, once your tray starts to enter the X-Ray machine you can then walk through, knowing that by the time you get through your tray will be just about exiting from the X-Ray scanner. If you happen to get stopped by security, try to identify where your tray is and keep your eyes on it. The security personnel are normally very nice so if you think you are going to be delayed and your tray is unattended having been checked you might ask them to remove it from the conveyor belt while you are undergoing the final manual security checks.