What I Pack For A Holiday – Hand Luggage

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This is going to be an absolute mess, I swear my bags are like a TARDIS – always bigger on the inside. But I need an even bigger bag to store all of my things in that I need for a trip, especially going abroad. When I go abroad, I use a backpack that will be able to store everything I need, and possibly more. There are plenty of pockets in my backpack, which I used specifically for my university days, and it still holds up five years later and even survived my stay in Portugal. For you guys in the UK, I use this backpack.

Last time, I went into the contents of my suitcase. This time, I’m going into my backpack.

Let’s take into account that we’re travelling overseas. This is what I would normally pack:

Phone + peripherals

Yeah, I play Pokemon Go, so my phone is usually in my hand. However, I have a lot of the peripherals that I need to hand in my bag – such as a cable and power pack, as well as a pair of earphones so that I can listen to music when I’m on a long journey and I need some good tunes to get rid of the background noise. I usually use Spotify Premium on flights, because you can download your playlists to play offline.

I do need to buy a new power pack – my current one I’ve had for two years is slowly on its way out. Same as my phone, really.

Passport/boarding pass

This is an absolute must for overseas travelling! I can’t stress this enough. Touch wood, I’ve never forgotten a passport or boarding pass, but I’ve seen people have to miss out on holidays because their ‘idiot boyfriend’ forgot his passport (this was not me, I promise!). Always print out your boarding pass before you get to the airport, or at least have a mobile version, if your airline can provide one.


My purse is another must, as it has everything I need in there – debit card, store cards, driving licence and (most importantly) my European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This card covers necessary state-provided healthcare at reduced costs or free of charge while in an EU country – although if you’re in the Land of Brexit, this could change with a no-deal Brexit. You can apply for yourself and your partner to be on the same plan – that’s what I did before my trip to Dublin.

Tickets/spending money

Now, this is a must-have. I had a zip-loc wallet to carry tickets and spending money for when I went to Dublin, and this kept receipts of purchase for a museum trip, as well as tickets to a gig. We also kept a portion of the spending money in there, and another portion in another wallet, so that we wouldn’t lose it all. It’s so handy to have and keeps the important stuff in a clutter-free space. I would put my UK currency in these wallets or a separate coin purse when I arrive at my destination.


I never used to bring these, opting instead for a tablet or just using my phone. Now, though, I appreciate doing some work while overlooking a beautiful city at sunrise – there’s something magical about it. Having a laptop helps me keep on top of my work, and being able to write things while they’re still fresh in my memory really helps, too.


Okay, in the unfortunate circumstance that my laptop dies at the airport with no available charging stations, I have a notepad and pen ready. I usually carry one when I know I’ll be at a cafe, then I can write some stuff down that I need to. When I was in Dublin waiting for the transfer to Lisbon, my laptop died, and every charging station or plug was taken by someone else – usually kids – that didn’t have laptops. And because my flight was delayed and I was up since 3.30 that morning, I was grouchy as hell. So it’s a good thing I took something else to write with.


I want to pretend to be an intellectual when I read on a flight. I brought my Kindle with me to Portugal, to save on space so that I could pack more stuff. When I went to Dublin, I bought a book called We’re All Mad Here by Claire Eastham, which is a book about living with social anxiety – which I do suffer from, surprisingly, and I recommend the book for anyone dealing with anxiety. Nevertheless, every time I’ve gone away on a trip abroad, I’ve always taken some reading material.

Spare clothes

You can never go wrong with a spare few clothes for if your checked luggage gets lost. I usually go with some basics – a shirt, some underwear and a pair of socks – they would usually last until I manage to go shopping. I’ve done this for all of my trips so far because you can never have complete faith that your luggage will turn up.

I probably forgot some stuff, but that’s the sort of thing I would normally pack for a trip abroad.

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