What I Pack For A Holiday – Hand Luggage

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.

Purse

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.

Laptop/mouse/charger

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.

Notepad/pen

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.

Book/Kindle

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.

What I Pack For A Holiday – Suitcase

I think the most stressful part of a holiday is the packing that ensues whenever you go on a trip. Of course, the more you travel, the easier it becomes. I find it moderately easy now for short trips, but for longer stays (or when I packed to move to Portugal) it was stressful as all hell.

I want to go through the things I would typically pack for a 3-night stay, as that’s the average time I usually go on a trip. This is mainly stuff I would pack in a suitcase, but there are other things I’d keep in a handbag.

I found this feature image on a Google search.

Before we get into it, I’ll let you know that it’s important to check with your hotel/AirBnB host to see what they provide. They may provide towels and other amenities so that you don’t have to bring them. Therefore, I tend to be quite minimalist when packing, making sure I bring enough to last me throughout the trip.


Clothes

Of course, I don’t want to be walking around naked or in the same clothes for three days, so socks, underwear and t-shirts suffice, and usually pyjamas if it’s winter. I have to make sure that I have enough clothes to last the holiday. Sometimes I’ll add a dress and leggings during summer if I feel like wearing something nice.

Charge cables/plugs

Nowadays I can find hotel rooms with USB charging ports beside the bed, which is pretty cool, but I like to have plugs and cables, my life is surrounded by technology, especially now when I’m thinking of the blog full-time (without pay), and to keep in touch with others. However, we watch the TV in the hotel room normally, where we wouldn’t normally at home.

Of course, if I was to travel to a country with a different outlet to the UK, I would bring adapters that will work in that country. I would bring about three if I was travelling solo, otherwise, I would add an extra adapter.

Hairdryer/hairbrush

A hairdryer is a must for when I’m going out for exploring. I have quite long hair, so it takes a long time to dry naturally, and then it’s wavy. While hairdryers are a staple in hotel rooms, I can’t go without my own, which is a Neutech Touch Me, which I got from (of all places) a Pingo Doce supermarket in Lisbon. I am in love with it, and I’d be sad to lose it. It’s a touch-controlled hairdryer that dries even my long hair so fast – even my mum was amazed when she borrowed it!

Of course, a hairbrush is essential for me, as I did mention, I have quite long hair. I don’t usually bring straighteners, because my hair usually ends up relatively straight after I’ve blow-dried it.

Toiletries

Toiletries are essential to how I function. Because I have to shower every day, I have to take shampoo, shower gel and a disposable razor – I recommend these from Wilko, because they have the solidness of a normal razor, but they’re easier to acquire – I’ve found that my favourite normal razor is usually cheap to buy extra razor blades for, so they’re usually out of stock. Basically, my hair is so greasy that I have to shower every day – I have tried every other day, but the greasiness never went away. I use L’Oreal Elvive Dream Lengths, which I started using in Portugal, and combined with the less harsh water than I’m used to, it made my hair so soft.

Of course, I also bring a toothbrush and toothpaste. Gotta keep up that dental hygiene! I keep all of my toiletries in a big toiletries bag, and I often keep Connor’s toiletries in the same bag if he’s travelling with me. I also make a note to bring nail scissors or tweezers, in case we encounter any nail problems or anything that requires these instruments. I mean, you never know! We also bring face wipes and deodorant – also very important!

Obviously, I also have feminine toiletries that I bring when the time arises.


Sometimes though, I keep a lot of suitcase space free so that I can do some shopping when I’m travelling, and oftentimes buy souvenirs that I keep in the suitcase. It’s why I literally pack the essentials, and if I forget something, then I can always buy it while I’m there.

I wonder what others will pack into their suitcases. I might make a post of what I would usually pack in an in-flight carry-on at some point, as a continuation. It’s a bit more interesting than this one, I’m sure.