Be prepared for paradise with these essential travel items you don’t want to forget.

Your next exciting holiday is booked and you can’t wait to stroll along the golden beach, hear the waves gently lap the shore, feel the sun warm your face and sand tickle your toes! But to reach paradise, you have to pack your suitcase first. Ahh… packing! I won’t blame you if the empty suitcase you’ve left open in the corner has even started to pack itself with your pet cat (who seems pretty happy with their new cosy basket!) Perhaps not the luxury item you had in mind and certainly not helping you to get organised any quicker. Starting the task of packing is usually followed by a rolling of the eyes, when all you can think about is rolling down those sand dunes in the sunshine, like a true kid-at-heart. To help you remember all those essential travel items you’ll need to enjoy a sunny getaway (and avoid any last-minute mayhem or fees for over-packing) use this A-Z as a handy tick-list every time you pack:

A – After sun lotion

Always apply in the evenings to cool and calm your sun-kissed skin. Aloe vera moisturiser is a great remedy to soothe irritation and hydrating every day will even help to extend your tan! Pack this alongside the all-important sunscreen (look out for offers and buy this duo together).

B – Bag

A smaller zipped bag or handbag for day-time activities is a must to keep your valuables close. If you have room, also pack a tote bag as they are lightweight yet very handy for a great day at the beach.

C – Currency

Take a slimmer purse or wallet to allow easier travelling and remember your foreign currency and bank cards. It’s worth contacting your bank to advise you’re going abroad, too.

D – Documents

Do you really want to be queuing for a new passport when you could be boarding the plane?! Check (then double-check) your passport is not only packed but valid, too. Save emergency contact details and also check if visas are required. Print your boarding pass (your ticket to paradise!) before you travel or arrive at the airport with time to spare. Don’t forget your driving licence, which you’ll need to show if you’re hiring a car in the resort. You’ll also need it if you’re the spontaneous type and decide later on to discover new scenic places on the open road! It’s great to have all documents of your trip at hand including flight details and email yourself copies as a back-up. Travel insurance is also essential. Make sure it covers all the exciting activities on your To-Do List and let the fun begin!

E – Electronics

Phone, tablet, camera, gadgets galore! Choose wisely, fully charge before you travel and pack all battery chargers in your hand luggage, just in case you’re able to find a café workstation or recharge zone just when you need one on the move. Or save yourself the hassle when electronics inevitably run out of power and pack a portable battery booster to keep you entertained, no matter how long your journey might be. You’ll arrive sooner than you think!

F – Footwear

Wear your heaviest pair of shoes to the airport, such as trainers that are perfect for day-time exploring on your feet or exercising. Pack your flipflops for strolling down to the pool and sandals for sight-seeing (or a similar classic yet blister-free pair) that can double up as an evening upgrade.

G – Glasses

Make sure you don’t miss the amazing views and pack your favourite pair of shades with UV protection. Don’t strain your eyes over the menu either and remember your reading glasses as well as contact lenses and solution, if you wear them. You can even get prescription goggles if you fancy, to save you hitting the pool with a belly-flop!

H – Hat

As well as applying sunscreen to your face, neck and ears, a wide-brimmed hat can help you stay safe in the sun. Rather than squishing it into a pancake in your suitcase, wear it to the airport and get in the holiday mood!

I – Insect repellent

To enjoy an al fresco bite to eat without getting bitten, wear a suitable spray, roll-on, lotion or even wristbands so you can wave goodbye to mosquitoes and say hello to mojitos!

J – Jewellery

Tired of untangling knotty necklaces? A fabric jewellery organiser designed for travel will save you the worry of losing those special earrings around the hotel room. Treasured trinkets that you don’t wear daily can be neatly stored, safely rolled up to protect them from scratches and squeezed into the smallest space in your suitcase.

K – Keys

Life can get a bit too busy sometimes, especially when you’re getting everything done and dusted before you can finally relax in the sun. To avoid running late, be mindful of where you last placed your keys for smooth sailing ahead.

L – Locks

It’s wise to keep your precious belongings safe with secure zipper locks and straps for your luggage that are also lockable. I always do, as much for anti-theft as for added strength in keeping my suitcase from bursting at the seams, especially when flying home with handfuls of gifts and souvenirs! Combination locks will save you another set of keys to keep track of, too.

M – Medicine

Carry ALL medicine in your hand luggage within easy reach and make sure you have more than you need. For any food allergies you may have or foods you can’t eat due to your religion, take an allergy alert card to show chefs so that you and your taste buds can happily relish the local cuisine on offer. Translate it, too, so that your requirements can be understood wherever you’re travelling.

N – Notepad and pen

Keep your hotel address noted down as a back-up to your smartphone, in case you need a taxi or directions to help you find your way around seamlessly.

O – Outfits

Lightweight packing cubes used to separate your clothes will keep you organised with ease. Don’t forget underwear! Choose versatile outfits that you can mix and match for casual day and dressy evening occasions that are non-crease. A lightweight jacket can double up as a blanket to keep you cosy on the plane.


A face-mask and personal protective equipment will help you and others stay safe and sound on your travels. Frequent hand washing is vital but it’s worth carrying disposable gloves and anti-bacterial hand sanitiser as another safe and handy hygiene solution.

Q – Questions and phrases

Have fun learning the culture and local lingo on your travels and print off the most common questions and phrases you’re likely to ask to get the most out of your holiday as soon as the plane lands.

R – Reading material

Enjoy the latest best-seller or book you’ve been meaning to read for months. When you finally escape into the pages of your new novel, will you be swaying in a hammock under the palm trees, or settled in a sun-lounger by the pool?

S – Swimwear

Throw in an extra bikini set or pair of trunks – you’ll spend most days chilling in them whilst soaking up the sunshine. Sarongs, loose tops, light shorts and quick-drying clothing are a stylish yet sensible idea. Make sure your sunscreen is water-resistant.

T – Toiletries

A wash bag will prove wonders in homing your foldable toothbrush, mini toothpaste, deodorant, perfume, face-care, razor and shaving gel. If you want to avoid a frizzy fiasco of a hair-do, like poor Monica in baking Barbados on the TV show Friends, remember your anti-humidity styling products and brush! If make-up is your thing, take remover wipes rather than lotion to avoid leaks. Waterproof mascara is a good call if you’re a true mermaid at heart. Travel size containers make it convenient to carry on any liquids in your hand luggage, no more than 100ml per item. Take care to pack them in one clear single re-sealable plastic bag (approximately 20cm x 20cm when flattened, no larger than 1 litre) and you’ll be good to go!

U – Universal travel adaptor with USB

Remember to pack a suitable plug adaptor to save you the hassle and cost of finding one last-minute. Choose those with USB too as well as surge protection and for a family, take two. A universal multi-socket one is worth the investment and has everything you need, whichever place is next on your bucket list!

V – Vaccinations

Many jabs are best to be taken a few weeks in advance so check if you need any. There’s no such thing as being over-prepared!

W – Water bottle

You can refill, refresh and save money on the go whilst also helping to be eco-friendly. You’ll be glad of it once you’ve worked up a thirst adventuring in the radiant rays of sunshine!

X – ‘X’ marks the spot

Look your destination up on a map and jot down all the things you can’t wait to see and do in your destination to ensure you can tick them off your wish-list. Have fun finding out more about the local surrounding area to discover the treasures on your new hotel doorstep!

Y – Yummy snack packs

Don’t go hungry. Be prepared between meals and on long journeys with some sweet and savoury treats to snack on. Mouth-watering mints are great for the plane if you feel you need to ‘pop’ your ears during take-off and landing.

Z – Z z z’s

For quality beauty sleep, remember your neck pillow, eye mask, earplugs and headphones (noise-cancelling ones if you want to zone out completely) so you can catch up on those much-needed z’s in peace and quiet on the plane.

Congratulations – you’re all packed! It’s time to rock-n-roll on your holiday! Now all that’s left is the fun part, packing your precious days away full to the brim with heart-warming and happy memories to bring home. Keep this handy A-Z ready for your next trip, too!

© Copyright Author Kathryn Glover Sunny Heart Travel Ltd. 2019 to present day. All rights reserved.

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