Flying over Christmas? Don’t forget to pack these 8 essential items

Most of us dread packing; always panicking that we’re going to forget to pack an important item that will ruin our holiday if we forget it.

The best way to ensure you pack everything needed is to prepare a list and refer to it when packing. Actually, having two lists works well: one with absolute essential items that you can’t do without whatever holiday you’re taking – keep this in a safe place and refer to every holiday – and a second list with items required for your specific holiday.

The essential list should include the following:

  1. Passport
    It really does go without saying, that a passport is an essential item that you simply must pack, but do make sure that it’s in date and has a sufficient amount of time left on it – some countries require your passport to be valid for at least six months from the date of travel. It’s best to check entry requirements on the Foreign and Commonwealth website well in advance of your travel date.
  2. Tickets
    Tickets, self-printed boarding passes, booking reference, or sms text, whichever method of boarding your airline requires make sure you have it with you.

    If you are staying at a hotel the night before your flight, don’t forget to take your booking confirmation with you. And, likewise, if you’ve booked airport parking, such as meet and greet, don’t forget to take your booking confirmation; details of where to drive to; and the company’s contact telephone number with you.

  3. Travel insurance
    Whether you are taking a domestic, European or International holiday it’s essential to have travel insurance. If you’re travelling to Europe, don’t assume that an EHIC card is sufficient coverage; this only covers you for reduced-cost or sometimes free medical treatments and does not holiday cancellations, loss of possessions, or repatriation should you become ill or injured while on holiday.

    Don’t forget to take details of your travel insurance with you.

  4. Driving License
    If your holiday plans include car hire while on holiday, you will be required to show your driving license. Take both parts with you, not just the photo ID part.
  5. Money and Cards
    You won’t get too far on holiday if you forget to take your foreign currency with you, however, this can be overcome if you have your credit or debit card with you.

    Always purchase your foreign currency before you get to the airport, as you will have more time to compare rates and how much you get for your money. In the case of cards, you should inform your bank that you are going away and plan to use your credit / debit card abroad.

  6. Medication
    Whether you are required to take regular medication or not, it’s always advisable to take some painkillers, diarrhoea pills, plasters, hangover treatment etc. with you. It’s best to pack these in your hand luggage so that if your suitcase is lost or delayed you will be okay.
  7. Suncream
    Don’t forget to pack suncream – you will need it for most holidays, including skiing. Pack aftersun too, just in case you do burn.
  8. Mosquito Repellent
    If you’re travelling somewhere warm, it’s always advisable to pack mosquito repellent.

A further tip for packing is to allow sufficient time for packing. If you leave yourself too little time you are likely to feel rushed and hassled and you’re more likely to forget something important.

The above eight items should feature on your regular holiday packing list – do you have anything to add to this list? Feel free to add your suggestions to the comments below.