Holiday Essentials: What To Pack When Heading Abroad

So, you've got your holiday booked and you're counting down the days until you get jet off. That only leaves one thing: packing. The part many of us dread, and often leave until the very last minute.

However, it's always best to get organised as early as possible to ensure you're packing the correct items and don't end up taking everything but the kitchen sink. Sound familiar? Here at OnBuy, we know how much of a struggle knowing exactly what to pack can be.

Whether you're jetting away for a family holiday, a trip with friends or a romantic break with your other half, we've done the hard part for you by compiling this comprehensive travel essentials list.

What Travel Essentials Must You Take On Holiday With You?

Organise Your Travel Documents

First things first, before you go anywhere, you must remember to check, double check and triple check that you have the correct travel documents at hand. Without these, you won't be able to leave the country.

It's a good idea to organise your travel documents together into a file, such as your passport, insurance paperwork, your EHIC card, driving license and any ticket or booking confirmations. Place the file safely into your hand luggage, making all documents easily accessible at all times and give yourself peace of mind that everything is in order.

It's worth making a copy of all documents - including photocopies of your passport, driving license and insurance - before you travel, just in case anything goes missing. Place these inside another person's hand luggage or suitcase and consider sending them to yourself in an email too.

Organise Your Travel Documents

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Currency To Use Abroad

When heading abroad, it's advisable to keep an eye out for any good currency exchange deals in the months prior to your trip. By doing this, you should be able to get more for your money, as opposed to if you leave it to the last minute or use the currency exchange desk at the airport.

Alternatively, some bank cards allow you to use your card abroad at the best exchange rate and for little-to-no fees, such as Monzo for example. It's best to carry out your own research on this, to ensure you're getting the best deal for you.

Another option is purchasing a travel money card from the Post Office and transferring money as you go. This is a good way of planning your money if you're stuck to a tight budget as you can top-up, check your balance and view recent transactions from an app on your phone. The card is available to order online, can load 13 different currencies and is accepted in over 200 countries around the world.

Currency To Use Abroad

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Travel Essentials For The Plane

Alongside a list of holiday must-haves, from the all-important tech gadgets and chargers to your travel currency and camera, you'll want to save plenty of room in your hand luggage for these essential holiday items...

Depending on the length of your flight, you may want to take a neck pillow and blanket to make the journey as comfortable as possible. Many people struggle to sleep on aeroplanes, but it's worth attempting to catch forty winks in between your destination to ensure you're raring to go when you touch down! For this, consider purchasing an eye mask and perhaps even some earplugs.

It's worth downloading some of your favourite films or TV shows to watch on your phone or tablet if you have a long journey (don't forget to take an appropriate plug adaptor for your destination!) or go old-school with a book or glossy magazine to read. In addition, you might want to purchase a phrase book or travel guide to read on your journey to help getting around and impressing the locals with your language skills - or at least try to!

If you have children travelling with you, it can be tricky to keep them entertained - especially if it's a long-haul flight. There are several ways to keep the kids entertained; consider packing the following in their hand luggage:

Travel Essentials For The Plane

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Toiletries To Take On Holiday

While you can pick up many toiletries and emergency supplies when you arrive at your destination, taking your own will give you peace of mind that you have everything you need on hand. It's crucial to only pack the essential travel items as you don't want to over pack your suitcase - the last thing you need is to pay the airline an unnecessary fee before you've even left the country!

One of the most important items is sun cream and aftersun. It's vital that you take enough for the first few days of your trip to ensure you have enough to prevent your skin from getting burnt. It's also worth ensuring you prepare for all eventualities by packing a sewing kit for any clothing malfunctions, plus a first aid kit and antiseptic cream for any accidents.

If you require any medication whilst you're away, be sure to pack these in your suitcase. It's wise to take any paracetamol, ibuprofen and diarrhoea treatment with you in case you fall ill and can't leave your room. However, be careful with any personal medication or prescriptions you're taking abroad as some medications prescribed in the UK may be illegal in some countries and could land you in a lot of trouble. If you're unsure, get advice from your local pharmacist.

Toiletries To Take On Holiday

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Clothes To Pack For Holiday

Wherever you may be heading, it's always a good idea to check the weather forecast before you fly. By doing this, you can ensure you're packing the best clothing and accessories to your stay.

It goes without saying that you're going to want to pack beachwear, swimwear and lots of sun cream if you're going somewhere hot - remember to take your sunglasses too! However if you're heading off to a skiing resort, for example, ensure you have enough clothing to keep you warm and sheltered from the sub-zero temperatures.

Clothes To Pack For Holiday

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Fun Poolside Games And Beach Activities

Among the essentials to take on holiday, consider taking entertainment with you to keep you and the family amused. From pool inflatables to lounge on in the water with a piña colada (or orange juice!) in tow, to pool toys such as travel board games or using waterproof playing cards to play "21", Rummy or Snap poolside!

We advise purchasing any pool inflatables at home where they're often cheaper, and purchasing larger items, such as foam water pumpers, whilst you're abroad. From giant unicorns, colourful doughnuts and pizza floats to inflatable balls, there's something to keep everyone entertained!

If you have children, it's worth making the most of the swimming pool to teach them any tips or tricks, such as perfecting their dive using weighted diving sticks. However, if your children aren't confident swimmers, it's important to ensure they are kept safe at all times. It's wise to purchase swimming aids to avoid any nasty accidents, such as armbands, an inflatable baby float or a wearable swim vest to help keep them afloat.

Fun Poolside Games And Beach Activities

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