Just Me And A Boarding Pass

What to pack for a holiday – it’s the little things that make a difference

So you are going on a holiday?  Awesome news!   I hope you have a great time.

Now to pack.  You have your travel bag open in the middle of your bedroom floor, but where do you start?  What to pack for a holiday? Everyone is different, and therefore has different priorities on what constitutes a necessity.  I’m not going to bore you with how many different outfits you’re going to need, or how many pairs of shoes, nor dictate the quantities of underwear required.  But I would like to offer up a list of some items that I have found very helpful on my own travels, for your consideration as to whether or not they will make it into your empty suitcase.  I may also throw in a few opinions for good measure.

What to pack for a holiday

Lightweight Champions

These items are as light as a feather, but can make a huge difference:

Elastic bands

The type that comes around a bunch of vegetables in the supermarket.  These little guys have so many uses.  Like the time I was in Greece and the shower had a flexible cord with a handheld showerhead, the type that fits into a bracket when you’re not holding it. Except the bracket was broken and didn’t hold the shower head. Out came the trusty elastic band and presto, shower temporarily fixed. My elastic bands have temporarily solved all sorts of problems, from holding shoes and bags together, to opening jars that just wouldn’t budge (fit the elastic band around the lid for extra grip). They also keep cords and cables tidy when packing.  If you travel in a group they make great temporary identifiers, such as around cups or glasses (yours is the one with the red band, mine has the blue).

Regal Wraps

The Regal Wraps are 100% cotton, permeated with tree resin, jojoba oil and beeswax.  They are a great alternative to plastic cling wraps for covering leftovers in the fridge, or packing a snack pack for the day.

Band Aids

Take a few.  If you don’t need them you won’t notice it.  Better than the other way around.


One tube in case of emergencies.  The superglue definitely gets its own plastic bag, just in case.

Lightweight Raincoat

Always have one in the bottom of your day bag:

  • Unexpected down pour in the middle of a guided tour around Pompeii? Drag up the raincoat from the bottom of your day pack, and it’s no longer a problem.
  • Sometimes if you’re out and about around the coastline, or up in the mountains, a cold wind can blow up out of the blue. The raincoat is also a great wind break and can help keep you that little bit more protected from the wind.
  • Grizzly River Run Ride in California Land at Disneyland. Enough said.
Hand Sanitiser

Use especially after being in public places and before eating.

Fold up travel duffel bag

I always take a foldable bag in case I need extra space in my suitcase.  Like the year I bought my son a big chess set that took up most of my suitcase.  So I stuffed the fold up bag with shoes and clothes and checked it as an extra bag on the plane for the flight home.

Nylon fold up shopping bags

Folding Nylon shopping bags come in a range of different types.  I use these nylon folding bags for groceries, for shopping overflows, picnics or lunches, even stuffed with a jumper for a temporary pillow.  Easy to hand wash in the sink if they get dirty, and quick to dry.  I use envirosax bags because they are a great size, made of durable material, and come in the most gorgeous patterns and colours.

For Women – Sockettes

Say goodbye to blisters.  I always end up with nasty blisters when on holidays, from all the walking.  After I started wearing the sockettes, I didn’t get the blisters anymore. (I chose the skin coloured ones).  I even wear them with sandals, because I would rather look like a nerd than have painful feet spoiling my holiday.  And in the grand scheme of things, who’s really going to care if I have stocking socks on under my sandals?  (I’ll take them off for the photos if I ever decide I want to be an Instagram foot model or something. )

Plastic shopping bags

Saved from previous shopping trips, and re-used to separate shoes, and other stuff like dirty washing that has to be packed between wash days.  Also good for damp items that need to be packed into the suitcase.  Waterproof shoe bags can serve the same function if you are looking for a more robust solution.

Medicine cabinet items
  • Antihistamine – great for allergic reactions, but also helps keep a dripping nose at bay if you get a cold.
  • Paracetamol
  • Lip balm – get a clear one that has a high SPF factor. Protects lips from the wind, suns, and if you get a cold you can also apply to your nose to ease the chaffing caused by constantly blowing your nose.
  • Echinacea ACE & Zinc – supports healthy immune function. I never travel without a jar of these.

A few of my favourite things

These are items that I consider essential when deciding what to pack for a holiday:

Fill 2 Pure water bottle

Fill 2 Pure  have a range of refillable water bottles to choose from.  The bottles come with their own water filter which purifies the water as you drink.  The filters come in different categories, from filtering and alkalising tap water, to the extreme filters which allows you to fill your water bottle from streams, rivers and lakes.

I have travelled to many places around the world with my stainless steel water bottle in tow, just filling up at the nearest tap, and always enjoying clean pure water free of viruses and bacteria.   If you want to take a BPA free plastic bottle as a lighter option, then choose the travel safe bottle.

Fill 2 Pure Water Bottles
Fill 2 Pure Water Bottles.

As a bonus for my readers, you can use a coupon code to receive a 5% discount off your purchase.  Simply enter the code boardingpass5 in the coupon box when you check out.


I never travel without my iPad.  I have a standard packing list on “sticky notes” done using the abc notes app that I love!  Each time I travel I just customise the notes with the clothing requirements, but all the other items are pretty standard, and I’ve refined the list with each trip so now it has everything I need.

I load up my iPad with movies, books, music, travel documents, maps and itineraries before I travel, and then it carries all my information and entertainment in one place.  Fantastic!  Netflix also allows you to download movies and shows to your iPad.

 Bullet Journal

I’m a list maker.  I love to have paper and a pen and was forever making lists and then having nowhere to keep them.  Then my sister organised a bullet journal for my birthday present, and now all my lists are, if not completely organised, then at least “contained”.  My bullet journal is my diary, my “to do” list, my calendar and future planner, all in one book.  I love it!

Fiona's Bullet Journal
Fiona’s Bullet Journal
Cross body bag v’s backpack

I’ve done a few trips with different types of bags,  but my favourite type is the cross body bag.  These bags just work for me.  I have the bag to the front of my body so everything is within easy reach. I can put my camera away so I don’t look as much like a tourist, but it is easily accessible if I want to snap a quick photo.  My latest bag love is the Baggallini Helsinki.  There are so many pockets and sections in this bag, including a tablet pocket, interior organiser multi-function pockets, and a removable wristlet purse. It’s made of water-resistant nylon so is super lightweight, and is a good size for a travel day bag.

Some trips I did with a backpack just frustrated the life out of me.  Either I had the camera out the whole time, or I just didn’t get photos.  Take the backpack off, dig out the camera, put the backpack back on,  ugh!

Layer your clothing

Select your items so that you can layer them if needed.  Rather than taking one piece of clothing for a warm day, and another piece for a cold day, take two pieces that can be worn separately or combined for warmth.  Leggings can be worn on their own, or go under trousers, double as yoga pants, can be pyjamas, or worn under long skirts.  T-shirts act like singlets on a cold day. A lightweight button up shirt can be worn on its own, or over a t-shirt, under a jumper, etc.  This way you use all the items of clothing you take, for more than one weather option.

DMC-TZ80 Lumix Camera

I have used the Lumix cameras for many years and they are a great camera for travelling.  Lightweight, with the ability to put the camera in your pocket, yet the 24mm Lecia Lens and 30 times optical zoom allow you to capture decent photos.  Features intelligent auto, or choose from selected modes, such as landscape, portrait etc.  Also has smooth manual control of aperture, shutter speed, and zoom.  The DMC-TZ80 Lumix Camera is the perfect partner to pack for a travel holiday.

Safe travels

That wraps up my suggestions of what to pack for a holiday, for your consideration.  I hope you have a fabulous trip, wherever you are off to, and remember to take lots of photos!

Post Script:  A friend of mine recommended that I try packing cubes after she read this post.  I have ordered some, so I will update my list after I have tried them!

This post contains hardly any affiliate links.  When you click the link and make a purchase, I might make a small commission at no extra cost or disadvantage to yourself.  Not all links are affiliate links.
Thank you for your support and I hope you found the above information useful. 

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