Packing list for vacation: Everything you need to take away on holiday

Packing list for vacation
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Summer is finally here! And with travel back on the cards, there couldn’t be a better time to jet off and see the world. Whether you’re heading to a far-flung destination or taking a trip within the US, make sure you’ve got the perfect travel accessories and essentials to complement your trip.

What the expert says…

Lisa Francesca Nand is a travel journalist and host of The Big Travel Podcast. Her advice is to travel light this summer. "Summer is the best time of year for hand luggage only with lightweight and easily packable clothing. Plan for each day beforehand to help prevent overpacking.” 

Packing for vacation has changed in recent years, with airlines offering more costly solutions to bring luggage, you need to be cautious not to overpack and learn the art of traveling light! Here’s some great carry-on luggage if you’re looking to fly without check-on bags this summer - we love this bag for a stylish yet sturdy carry-on bag.

We’ve handpicked all the best travel items to make sure your bag has all the right items for a stress-free trip this summer. From portable chargers to stylish document wallets, give your travel bag a makeover with our must-have items for destination travel this summer. 

Packing list for vacation

1. Portable speaker

Every vacation needs a soundtrack that you’ll remember for years to come. Play your favorite music all holiday-long with this great Sonos portable speaker. It’s one of our favorite portable speakers - it’s stylish, lightweight and outdoor-ready, so you take it to the beach with you, hang by the pool with your favorite music or take it with you on a hike. The speaker is WiFi connected too, so you can enjoy hours of music, radio and audiobooks, with a long-lasting battery that will provide hours of sound. 

2. Kindle Oasis

A holiday is often made by a good book. Download the latest summer beach read and enjoy it on the Kindle Oasis - Amazon’s best Kindle yet. The reader is waterproof so you can relax in the bath reading or enjoy a pool by the pool, without worrying about the device getting wet. The kindle is perfect for travel; it’s thin and lightweight, easy to pop in your carry-on luggage for the plane and gives you access to millions of books, newspapers and audiobooks.

3. Insulated bottle

A big drinking bottle is a must on vacation. A more sustainable option than plastic water bottles, this insulated bottle is good for both hot and cold drinks. It keeps beverages cold for up to 24 hours and hot for 12 hours! It’s leak proof and BPA-free, and is perfect for taking along on an active holiday - whether it’s a yoga class on vacation, a mountain hike or beach run, you’ll be hydrated all summer long with this bottle. 

4. Cable organizer

There’s nothing more annoying than your charging cables getting all tangled up on vacation! This handy cable organizer will help keep all your wires, cables and chargers neat and tidy during travel. The organizer has multiple mesh pockets for organizing your cables and a double-layer design so you can even fit your larger electronic accessories inside. This is a great way to keep your electronics organized while traveling. 

5. Travel pillow

Arrive at your destination refreshed and ready to relax with this great travel pillow. This pillow will provide superior comfort when you’re trying to sleep upright, providing comfort no matter where you’re seated on the plane. It can even be deflated afterwards for easy storage. The pillow is designed to stop the head falling forward and prevents neck train from the head falling forwards during the flight. Great for airplanes, camping and easily loops over headrests in cars. A must-buy! 

6. Portable charger

Don’t get caught out with a flat battery on vacation this summer! This portable power bank will help with avoiding travel mishaps and being caught out without your phone. It’s ultra-high capacity, providing more than five charges. The simultaneous charging means you can charge two devices at once with both a USB-C and Micro USB connection, which is helpful if you’re traveling with friends or multiple devices. With high chances of flight delays this summer, a portable charger is a must! 

7. Microfiber towel

A lightweight travel towel is a must on vacation! An ultra–absorbent microfiber towel is easy to pack and will save much more space compared to a regular towel in your carry-on bag, backpack or gym bag. It’s perfect for taking to the beach, camping or swimming and comes in a variety of colors and sizes. A fast-drying microfiber towel is also a good idea if you’re planning an active vacation. It dries in minutes – simply hang and it will naturally dry easily. 

8. Packing cubes

Packing cubes are a travel insider’s must-do for vacation. This packing cube set comes in a variety of sizes for storing clothing, underwear, electronics and more. Packing cubes make it super easy to know what you’ve packed and organize your luggage in a way that enables easy access to everything you need. The soft mesh fabric won’t damage your delicate clothing and helps keep everything contained.

9. Apple AirPods Pro

Great music is needed for every vacation. And what better way to enjoy music than through the Apple AirPods Pro. These earphones are active noise canceling, which means that you can fully immerse yourself in music, whether it’s on the plane, at the beach or on a walk through a new city. The earphones are also sweat– and water–resistant, which makes them perfect for an active vacation or for lazing by the pool. They're also super comfortable with a customizable fit that's designed to conform to your ear. 

10. Document wallet

Last but not least, you need something to help you get organized whilst flying. This  document wallet is just the thing - it has pockets for storing all your important travel documents and a secure passport wallet. There’s also space for all your credit and business cards, making sure everything important for your trip is in one place. A must-have!

Top tips for packing for your vacation

What the expert says…

Travel journalist Lisa Francesca Nand has some tips for traveling effectively this summer. “Don’t forget a swimsuit – and bring two if you’re going for more than a few days. Wear your sun hat on the plane if you want to save some suitcase space and prevent it from getting squashed. Don't forget that any liquid products need to be under 100ml, so get the non-essentials or ubiquitous items such as suncream after security in the airport.”

If you’re heading abroad this summer, make sure to pack lightly and efficiently. Here’s some more top tips on how to pack wisely for your next vacation:

• Only take the things you really love! Small, lightweight items that can be rolled or compressed to maximize space, such as cotton t-shirts and linen shirts. 

• Use packing cubes! Packing cubes are a very effective way to help you pack and organize your clothes for travel. They are also helpful if you’ve moving destinations a lot and don’t always want to unpack.

• Decant your liquid into 100ml pots! Don’t get caught out and have your liquids confiscated at the airport. Amazon has a range of solutions for helping you take travel-friendly liquids. 

• Pack by outfits! It’s much easier to work out what to take if you plan your outfits in advance - this way you won’t take unnecessary clothing or find you’re scrambling to create your holiday looks.

• Get clever about your packing - fill your shoes with socks and underwear, use every bit of space in your case! 

Remember: the most important part of the vacation is the memories, so don’t stress too much about what you’re packing and relax into the trip. 

Angelica Malin

Angelica Malin is Editor-in-Chief of About Time Magazine, one of the UK's leading lifestyle sites. An award-winning entrepreneur &

bestselling author of #SheMadeIt, a toolkit for female founders in the digital age + Unattached: Essays on Singlehood, Angelica is a fresh voice for female empowerment in the UK. Featured in Forbes, Real Business, Business Insider & the Times, Angelica is a regular commentator on TV and radio on entrepreneurship, start-ups & women in business. She's featured on LBC, Sky News and TalkRadio as a business expert. Her next book, The PR Bootcamp, will be out in September 2022.

With contributions from