With many parts of the UK seeing a complete washout through July and into August, it’s hardly surprising that sunseekers are heading to countries with warmer climates.

After such a long time without experiencing hot weather, it can be tricky to know what to buy and pack for your summer holiday.

Whether you’re going away with your family or on a romantic retreat, it’s always worth knowing how to pack smart and make the most out of your suitcase – even if you’ve got an airline baggage policy to contend with too. 

Here are some essential things to pack for your next summer holiday abroad.


1. Passport and Travel Documents

Make sure you guarantee a smooth experience from the moment you arrive at the airport, and make sure you get organised before departing. 

Forgetting your travel documents could mean that your trip is over before you’ve even managed to board the plane, or can cause you to get charged extra. 

Put your passport somewhere safe, and download/print boarding passes. Keep digital and printed copies of all your travel and tickets, and make sure your passport is always somewhere you know. 


2. Sun Protection

If you’re prone to getting sunburnt, sun protection is a must. This includes sunscreen, after-sun lotion, wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and clothing that covers your body.

When you’re shopping for sunscreen, make sure to choose one with an SPF rating that matches both your skin type and the intensity of the UV that you’ll expect on your trip. SPF 30 is recommended for adults and SPF50 for childrem. There are lots of eco-friendly brands now available which don't have corals and eco-systems.


3. Breathable Clothing

To keep feel comfortable through hot temperatures and sunny conditions, it’s important to wear light and breathable clothing. This could include shorts, loose trousers and shirts, and lightweight tops and jackets.

Go for natural materials like linen and cotton over synthetic fibres or heavy denim.

Also if you plan on doing exercise or your hotel has a gym, pack the right clothing for doing exercise in warm temperatures.


4. Accessories

If you’d like to accessorise, you could take your favourite jewellery with you on holiday. Gold and silver look lovely when eating out or enjoying nightlife, and minimal crystal studs or diamond earrings add a glamorous glistening feature to any outfit. Just make sure when not using to keep your jewelry in the hotel safe if it is expensive.


5. Footwear

It’s surprisingly easy to accidentally overpack your suitcase with shoes, so you should try to keep this aspect of your packing as light as possible. Pick one pair of shoes suitable for walking, one that you can wear out for a fancy dinner, and a light pair of flip flops or sandals for the beach.


6. Toiletries

Toothpaste, moisturiser, nail clippers, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and hand sanitiser - all important essentials you should consider.

Packing your own toiletries will make your trip cheaper than potentially buying at the airport if you have forgotten anything.

It’s worth checking if the airport you’re flying from imposes limits on the volume of liquid you can travel with, although some UK airports have scrapped regulations thanks to innovative CT scanners.

Also remember if you forget anything you should be able to buy it at your destination.


7. Entertainment

You might want to take books, an Ipad, Kindle or gaming device to keep you occupied whilst travelling or in free time when realxing overseas. Be sure to download films, series or any programmes you want to watch before departing as you never know what the internet will be like in your destination. Entertainment is especially important if you are planning to travel with children so they don't get bored.


8. Adapters 

Finally, remember to buy an adapter which will work in your destination! You’ll need all the right chargers for the gadgets you plan to take on holiday, and if you’re thinking about being active while you’re away, a portable charging bank could come in handy too. Don’t forget to use the correct adapter or an extension lead that includes one.


9. Language Apps

If you are travelling somewhere where English isn't the native language you really should learn some basic phrases. You could buy a phrase book or download apps like Google Translate or Duolingo. 


10. Money

Exchange local currency before departing, most best deals can be found online. Also take a credit/debit card with you but make sure you won't be charged any fees for using this abroad. Banks like Monzo and Revolut are recommended.


11. Towel

Some hotels provide towels, but others don't. Make sure you check this online before departing as you might need to take your own. 


12. Backpack

Even if you are taking a suitcase you will probably need a day backpack or eco-bag to carry around your belongings when on holiday.


13. Eye Mask

Planning to get some sleep on the plane? This will really help you to relax and sleep. You can even use it in your destination.


14. Emergency Medical Kit

Think about what you might need incase of any accidents or medical problems. We recommend medication e.g. for diarrhea (this can be common when adapting to new drinking water and food), painkillers, plasters and insect bite cream.



Hopefully our simple summer packlist checklist has given you ideas for the main things you shouldn't forget when packing for your next summer holiday. Make sure you check the weather before departing and pack accordingly.

Ready to fly now? Feel free to share your own travel advice with other readers in the comments section, and make sure you’ve checked the latest official foreign travel advice before you go!