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As Aerosmith once said, “don’t miss a thing” this summer when you’re packing for your holiday with our handy packing checklist!

When it comes to packing for a holiday there are 3 types of people. There are those who plan weeks in advance, wash everything in preparation, and create numerous checklists whilst wandering around the house absent-mindedly muttering “no, that won’t fit” or “do I really need 5 maxi dresses for a weekend break?”. Then there are those who take the 7 days – 7 items approach. Underwear for each day and 2 sets of clothes to be worn on alternate days. Finally, the people who forget they’re leaving at 4:40 the next morning and run around the house grabbing items that look vaguely useful and throwing them in a bag that may or may not hold everything. They then arrive at their hotel to discover they forgot most things.

Rules to packing

1 – If it doesn’t fit– don’t bother
2 – Bulk is bad
3 – Minimise heavy items
4 – Always leave space for shopping
5 – Always have a cosy jumper/sweater – it can turn into a pillow on a coach or a blanket on a plane.

With this is mind, we’ve come up with the ultimate summer packing checklist and a handy printout version below so you can tick off items as you go. We’re going to make some assumptions with this list: you’re going on a summer holiday so that means somewhere warm, we’re also going to assume you’re away for a week. If you’re travelling for longer, obviously adapt the number of clothes you take. Also, we’re not expecting you to take everything, adapt the list to suit your style or location.


Shirts, t-shirts & blouses

3 shirts or blouses. Shirts with long sleeves can double as short-sleeved depending on the classiness of where you’re staying. Consider something that can be packed without showing creases in case of an unexpected party.

3 t-shirts or equivalent.

Trousers, skirts & shorts

2 pairs of trousers should suffice for evenings unless you’re a messy eater! If you’re in a city, go for lightweight trousers that aren’t too restricting.

3 pairs of shorts should be enough. Try and go for ones with deep pockets with fastenings. Remember bare legs aren’t allowed in some churches though.

4 skirts/leggings. This is where I’m told off as 4 skirts is obviously not enough for a week away.

Underwear and socks 

7 pairs. Modern bamboo socks dry fast too if you have to wash them.


1 pair of comfy walking shoes.

Something for evenings e.g., deck shoes, ballet pumps etc.

1 pair sandals/flip flops.


2 light sweaters to keep you warm in the evenings if you’re outside.

Jacket & Hat

1 lightweight, waterproof jacket.

Lightweight hat or baseball cap. Protect yourself from the sun!


As many as you feel you need.


Lightweight clothes for lounging around in or nipping to the boulangerie in the morning.

Whatever sleepwear you require.

Documents, Money, and Travel Info

Money belt & money

A lightweight, subtle money belt is always sensible. Stuff with some local currency and maybe an emergency credit card.

For your main wallet/purse only take the essentials. Full driving licence, credit/debit cards, European Insurance Card, and local currency.


Passport. Do we really need to remind you? Apparently so as 1 in 10 Brit’s forget to take theirs with them.

Plane/train tickets.

Car hire voucher. You should have received this by email from Economy Car Hire. Print it off & take it with you to save delays.

Full driving licence & any other required ID. (Taking photocopies is always handy). If you have questions regarding the scrapping of the paper counterpart, please read this.

Hotel reservation printouts & confirmations.

Travel Info

Guidebooks and maps. Don’t forget Economy Car Hire provides both travel and driving guides to all our destinations. These are accessible through the Country Destination pages on our website.

Small notepad and pen. A tiny notepad in your back pocket or day pack is a great organizer, reminder.

Small day bag. A lightweight rucksack for your sweater, camera, guidebook, and water bottle.

Toiletries & Personal Items

Wash bag & toiletries. Whatever you require besides toothpaste, toothbrush, shower gel, and shampoo.

Sunscreen. Get the correct SPF and bear in mind Which? has recently discovered some irregularities with 2 top brands.


Medicine. Keep medicine in original containers if possible in case of emergencies.

Glasses/contacts/sunglasses. Don’t forget contact lens solution if you need it.

See through plastic bags. Great for carry on and packing your shampoo/liquids in.

Beach towel.

Tissues. Always have them on you in case of the sniffles or a toilet sans papier.

Travel alarm. Whether you use your phone, alarm clock/ the hotel service, it’s always a good idea to have something to wake you up early.


Electronics & Boredom Busters

Mobile phone. Don’t forget your charger!

Digital camera. Take along an extra memory card and battery, and don’t forget the charger.

Books or e-reader such as a Kindle or Kobo. Download ebooks before you leave home.

Tablet/iPad/iPod. Download music or apps before you leave home (unless you have a Kindle 3G)

Laptop. Have to work whilst you’re away? Want to keep your travel blog updated? Better take a laptop.

Sat nav. If you’ll be doing a lot of driving this is essential. Take your own or buy one especially for Europe – this often works out cheaper than hiring one.


Plug adapters.

Optional Extras

Cork screw. You’ll regret it if you don’t have one. Alternatively, simply buy screw top wine and cans of lager.

Water bottle. Always handy to have, particularly in hot weather.


Small binoculars.

Inflatable pillow.

Insect repellent.


To ensure you don’t leave anything behind, print out our handy checklist below to tick things off as you go.

>Summer packing checklist

Packing it

Roll don’t fold your clothes. Rolled underwear and socks go in the corners and around the edge of your suitcase. Fill the middle of the case with your spare pair of shoes or sandals and toiletries, and pack rolled tops around them. Next, place trousers and jumpers on top, before topping off with pyjamas.

Anything else?

If you think we’ve forgotten anything, get in touch below and we’ll add it to the list. Also, if you can think of must have items for certain destination, let us know. Make sure you check out our tips on hand luggage too and don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter and be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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  • Julia brown 20 Jul 2015

    Brilliant useful idea

  • Miranda Murphy 25 Feb 2016

    Thanks for the packing list! It contains everything important for a summer holiday. Greetings

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