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Top travel essentials for your holiday

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Holidays are something we all look forward to, but let’s not pretend that packing isn’t stressful! You may have hundreds of items that you want to squeeze into your suitcase, but how can you tell which ones are truly travel essentials? Whether you like to sun on a beach in Cuba or ski down a mountain in France, here to help is our handy holiday checklist that can be used before your next adventure to avoid those uh-oh airport moments.

Top travel essentials not to forget this holiday

We’ve all experienced that moment of dread after realising we’ve forgotten to pack something important. If you don’t know what to take on holiday, we invite you to use our suggestions below to help guide you.

The first items that should be going in your suitcase are;

  • Your passport / visa / travel insurance documents
  • Boarding pass – unless this can be downloaded onto your phone, then don’t forget your mobile
  • Devices / chargers
  • Correct currency or money travel card
  • Emergency contact details
  • First aid kit - this should include any prescription medication you may have, travel sickness medication, allergy relief, as well as antimalarials.

These items are by far the most important as they will help keep you safe on your travels.

However, if you want to be comfortable, be sure to pack as many of the following items as possible:

  • Sun cream / after sun – whatever the temperature, if it’s bright outside you will need sun protection. Here at LloydsPharmacy we have plenty of sun care options available. Why not also try a lip protection stick? It’s especially handy if you’re snowboarding in the Alps. 
  • Toothbrush / toothpaste – nobody wants to reach their hotel after hours of travelling to find they haven’t packed their toothbrush. Browse our dental care range for all of your travel needs.
  • Deodorant – You’ll save on space by packing a roll-on deodorant such as mitchum roll-on unperfumed anti-perspirant, but we have a whole range to choose from if you prefer spray.
  • Shampoo / conditioner – No-one likes the feeling of hair covered in sea water and sand, so why not try argon oil of morocco shampoo or palmer’s coconut formula conditioner for that refreshed, holiday feeling?
  • Wet wipes – whether you’re travelling with the family or alone in style, wet wipes are a must-have for holiday and festival goers. You never know when you’re going to have an unexpected spillage, so be sure to pack aqua wipes, 100% biodegradable baby wipes or another item from our range.
  • Travel towel – Even if you’re not travelling light, it’s always best to purchase a travel towel before your holiday. Travel towels are lightweight, compact and quick to dry.
  • Skincare – Everyone’s skin care routine is unique, so we recommend you purchase re-usable travel-sized bottles to pour your favourite products into before your holiday. If you would like to try something new, check out our full skincare range.
  • Flight socks - Can reduce the risk of DVT (deep vein thrombosis) during travel by compressing your legs to improve circulation and comfort.
  • Ear buds – long distance travel can be challenging enough without all the background noise. Be sure to pack ear buds to block out all of that chatter so you can get some much-needed rest. You should never finish a holiday more tired than when you first started!

Depending on where you’re going and how long you’re travelling for, you will need an appropriate number of outfits. Don’t forget to pack underwear, socks and appropriate footwear.

It’s also important to ensure you have received your vaccinations. Read more about travel vaccinations or use our handy vaccination checker to discover which vaccinations you may need for your destination.

Check what vaccines you need

Travel essentials for men

On top of everything mentioned above, we recommend packing a pair of swimming shorts/trunks as you’ll never know when the opportunity for a swim will come from! A sharp pair of sunglasses are also great to have in your bag.

Can you bring a razor on a plane? Disposable razors are safe to travel with, so pick up a packet of gillette mach3 disposable razors or another brand from our range before your holiday. Straight razors are not allowed in hand luggage, but if properly wrapped up can be taken in checked luggage. We recommend speaking to the customer service team of your airline before travelling.

Travel essentials for women 

If you use a daily contraception pill, don’t forget to take this with you when you go on holiday. We recommend setting a daily reminder on your phone, as a mix-up in routine shouldn’t mean a mix up to your schedule! It’s also important to pack sanitary items like tampons and pads - explore our full range here to ensure you are never caught short again. If you think your period will get in the way of any holiday activities our Online Doctor can offer period delay medication so you can delay the start of your period for up to 17 days.

Baby travel essentials 

Here at LloydsPharmacy we have a full baby range for you to explore, from lotions and bibs to feeding bottles and snacks.

Depending on the age of your child, you may need to consider the following items:

  • Nappies
  • Bibs
  • Towels
  • Car seat
  • Baby food
  • Baby toiletries (lotions, wipes etc)

A happy baby is a happy holiday. Be sure to pack your child’s favourite toy to keep them entertained!

What to tick off your holiday checklist before you go

Now that we’ve given you some suggestions on what to pack, it’s time you formalise a list for yourself that fully applies to you and your holiday. We suggest you finalise this list a couple of weeks in advance to avoid missing something important.

This final checklist should include things such as;

  • Important documents
  • Clothing (including footwear, swimwear and pyjamas)
  • Toiletries

…and we recommend that you write it down in the following format so that you can check them off one by one:

Important documents

  • Passport
  • Boarding pass
  • Visa


  • Phone
  • Laptop
  • Charging cables
  • Adapter


  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Moisturiser
  • Face wipes

This list can be as long or as short as you need – every holiday is different and remember that every packing mistake is an opportunity to learn.

  • What are the best ways to sleep on a plane?

    Avoiding caffeine is a great way to avoid being restless on a flight – especially if you are a nervous flyer. Depending on how you like to sleep, the location of your seat can play a crucial role in your experience. We recommend booking a window seat if possible so that you can lean against the side of the interior – this seat will also allow you to control the curtain to avoid any glare from the sun.

    Sleep aids such as nytol one a night or LloydsPharmacy extra strength sleep aid can induce a gentle feeling of drowsiness if you need help falling asleep.

    We always recommend packing a travel pillow and wearing comfortable, loose-fitting clothing too.

  • How long does it take to get a passport?

    If you are an adult in the UK and you have lost your passport or need to renew it, it can cost up to £85 and usually takes around three weeks. For this reason, we recommend you leave plenty of time to do this before going on holiday – be wary of the busy travel season between spring and summer to avoid any unwanted delays. Visit gov.uk for more information.

  • What can't you take on a plane?

    Remember, your carry-on luggage should only contain things you feel you might need on a flight. Anything else belongs in your checked baggage. Some airlines differ when it comes to carry-on rules, so it’s always best to check your airline’s website before arriving at the airport.

    Examples of items you cannot take on a plane:

    • Liquid containers over 100ml (unless essential for medicinal or dietary requirements)
    • E-cigarettes
    • Knives
    • Corkscrews
    • Scissors
    • Fireworks or non-safety matches
    • Sports items that may pose a threat (i.e. baseball bat or golf club)
    • Work tools (hammer, pliers, drills etc.)
    • Toxic substances
    • Ammunition