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Summer Holiday Packing Tips from a Professional Organiser

Blog title grahic Holiday Planning: Avoiding the Last Minute Panic Packing

June 08, 2022

organising | travel

Heading away on your summer holidays soon? Time away spent with family or friends to relax, renew, take in some new sights or maybe taste some different delicacies!

Have you thought about blocking out time to prepare for your holiday packing?

Here are a few things for you to think about…

First of all, make a list

I love a list when getting ready for my holiday packing! A notepad and pen are great, but I love a checklist even more – so using an app like To Do, Trello, or even the Notes app on your phone will help you keep things in sections, and then you have a reusable list for future holidays. Winner.

Have your holiday documents easily accessible

Tickets – are these on an app or do you need to print them?

Insurance – Having a printed copy is useful so you can put your hands on the info in an emergency and you don’t have to rely on your phone.

Keep your passport, credit card, and driving license altogether.

A hard copy of your destination booking (hotel etc) – I recommend having a printout of your itinerary in your hand luggage just in case your phone battery runs out and you cannot access the booking app!  

Do you need a visa or proof of any vaccinations for your destination?

Holiday packing travel docs

Holiday Packing prep top tips

Firstly, where are you going?

Think about your destination, what kind of holiday you have booked? This will determine the clothes you need to take and how much space you are going to need.

If it’s a relaxing by the pool kind of holiday then you will need more swimwear than day wear! Or if it’s an adventure holiday think about trekking clothes, waterproofs and what you will need in a day pack such as a mini rucksack etc.

Then think about your travel outfit. The reason for this is I suggest wearing your heaviest clothes to travel in to take the weight away from your check-in bag if you have one. Then you can plan what goes in the case.

Do this prep for each person travelling and break it down into sections.

It might be good to book some time to do a trial run a couple of weeks in advance, especially if you have young children. You will feel in control of your holiday packing, prepared and ready to go. It will allow you to see what you need and create a separate shopping list for the things you still need to buy or borrow.

When its time to pack:

  • Lay your clothes on your bed or flat surface in categories, so you can see exactly what you have got – this will help you to see what you need to buy or borrow.
  • Packing your wash kit – running through your morning/evening routine is a great way of making sure you have got everything you need. If you are flying with hand luggage only do not forget the limits on liquids and buy small travel containers.
  • Put outfits together and roll them up
  • Packing cubes are a great way of keeping categories of clothes together (scroll down for more info on these)

What will you need?  A Useful Holiday Packing Checklist

Here are some suggestions for summer holiday packing:

Sweatshirt/jumper/light jacket for cool evenings (can be worn to travel in)
Scarf/overshirt – can be used for warmth in the evenings or as a cover-up after the beach
Sun hat (can be worn to travel in, to avoid damage)


Socks (for trainers/closed shoes only)
Evening outfits
Flip flops/sandals

Wash kit
First aid kit

Charging cords for your devices

What are packing cubes and will they work for me?

If you are looking to get more into your holiday packing look at packing cubes, these are compression cubes that help you get more into a small space.

Good Housekeeping and the Independent (2022) recommend the following:

Benefits of using packing cubes:

  • They can be bought in different size packs
  • They help when categorising suitcase contents, so your things are easy to find
  • You can roll them, do not fold your clothes – helps minimise creases and takes up less space

Top travel hacks

  • If you are travelling overseas check the expiry date on your passports
  • Know your baggage allowance if you are flying
  • Don’t forget things like charging cords for your devices! 
  • Do you need an adaptor plug if you’re going abroad?
  • If you are taking any medication, check with your doctor that you have enough – and that the medication is allowed in your destination country
  • If you are flying with hand luggage only, don’t forget there are certain things you cannot take on the plane – check your airline’s website for dangerous goods that are not allowed in hand luggage

Holiday packing if you are ADHD or neurodiverse

People who have recently been diagnosed with ADHD or other neurodiverse conditions find some relief in learning that their brains simply work differently.

Finding strategies to help them with everyday life is so important. Packing requires a lot of decision making and organising, which many people with ADHD find so challenging. Engaging a professional organiser to hold space and guide the decision-making process is a great way of getting stuff done!

The inspiration for this blog came from a lovely client of mine who was recently diagnosed with ADHD. For her, the excitement of the holiday is top of mind, but she recognised that she needed help to get ready and pack a suitcase.

My client already had a great selection of summer clothes and travel accessories including packing cubes, but putting it all together was an overwhelming task.

We already have worked on several areas of her house, and we use Trello to categorise and prioritise tasks around the home. So when she mentioned the upcoming holiday, I suggested we create a new Trello board specifically for the holiday. We agreed that a good starting point was for me to list items that would typically be packed for a summer holiday, and we could add/remove items as needed

We booked time to work together two weeks prior to her flight date, and this is how we worked together:

  • In a spare room, we put an open suitcase on the bed, looking at the travel cubes and the suitcase size it gave me a rough idea of how they might best fit in the suitcase.
  • Then she selected the clothes she thought she might like to wear on holiday and the travel accessories.
  • Working through by category we identified the items that she wanted to pack for starting with daywear. We talked about the day trips that were booked and chose some outfits, each outfit was folded/rolled up – so for example a T-shirt with a pair of shorts, and placed in a packing cube designated for day wear.
  • We repeated the process for evening wear – a dedicated packing cube which included accessories.
  • Same for swimwear – a dedicated packing cube
  • We went through the items she needed for her wash kit and a first-aid kit as well as shoes/flip flops and underwear
  • Then travel accessories!
  • Each item that went into the suitcase had its own card on Trello – and in the case of the wash kit, it is one card with a checklist.
  • From the checklists, we then created a Purchasing list – for things like sunscreen and insect repellant that she would need.
  • While reviewing the list we also created a ‘to do list’ – all the things that need to be done before she can head out to the airport.

It was such a satisfying session – not only did we end up with a 95% packed suitcase, to-do lists and purchasing lists, but the Trello Board we created can be reused for future summer holidays – and we can copy it and adjust it for winter or other seasonal holidays!

“Thank you! I know what I need to do and buy for my holiday, it’s been such a huge help”

Happy Client

If you would like help with your holiday packing then please book a call with me and we can have a no-obligation chat about what you need support with.