We’ve all been on holiday and forgotten that crucial item that ruined a day or even the whole holiday: swimming costumes left in the wash at home or finding you’ve forgotten your boots when you’re about to embark on a grueling 9-hour safari, that one must-have travel item can spell disaster. Whether you’re up for an all-inclusive or improvised adventure, at home or abroad, this must have travel items guide will help prevent any holiday strife!
AT A GLANCE
1. Beach Holidays
Whether lounging on a sunbed and watching the kids play in the surf or riding the ocean swell on a surfboard, beach vacations are where it’s at. Some like to read the latest thriller while getting that tan that will be the envy of their friends, others are more adventurous, diving on reefs or exploring the islands, cliffs and caves of the coast. There’s so much to do on a beach holiday and these must have travel items will help you have a great time.
Tankinis, combos, Speedos, bikinis, open back one pieces, bandeaus and triangle tops, for men, women, girls and boys, there are plenty of options for your beach holiday that will keep you looking and feeling great. Exhibitionist or modest, just make sure you get the right one (and try it on before you go) as it can be difficult to get the right swimming costume for you
Another essential – heat stroke and sunburn can ruin anybody’s week in the sun, so make sure you’re packing hat when you go on your beach holiday, especially for the baby. Aussie bush hats, fedoras, big brim and floppy hats, even a pith helmet can help keep the sun off your head and keep you enjoying yourself. Some pack light, like a boonie while others make a statement, like
Keep all your must have travel items together this holiday a beach bag. It’s for the beach, so all your beach stuff goes in it and then you don’t lose it. Unless you leave it on the beach. But that’s not the bag’s fault. There are a huge number of options, from canvas tote bags to dolphin shaped ones for the kids. Why not look at brightly colored ones so you easily know which belongs
Get some respite from the midday sun under your stylish beach umbrella this year. How about a huge stripy one that will be visible for miles so your family can roam in safety, or a more tasteful parasol for the ladies that might do for a stroll down the promenade? Worth a look is the beach umbrella that turns into a shelter, so pesky windblown sand will pass you by,
If you go down to the beach today you’re in for a big surprise, you’ve forgotten the insect repellent and you’re going to get eaten alive. One of the must have travel items, there are plenty of options: look for coils to light for evenings on the beach, rub-in spray for bare skin, spray for clothes, creams, roll-ons and plug-in devices, as well as many different kinds of repellent.
Who could forget the sandals? Whether you prefer flip-flops (thongs if you’re an Aussie) or more comfortable sandals, something for your feet is essential for the park or the beach. For sheer ease, flip-flops are king, they just slip on and off whenever you need them. Sandals offer more choice, from clogs and trekking sandals to T-bars for kids and leather and
2. Wildlife & Safari Holidays
The adventure of a lifetime. Trek into the deep uncharted jungle or catch glimpses of rare, majestic animals in the desert, a wildlife or safari holiday is an unforgettable experience, so don’t make it unforgettable in the wrong way! Follow the guide below and you should avoid the common pitfalls of safari and wildlife adventures. Grab your binoculars!
So obvious it’s easy to forget, the flashlight is not only useful but a potential lifesaver. A wind up portable flashlight should be in any expeditions’ packing list because when batteries fail, this won’t. LEDs are efficient and last a very long time, make sure you get one. Wild animals can be scared away by bright lights so a high candlepower flashlight is worth considering, as is a
Of all the things to spend good money on when on an expedition, comfortable boots are must have travel items. If your feet aren’t comfortable, they’ll hurt and you’ll develop blisters or cramp, which means you won’t be walking or enjoying the incredible scenery. Go to a proper outfitter, get someone to fit you a pair of shoes and you’ll never spend money as wisely.
Wildlife is generally found in the wild, and the wild can be very far from a doctor or hospital. A well-stocked first aid kit will save a lot of discomfort and maybe even a life, it’s that important. Every kit should have at least: a variety of shapes and sizes of Band-Aids, sterile eye dressings, sterile gauze in different sizes, sticking tape, scissors, tweezers, safety pins,
Wildlife can be elusive you’ll miss a lot without a good pair of binoculars. There are fixed range of telescopic models, lightweight field glasses or heavier, long-distance ones. The image stabilization technology is cheap, tough and durable now. A camera is a must-have travel item, look for well-built
Light conditions change throughout the day and your sunglasses will be taken off, put down, thrown about, maybe perched on top of your hat or slipped into a back pocket. Easily lost, easily sat on or trampled underfoot, a spare pair will be a huge relief as the only bus for a week trundles off into the distance with the pair you were just wearing. They can be very hard to
Wet wipes are your friend when on safari or in the wilderness. I took a few packs but should have taken at least twice the amount. Take more than you think you will need. The instant freshness from a wet wipe wash is something I couldn’t go without. When proper facilities weren’t available, they did just the trick for making me feel human again. I’m sure
Check with your doctor before you go – what diseases are prevalent in the destination and how can you treat them or avoid them. Make sure your inoculations are up to date and cover anything that might be in areas you are planning on going to. And of course, make sure you have any medication to deal with any of your pre existing conditions. It’s best to take
Deserts aren’t just hot, during the night they can get seriously cold. Make sure you’ve looked up the conditions you’ll be facing and have what you need. Long shirts and head nets for mosquito areas, a packable hat for the sun, breathable clothes for the humidity, changes of clothes (especially socks, dry socks are a godsend when going gets tough) and always pack a
There is going to be a lot to take pictures of and few opportunities to upload them to the internet, so you’ll be lugging around possibly hundreds of photos and videos of your adventures. Spare memory cards spare you from having to delete precious moments in order to fit more precious moments in, you can just take as many as you like. And a
Dust destroys electronic equipment distressingly easily, as does water. Zip-Lock bags are cheap, cameras aren’t, so take a few for each electrical device (or anything else, like food or socks, you want to keep dry/dust free) you have. Then you can fall in that watering hole and be confident that your phone will make it out with you. You wouldn’t believe the difference a dry
3. Family Holidays
Take the kids on an adventure without tearing your hair out! They will wander off and get themselves in jams, but they’ll also learn huge amounts about the world and themselves. Maybe you too. It might seem like herding cats but it will be worth it, and if you follow this guide, you can enjoy yourself too!
Nobody wants to be stuck on an airplane or bus with toddlers who have run out of diapers. Nobody. You know the checklists: emollient cream, toothpaste, wet wipes, deodorant, soap, moisturiser and razors (for the adults!). It might look like you’re planning a visit to a war zone, but just think of being caught without any of the above. No, it’s worth the extra
Today’s kids are blessed, tablet computers will keep them entertained in the back for hours. Cries of “are we nearly there yet?” will be a thing of the past if they can glue themselves to a bright screen. Sure, they’ll miss the scenery, but they won’t be so infuriating. For the littlest ones, do not forget their blanket/teddy/fluffy thing. You know why, this is just a reminder.
Baby needs to get around, just like the rest of us. That does mean you have to carry them, but you can’t just leave them behind. A good baby carrier can save a lot of hassle and frustration. If your baby is happy or at least comfortable, you can enjoy your holiday with minimal distractions. Make sure it has a comfy handle and pockets for diapers and other
Diarrhea sachets, painkillers, cough medicine, Band Aids and bandages, eye wash, adhesive tape, sling, kisses better. Kids are walking, talking accident machines, if you take them on holiday they are going to hurt themselves in some small way. So be prepared.
You can go on holiday with kids and not take an itinerary, but only once. Kids need structure and familiarity. What they also need is for the adults to at least look like they know what they’re doing. So get a plan, be tactical and know what you could do on every day, but leave room for improvisation and “ooh look at that” moments. An itinerary doesn’t have to be used,
Keep all baby’s essentials together this holiday with a travel diaper bag. Clothes, talc, diapers, spare pacifiers, changing mat, bottles, stick them all in a big, spacious and comfortable shoulder bag and relax, knowing that whatever she or he’s going to throw at you (almost, children are nothing if not surprising), you’ve got what it takes to deal with it. Have a look
Endlessly worrying about your luggage on a flight? Scared to leave it in the hotel room? Or just trying to be prepared? A luggage lock can save the day. Luggage locks are an effective deterrent to thieves. Combination locks are effective, but if you’re (like me) no good at remembering numbers, a padlock might do the trick. Then you’ve just got to remember
Do you always end up sitting on your suitcase to squeeze everything in at the end (or beginning) of a holiday, wishing you were better at packing? Packing organisers are segmented mini suitcases or bags that will fit together perfectly when it comes to packing the car or bigger bag. If it fits in your organisers, it’ll fit in your suitcase. Save yourself the mad frustration, organise.
Make your pets portable! Travelling with dogs (or worse, cats) can be a hellish experience if you’re unprepared or the animal is unused to travel. A portable pet bag can give your beloved fluffy family member that extra bit of comfort and space that might just stop them from yowling all the way to the Bahamas. Most come with extendable compartments so your pet can
4. Spa Holidays
A nice relaxing break away from work and the real world. Pampering and attention. Massages. Masseurs. Saunas and yoga. Mineral waters. Mud packs. Little cucumbers on your eyes. Peace built in. Spa holidays are a wonderful way of getting away, they are re-charging stations for the body and mind. If you don’t miss any of our helpful tips, you’ll be able to relax, forget about work and deadlines and important things and concentrate on the real things, like lying in a hot spring and sighing.
Don’t turn up to your dawn yoga class in the wrong gear, make sure you have your comfy tight pants and vest, it’s not all about the mind you know. You’re going to be spending a lot of time in the hot tub/spring/pool, so get yourself some swimwear you’ll feel comfortable and confident in. Free your mind from worry.
For when you get out of the mud bath and want to keep that delicious feeling of warmth, wrap yourself in a warm, fluffy bathrobe and slippers – just the thing. Treat yourself, try a pure cotton set. Or get a nice kimono for the sophisticated look. The trip back to your guest house needn’t be a dash for warm clothing, stroll back in style.
Any good spa will come with a gym and proper relaxation involves exercise, believe it or not. Get out that frustration from work in proper workout gear. Comfy sneakers, breathable top and pants, headbands and sweatbands are all essential for running and moving. How about an exercise monitor on your wrist? It’ll tell you how well you’ve worked and how
Lifting weights? Continuing with your marathon training? You’ll need your gym kit. Remember your wrist and waist braces, your sneakers and straps. A good kit bag for your kit will come in handy and keep things together while you take time out from relaxing to lift heavy things repeatedly.
Keep yourself from turning Yeti on holiday, pack your razors. You won’t be so relaxed you’ll forget to shave! But, you might think, I’m at a spa, they’ll be pampering me and I won’t need any of them, but everybody needs a toothbrush. And toothpaste. Moisturiser, face cream, soap, shampoo, sanitary products don’t go amiss either, so just pack them!
The happiest time of your life. What you’ve both been dreaming of for so long, finally. The wedding is over, parties partied, gifts gratefully received, jobs put on hold, families goodbyed and you’re on your way to have some time to yourselves. Bird watching or bungee jumping, you deserve it! No more singles. So read this list and don’t let the little things get in the way of your joy.
Smell great on your honeymoon! You should know now your partner’s preference for perfume by now (or if you don’t, a quick call to the in laws or friends might be in order). So get some. It’s worth it. You only do this once, so enjoy your partner’s’ scent. A bath full of bubbles is incredibly romantic, don’t spoil it with bath gel that doesn’t bubble.
Let’s face it, on honeymoon, things get steamy. Lingerie is a sure fire way of ensuring steaminess. Get to know their size and taste (you should know) and surprise them. It can be incredibly intimate, trying out lingerie, wearing it for your partner. Pants, bras, tassles, you name it, it’s available on the internet. You’ll both appreciate the effort you put in to look and feel
As mentioned above, there will be steaminess on honeymoon. Steaminess leading to unplanned pregnancy or an STI is not really steamy. It’s a definite buzzkill. So stay safe with condoms, the Pill, coils, femidoms or whatever you prefer. You both want to do it, make sure you do it right. Talk it out with your partner before the steaminess takes over, it is quite difficult to have that
Who wants morning breath on honeymoon? Nobody. The same is true of bristly legs, chins or other often shaved parts. Just because you’re on honeymoon doesn’t mean you can leave hygiene behind. This is the beginning of something beautiful, start as you mean to go on. So that means deodorant, soap, shampoo, sanitary towels or tampons, moisturiser
Look good on honeymoon. Let people know how good you feel by looking as good as you feel. A nice suit, a nice dress, something new to wear, some new jewelry, do something cool with your hair. You’re hardly going to be able to keep the smiles from your faces (and why would you want to?), so you’d better look the part. Surprise your partner with something tasteful
Looking beautiful is part of the deal, you’re trying to treat your partner to the best time of their life. So eyeshadow (if that’s your thing), mascara, makeup, lipstick, the whole kit. It’s all worth it to see their face as you look so beautiful. Don’t forget the application, so a mirror will be essential! Enjoy yourself, try something new, experiment a little, keep them
Record these moments, it’s back to real life in a few days or weeks. You’ll look back in years to come and be grateful you read that advice on this site that told you to take a digital video camera. You and your partner will never look so good, so you’d better get lots of shots of it. You can also share your wonderful time with those who love you and are prepared to
6. RV Road Travel
A recreational vehicle (it does mean something!) can open up the whole world to travel, without camping or using sleeping bags. For a little exclusive comfort, a little luxury, it’s hard to beat an RV. Park where you like, go where you like, talk to who you like. With tens of millions of miles of road in the world, there’s always another highway, another town, another horizon. For those true adventurers amongst us who don’t like to slum it, why not read on and get the most out of an RV experience.
Without them, you’ll starve or eat a lot of raw food. Your RV probably has a cooker, but a small portable stove is incredibly useful if you fancy a trip away from the car. A selection of pans (you might have guests) and cutlery is essential. An all purpose pan handle has saved many a burned hand and an all purpose chef’s knife will cover most cooking eventualities.
Duvets and pillows are a home luxury few would want to be without, so pack them. Even if you’re eschewing a sleeping bag, a cotton sleeping bag liner will be perfect for hot nights, or for that extra warmth on cold ones. A dressing gown can save a lot of modesty. Slippers, pyjamas and wooly socks are necessary, as is a hot water bottle or two. Be comfortable, there’s
Take a few towels and a spare swim suit, you never know if you might need it. Parking up and taking a dip at a deserted lakeside is one of life’s true treasures, so make sure you’re prepared. Goggles and earplugs, as well as a swim cap, will keep you comfy wherever you decide to have a splash around. Don’t forget the spare, you might meet someone you’d rather see clothed!
Utterly necessary, hopefully never used. A literal life saver, you cannot take travel in an RV without one. Make sure it comes up to US safety standards and is in date (it’s on the side of the bottle). Know what types of fires you might be encountering and ensure you have the appropriate extinguisher, you can make things worse if you’re unprepared.
Getting caught in the wilderness with flat tyres because you didn’t check them is a rookie mistake, but a very dangerous one. Gauges are cheap and small, you can pick them up at the roadside just about anywhere, they might save you an enormous hassle. It’s a necessary expense, don’t skimp on it. Giving your tyres a kick doesn’t do the trick.
Things are going to break or fall off your RV and unless you have the right tool, that could leave you stranded in some pretty inhospitable places. So make sure you have at least the following: a multi meter, long nose and short nose pliers, crosshead and flathead screwdrivers, a spanner set, vise grips, electrical wire, box cutter, pry bar, hose clamps,
Don’t get caught out in trouble, have a flare set. Like the fire extinguisher, if they’ve never been used they’ve still done their job. If you’re in danger, you need to let the emergency services know where you are, so a set of road flares could save your skin. There’s a few to choose from, get ones that will last a long time and get a few of them. Better safe than sorry.
Paper maps might look like the technology of the last millennium but if your power goes out, they’re still there. Have comprehensive maps of wherever you’re traveling. Any gas station will have them and they might save a lot of pain and frustration. An up to date GPS will be your best friend on the road. Modern systems can avoid traffic and suggest
Learn how to load and unload your RV before setting off. Everything will have its place, find it. When it’s bucketing down with sleet you don’t want to be wondering how you ever fitted the camp chairs in the first place. A basket and a backpack mean you can roam further afield. A spare wheel and tyre repair kit speaks for itself. Know about wild animals in
Camping used to be seen by some as slumming it, the “affordable” option for travel, or simply a way of being frozen and miserable in a field for a week. Nothing could be further from the truth! Modern camping has taken an upgrade. Glamping isn’t just a passing fad, more and more people are asking for exclusive, luxury camping experiences. Wigwams, yurts, marquees, tents in trees, you name it! Most campsites have modern facilities, including showers, flushing toilets and online access, it’s not how you might remember! Gird up your skirts, grab your bag and pad and off you go!
You’ll need a few essentials for a successful camping trip. A flashlight, coat, USB charger (savour those units) and dry socks will save a lot of tears but think of including water bottles, a spare toothbrush, insect repellent, bite cream, sunblock and a frisbee. Rain doesn’t have to spoil a camping trip if you take a good book (or ebook), or load up your MP3 player
You’ve arrived at your destination, a difficult, hours long ride up winding tracks, only to find there aren’t any tent poles. Drive back or sleep in the car? Your best bet is not to forget them! These three should be top of the list. Check the stakes, the ones that come with tents are often too puny for real weather, so make sure they’re beefy enough. A good, clean tarp
There’s nothing like crawling into a nice warm sleeping bag at the end of a fun day and the right bag can make all the difference. Check the typical weather for the area and ensure your bag has the right “season” rating to keep you warm enough. A roll up self inflating or blow up pad will ensure sound sleep and limbs that don’t ache come morning. Your back will thank you.
Remember all those stakes you so diligently remembered? You’ll kick yourself if you didn’t put the hammer or mallet in the same bag! Camping isn’t camping without a roaring fire, so pack an ax to keep it well fed with wood. And never be without a pocket knife, even a small one, on a camping trip. Endlessly useful, even if just for whittling sticks, they are a must have travel item.
Be a pro, get a headlamp. For reading, finding your way to the facilities in the middle of the night or finding that elusive stake in a storm, have both hands free with a headlamp. A solar charging lantern is one of our must have travel items, as long as the sun shines during the day, you’ll have light at night. Take the brightest flashlight you can. In fact, take several.
Hopefully, these ideas will have jogged your memory a few times and averted holiday catastrophe! There’s a lot to take in, so bookmark this page and come back! Try to explore the rest of the site for more like this. Your holidays are your time, you’ve earned it, so take our advice, get the best deals and enjoy yourselves!