How to Pack and Prepare for a Holiday

Bronwen has lived in, taught in, and visited a number of countries and loves to share these travel experiences with others.

What a Delight to Wander Along an Almost Deserted Tropical Beach

What a Delight to Wander Along an Almost Deserted Tropical Beach

My mother was a great believer in making lists, and insisted that we made them too, almost as soon as we could write. Although that was a long time ago, the habit has stuck and I've become a great believer in lists. They save a lot of hassle.

The Second Term School Holidays are coming up soon in Australia, and as it is winter in the south, unless you are heading to the mountains and a ski-lodge, many families, if they are planning on going away, will be looking forward to a holiday that involves flying somewhere up north where it is warmer. Others will be going off, perhaps somewhere local, with a caravan. We used to take a tent, but having to cook on a campfire with sodden wood and knock the ice out of the hollows that have formed on the top of the tent has rather lost its appeal these days.

These ideas and lists are fairly general and can be adapted for almost any holiday. Some destinations will require more clothing, while for others you will need less (especially if you are going hiking).

Gold Coast Hinterland: From Springbrook, Looking Towards the Pacific Ocean

Gold Coast Hinterland: From Springbrook, Looking Towards the Pacific Ocean

Lazily Wandering a Quiet Inlet

Lazily Wandering a Quiet Inlet

List One: Home Services

Arrange to have home services cancelled or dealt with. Remember to tick them off when you have done it.

  1. Notify the Post Office for them to hold the mail (or get a neighbour to look out for it, which is cheaper!)
  2. Notify the Newsagent: cancel your usual newspapers and magazines, or have them held.
  3. Notify the Milkman: if you still have milk delivered.
  4. Tell a neighbour and ask that any papers and junk mail delivered be removed.
  5. Lawn mowing: arrange for your lawn mower to continue mowing. This way the place continues to look lived in.
  6. Garbage: if you intend putting out your bins, make sure you ask someone to bring them in for you - a bin left out on the Nature Strip is a sure sign for a thief that you are absent.
  7. Notify anyone who comes to help in the house, and give plenty of warning.

List Two: Pets and Garden


Make arrangements for any pets - cats, dogs, gold fish.

  • Book your pet into your favourite kennels, cattery, or other pet caring place.
  • Some pets, such as gold fish, may be in situ in a pond or similar; is it possible to offer pocket-money to a local child you can rely on to come and feed them regularly?

Garden: If it is going to be warm or dry, see if a neighbour can pop over and give your favourite plants a drink every few days.

Whether You Travel Far or Near, Holidays are Great

Whether You Travel Far or Near, Holidays are Great

List Three: Special Arrangements

Passports: If you need passports

  • ensure that they still have six months left on them
  • make sure they are carried where you can reach them easily
  • remember to take them!

Visas: Arrange well ahead for any Visas you may need for countries you intend to visit.

Confirmations: To avoid nasty surprises it is important to

  • Confirm with all places you have booked to stay.
  • Confirm flights 24 hours before you intend to fly.

List Four: Packing Prep


Get out the suitcases, ports, backpacks, haversacks, cabin bags, overnight bags, sleeping bags or whatever has been stored away and is needed for the particular type of holiday you have chosen. Don't leave it until the last minute.

Locks and Keys:

If you want to have locks on your luggage, look them out and make sure you still have keys for the ones you want to use.

A Walking Holiday - Lots of Fresh Air

A Walking Holiday - Lots of Fresh Air

List Five: Packing

What to take

This will depend on the member of the family and the type of holiday you have chosen.

  • Make a basic list on the computer first (see suggested list below), and then add or subtract relevant items for each person as their needs will differ slightly depending on whether they are male or female, a child, a teenager or an adult.
  • Don't wear yourself out before the holiday begins. Unless you are packing for a baby, get each person to pack their own items or, if they are tiny, let them help.
  • As each item is folded and packed in the container, tick it off on the list.
  • Plastic vacuum bags are wonderful space-savers.

A Basic List of Things to Pack



Singlet or vest

Spare underwear

Skin preparations

Panties/ underpants

Water bottle






Game/ book








Long Johns

Pens/ pencils



Address Book


Stockings/ knee-highs

Torch/ Flashlight


Blouses/ shirts

Nail scissors

Trousers/ skirts



Jeans/ shorts

Cash/ purse




Nail Polish


Glasses/ glasses case

Nail polish remover




Mobile phone





Beanies/ Sunhat

Credit cards




Insect repellant

Spare coat-hanger

Flight Tickets

Sunburn cream

Dirty linen bag

Other papers








Mobile phone cord



Camera cord



Spare camera battery



Tablet cord



Travel Alarm Clock


Glasses repair kit



Devotional books



Gifts for friends


Cameras Help to Make Lovely Memories of Holidays

Cameras Help to Make Lovely Memories of Holidays

A Queensland Country Pub - Great Food

A Queensland Country Pub - Great Food

Final Suggestions

A few last minute things will help greatly in making the travelling a pleasant experience for all the family. Each person could carry their own in a small bag or backpack. Some suggestions are below, but you will think of more.

  • Water: Probably for each person to carry their own, but you may prefer a large bottle to share and mugs.
  • Snacks: Depending on the length of your journey, they may be just something to pass the time or they may need to be filling. Try to keep them healthy: brightly coloured sweets, etc. may mean that you end up with hyperactive children on your hands.
  • Games or Books: These can be for all, whether on technological tools or not. Even ideas, such as 'I Spy', spotting certain brands of cars in teams and giving points, or making mottos from number-plate letters, can work well.
  • Hand-wipes: Essential for sticky fingers.
  • Baby Equipment: especially extra nappies and maybe even a change of clothes for mishaps.

Finally: Enjoy and have a wonderful holiday!

A Cruise: Do nothing or Join in Everything

A Cruise: Do nothing or Join in Everything


Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on June 28, 2015:

ahorseback: Lovely! I hope that packing goes well and that you have a wonderful time!

ahorseback on June 26, 2015:

Leaving next week for a horseback riding ranch in Montana , I tell ya , it takes a lot of planning ! Awesome advice .....All of it !

Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on April 04, 2014:

cuttler: Sorry I missed your comments before - and, yes, it is! And those lists are so useful, although we had one friend who only put a few things in, with the idea that he could buy whatever he needed when he got there and it would make a good souvenir!

ricard257: That sounds interesting, must look it up. Thank you.

ricard257 from lisboa on April 02, 2014:

found this guy ofering a good holiday package, theres no need of worry with pack suits cases just go and enjoy, defenetly a good experience, check it


Cuttler from HubPages on November 20, 2013:

Isn't it a bummer when you think you are all packed and good to go on holiday only to reach your destination and find you are missing an essential item? Happened to me once. I have always known I need a list but never bothered to make one because I didn't know how to organize one. Thanks to you now I know and next time am definitely making that list.

Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on July 25, 2013:

Marcia Ours: Sorry I've taken so long to respond, my computer was out of order for a while after I returned from holiday. I'm so glad that you had a great time on your holiday, it sounds lovely.

TimTravel: That's true! Although when I'm going away I usually wake up before the alarm goes off! Thank you for the suggestion.

Tim Manner from London on July 25, 2013:

Thank's so much. Really comprehensive list overview..

Set up the alarm to make it on time to the airport ...should be number one in all lists though!!

Marcia Ours on June 25, 2013:

Very good and practical article. We just got back from a wonderful holiday to West Virginia and the Great Smoky Mountains. There's a lot to remember when traveling, and it's easy to leave things out.

Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on June 23, 2013:

Michael-Milec: Definitely grocery shopping as well. It's not my favourite occupation and without a list I'd need to go more often for all the items I'd forgotten! The final destination will be the best of all - and the wonder of it is that we can leave all that baggage behind. Thank you for your good wishes, although here we're in the grip of wintry frosts. God bless you.

Michael-Milec on June 22, 2013:

Hi blossomSB.

Practical. Making lists - how handy in many areas of preparation . ( even grocery shopping ). Vacations nowadays becoming rare commodity, a choice may fall on lesser attention ; privilege of nearing to " final destination," where never ending Holiday in glory...

Voting useful and interesting .

Have a blessed Summer.

Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on June 22, 2013:

always exploring: I agree. Lists are great, so long as I don't lose them!

Frank Atanacio: I'm glad it's useful, although there are probably some things that you would need to add.

europewalker: Thank you. I hope you have fun on your next trip.

europewalker on June 21, 2013:

An excellent hub with useful suggestions. Will follow these tips for my next trip. Voted up and useful.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on June 21, 2013:

the basic list proves to be the more useful part of this hub for me Blossoms thank you for that :)

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on June 20, 2013:

I have always been a list maker, if it's not wtitten down, it's forgotten..Great tips on travel..Thank you...

Bronwen Scott-Branagan (author) from Victoria, Australia on June 20, 2013:

billybuc: Just thinking about one sends me off on dreams of where I would like to go, but when it comes to the point now I'm getting older I don't really want to go so far afield these days.

tobusiness: Oh, wow! That's really exciting. Caravanning is one of my favourite holidays. I do hope you find exactly the one that you were hoping for. Have fun choosing, too.

Deborah Brooks: Hope you had a lovely holiday. Yes, I wouldn't exist without lists, either. It gets difficult if I mislay them though!

PurvisBobbi44: Our mothers had a lot of sense, didn't they? Lists are the only way to go. I only hope that my children think the same about us!

Faith Reaper: I think you're the amazing one! You always have such lovely comments to make, God bless you.

Jackie Lynnley: Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed reading.

Kathryn Stratford: I know, just writing it has given me itchy feet. It was such an honour being invited to be interviewed on the Weekly Newsletter. Thank you for your comments.

truthfornow: Don't you believe it! I can cross everything off except for one last minute thing and then forget to check the list - and it's probably one of the most important things I'll need!

lovedoctor926: Thank you. That was very special, meeting with Deborah Brooks, but your 'supper' must have been horrid. Have fun planning your beach vacation next month. Anticipation is half of the enjoyment of a holiday.

lovedoctor926: Somehow that was how I read it anyway, so I knew what you meant!

lovedoctor926 on June 19, 2013:

11:30 pm (c0rrection) marlene

lovedoctor926 on June 19, 2013:

Awesome & useful hub. Your list is very thorough. It's always good to pack a few snacks in your carry on bag. My recent round trip from Miami to Birmingham was great overall with the exception that by 11:30am I was starving. I had the pleasure of meeting with poet and author Deborah Brooks and we had gone to dinner earlier that day. Well, it was a rainy night and the only thing that I was able to buy was a pink lemonade and a bag of lays barbecue chips. Nice to meet you Blossom. I'm from Florida and it's summer here for us. It's very hot so I will come back to read this again before my upcoming beach vacation in July. Voted up+++++

Marie Hurt from New Orleans, LA on June 19, 2013:

Very detailed. The idea of a list is very helpful. You can't forget anything that way.

Kathryn from Windsor, Connecticut on June 19, 2013:

This is a fantastic hub! I love preparing, and writing lists. I like that you also added such pretty photos. They make me want to go on a vacation right now!

Thank you for sharing this with us.

By the way, I just read the HubPages newsletter a while ago, and your interview is on it! It's always nice to learn about fellow HubPage writers.

Have a wonderful week!

~ Kathryn

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on June 19, 2013:

I am a list maker too but you are better! This is great and fun to read.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on June 19, 2013:

Hi Blossom,

I am not surprised in the least that you are a great packer and planner too, with all the trips you take!

Very useful information here. Thanks for sharing such great tips as well as your amazing photography.

Voted up ++++ and sharing

God bless you always, Faith Reaper

Barbara Purvis Hunter from Florida on June 19, 2013:

Hi Blossom,

What a great hub and I like the way you plan with your list. I now make list after laughing at my mother---she had a list for every thing she was planning.

Now if I do not make a list I forget half of everything.

Loved your hub,

Bobbi Purvis

Deborah Brooks Langford from Brownsville,TX on June 19, 2013:

Blossom.. I love lists too.. I have to make lists.. I go crazy if I do not..lol.. love love love your hub.. I make lists for everything.. I just got back from our holidays we were gone for a week .. and we had so much fun.. and my lists came in so handy.. blessings to you voted up


Jo Alexis-Hagues from Lincolnshire, U.K on June 19, 2013:

Hi Blossom, a very useful hub, I also enjoyed all the wonderful travel pics. I was never one for making lists, however, with a memory like a sieve; one of the many benefits of growing old I guess. :) I find making a list a life saver.

We're going out to look at caravans this weekend, so hopefully this hub will be well used.

Many thanks, voting up and sharing.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 19, 2013:

My friend, I would love to pack for a holiday, but I have not had one in four years. Sigh! If the day ever comes when I can go on vacation I will remember these suggestions. Good job! I hope you are well.



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