Skip to Content
Toggle Navigation

What to pack for a summer holiday

With summer upon us, there is one thing in most people’s minds - summer holidays. However, these sunny getaways take some planning! Even once you’ve chosen a destination, booked flights and organised airport car parking, there is still the small matter of packing.

For some, this may simply involve attempting to fill their suitcase with as much of their wardrobe as possible. But it’s not always as easy as that. Depending on what type of summer holiday you’re going on, different essential items will be required. So, from beach holidays to city breaks, below we have provided our top packing tips for three popular types of summer vacation. For additional peace of mind, we have also created a summer holiday checklist that can be used to make sure nothing is left behind.

What to pack for a beach holiday

Beach holidays are easy to pack for. You don’t really require any specialist equipment, only a small amount of smart clothing, and the items you do take can usually be used multiple times. As a bare minimum, you’ll need to remember to pack:

  • x2 swimming costumes
  • A beach towel
  • Flip flops
  • Toiletries
  • SPF 30 (or higher) sun protection

Anything else you decide to pack will depend on what else you intend to do while on holiday. If you are planning a few fancy meals out, you may need to pack some smart clothes. But as a rule, remember, because of the heat you’ll be wearing half of the material you usually wear. Shorts, t-shirts, light dresses and flip flops will usually do the job. These items are much lighter and take up far less packing space than your normal day-to-day clothes.

Aside from the essential items of clothing, think about other important accessories. This will include sunglasses, hats and beach bags. You also need to remember to pack essential toiletries such as sun cream, after-sun lotion, toothbrushes and paste, and shampoo. Finally, you may need some space for books or electronic entertainment devices you want to take with you. However, if possible, you might want to pack these items in your hand luggage with your passport and travel documents.

How to pack for a family holiday

Family holidays are perhaps the hardest type of vacation to pack for. This is because you have to think about the needs of a group, not just yourself. This can be particularly tricky if you have small children. However, despite the overwhelming urge, it’s important to think rationally and not overpack.

The first thing to remember is that most airlines will allow infants their own luggage allowance. This means you likely won’t have to make everything fit in your own case. Many airlines also allow pushchairs to be checked in free of charge. However, it’s important to consult the airline’s website for more details on this before travelling.

When it comes to actually packing for your little ones, it’s important to think practically. Start with the essential items, such as SPF 50 sun block and bite cream to protect their sensitive skin and baby-wipes. After that, pack items of breathable, lightweight clothing. While more than one outfit per day is essential - to account for spills and accidents - try not to overpack. Items such as swimming costumes can be worn multiple times for example. Finally, remember to pack children’s sunglasses and hats to protect them from the sun. A few pairs of comfortable shoes are also essential.

When travelling with your family, the luggage can really start to add up. To make your journey as stress-free as possible, it’s a good idea to think about booking airport parking early. At Liverpool Airport, you can take advantage of Fast Track Family Parking. This ensures you and your bags are only a short walking distance from the terminal.

How to pack for a city break

Although you will require more clothing items each day on a city break when compared to a beach holiday, these vacations tend to be shorter. This means packing for a city break does not have to be stressful. Along with a clean set of clothes for each day you are away, the most important item to pack for a city break is a comfortable pair of shoes. These holidays are all about exploring, and exploring means a lot of walking. This means you need to look after your feet by packing the correct footwear.

As city breaks typically involve a lot of outdoor time, preparing for any type of weather is also a good idea. Depending on your location, it’s sensible to pack items such as a waterproof jacket, as well as the usual sun protections you would take on a beach holiday. Finally, invest in a comfortable backpack. This may not need to be packed in your suitcase, as it may be possible to use it as your hand luggage item, and it will allow you to keep the essential items on your person as you explore a new city.

Summer holiday checklist

Even after you’ve packed your case and double checked your travel documents, it’s common to still have the feeling you’re forgetting something important. To help put your mind at rest, below we have listed the essential items that will almost always be required when you go on summer holiday. This can be used as a checklist to ensure you don’t forget something important.

  • T-shirts (at least one for each day)
  • Shorts (x2)
  • Smart evening clothes (if you plan to go out for food/drinks)
  • Swimming costumes (x2)
  • Flip flops
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Beach towels
  • Beach bag
  • Sun cream (SPF 30 or higher)
  • Insect repellent
  • Basic first aid kit (antihistamine, painkillers, plasters)
  • Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, shower gel, deodorant, perfume/aftershave, sanitary products, make-up)
  • Plug adaptors
  • Chargers for all devices you are taking with you
  • Some toys/games if you are travelling with children
  • Passport, boarding passes, car park booking confirmations


If you’ve remembered all these essentials, you should be well on your way to being fully prepared for your summer holiday. Don’t forget to make sure you can fit all your luggage in the car ahead of the day of your flight, and check your hand luggage for any items you can’t take through airport security.