How to Pack for a Holiday Vacation: The 4 Essentials You Need

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How to Pack for a Holiday Vacation: The 4 Essentials You Need

Person packing their luggage

As the holidays settle in with all of their chilly cheer, vacation time is just around the corner. It’s about that time to catch some sun rays and dip your toes into the clearest of waters, far, far away from home. The only thing standing between you and your much-needed getaway is a packed suitcase.

Regardless of where in the world your plane ticket takes you, your packing list will remain almost exactly the same—weather depending of course. We’ve narrowed it down to 4 key essentials that your vacation baggage should have.

1. Wardrobe

Whether you’re a fashion stunner, or you’re better defined as a simple minimalist who just throws an outfit together without a care in the world, you can understand the importance of putting together outfits that are appropriate for your day’s agenda. Naturally, when you’re on vacation, you don’t necessarily need everything perfectly planned out, but you’ll want to make sure that the limited wardrobe you’re working with lends itself to the climate, cultural norms, and weather.

Before packing up your staple wardrobe pieces, be sure to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What’s the weather like at where you’re headed?
  • How many days will you need to pack for? (The longer the trip, the larger the luggage)
  • What activities do you plan on participating in? (A pair of discount running shoes may be in order if you’re headed to the mountains)

With these questions in mind, you’ll be better prepped to craft thoughtful outfits that take the weather and activities ahead into account.

Packing your mobile wardrobe for a 5-day trip? We recommend starting with these essentials:

  • Six casual shirts
  • Four pairs of bottoms
  • Seven pairs of underwear and socks
  • Swimwear (if necessary)
  • One sweater (weather permitting)

2. Technology

Staying connected to your network of friends and family is of the utmost importance, even if you’re jet setting off to get away from the mundaneness of your everyday life. Maybe you plan on leaving your laptop at home to escape the stress of your work life, but you’ll likely bring your smartphone or tablet along to keep you just one call away from those closest to you. As you pack, don’t forget these must-haves inside of your carry-on

  • Charger cubes
  • Charging cables
  • External battery pack
  • Protective cases and sleeves

3. Travel Documents

You can’t step foot into the airport, onto the plane, or into a new country without the following necessities:

  • Passport: You’ll need to have your passport to leave the country and enter a new one, but an expired passport will do you no good anywhere. Be sure to check the expiration date on yours before heading out.
  • Luggage Tags: Nobody likes dealing with lost luggage when you’ve got your sights set on having fun in the sun. Avoid the hassle altogether by tagging your bags with your name, address, and phone number. Should anything get lost on the way, your airline or cruise line carrier will be able to return your baggage to you as soon as possible.
  • Boarding Documents: The vast majority of today’s boarding passes exist in digital form, leaving the need to print beforehand behind. However, if you’re flying with a low-budget airline, you’ll want to double-check to see if they have any different requirements that forbid digital passes.
  • Hotel Reservation Confirmations: While most booking confirmations can be pulled up on your choice smart device, it doesn’t hurt to have physical paper copies, too.
  • Third-Party Excursion Documentation: If you’ve pre-planned any third-party adventures, you’ll want to have those details printed out just in case your hotel or Airbnb doesn’t have a printer availability.

4. Toiletries

Keeping up with your regular personal hygiene routine can feel next to impossible when you’re living out of a suitcase for a few days. You’ll need to condense everything into travel-size bottles and containers to get past airport security without having anything thrown away. At the bare minimum, your luggage should contain the following essentials to keep you feeling hydrated and refreshed throughout your entire trip:

  • Toothpaste
  • Body wash or soap
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Face cleanser


Packing has never been easier with this one-stop-shop packing list. Leave your days of stressing over your luggage in the past with a structured sense of what you must have and what you might want. What are your packing essentials? Let us know in the comments below.







Eboné Bell
Eboné is the Editor-in-Chief of Tagg Magazine. She is the illegitimate child of Oprah and it's only right that she continues their legacy in the media world.