Travel Notes blog
Holiday packing essentials for families: Everything you need for a memorable trip
by Bianca Neal-Shaw
8 min read

Holiday packing essentials for families: Everything you need for a memorable trip

Holiday packing essentials for families: Everything you need for a memorable trip
Make sure you have everything you need for the family holiday of your dreams with our detailed family holiday packing list.
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Embarking on a family holiday is an adventure, filled with promises of unforgettable moments and cherished memories. Yet, amidst all the thrill and excitement, there's one formidable task many travellers dread: packing.

We've all felt the pressure of ensuring we pack every essential item, crossing our fingers we don't forget something vital only to remember it as we touch down in our final destination. It's the kind of stress that can sneak up and dampen pre-holiday excitement - especially when packing not only for yourself but for your children as well.

But fear not. We can help you banish those worries with a detailed family holiday packing list crafted by our experienced experts. Not only that, our team is on hand to provide you with anything you may have forgotten once you arrive at your destination, giving you total peace of mind that your holiday will go seamlessly.


Packing essentials

What to pack for a holiday abroad will depend on variables such as:

  • Where you are going

  • What the weather will be like

  • What activities you plan to partake in (a beach holiday packing list will look different from an adventure holiday packing checklist)

  • The ages and interests of your children

  • How long you are going for

However, there are a few items that you will need to add to your essential holiday packing list no matter what:

1. Visa, Passports & Driving License

One item stands as the key to unlocking your adventure: your passport. It’s your ticket to a world of discovery and new experiences - but in the whirlwind of packing it can be remarkably easy to forget. You should also make sure to double check that all of your family’s passports are in date and valid well before travelling and won’t expire while you’re abroad. If your passport is your key to adventure, your tickets are your vehicle - quite literally. Along with plane tickets, make sure to remember any tickets you may need to travel to or from the airport, such as train or coach tickets.

If you are coming to Europe from overseas you may need to get a Visa for your travels. Make sure to organise this way in advance in order to make your holiday as stress free as possible. Keep in mind that from May 2025, the new ETIAS for entry to Europe will be in place which is an entry requirement for visa-exempt nationals travelling to these 30 European countries. This authorisation is valid for up to three years or until the passport expires, but if you get a new passport, you need to get a new ETIAS travel authorisation. In terms of driving, you may need to get an international licence to drive in European countries, so look into this before you travel.

2. Itineraries

Packing and travel itineraries go hand-in-hand - after all, how do you know what you should bring if you haven’t planned what activities you’ll be partaking in once you touch down?

Once you have booked your villa with us, our expert team of Specialists would be more than happy to assist with creating a bespoke itinerary, perfectly tailored to you and your family’s interests. Whether you are looking for cultural holidays and activities in Italy or water sports and more in Greece, we will work closely with you to make sure only the best experiences make the cut. You and your loved ones deserve a getaway that you can fondly look back at for years to come.

Craft your ideal family holiday

3. Travel insurance

Investing in travel insurance in advance will ensure peace of mind for the whole family in the event of lost items, medical emergencies, cancelled trips and more. Make sure to bring all relevant documentation with you so that you are covered the entire time you’re on holiday.

4. Medication

This should include both prescriptions and over-the-counter medicine, such as pain killers. We recommend families in particular consider bringing along a portable first aid kit, containing items such as plasters, wet wipes and Calpol. When you travel with us, you have the peace of mind to know that our Local Specialists are on hand to support in case of emergency.

5. Tech and accessories

Technology and entertainment are holiday essentials - pack the following:

  • Phones

  • Entertainment tech, such as tablets, laptops and kindles

  • Headphones

  • Travel adapters

  • Chargers, including portable chargers

  • Travel SIMs


Family holiday checklist: Packing items for every experience

Dining Out

  • Dinner shirts

  • Dresses

  • Jewellery

  • Wallet

  • Watch

  • Skirts - maxi and mini

  • Linen trousers

  • Chinos

  • Belts

  • Heels

  • Boat shoes

  • Sandals

  • A light jacket/ shirt/ cardigan for those slightly chillier nights

  • Crayons/paper/ipad- to keep the kids entertained

Boat trips, beach therapy and relaxing pool days

  • Swimwear

  • Suncream - Varying factors for you and the little ones

  • Sarong/Kaftan

  • Sun glasses

  • Light shirt

  • Sliders/Flip Flops

  • Beach bag

  • Towels

  • Headphones

  • A good book

  • >Portable speaker

  • Portable charger

  • Children’s books

  • Armbands

  • Sun hats

  • Goggles

  • Pool shoes - these can be handy if your child is very little, or if you’re going to a pebbly beach

  • Inflatables

  • Beach ball

Visiting the local town

  • Shorts/ Skirts

  • Trainer socks

  • Vest tops

  • Dresses

  • Cotton shirts

  • Trainers/ Sandals

  • Backpack/ handbag

  • Suncream

  • Hats

  • Shorts

  • Water bottles

  • Portable charger

  • Camera

  • Local currency

Yoga, Hiking and other activities

  • Insect repellent

  • Suncream

  • Hiking boots

  • Trainers

  • Breathable sports gear

  • Gym leggings

  • Sports bra

  • Water bottles

  • First aid kit


What to pack for a holiday in autumn and winter

Packing for a Mediterranean holiday in the autumn and winter requires a blend of warmer clothes for cooler evenings, as well garments appropriate should the weather be unexpectedly mild - destinations like Sicily, for example, can stay deliciously warm throughout autumn and well into winter due to temperate African winds. Spending Christmas or New Year in a t-shirt in the sun is a regular occurence in Sicily.

Here are some items to include in your suitcase:

  • Warmer layers

    - we recommend items such as long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, trousers and jackets or cardigans for the cooler evenings.

  • Versatile footwear

    - for example, flats or trainers for leisurely strolls through charming towns that will be a bit warmer than sandals and boots for hikes along breathtaking coastal paths.

  • Scarves and gloves

    - Lightweight scarves are recommended in the autumn but when winter comes around you may need something heavier to keep yourself warm.

  • Windproof and waterproof jacket

    - Wind will be the main things to protect yourself from, but make sure the jacket is waterproof, just in case.

Autumn is one of our favourite times for a relaxed, less crowded family holiday. Extend your summer and discover our favourite autumn holiday destinations in Europe.


What do our villas include?

When you step into one of our villas, we want you to feel like you’re coming home. Whether you’re interested in our luxury villas in Greece, our luxury villas in Italy or our luxury villas in Corsica,, we can help you find the ideal accommodation. All of our luxury villas include:

  • Cleaning at least once a week

  • Sheets and towels, including beach and pool towels

  • Other standard amenities, such as the internet, a washing machine, an iron and an ironing board

Please note: just as each of our villas holds a unique charm, each offers a different set of amenities - please check the ‘Features and Amenities’ section of each individual villa page for a full list of amenities and add-ons.

Many families looking to make their holiday extra special will indulge in some of our optional amenities as well. Favourites include:

  • In-villa cooks, who specialise in local cuisine and can easily cater to dietary preferences and needs

  • In-villa massages

  • Private drivers

  • Experiences

    , which range from guided tours of nearby towns and horse riding excursions to private in-villa cooking classes and more

Should you have any questions about the amenities and add-ons we offer, you can get in touch with one of the members of our expert team. Special requests can be accommodated, ensuring you have everything you need before and during your stay. We can also plan trips that cater to you and your family’s individual needs - just let us know what you desire and we will do the rest.

Browse our villa collection

Now that you know what to pack for your holiday, the perfect family getaway is just a suitcase and plane ride away - start envisioning the laughter-filled dinners, the sun-soaked adventures and the tranquil moments by the azure sea. Reach out to our dedicated team, let us know your dream holiday vision and watch us craft it into a reality. Your adventure awaits, and we can’t help you embark on it.