The ultimate family holiday packing list

14 Jun 2024

When does your family beach holiday really start? When you first jump into the pool, when you feel the Mediterranean heat when you get off the plane? At Mark Warner, we think you can make the very most of your family holiday by packing for success.  

Everyone loves to go on a family beach holiday and create lifelong memories with their loved ones. Our guide is the ideal starting place to make sure that you have everything you need in your suitcase for a a stress-free family holiday. We'll introduce you to holiday essentials, what to pack for children and what to pack for yourself. Plus, uncover common items often forgotten so you don’t forget them too.

Essential items for your family holiday packing list

Before we dive into the specifics of what to take on holiday abroad for each member of the family, we first need to discuss the packing essentials everyone must remember to take with them. These include:

  • Passports (that are in date and have enough time left on them that will allow you to travel)
  • Travel visa (if necessary)
  • Travel insurance and corresponding documentation
  • The UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)
  • Boarding cards/tickets for the flight
  • Hotel booking confirmation
  • Small first aid kit with prescription medications and insect repellent
  • Currency for the country you’re travelling to and a purse/wallet to carry it in
  • Travel plug adapters
  • Phone and phone charger
  • Headphones
  • Sunscreen and aftersun

Packing these essentials will not only mean you’ll be able to get on your flight to your destination, but should any unforeseen circumstances occur, you and your family are covered and cared for while abroad.

What to pack for kids on holiday

Knowing what to pack for your children can sometimes be a hassle, especially if they’re prone to getting clothing stained! Our list below should help you remember everything you need to pack for your kids on holiday, but remember to pack lots of spares so they have a change of clothes in the case of an accident.

Items you should pack for children when travelling for a family holiday include:

  • T-shirts/tops including a long sleeve top
  • Shorts
  • Trousers/jeans/bottoms
  • Skirts
  • Dresses
  • Jumper/cardigan
  • PJs
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Shoes (sandals/flip flops/trainers/smart but comfortable shoes)
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Swimwear, including goggles, inflatable armbands and pool shoes
  • Beach towels - these are provided by Mark Warner in each resort
  • Entertainment such as colouring pencils/crayons, colouring/puzzle/sticker books, toys and teddies
  • High factor sun screen - 30+ for children
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Waterproof shoes 
  • UV rash vests
  • Bedtime stories

Don’t forget to pack a sports kit if you’re intending to take part in activities and sports like tennis and cycling, or even water sports like scuba diving and sailing.

What to pack if your child is booked into the Mark Warner Childcare Programme:

  • Rucksack with your child’s name
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Waterproof shoes
  • UV rash vests
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Towel
  • High factor sun screen - 30+

What to pack if your baby is booked into the Mark Warner Childcare Programme:

  • Wet wipes
  • Bottles
  • Comforters/dummies
  • Feeder cups
  • Puree spoons
  • Formula milk
  • Pushchairs
  • Nappies and nappy sacs
  • Aqua nappies

Parents Kitchens are available in the Mark Warner resorts in Greece and Turkey except for Aeolian Village, where we have bottle sterilising facilities. Mark Warner also provide travel cots, highchairs, potties, bottle sterilising facilities, full fat milk (UHT) and purées.

You can find more information on which items to supply and which items are provided by Mark Warner in our Summer Childcare section

What to pack for adults on holiday

Now that you have the kids sorted for their packing, what do you need to pack? Luckily there isn’t too much difference between adult and children packing needs for a family holiday, but we’ve listed the most important things you might not think about below.

  • T-shirts/tops 
  • Shirts/blouses
  • Shorts
  • Trousers/jeans/bottoms
  • Skirts
  • Dresses
  • Jumper/cardigan
  • PJs
  • Underwear including bras and sports bras
  • Socks
  • Shoes (sandals/flip flops/trainers/smart but comfortable shoes)
  • Belt
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Swimwear and goggles 
  • Beach towels (but if you’re going on a Mark Warner holiday, these are provided so you won’t need to worry about them!)
  • Sarongs
  • Wash bag with shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Watch and other jewellery
  • Handbag/beach bag
  • Driving licence and rental car documentation if using a rental service
  • Mobile phone and chargers
  • House and car keys
  • Credit or debit card

If you’re planning on joining the kids in trying new sports and activities, don’t forget to pack your sports kit and gym gear too! Or, if you’re not feeling high adrenaline sports like mountain biking and windsurfing, make sure to pack for a relaxing trip to the spa or salon or a yoga class.

Other items to consider packing for your family holiday

Now that we’ve covered the most important items you will definitely need to pack for a family holiday abroad, below are some extra items to add to your holiday checklist that you may or may not need, depending on your circumstances.

  • Evening clothes if you’re celebrating a special occasion or would like to dress up for dinner
  • Travel sewing kit
  • Contact lenses, case and solution
  • Glasses and case
  • Eye mask/neck pillow
  • Tampons and sanitary towels
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Mouthwash and floss
  • Razor blades for shaving
  • Make-up and hair products
  • Packet tissues
  • Nail file and scissors
  • Playing cards and board games
  • Football 
  • Books/Kindle/magazine
  • Camera, case and charger
  • Travel SIM card
  • Portable speaker
  • Portable charger
  • Pushchair or pram
  • Baby essentials such as nappies, nappy sacs, formula, bottles, baby monitor, 

Don’t worry if you do forget something though. If you’re planning a family activity holiday with Mark Warner, there are shops at our resorts stocked with all of the essentials so you won’t need to go without anything you’ve forgotten.

FAQs on packing for a family holiday

Still need help knowing what to take on holiday? We’ve put together the answers to some frequently asked questions to help you prepare for your holiday.

How do I pack for a family holiday with kids?

Knowing how to pack for a family holiday with kids can sometimes seem like an impossible task. However, as long as you ensure you pack essentials like we mentioned above, and keep within the weight limit of your flight, the most important thing your children will remember is the memories you make as a family and not a forgotten pair of socks!

What do people forget to pack for a holiday?

We’ve all been there - thinking we’ve remembered everything we need to pack for a holiday, but once we arrive at our destination, we realise that we’ve forgotten something. Things that people often forget to pack include underwear, toiletries, glasses or contact lenses, phone chargers, prescription medication, swimwear or a belt. Make sure you don’t forget them, too!

Book your next family holiday with Mark Warner

Mark Warner has been welcoming guests on family activity holidays since 1974, so we know a thing or two about what makes a perfect family holiday. From dedicated childcare facilities to beautiful resorts in Greece and Turkey, you’ll find something for all the family on a Mark Warner holiday.

Book Your Holiday Today