What to pack for a UK holiday: a holiday checklist


Posted by Clare on 10th December 2021

Family going for a walk

One of the many benefits of a self-catering UK holiday is the freedom to pack what you want to bring. You can pile in the board games, stock up with goodies to fill the fridge, and bring all the cuddly toys your children want to put in the case.

But with so much freedom to pack what you want, the chances are you’ll forget that all-important phone charger, the dog’s bed, your toothbrush…

So, if you’re wondering what to pack for a UK holiday, this helpful holiday checklist, complete with handy packing tips, will ensure you’ve got all the necessary things to take on holiday, and more!

Family cottages

Family entertainment


Many of our family cottages provide games and entertainment for children (and big kids too!), but if there are some favourites from home you’d like to bring, it can all add to the fun.

Toys, games and DVDs are sure to keep everyone happy, and an iPad, if you have one, is worth bringing to keep spirits up on the journey. Print our beach treasure hunt or countryside treasure hunt to keep the little ones occupied while you're out and about!

Books are also a great way to keep children absorbed for hours, and it’ll give you the chance to bury your nose in that novel you’ve been meaning to read too!



Games (including outdoor games)

DVDs and portable player/iPad

Laptop and charger

Phone and charger

Montage of photos - clothes for a trip

Clothes to pack for your holiday

Pack sufficient changes of clothes for the trip plus a few spares, or instead, check whether your accommodation has washing facilities if you don’t mind doing a bit of laundry while on holiday. Also, make sure that your items to take on holiday include clothes for all weather – throw in wellies and raincoats as well as sun hats and glasses.

Whichever season you’re travelling in, layering up is a great idea. Think vests, looser outer layers, jumpers and thin raincoats which can be worn with other garments.

Also consider what footwear you might need. Depending on the activities you are planning, you might want to pack shoes as diverse as walking boots and formal shoes!






Comfortable trousers



Evening wear (including shoes)




Sandals (in summer)

Sun hats



Footwear for activities

Toiletries in a bathroom and a family going for a walk

Toiletries to bring on your holiday

Save space and the environment by reusing small empty bottles and filling them with shampoo, conditioner and body wash. Try to opt for eco-friendly options if you can – it’s a good excuse to spoil yourself with some of the wonderful handmade and environmentally-friendly cosmetics and toiletries on offer in your local area.

As for what else to take to a holiday cottage, it differs depending on whether it is summer or winter. Pack sun lotion in the summer months, even if you think you won’t need it as the weather can be very unpredictable! A small family first aid kit, including items such as adult and child painkillers, plasters, antiseptic cream and a thermometer, is a useful addition.


Body wash





Family first-aid kit

Sun lotion

Montage of family food on holiday

Food to bring to your self-catering cottage

Apart from a supply of snacks and drinks for the journey and a few things to tide you over on arrival, it’s probably best to leave food shopping until you arrive at your destination. Even better, use a service which will deliver directly to your holiday home. Here in the UK, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to buying local, so make sure you scout out producers near your holiday home to stock up on the freshest foods to eat while you’re away.

If you’re planning to cook yourself during your stay, it’s a good idea to add ingredients such as herbs, spices and cooking oil to your holiday packing list. The chances are, there may be a selection in the cottage, but you don’t want to be caught out with no cumin when cooking up your favourite curry!


Plan a few meals and add the ingredients to your shopping list. Don’t forget staples such as:





Cooking oil

Family with babies going for a walk

What to pack for babies on holiday

If you’re travelling with infants, check what equipment your accommodation might supply such as cots, stairgates and highchairs. Don’t forget essentials like a baby monitor, portable blackout blinds, spare dummies, a potty, swim nappies and arm bands.

Finally, take anything that you think is vital in order for your children to enjoy their stay away from home, be it a special blanket or pillow, a favourite cup or a treasured teddy.


Sleepsuits and spare clothes

Sleeping bags

Travel cot (if not provided)

Baby monitor

Portable blackout blinds

Night light


Bottles and steriliser



Swim nappies and swimsuits


Favourite toy/comforter

What to pack for dogs on holiday

Our dog-friendly holiday cottages welcome the four-pawed member of your family with open arms, so don’t forget to add a few items for them onto your holiday packing list. So, you may ask yourself what to pack for a cottage holiday with your pup? Make sure you’ve got a good stock of treats, their favourite dog food, a couple of toys to keep them busy, and most importantly, their bed!


Dog bed

Dog food


Water bowl


Collar and lead

Don’t get caught out

With all the will in the world, there’s likely to be something that will scupper the best-laid plans, or in this case, the best thought out UK holiday packing list! So here are a few things you can pop in your bag to help your holiday run smoothly, even when something unexpected happens.



Spare batteries


First aid kit

Spare credit/debit card


Hand sanitiser


Let's go!

Now that you’ve got a list of things to pack for a holiday, take a look at our family-friendly cottages and find the perfect cottage for you.

Find a family cottage

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.