Suitcases at the airport


We’ve all been there. You’ve known about the holiday for months. You’ve pinned your way in to a ‘Holiday Outfits’ Pinterest board frenzy and now you’ve got to actually fit all of your inspired outfits into one suitcase. Along with the comfy denim shorts and flip-flops you’ll inevitably end up wearing once the vogue play suits and heeled sandals chafe. Oh – and did I mention – the flight leaves tomorrow at 6 am?!

This scenario is me every time I travel. My most memorable instance of ‘the panic pack’ happened before one of my best friends and I travelled to the Ukraine. The night before our early morning flight, both my friend and I decided a pre-holiday tipple was in order in my London local. Needless to say, a wobbly walk home later and a hasty pack of the ‘floordrobe’ whilst under the influence, and I arrived in Kiev without one single piece of underwear. Bras, knickers – all forgotten.

Now I’m not sure of your Eastern European shopping experience – but have you ever tried to underwear shop in a small Ukrainian town, 5 hours from the capital where nobody speaks English? Clearly my charades performance was misleading because four underwear sets later I returned from the shops armed with a lacy kit worthy of making Jenna Jameson blush.

And have I learnt?! Nope. Here I am, one remaining evening before my flight to New Zealand and I haven’t even opened my suitcase – let alone packed it.

So, if you’re a panic packer like I am, or need a travel checklist to recall that ‘I know I’ve forgotten something’ item, then here are some holiday packing tips, including a couple of K I K travel essentials!


Laptop, phone and notepad on a desk ready to write a holiday packing list

You’ll often think of the most important items to pack in the months building up to your trip. You may be weeks from your flight date and stood queuing for a coffee when suddenly, a thought will pop in to your head and you’ll spend the next couple of coffee-queuing minutes trying to ingrain upon your memory the fact that you really must remember to pack a razor. And underwear.

Instead of testing your memory skills (and risking a hairy disaster), a quick solution is to keep a check list of items to pack in the back of a diary, or in the notes section of your phone, which you can add to as and when you remember things. That way, when it comes to actually packing your suitcase, you know you won’t be trying to rack your brains thinking ‘What was that thing I thought of in Monday’s management meeting?!’


Mascara and other items of makeup

Even when rushing last minute before a flight, I like to think of the things I need to pack by running through my daily routines. This normally helps me remember small, essential items which are often the easiest to over look.

I start by recalling my morning routine:

Brush teeth (toothbrush/toothpaste)

Shower (Shampoo/Conditioner/Towel)

Blow dry curl/straighten hair (Brush/Grooming products/Hair dryer/Straighteners/Curlers)

Apply makeup (Makeup/Makeup brushes)

Get changed (Clothes and UNDERWEAR!)

Grab car keys (Keys obviously)

Grab bag and gym kit (Handbag/clothes for exercise)

…head out the door

By recalling my daily routine, I am able to think of all the items I need to pack in order to be ready each day. This includes toothbrushes, beauty products, items of clothing, keys and purse.

Within each action you can break it down even further to ensure you’ve remembered everything. For example, in order to ensure I’ve packed all of my make-up essentials, I will think of the process of applying make-up and pack accordingly; Starting with my first application of foundation, right through to curling my lashes and applying mascara. That way I remember to pack not only my products but my brushes and applicators as well.


Camera and camera accessories in packing bag

How can you capture the colours of a beach sunrise when your camera battery is dead? And how can your Instagram feed make your co-workers jealous when your phone charger is left back at home in the wall?

Remembering your gadgets is important. Remembering their accessories even more so! From charging cables to lenses, gopro attachments to selfie sticks, remember to think through all of the items you need in order to keep your electricals operational.

Especially important is to remember to check for your memory cards in photography equipment. I’ve been known to leave my SD card in my laptop after a photo editing session, only to realise I’ve left it after arriving at my next shoot! Memory cards are replaceable but an unnecessary expense when travelling. Remember to pack yours, and spares, before you leave.


Packed bag

Want to avoid a Ukranian underwear shopping experience? Then I cannot advise strongly enough, to try and pack well in advance of your flight. Even if I cannot heed my own advice.

Leaving your suitcase out in advance of your trip means you can add items as you start your packing early and it will seem less of a chore and leaves less chance of you forgetting anything. As the days count down and the laundry gets done, items can be added to your suitcase as and when you stumble across them!


If all fails then do not panic. Here is a handy little downloadable holiday or vacation packing checklist we prepared earlier. Mouthful?!

Print it out, work through the list and tick off as you go along!

KIK Travel Checklist

Have we missed anything? Or got any travel packing tips you’d like to share? Then let us know in the comments below or start a conversation via our Twitter or Facebook pages! If the packing’s nailed but it’s the destination that hasn’t been sorted, why not get some inspiration from some places we’ve visited like Wineglass Bay Australia, Fairy Falls, New Zealand or Rottnest Island, Australia?



  1. Ommggggg, lifesaver! I fly to Majorca to work there for 3 months in 2 days and havent even started packing yet!

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