You’ve probably packed for a vacation many times before, but it’s very different if you’re going to be away for a longer period. If you want to kick back while enjoying an extended vacation, you’ll need to be well-organized in advance.
Things to pack for a one-month-long summer vacation include your passport, wallet, travel insurance, travel adaptors, earphones, a portable water bottle, swimsuits, and First Aid Kit. Pack your clothes sparingly, and don’t take more than 2-4 pairs of shoes.
A longer trip means taking more time to prepare, but our helpful checklist will run through everything you need for a hassle-free month-long vacation. Let’s get started!
1. Passports, Visas, and ID Documents
We’ve all watched movies where there’s a mad scramble to get to a flight on time because someone in the party has forgotten their passport. Unfortunately, this isn’t just for artistic purposes, and a significant number of travelers admit to forgetting their passport or ID documents for their vacation.
Don’t become part of those statistics: make sure your passports, visas, and ID documents are the first things you pack in your carry-on. When planning your holiday, consider any additional travel to surrounding areas and organize any visas required. There’s nothing worse than having a long vacation but not being able to make the most of it because you haven’t applied for the right documentation.
It’s also a good idea to make copies of your important documents and store them in different bags. This will ensure you still have them even if one of your bags gets stolen.
2. Proof of Travel Insurance
Because everything is digital now, it’s very tempting to skip the paperwork and rely on your smartphone for proof of insurance. This might work out perfectly, but if your smartphone gets stolen and you need to prove your travel insurance in a hurry, it’s beneficial to have a backup paper copy.
Yes, it’s obvious — but it’s the kind of thing that’s easy to forget. When you’re running around ensuring you’ve got all your travel documents and bags, it’s easy to forget the basics.
By adding your wallet to your packing list, you don’t need to worry about remembering it. Just tick it off along with everything else, and you’ll know it’s safe in your bag.
4. Cell Phone, Adapters, and Charger
If you’re only going away for a week or two, you may decide to take a complete break from the hustle and bustle of daily life and leave your cell phone switched off. If that’s the case, forgetting your charger or adapter may not be a big deal.
However, if you’re going on vacation for a month, you might want to keep in contact with family and friends back home, even periodically. If you have a smartphone, you can also use its multi-functions to save you from bringing other items, such as an e-reader or a camera.
Most smartphones can operate as e-readers and cameras, saving you space in your bag. It’s also fewer things to keep track of, which will be helpful if you’re switching between the beach, pool, cafes, and hotel room.
If you travel regularly around the world, a universal adaptor is a handy device. It means you don’t need to carry different plugs for different countries, as one adapter will cover them all. Try something like this NEWVANGA Universal Travel Adapter from Amazon.com.
If you’re on a solo vacation or have a bit of time alone, earphones are a must-have. Whether you listen to your favorite playlist on Spotify or download a new podcast, earphones mean you’ll never get bored. And, of course, it’s another great use for that smartphone!
If you normally prefer over-the-ear headphones, you might want to switch to earphones just for your vacation. Headphones are large and awkward to carry around, while earphones can slip into a pocket or small bag.
6. Clothing for Seven Days
A month-long vacation isn’t an invitation to carry your entire wardrobe with you on the go. You’ll need to be savvy about which clothing will be best suited to travel and can stand up to the rigors of being squashed in a suitcase.
Take enough clothing to last for seven days, including underwear and socks. Remember that you might want different outfits for both day and night, so that could mean a pair of shorts for the daytime and a smart casual outfit for after-dark. It’s also a good idea to take a few extra shirts; a helpful rule of packing is to bring more tops than bottoms!
This approach to clothing means that you’ll have a choice of outfits. Of course, you’ll still need to do laundry while you’re away, but no more often than once per week.
Make sure you know what type of weather to expect and pack appropriate clothing — but do allow for surprises. Even if you’re heading somewhere very hot, the weather could be stormy or windy on one day, and you might want to cover up. You might be planning on wearing dresses, skirts, and shorts but include at least one pair of long pants, just in case.
When deciding what to pack, look for neutral colors that can be used together and versatile items that can be layered. This will allow you to create different looks from the same seven-day capsule wardrobe.
7. 2-4 Pairs of Shoes
Not everyone has the same type of vacation, so it’s difficult to be specific about the type of shoes you should take. However, you should aim to take no more than four pairs of shoes as this should provide enough variety to cover different scenarios.
I would suggest the following:
- A pair of sturdy walking shoes
- A pair of flip flops
- A pair of Crocs
- Ballet pumps or smart sandals (depending on personal preference)
This will ensure that you’re comfortable while out exploring the city or hiking, safe around water, and still have a smart option for evenings out. Don’t be tempted to pack more; shoes are heavy, take up lots of space, and you’ll end up regretting it.
8. 5-7 Swimsuits and Bikinis
If the weather is warm and you’re close to water, there’s a very strong likelihood that you’ll spend a large proportion of your time in swimwear. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a swimsuit or bikini person; you’ll need enough options, so you’re not constantly washing them out.
Generally, it’s helpful to match the number of swimsuits to the days you can go without washing. I recommended an entire week’s worth of outfits, and that’s what I’d suggest for your swimwear too.
Some people are happy just rinsing the swimwear and then wearing it again the next day. Others aren’t happy to wear it again unless it’s been properly laundered, so the exact number you take for a week is up to you.
A variety of styles can be a good idea as it allows for different activities. A barely-there bikini may be ideal for lounging on the beach, but if you want to go snorkeling, you might prefer a more practical swimsuit.
One word of caution: make sure you like all the bikinis and swimsuits you take. If you don’t feel confident, you’ll never wear them and will rely on the other swimsuits instead. It’s better to take less swimwear than extras you won’t ever wear!
A holiday in the sun means exposure to UV rays, so you’ll need to slap on sunscreen to keep your skin adequately protected. Even the milder springtime sun can damage your skin, so you shouldn’t venture outside without applying sunscreen first.
The problem is that you could need a lot of sunscreen for 30 days, especially if you plan on spending a lot of time at the pool and beach. Taking sufficient sunscreen to last for the whole month could mean 10-15 bottles, which is just not practical to pack! You can work out how much sunscreen you’re likely to use with this online calculator.
Start with two bottles of sunscreen in your luggage and a smaller travel-sized bottle for your purse. The smaller bottle is for days out exploring and means you won’t have to lug around huge bottles of sunscreen to top up your protection while on the go.
Unless you’re going somewhere very remote, you’ll be able to buy more sunscreen during your vacation. Just avoid buying at the airport and typical tourist resorts, if possible, as prices are often astronomically high.
10. First Aid Kit
Hopefully, you’ll never need to use a First Aid Kit, but it’s highly advisable for any vacation, and even more so if you’re going to be away for several weeks. If you become seriously ill or sustain a bad injury, you should always seek professional medical advice — after all, that’s what your travel insurance is for!
Your First Aid Kit is for little scrapes and bangs or minor illnesses you can identify and treat yourself. Suggested items to include in a First Aid Kit:
- Hand sanitizer
- Gauze pad and tape
- Antibiotic ointment
- Anti-diarrhoea medication
- Painkillers such as Advil or Tylenol
11. Portable Water Bottle
Staying hydrated is essential on your vacation, and it’s a good idea to carry a bottle of water wherever you go. This is especially helpful in countries where it’s not safe to drink tap water.
A portable water bottle will help you avoid single-use plastics and work out to be more economical. A fully collapsible style like this Hydaway Collapsible Water Bottle from Amazon.com is very space-efficient and can be used time and time again throughout your entire vacation (and the next one, too!).
However, just make sure the water you’re filling up with is safe to drink!
12. Prescription Medication
Your health issues won’t magically disappear while you’re on holiday, so you’ll need to take your prescription medication with you. If you normally pick up your drugs one month at a time, you’ll need to ask your physician to prescribe a longer supply for your travels.
You also don’t want to run out immediately when you return, so ensure you have enough medication to last for your month away and the week after you return.
Unless your medication is a controlled substance, you won’t need to carry a letter from your physician if it’s in tablet form or a liquid that’s less than 100ml. Some countries worldwide have different rules for medication, so check their laws before you arrive in the country.
Prescription medication also includes birth control, and unless you want a surprise nine months later, ensure you’ve got enough to last for the whole trip.
If you wear a retainer, don’t forget to take it when you travel. Some people leave it at home if they’re only on vacation for a week, but it’s highly advisable to take it with you for a month.
You’ll need to ensure you don’t leave it in direct sunlight or it could degrade. Find a safe space for it in your bathroom or bedside — and don’t forget to pack it again when you leave!
14. Feminine Hygiene Products
If you menstruate, it’s advisable to take sanitary pads or tampons with you. They won’t take up too much room in your case, and you’ll be reassured that you have protection when needed.
You may be able to purchase feminine hygiene products on vacation, but it may not be the brand you’re familiar with and may not be as comfortable. Additionally, looking for hygiene products in an emergency can be a hassle!
Because you’re constantly on the go, many women change their beauty regime on holiday. Therefore, packing your usual cosmetics is probably unnecessary. Consider what you’ll want to wear on your skin when the weather is warm; also, consider whether you’ll need different colors if you get a tan.
Heavy colors, thick bases, and oil-based cosmetics are all best left at home. You might find that you don’t need much more than mascara, eyeliner, lip gloss, and tinted foundation.
- Three Week Traveller: Packing for 3 Weeks Summer Holiday
- Travel Fashion Girl: What to Pack for a 4 Week Trip to Everywhere
- Hostels Club: The 30-Day Hand Luggage Packing List
- Via Travelers: How to Pack for a Month-Long Trip
- Mademois-elle: How to Pack for a Four-Week Holiday Away
- Bombshell Bay Swimwear: How Many Swimsuits Do You Have?
- Oregon Beach Vacations: 14 Commonly Forgotten Vacation items