A woman packing a large suitcase for a seven day trip abroad

The Ultimate Packing List for a 7 Day Trip

Planning for a week-long trip can be both exciting and a bit overwhelming. Deciding what to pack, especially if you’re flying, can be a tricky task. However, we’ve got you covered with this ultimate packing list for your 7-day adventure. 

Whether you’re heading to the beach, on a hiking trip or freezing your fingers off at the Northern Lights, this list covers everything you’ll need. Plus, if you’re a frequent traveller, you can easily customise and save this list for your future journeys. Let’s dive into the essentials.

For more packing tips, head over to our packing and organisation page!

If you edit this list to your preferences, make sure you save it for your next trip.

Planning for your Week-Long Trip

Before you start tossing items into your suitcase, take some time to consider a few key factors:

Are you taking a checked bag? If you’re flying and not taking checked luggage, remember that there are restrictions on what you can bring through airport security. Before you go, double check with your airline or airport that you aren’t taking anything you’re not allowed to!

What amenities are available in your hotel room? Check with your hotel room or accommodation if any amenities will be available when you arrive. For example, hotel rooms will usually provide you with a towel and basic toiletries, whereas at a hostel you usually have to pay extra to rent a towel.

What are your personal essential items? Consider your personal needs and preferences. Do you have any specific items that are essential for your comfort or well-being? Make a list of these items and ensure they find a place in your luggage.

Read more from packing & organisation: What to Pack for Backpacking in Central America

Extras to Take for International Travel

For international travel, it’s crucial to keep your documents organised and accessible. These documents are vital for a smooth journey:

Passport: The most important travel document, ensure it’s valid and easily accessible.

Proof of Health Cover: e.g. for EU travellers, you’ll need to take your physical EHIC card, often a picture or just the number on it isn’t enough, and your travel insurance may be invalid without it!

Travel Insurance Documents: Protect yourself with travel insurance.

All Travel Tickets and Boarding Passes: Keep these in a safe, easily accessible place.

What Kind of Bag to Take

Selecting the right bag is the first step to packing efficiently:

Carry-On Luggage: Opting for a smaller bag has several benefits, such as avoiding checked luggage fees, saving time at the airport, and reducing the risk of lost baggage. (If you’ve read my article about packing for Mexico, you’ll know why I never take checked luggage anymore…)

Do you want to take a Duffel Bag, Suitcase, or Rucksack?: Choose a bag that suits your travel style and destination, and be mindful of weight limits. This matters both if you’re flying, and if you’re going to spend a long time with your bag on your back! 

Use Packing Cubes: I’m a sucker for packing cubes, but a lot of people think they’re unnecessary and actually end up taking up space. For me, they help me to stay organised and make sure I’ve got everything before I leave!

Read more: Packing Essentials for Backpacking in Mexico

What to Pack for a 7 Day Trip in Your Personal Item

Basically every airline will let you take a small personal item, like a small handbag. Here you’ll have easy access to the important stuff, so it’s a good idea to keep all of your necessities together. Of course, your personal preferences are important, so you can add or delete this list as you wish!

​Proof of health cover (e.g. EHIC card if you’re in the EU)
Travel insurance documents
All travel tickets and boarding passes
Water bottle
Tissues and/or toilet paper (you don’t want to get caught out on the train or in the airport!)
Power bank & charger
Plug converter
Entertainment for the journey (a book, puzzle, etc.)
Simple first aid kit (e.g. paracetamol and ibuprofen)
​Cash (I usually take US Dollars, because they’re the easiest to spend)
If I’m travelling alone, I also carry a list of emergency phone numbers in case my phone is stolen, like the number for my airline, the number for my accommodation, etc.

What to Pack for a 7 Day Trip in Your Carry-On Bag

Of course, the specifics of what you take will depend on where you’re going. As a general rule of thumb: if you’re heading to the beach, take tank tops, but if you’re heading somewhere cold, make sure you take long sleeves and items that are going to keep you warm! If you’re going to do a lot of hiking, take a lot of practical clothes and layers, but if you’re going all-inclusive you can focus a little more on style.

A great way to save on time once you arrive on holiday is to stick to neutral colours or one colour scheme to make sure you don’t spend too long trying to make outfits! But this is totally down to personal preference.

You can also use this list for a longer trip or a shorter trip, by increasing or reducing the number of each item.

For a week trip, here’s what I would take:

Your toiletry bag (see below!)
Your wallet and credit cards
8 pairs of underwear
8 pairs of socks
2 bras (if you need them!)
2 pairs of shoes (but you’ll probably be wearing one of these)
​Flip flops (always good to have on hand, if you have the space)
Somewhere to put your dirty laundry (this could literally just be a plastic bag)
8 tops (make sure they’re suitable for the weather and activities in your destination–for example, if I was going to the beach, I’d take 4 tank tops, 2 dressy tops, and 2 oversized/floaty tops to throw on at the end of a long day sunbathing!)
3-4 bottoms (split these between trousers, shorts and skirts based on your destination–for example, if I was going on a hiking trip, I’d take one pair of jeans, 2 pairs of hiking trousers and a pair of leggings.)
​2 pyjamas or clothes to sleep in
1 jacket
1-2 sets of workout clothes (if working out on holiday is your thing…)
1 set of waterproofs (if necessary)
2-3 bathing suits (if necessary)
Bath towel & beach towel
A day bag
Specifics for your activities, which might include: swimming goggles or snorkelling gear, extra-warm clothes (hat, scarf, gloves, etc), thermals, hiking poles

What to Pack for a 7 Day Trip in Your Toiletry Bag

If you’re flying, you will need to split this section into two: liquids and non-liquids. If they fit, I would recommend putting your liquids bag already into a clear bag inside your personal item, so you can easily get it out at security.

Also remember that you can’t take any flammable liquids or liquids over 100ml onto a plane.


​Body wash
Face wash
Shampoo and conditioner
Anything you use to style your hair
​Lip balm
Insect repellent
Bug-bite cream


​Any prescription medications
Hair brush & comb
Hair ties and scrunchies
Cotton pads
​Tampons/Mooncup (if you’re going to need it).

Soon I’m going to create a download of this list that you can edit and tick off as you pack, so keep your eyes peeled and come back soon. Have a great time on your trip!

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