How To Pack For A Holiday On A Budget

Hey guys! Today I have a guest post from Hannah about packing for a holiday on a budget! If you’d like to check out my post over on Hannah’s site about budgeting whilst on holiday, you can check it out here. On to the post…!

Hi! I’m Hannah and I blog over at sharing tips on saving money and living frugally.

We all look forward to our holidays and getting away from the hustle and bustle of real life. What we don’t enjoy as much is the packing…

When I look back at holidays in the past I’ve gone out and spent a fortune on a new wardrobe full of clothes, all the toiletries that I could ever need and no end of sun cream and insect repellent. 

What I am going to talk to you about today is how to pack for your holidays without actually spending a penny! (or at least not many)

Research and write a list

Before I start packing for my holidays I research packing lists for the destination and then create my own list of what I will actually need to take with me. I include clothing, medicines, toiletries and anything else that I may need. If it’s somewhere you’ve been loads, then you can probably skip the research part. 

I then look through this and tick off everything I already have – this means that I can clearly see what, if anything, I need to source. 

Collect toiletry samples

Now this is one you can do throughout the whole year and even while you’re actually on holiday. There are loads of brands that will regularly offer free samples of products simply by filling in your email and postal address. Before my last holiday I was able to receive enough sun cream samples that I didn’t need to take a large bottle with me – plus it made it easier to carry these around to me whilst away as they easily slip into a small bag. Shampoos, conditioners and shower gels are also really easy to source samples and there are often deals to get these. 

My favourite sites to find out about these are and gratisfaction

You can also go into shops such as Lush, and make up counters in department stores and ask if they have any samples that you could have before making a purchase. If you would be making a purchase anyway it’s always worth asking if they’ve got any samples you can have as most counters will have lots sat in drawers.

Most nice hotels will provide you with little bottles of shampoo, conditioner and shower gel to start – I know some people disagree, but I will always take these home with me if I don’t use them all and save them for my next trip , this is the majority of the time as I just use my samples.

Take perfume samples with you

I don’t often wear perfume, partly because of how much they cost, but on holiday I make an exception. I don’t like taking a full-size bottle with me though as I’m always scared the bottle will smash and I’ll have wasted the money. 

Because of this I collect little perfume samples throughout the year and will take a few of them in my bag with me. As they are generally only 5ml in size you can even take these in your hand luggage so you don’t have to worry about smelling on the plane either – they can get stuffy… 

Another bonus with this is that you get to try out different fragrances and aren’t stuck to just one bottle!

You don’t need a new wardrobe!

Ok, so you may take some convincing on this… do you really need a fifth bikini and another pair of wedges though…? No. You’ll pack them into your suitcase and then not even wear them (ALWAYS seems to be the case with me if I take something new) 

And if you do need some new clothes then check out your local charity shops rather than buying them all full price. Again, there is a stigma about charity shops but they are becoming increasingly popular recently. You can get some absolute bargains and with a good wash the clothes can be as good as new!

Do you need to take an extra suitcase?

Although most holidays come with baggage included you could sometimes save a fair amount of money by going hand luggage only. Now I know this may be a challenge for a long-term holiday but if you’re only going away for a few days then you should be able to pack your things into a smaller bag. You may just have to be a bit more savvy with your planning. There are loads of pins over on Pinterest on how to pack with just hand luggage which would be really helpful!

Finally, recheck your list before you leave for the airport.

I have lost count of the amount of times I have left the house and realised I’ve left things behind. This has meant additional stops and excessive spends at the airport replacing these items. If I’d just spent the 5 or 10 minutes rechecking that I’d got everything this would have saved me a fortune over time. 

Last holiday I even forgot to take some of my currency with me!! Don’t do a me!

There’s a few of my tips to save a bit of money while you’re packing. Why not also check out my latest travel post on tips to save money whilst on holiday in Mexico

I hope this was a useful guest post about ho


Hi, I’m Hannah and I blog about money saving tips and how to live frugally while saving for a house and a wedding. You can find my posts over at

If you’ve enjoyed this post, check out my recent posts about galleries to visit in Paris here, or a Greece travel itinerary here. Happy travelling!