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The Ultimate Travel Packing Checklist

Whether this is your first trip or you're a seasoned globetrotter, it's always helpful to have a list of the travel essentials you may want to pack for your vacation. You know what we mean—a comprehensive international travel checklist that covers everything from travel packing must-haves to a list of toiletries, and so much more.

1. Travel Bag

Before you even begin deciding what to pack, it’s important to find a travel bag that's as versatile as you need it to be, while also fitting all your stuff and being easy to carry. Consider the length of your trip, as well as if it’s an international vacation, if you’ll be using budget airlines, and your primary activities—all of these considerations impact which bag is best for your trip.

Wherever you're planning to go, pick luggage that is versatile, lightweight, and big enough to hold all your travel essentials. The most important decision you'll make is (as far as luggage is concerned) is buying a bag that has an awesome warranty. Traveling with a piece of luggage with a broken wheel, handle, or zipper is the absolute worst! Brands that back their gear with stand-up warranties build that promised durability into their gear.

2. Essentials


● Lightweight clothing that can be layered

● Long-sleeved shirts

● Sweaters or fleece jacket

● T-shirts and tank tops (be respectful of the culture you are visiting)

● Pants and/or shorts

● Belt (check out this one for a ingenuitive money protection option)

● Socks (wool socks are best for hiking and camping)

● Comfortable walking shoes

● Rain jacket, windbreaker or umbrella

● Pajamas/sleepwear

● Underwear

● Sunglasses and glasses case

● Dresses and/or skirts

● Jewelry (organize in a small cube or sac)

● Hat or sun visor

● Scarf or bandana

● Swimsuit or swim trunks (consider a clean/dirty organizer)

● Cell phone and charger

● Travel speakers

● Travel pillow, eye mask, and ear plugs

● Electric converters and adapters

● Travel apps that will help with language, directions, money conversion, and digital journaling

3. Toiletry


● Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash

● Hair brush or comb, hair ties, barrettes/bobby pins

● Deodorant

● Shampoo and conditioner (Dr. Bronners is a good option all-in-one option for hair care, face wash, laundry and more.)

● Sunscreen and face lotion with SPF

● Make up packed in a washable sac

● Face wash and/or makeup remover wipes and Q-tips

● Night time moisturizer/lotion

● Lip balm with SPF and lipstick or lip gloss

● Personal hygiene items

● Feminine hygiene products

● Extra contacts, solution, and contact case

● Glasses and prescription sunglasses

● Prescription medication with the label/script so that you can refill if needed and not be questioned by TSA.

4. Health

● First aid kit (bandages, gauze, adhesives, etc.)

● Personal prescriptions (copies of scripts)

● Pain and fever relievers (also children’s strength if you are traveling with kids)

● Thermometer

● Cold medicines and throat lozenges

● Diarrhea/laxative medicines

● Oral rehydration salts

● Allergy medicines

● Hydrocortisone cream/antibacterial ointment

● Multivitamins

● Sunburn relief

● Insect repellent/mosquito net/sting reliever

● Motion sickness pills or bands

● Altitude sickness pills (if you are planning to hike in higher altitudes)

● Eye drops

● Moleskin

● Medicines and vaccinations specific to the region/activity

5. Carry-on Bag

The next thing you’ll want to do is prepare a packing list especially for your personal item carry-on bag with anything that you’ll want with you on the flight. It’s always a good idea to make sure you have an outfit (or two) and a few essential toiletries in your personal item just in case your luggage is lost.

If you’ll be traveling around to multiple destinations, make sure this small bag has items to keep you comfortable on any train, boat or bus rides. It's always nice to have a bag that's easy to access so you don't have to get into your luggage each time you need your eye mask. But remember, you’ll be carrying all of this, so keep it light.

6. Important documents

Here’s your international travel checklist, document-wise:

● Passport/visa(s) (not sure if you need a travel visa? Check here.)

● Personal ID/Student ID card

● Frequent flyer card(s) and other loyalty program card numbers (ex: hotel chains and AAA)

● Cash and credit card(s) (call your credit card companies before you travel to inform them of your travel,otherwise they might turn them off to prevent perceived fraud. Also consider how travel hacking can save you money on the road!)

● Health insurance cards/document(s)

● Travel insurance information

● Reservations and itineraries (print them and save them electronically for easy access)

● Hotel and/or tour contact information

● Transportation tickets (plane, train, bus, car, etc.)

● Emergency contacts and important addresses

● Copies of all these things in case you lose your wallet

● Guide books and maps

Wherever you are headed, you’re going to have a great time! Just make sure you think through your list of activities beforehand so that you’re able to bring everything you need and pick the right luggage. And pack light if you can using this ultimate packing checklist. It always helps with mobility. And remember, you’re a traveler: Respect the people and places you go to visit.Respect their customs, tip accordingly, try and learn their language, and truly immerse yourself in the culture. Travel changes us to be better than we were by opening our eyes and giving us newfound respect.

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