The Complete Travel Packing Checklist
Packing errors can arise for everyone from frequent flyers to the travel enthusiast who is just getting started.
Leaving behind your camera or even simple things like your headphones can adversely affect your mindset during your journey. To top it off, the best experiences tend to arise when you are least prepared for them.
Naturally, we have created a comprehensive travel packing list to ensure you never forget important things like your credit cards, wallets, passports as well as comfort related things like pillows & blankets.
This is a generic vacation packing list that will be perfect for individuals, couples, and families too.
Packing technique & organizers
It can be quite easy sometimes to overlook packing organizers. In reality, they do make life so much easier. Packing cubes of multiple sizes (4+ is ideal) can ensure your items stay protected especially if you happen to have a major shampoo explosion.
Staying organized can save you precious time when unpacking and you will know exactly where all the little items are. Another advantage is that the cubes offer great compression on bulkier items like sweaters.
While neatly packing your clothes can save space if you’d like to pack efficiently you should roll your clothes. Rolling your clothes has two benefits, you can save space and reduce wrinkles.
Download our vacation packing list here:
Simply right-click, Save & Print! (It’s high resolution so might appear a tad blurry on the site alone)
Here’s a rundown of all you need to pack:
Travel Documents, IDs & Cash
The often forgotten item in this section is Stationary. It’s quite common to see people running around trying to find a pen to fill out the inbound immigration cards. Make sure you have easy access to a pen at the very least. Plus they come in handy for crossword puzzles.
Ensure you have a good anti-theft bag or neck wallet that keeps your belongings safe at all times. The RFID threat is not as significant as it was in the past so it’s not a necessary feature but still good to have.
- Passport & a copy
- Copy of Flight ticket
- Copy of accommodation confirmation
- Wallet or Purse
- Debit cards, Credit cards
- Cash (preferably smaller denominations)
- Itinerary (if many events are booked in advance)
- House Keys
- ID (Usually drivers licence)
- Health Insurance copy
- Emergency contact info
Make sure you have charged up your phone, camera beforehand. Also, make sure your memory cards have enough space to take many awesome pictures.
- Chargers, Adapters & Converters
- Headphones or Earphones
- Kindle, Tablet or Laptop
- iPod or music player
- Bluetooth Speakers
- Power bank
- Torchlight (optional)
- Memory cards (optional)
Typically the ones in the first 3 sections constitute most people’s carry-on items. Try to make sure you have a copy of our ID in your main luggage in addition to your wallet.
Clothes & Wearable items
This section is highly dependent upon the destination & duration of your trip. We’ve listed items that are essential for a comfortable 2 or 3-day trip (warm weather) below. Typically ensure you have…
- 4+ sets of underwear and/or bras
- Sleepwear (optional)
- A belt
- 2 pairs of Jeans
- 1 or 2 Shirts & dresses (Party wear)
- 2+ t-shirts or tank tops
- 2+ long sleeved shirts
- 2+ shorts or skirts
- Quick-dry travel towel
- Hat or Beanie (optional)
- Sweater or light additional layer (optional)
- A sarong & Poncho (Check out the many ways you can use these here)
- Watch or smartwatch (optional)
- 4-5+ pairs of socks (Compression, quick dry or hiking socks)
- Flipflops or sandals (Hawaiians are super comfy)
- Walking shoes
- Minimal Jewelry
Related: Solo Female Travel Packing List
Having a TSA compliant toiletry bag makes things easier. Toiletry bags are usually waterproof and follow the 3-1-1 TSA rule for liquids, gels, aerosols etc. Also if you are on an inbound flight make sure you have the receipt for any duty-free liquids you bought within 48 hours.
- Deodorant and/or perfume
- Toothbrush & paste
- Hair gel or coconut oil (a tiny bottle will suffice)
- Small Mirror
- Mouthwash (tiny bottle)
- Hairbrush, pins, clips & Combs
- Sunscreen (typically SPF 15-30)
- Feminine hygiene essentials
- Lip Balm
- Shampoo bottles
- Facial wipes
- Laundry powder sachets (optional)
- Scissors & toenail clippers
- Shaving kit, razors, aftershave, beard oil (Duration dependent) (optional)
Before you travel make sure you need or don’t need to get vaccinated to visit a particular country. Also, it’s always good to check if there are any travel advisories for your destination. If you are carrying things like eye drops or antibiotics its best to have a prescription with you.
- First Aid Kit
- Medication for
- Pain relievers
- Stomach ailments, diarrhea, laxatives
- Motion sickness
- A cough, cold & headaches
- Thermometer (very compact one)
- Eye drops (if necessary)
- A prescription for all medication
- Repellents for mosquitoes & insects (location dependent)
- Vaccination certs (if necessary)
#Note: If your trip includes extensive backpacking & high altitude trekking then you will need other medication too. Have a look at this comprehensive backpacking medical kit list and some rules for providing care.
It’s always good to carry an extra bag if your carry-on happens to be a suitcase & not a backpack. Even though it’s not a tangible thing, it’s good to download apps that folks use often in the destination country. It’ll help you socialize & get around much easier. Also, it’s much better to take a tiny travel umbrella beforehand instead of arriving and buying a super expensive option just to get out of the airport without getting drenched.
- Your Journal of adventures
- Download any apps you need (guides, maps, Uber/ AirBnB or their local equivalents etc)
- Glasses, contacts & solution (if needed)
- Water Bottle (saves you money, keeps you hydrated & can be environmentally friendly)
- Luggage locks (Preferably TSA approved)
- Sewing Kit
- Luggage tags
- Tote Bag (super compact)
- Travel mug (optional)
- Laundry Bag (optional)
- Cotton tips(optional)
- Travel Umbrella (optional)
- Souvenirs (optional)
Babies & Kids
- Baby Formula
- Diapers & Diaper bags
- Child Carrier
- Toys & books
- Baby Blanket & Pillows
- Shoes & sandals
- At least 3-5 sets of clothes (~3 day trip)