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ULTIMATE TRAVEL PACKING CHECKLIST


Whether you’re packing for your first trip or you’re a seasoned traveler, it can always get a bit stressful and worrisome if you should pack too much or too little, or maybe forgetting some things. It’s always helpful having a rundown, and a list of what items you should pack, essentially a comprehensive travel checklist whether it’s for domestic or international travel.

We’ve prepared this travel packing list into sections, you can get ready and pack with confidence, get your house and in order, so you can have a relaxing and stress-free vacation.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT LUGGAGE

Wherever you’re planning to go, picking the correct type of luggage is just as essential as what you’re taking with you. You would want to pick a luggage that is versatile, lightweight, easy to carry, and large enough to fit what you’re taking with you.

For your checked luggage, you would want a sturdy suitcase with durable fabric and wheels. It’s always good to get a suitcase with a TSA Approved Lock included as well to prevent theft. For your cabin/carry-on luggage, find a lightweight bag with a hard surface to protect your things in the overhead compartment and going through security. Please remember, that there are strict laws from you are allowed or not allowed to pick in your cabin/carry-on luggage.

  • 2 Wheel Rolling: Any wheeled luggage is great to travel with, they are both convenient and easy-to-carry. There’s no need to carry your things on your back or with a duffel bag.
  • 4 Wheel Spinner: What’s better than 2 wheels? That’s right! 4-Wheels are even better since you can travel effortlessly and keep weight off your back and wrists as you can roll the bag by your side wherever you go. This is great when you consider the number of things you’re packing with you.
  • Duffels: Simple, lightweight, and durable for all forms of travel, whether you’re going hiking, camping, or traveling around different cities and landscapes.
  • Carry-On: Carry-On bags are a must-have to have with you for a variety of different reasons, you can save time at the airport, save money on check-in fees, guarantee that the airlines can’t misplace your bag, using it as a day bag while you’re out and about exploring or finding a new adventure, and much more.

Please note that it's best to buy an anti-theft proof bag with durable slash-proof material, hidden compartments, and locked zippers.

CABIN/CARRY-ON LUGGAGE PACKING DONT'S

It’s extremely important to know the rules surrounding cabin/carry-on bags and what you’re allowed and not allowed to travel with. Every airline has different laws and restrictions so please refer with your airline for a more comprehensive list of what you can or can’t take when traveling. If you’re not sure if you can bring it with you, better be safe then sorry and just leave it behind.


As a general guide, these following items are NOT allowed to be taken in your carry-on bags;

  • Sharp Objects (Such as knives, scissors, razor blades, etc.)
  • Objects potentially used as weapons (nails, hammers, bats, golf clubs, etc.)
  • Liquids exceeding a certain volume (usually it’s 3.4 ounces (100mL)
  • Certain foods or drinks are not allowed
  • Flammable Goods (such as aerosol containers, lighters, etc.)

ORGANIZE YOUR BELONGINGS

It doesn’t matter if you’re taking a weekend trip, a week, a month, or longer, we want to make sure that we are packing our things carefully and organized. Keeping everything organized and condensed can be a challenge however, we’ve listed some things below that can help you keep your things condensed, organized, and protected.


Using packing organizers such as cubes & folders, compression & vacuum bags, and protective cases  are an invaluable necessity when you’re getting ready to travel. Keeping your luggage and bags organized with packing organizers means not only will you know where everything is, your clothing is organized, protected, and compressed so you can fit more in your bag. Packing organizers like cubes & folders or toiletry & cosmetic kits can cut down and remove potentially messy items such as make-up, colognes, deodorant and so on.

  • Cubes & Folders: Helps you easily organize and separate your clothes and items to make for easy packing and unpacking when you arrive at your destination. 
  • Compression & Vacuum Bags: This is an absolute must for all travelers, compression & vacuum seals bags easily reduce the volume of your clothes by up to 80%. This means you can pack more of your things with taken less space, can’t get better than that. 
  • Toiletry & Cosmetic Kits: You would want to look at Waterproof and slash-proof material when buying a toiletry Kit, this will only ensure your products are safe and spill-free during your trip duration. 
  • Travel Bottles: full or half-empty shampoo/conditioner or body wash bottles are basically wasted space and added weight. Cut down your packing and luggage weight by emptying the contents into smaller travel-size bottles. 

BASIC TRAVEL CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES

PREPARING YOUR TOILETRY BAG

It’s important to keep your toiletry bag light and TSA-Compliant. TSA’s 3-1-1 rule makes it easy to remember that liquids, gels, aerosols, creams, and pastes must be 3.4 ounces (100mL) or less per container and they must be stored in a 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-lock bag. If you need more information about TSA rules regarding what you can and can’t travel with you click here.

  • Oral Care (toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, floss, etc.)
  • Deodorant (stick or spray)
  • Shampoo/Conditioner (Use travel bottles to condense space and weight)
  • Body Wash/Soap (Use travel bottles to condense space and weight)
  • Make Up/Cosmetics
  • Face Care (cleanser, toner, moisturizer, wet wipes, face wash)
  • Lip Balm (keeps your lips moisturized for different climates)
  • Sunscreen and face lotion with SPF
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Contact lenses and solution
  • Sunglasses and prescription glasses with case
  • Shaving gear (Razors, shaving cream, aftershave)
  • Hair styling tools and products
  • Nail clippers, tweezers, scissors
  • Laundry Kit (Laundry Bag, detergent/softener, coins)
  • Sewing kit/clothing care, stain remover
  • Cologne/Perfume
  • Prescription medication (with the label/script so you won’t be questioned by TSA and can easily refill as needed)

Please Note: Items like scissors, tweezers, clipper are best packed in your checked luggage. Some airlines may allow you to carry scissors up to a certain size on your carry-on but it’s better to be safe then sorry just in case it’s not permitted.

HEALTH

Depending on where you are going you may be required to be vaccinated for certain diseases. If you’d like to check you can always visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website for a comprehensive list of travel vaccines, medicines, and general travel advice information.

  • Prescription medication (include copies of scripts to avoid TSA questioning and to easily refill wherever you may go.
  • First Aid Kit (bandages, gauze, adhesives, pain killers, etc.)
  • Cold and flu medicine
  • Pain and fever relief
  • Diarrhea/laxative medicine
  • Cold medicine and lozenges
  • Motion sickness pills/tablets
  • Allergy medicine
  • Multivitamins
  • Sunburn relief (Aloe Vera, lotion, etc.)
  • Insect repellent/sting reliever
  • Eye Drops/Solution
  • Hand sanitizer/Wet Wipes
  • Medicine and vaccinations (Specific to the country/region you visit)

ELECTRONICS

  • Mobile device and charger
  • Laptop/tablet and charger
  • iPod/MP3 player and charger
  • eReader and charger
  • Camera, memory card, and charger
  • Protective cases
  • Headphones & Earphones (you can use noise-reducing headphones to alleviate background noise)
  • Electrical adapters & converters
  • Travel Apps (downloaded with language guides, GPS, currency converter, etc.)

TRAVEL DOCUMENTS

  • Passport/Visa(s) – Check here if you need a visa
  • Driving License/Personal ID
  • Cash & Credit Cards (contact your credit card company before you travel to notify them of your travel or they may turn them off to prevent potential fraud)
  • Travel insurance documents
  • Frequent Flyer cards(s) and other loyalty/rewards program card numbers (Hotel Chains, AAA, etc.)
  • Booking confirmation and itineraries (accommodation, tours, rentals, transport, inclusive trips, etc.)
  • International Phone/Sim Card
  • Emergency contact list
  • Embassy contact list
  • Transportation Tickets/e-Tickets (for plane, bus, car, etc.)
  • Travel Guides and Maps

SECURITY

When traveling, security is extremely important. The easiest way to keep your belonging safe and secure is to keep them hidden and always close to you. Good way to do this is by locking your items in your bags and using money belts, neck wallets, RFID protection, and wallets or pouches.

ESSENTIAL “TO DO” BEFORE YOU TRAVEL

  • Notify the post office to hold your mail or if you trust a neighbor to collect your mail
  • Inform the bank/credit card company of your travel plans
  • Exchange currency
  • Stop newspaper delivery (if applicable)
  • Share your travel plans with friends and family
  • Set up an email auto-responder (if applicable)
  • Pre-pay any bills that will arrive while you’re on your trip
  • Arrange for care of pets, lawn, and plants
  • Prearrange school absences for children and complete home study assignments
  • Check-In for your flight online (best to check-in 24 hours before)
  • Empty refrigerator for anything that will expire
  • Unplug appliances
  • Turn off heater/air conditioner
  • Lock all doors/windows
  • Set up timed lighting system (if applicable)
  • Set up timed alarm (if applicable)
  • Turn down water heater
  • Store valuables in safe place (if not traveling with valuables)
  • Leave house key and trip itinerary (with trusted friend/neighbor and/or family)