What To Pack: A Detailed Travel Packing Checklist

February 25, 2019

Traveling soon? Wondering what to pack for Hawaii or any travel destination? Let’s face it, travel packing can be a pretty inconvenient or even disastrous experience for some people.  That’s why we’ve created a travel packing guide for anyone who’s about to go on a vacation. So, avoid a vacation disaster with our travel packing tips and checklist.

What To Pack: A Detailed Travel Packing Checklist


Whether you’re headed to a domestic city or an international destination, you need pick baggage that’s lightweight yet big enough to store all your travel accessories and essentials. Of course, you’ll also need to pick luggage that’s durable as well. Trust me, traveling with a piece of baggage with a broken zipper, handle or wheel is certainly a nightmare. Furthermore, don’t forget to pick a versatile travel bag that comes with a variety of purposes.

Here are some of our recommended travel bags and luggage.

  • - Nomatic 40L backpack: Perfect for a 3-to-7-day trip, this backpack can be converted into a duffel carry-on, and comes with more than 20 innovative features.
  • - Getaway Roller: Versatile and stylish, this roller luggage secures all your travel essentials for a business trip or weekend getaway. In addition, it has a padded front pocket where you can keep your laptop safe.
  • - Preston Bag: It’s a versatile piece of luggage combining two types of bag – a garment and duffel bag. Not to mention, it’s sleek and is jam-packed with features.
  • - Andean + 70L: With its large capacity, this travel bag is ideal for long-term travelers who are about to backpack their way across a continent or the world.
  • - Securetex Anti-theft convertible backpack: It’s a practical, convertible and fashionable bag with an extraordinary safety technology.
  • - Pakto One Black: Created perfectly by seasoned travelers, Pakt One has a plethora of features that will make your trip more enjoyable and less painful.

You can find more options for bag and suitcase at this page

What To Pack: A Detailed Travel Packing Checklist


A big and versatile scarf should be on top of your travel packing checklist. Whether it’s for covering your head, dressing up an outfit or to keep you warm, a scarf has a number of purposes when traveling. As a matter of fact, you can even use them to pad a rather fragile souvenir or as an extra blanket.

What To Pack: A Detailed Travel Packing Checklist

Multi-purpose and versatile shoes 

It’s plainly ridiculous to include 4 pairs of shoes in your travel packing checklist. Not only does is it increase your load, but it also occupies a ton of space on your luggage. Luckily, there are plenty of durable, comfortable, stylish and waterproof shoes that you can bring to your trip. My favorite is Vessi’s Cityscape, which is freakishly lightweight, breathable, waterproof and chic.

What To Pack: A Detailed Travel Packing Checklist

Packing cubes 

Packing cubes are an absolute must, and should be on everyone’s travel packing list. After all, these travel necessities keep your things compact and neat, making your luggage lighter as well as more efficient and organized.

What To Pack: A Detailed Travel Packing Checklist

Travel documents 

Secure your travel documents in a small bag or compartment in your carry-on. Plus, make sure to create photocopies of all your travel documents. Here’s a list of the documents that should be on your travel packing list.

  • - Visa/passport
  • - Emergency documents – emergency contact, allergy list and health insurance card
  • - Confirmation receipts – hotel, car rental, bus and tours
  • - Boarding passes (electronic or printed)
  • - Driver’s license or any photo ID
What To Pack: A Detailed Travel Packing Checklist

Multi-purpose jacket

Looking for dual-purpose essentials to add to your travel packing list? Why not include a multi-functional jacket? Personally, I recommend Bau Bax since it has over 20 cool features, including a built-in neck pillow. Pretty cool, right?

What To Pack: A Detailed Travel Packing Checklist


Don’t pack too many clothes in places where clothing is extremely affordable, such as India and Southeast Asia. In Thailand, for instance, you can score bargained shirts and garments for as low as $3 per piece. But, for remote places and expensive destinations like Oceania and Europe, it’s essential to pack some clothes for your trip. Check out these things that should be on your travel packing checklist.

What To Pack: A Detailed Travel Packing Checklist

Travel packing list for clothes in cold climates:

Travel packing list for clothes in temperate climates:

  • Sandals or flip-flops
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Socks
  • Comfortable underwear
  • Leggings
  • Shorts with varying lengths
  • Thick pants or jeans
  • Dresses or tunic shirts (for women)
  • T-shirts
  • Long-sleeved shirts that can be used for layering
  • Tank tops that can be used for layering
  • Travel packing list for clothes in temperate climates:

  • ​​​Hat
  • Running or hiking shoes
  • Thin socks
  • Leggings or light cotton pants
  • Dresses or long skirts for conservative places (women)
  • Sleeveless tops or tank tops
  • Shorts with varying lengths (Don’t include denim to your travel packing list)
  • What To Pack: A Detailed Travel Packing Checklist

    Dry Bag

    With a Dry Bag, you’ll get to protect your phone, camera and other electronic gadgets, when it’s raining or traveling by sea. Moreover, you may use it as an extra pouch, in which all your chargers and electronics remain dry and organized.

    What To Pack: A Detailed Travel Packing Checklist


    Toiletries are one of the trickiest essentials to include to your travel packing list, especially if you want to travel light. Although they vary for every individual, there are a few general guidelines that you may follow, such as you’re only allowed to carry 100ml of every kind of toiletry on your flight.

    Here are some toiletries that you should consider adding to your travel packing checklist. And, by the way, you can skip some of these travel toiletries, when traveling to modern urban destinations with tons of 711 outlets and convenience stores.

  • Sunblock
  • Moisturizer
  • Antiperspirant or deodorant
  • Body wash or soap
  • Hair conditioner
  • Shampoo
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Also, make sure to store these items in a toiletry bag.

    What To Pack: A Detailed Travel Packing Checklist


    Surprised? Just because it’s not often included in most travel packing lists, it doesn’t mean it’s not an essential item. After all, you’ll need a pen for jotting down notes as well as filling in forms in airports. As far as I’m concerned, you should always carry a pen even when you’re not traveling.

    What To Pack: A Detailed Travel Packing Checklist

    Travel security items 

    The world, in general, isn’t as violent and scary as most of today’s news show say. Even so, you need to pack some travel items that will secure your important documents and belongings. Additionally, try to book a hotel or hostel that offers either a lock box or in-room safe.

    Check out these cool items that you might want to include to your travel packing list.

  • Headlamp: It takes a small amount of space in your baggage, and may save you from tons of pitch black experiences and encounters.
  • Travel lock: It’s a great tool that lets you lock up your luggage before you check it in.
  • Money belt: It’s perfect for long overland travel days or overnight train travel when you’re carrying all your important possessions.
  • Emergency whistle: If you’re backpack doesn’t have a whistle, please grab this travel accessory.

  • First aid (optional) 

    Do I need a mini first aid kit for my vacation? Well, not really. Not every traveler I know packs a first aid kit. Besides, you’ll normally find these things when traveling. Still, it seems a terrific idea to pack one or a couple of packets or doses of each of these things, and create your own first aid kit.

  • Travel-size sewing kit
  • Deet or any bug repellant
  • Antibacterial gel or wipes
  • Motion sickness tablets
  • Allergy pills
  • Upset stomach medicines
  • Digestion tablets
  • Travel-size tissue packets
  • Band-aid
  • Pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medicines
  • Prescription medication
  • What To Pack: A Detailed Travel Packing Checklist

    Smart Phone

    Clearly, it’s a must even when you’re not traveling. With dozens of cool features, you can use it to navigate around the city, take quick photos and keep up with your family and friends back home. This is where we buy our smart phones.

    What To Pack: A Detailed Travel Packing Checklist


    Why bring a camera and include it to your travel packing checklist? As Katie Thurmes said, “we take photos as a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone”. So, bring a camera that will take your travel photos up a notch. If money isn’t an issue, buy a drone, and use it thoroughly on your trips.

    What To Pack: A Detailed Travel Packing Checklist

    Power Bank

    Everybody has one. These electronic items provide extra juice for your electronic items, keeping your camera and phone alive while on the road.

    What To Pack: A Detailed Travel Packing Checklist


    Traveling to a tropical paradise?  Then, pack a swimsuit or two for your heavenly beach vacation. There are countless of dazzling and eye-catching swimwear and bikinis at this shop.

    What To Pack: A Detailed Travel Packing Checklist

    Water bottle 

    There’s no shortage of options for water bottles for travelers. Personally, though, I prefer to bring a metal water bottle when traveling. Not only are they long lasting, but they are more hygienic as well. I bring one every time I travel and I refill it in places with clean fountains and water drinking stations.  

    What To Pack: A Detailed Travel Packing Checklist


    I know what you’re thinking. Why buy maps when you’ve got Waze, Google maps or any GPS mobile phone app? Believe it or not, maps can be a life-saver as you explore a city or destination. Take note, you’ll never know if you’ll have a decent signal using GPS.

    What To Pack: A Detailed Travel Packing Checklist


    They don’t call sunglasses as a timeless classic and one of the most important travel accessories for nothing. With a pair of good sunnies, you get to protect your eyes from the harmful UV-B and UV-A rays. And, did I mention that it can add more flair and style to your travel outfit?

    What To Pack: A Detailed Travel Packing Checklist

    International travel adapter

    There are numerous travel adapters that are compatible with over 150 countries around the world. If you’re traveling to different countries in one trip, I suggest that you include this travel accessory to your travel packing list.

    What To Pack: A Detailed Travel Packing Checklist


    Don’t forget to take your vitamins! That’s what moms and days usually to say to us. For those who are planning to do a ton of activities on their vacation, you should pack a vitamin supplement for your trip. My favorite vitamin supplement, when traveling, is the Sports Formula Fruit Punch. Every packet of this supplement is freshly sealed with a mixture of essential amino acids, minerals, digestive enzymes and raw minerals.

    What To Pack: A Detailed Travel Packing Checklist

    More travel packing tips 

    Don’t fold your clothes 

    Rolling, as far as travel packing is concerned, is by far superior to folding. Clothes that are tightly rolled take up less space, compared to their folded counterparts. Not to mention, they are less likely to get deep wrinkles from the bag’s fold creases.

    Fill dead space 

    Make use for each little inch of bag or suitcase that you possibly can. Roll socks, underwear, tops or any other small item, and stuff them into your shoes to fill every possible space.

    Create a travel packing list

    Start your travel packing list a few days or weeks prior to your departure date. That way, you’ll have enough time to create a complete travel packing list and purchase any additional travel accessories that you’ll need for your vacation. Crafting a travel packing list ensures that you’ll never forget to bring your must-have travel essentials.

    Keep it fresh 

    Keep your clothes smelling sweet and fresh throughout the trip by taking scented drawer liners, fabric conditioner sheets or potpourri.

    Know your limits 

    Luggage allowance varies from one airline company to another. Before you reach the airport, make sure that you’re aware of the luggage limitations of your airline. Otherwise, you might be forced to pay costly charges at the gate.

    Weigh your luggage 

    Speaking of hefty travel fees, keep an eye on your luggage’s weight limit by investing in a luggage scale. And, if you’re close to the weight limit, consider cutting down on what you’ve pack in the first place or wearing the heavier items.

    Don’t pack too many clothes 

    There are two good reasons why you shouldn’t pack too many clothes. First, you’ll bring back a bunch of souvenirs and buy more clothes on your vacation, so you’ll need extra space for your luggage. Second, you’ll probably end up wearing the same clothes for the whole duration of your trip.

    Get insured 

    Sometimes, no matter how prepared you are, things can go wrong. That’s why you need to get an insurance policy for your vacation. With a travel insurance policy, you can replace those travel accessories in case they are stolen or get lost when you are traveling.

    What To Pack: A Detailed Travel Packing Checklist

    Score amazing bargains on these incredible travel accessories by shopping them at our shop

    Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips & Tricks

    Book your accommodations

    Let's face it.  Expedia, hotels.com (and all the other hotel booking engines) typically earn huge margins off of you.  You might think you're getting a deal, but you're not getting a deal.  Want the best deal when you book your hotels?   Of course you do! With Trekeffect you can get FREE access to discounted hotel prices and save a bunch of money.  

    How does it work? Simple... 
    1. Sign up for Trekeffect [FREE]
    2. Click the hotels tab in the navigation
    3. Search for the city you are visiting
    4. Book a hotel and save a ton of money

    Shop for Travel Essentials

    Get all of your essential travel gear right from our store. We hand pick the best travel products. Get everything from luggage to camping gear and other travel accessories for your trip. 

    Book your flight

    Find cheap flights using SkyScanner. This search engine is are our favorite, making sure you get the best deal for tickets all over the world.  They are great at aggregating flights from multiple providers.  

    Don't forget travel insurance

    Protects yourself against illness, injury, theft, and even cancellations with travel insurance. You're buying comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. We never recommend traveling without it. We’ve been using World Nomads, a great company, with great service and highly recommend them.

         - World Nomads (for everyone below 70)

         - Travelx Insurance (for those over 70)

    Looking for the best companies to save money with?

    Check out our resource page for the absolute best companies to use when you travel! We list our favorite companies that save people the most money when they travel and we think it will help you too!

    Disclosure: Some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you make a purchase. We only recommend products and companies we use and the income keeps the community supported. 

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    Bryn Wied
    Bryn Wied is an outdoor enthusiast and serious travelaholic. She explores every inch of the globe in her Sanuk flip flops with her favorite travel buddy/hubby Matt. Matt and Bryn live in California where they blog, surf, snowboard and raise kids in between road trips and camping adventures.
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