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Your essential travel packing list

minute read

    Are you looking to travel more but the idea of packing or not having everything you need makes you nervous? Fear not — a travel packing list can make sure you have all the things you need to make your trip comfortable and, as a bonus, can help make sure you don't forget anything on the way back.

    Must-have travel items

    No matter where you're going or what you're doing on your trip, there are some essential travel items that you shouldn't leave home without:

    • Clothing
    • Toiletries
    • Chargers


    • Clean clothes for each day
    • Pajamas
    • Travel clothing
    • Socks

    Of course, you can't forget to pack clean clothes to wear on your trip. Before you start pulling items out of your dresser, sit down and make a list of the things you'll be doing and the type of outfits you'll likely need. Having this packing list will ensure you remember that nice outfit for a fancy dinner or a comfortable pair of sneakers for the hike you have planned.

    Don't forget to include a pair or two of pajamas and clothing you'll be comfortable enough to travel in on the way home. You may also want to throw in an extra outfit or two just in case. And don't forget socks!


    • Toothbrush
    • Toothpaste
    • Floss
    • Mouthwash
    • Lotion
    • Facial cleanser
    • Shampoo
    • Conditioner
    • Hairbrush
    • Razor
    • Prescription medications
    • Antacids
    • Pain relievers
    • First aid items

    The week before you leave take note of the toiletries you use on a regular basis. This will likely include things like your toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, lotion, facial cleanser, shampoo, conditioner, hairbrush and razor. For maximum comfort on your trip, plan on bringing all these essentials with you. If you don't plan on checking a bag, you can purchase TSA carry-on approved containers to put some of your products in instead.

    You'll also want to remember to bring any prescription medications you take regularly. It might help to let your doctor know of your trip in advance — they may be able to give you extra doses if you'll be gone during a refill. Also consider over-the-counter medications you take regularly, such as antacids or pain relievers, for instance If you wear glasses or contacts, remember to pack those as well. Consider including first aid items in your toiletries bag. You never know when you might need a bandage!


    • Phone charger
    • Tablet charger
    • E-reader charger
    • Headphones charger
    • Smart watch charger

    Electronic chargers are some of the easiest things to forget. Make a list of electronic items you'll be bringing with you — phone, tablet, e-reader, wireless earphones, smart watch — and make sure you have the chargers for all of them.

    Pro tip: Leave your list of necessary chargers near your keys in the morning so you're forced to remember to go back and grab that phone charger you were using last night.

    Things to make travel easier

    Once you have the essentials covered, there are a whole host of items you can pack to make travel easier and more comfortable.


    • Noise-canceling headphones. Getting sleep in a noisy environment can be tough but bringing a pair of noise canceling headphones can help solve that problem. Not only can they keep noise out, but they can also play soothing music, podcasts or whatever helps you relax.
    • External battery. If you're traveling to an unfamiliar place, you may find yourself relying on your phone for information and guidance more than usual. Eliminate the fear of a dead battery by bringing along an external battery. Most are small enough to throw into your pocket or purse and can provide juice to your phone even on the longest days.

    Packing items

    • Luggage scale. One of the most stressful parts about flying is worrying that your suitcase will be too heavy and incur extra charges. A good way to avoid this is by packing a luggage scale. They're usually compact, handheld devices with a hook on the end. Just hook it on to your bag, pull, weigh and throw it back into your carry-on.
    • Packing cubes. Packing cubes provide a way to pack your clothing in a compact and organized way without taking up a ton of room.
    • Steamer. If you're headed somewhere for a special event, you may want to bring a travel-sized steamer with you. That way you won't have to worry about whether your hotel room will have an iron available, and you can travel without stress knowing your clothes will be wrinkle-free.
    • Hanging toiletry bag. There are few things more annoying when traveling than constantly rummaging through a toiletry bag and trying to balance everything on a hotel bathroom counter. You may want to try a hanging toiletry bag to hang from a towel hook and dig through the many organized compartments stress-free.


    • Travel pillow. For ultimate comfort, you'll want to bring your own travel pillow. This will help you sleep comfortably on any mode of transportation and can even provide extra comfort if your hotel doesn't have the best pillows. An eye mask may also be a good idea, as it can block out light to help you sleep.
    • Compression socks. Flying can be uncomfortable for some people, especially as hours of inactivity can cause lower extremities to swell. A simple way to combat this is with compression socks. Throw a pair in your carry on and then either at your gate or once you get to your seat, put them on to help mitigate any swelling.
    • Anti-nausea bands. Air travel, as well as car and boat travel, can also cause nausea in some people. If you're someone who suffers from motion sickness, you may want to consider packing anti-nausea wristbands.

    Safety and security

    • Luggage lock. A combination luggage lock is an easy way to give you peace of mind if you worry about the security of your bags. Make sure the lock you purchase is TSA approved so agents can open your bag if needed.
    • Door alarm. If staying in hotels makes you nervous, a great way to ease those fears is with a portable doorstop. It slides right under the door and will emit a loud alarm if anyone tries to open the door. This could also be a useful product if you have a little one who likes to escape their room during the night, a habit that could prove to be dangerous in an unfamiliar place.

    International travel packing list

    If you're traveling internationally, there are some items you'll want to pack to help make the trip a bit easier. Universal wall adapter that will adapt for plug shapes and voltage requirements worldwide. RIFD-blocking passport case to protect your passport from digital theft.

    Required documentation for a visa, if necessary. Universal airplane phone mount to make watching videos on your phone easier for long flights.

    Wireless adapter so you can use your wireless earbuds with the plane's entertainment system.

    What's more

    Traveling is often an amazing experience but can be nerve-racking if you feel unprepared. Making and adhering to a travel packing list can help eliminate stress so you're as comfortable as possible on your next adventure.

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