Our complete travel packing checklist

travel packing checklist

Most of the time, a travel packing list can take the most unpleasant part of a trip, the packing, and turn it into something stress-free. The stress that you might forget something essential, the small space in the suitcase and the weight limit you may have are factors that make packing a burden. To make your work easier, we have prepared a list of useful tips for travel packing that will help you pack as fast as you can say “travel”!

Travel Packing List Guide

One of the most stressful parts of a trip is packing your luggage. One of the main reasons is that you don’t want to forget anything at home. But how can you be sure that you packed everything and you don’t leave anything at home?

We prepared a complete guide, tips for travel packing, and also a travel packing list that you can use to make sure you don’t forget anything and that everything fits your bags.

If you are flying, the first thing you have to do before packing or even plan your travel packing list is to check the luggage limits with your airline company. Most airline companies have size and weight limits for checked-in and carry-on luggage. If you go over the limits, you might have to pay an extra fee or even have to take some items out to meet the limits.

Before packing, you should consider making a travel packing list of everything you need. Think about what you use on an ordinary day and it is absolutely essential and then divide them into categories:

  • Clothes and spare linen
  • Shoes
  • Cosmetics
  • Medicines
  • Electronics
  • Documents

Take with you any medications you think you may need (aspirin, ibuprofen) or your doctor’s treatment. Put disinfectant patches in the luggage. And if you have a sensitive sleep, take your earplugs and a sleep mask.

Don’t forget the spare chargers or batteries for the devices you take with you: phone charger, laptop, camera, tablet, etc. If you are traveling by plane, consult the airline guidelines regarding extra batteries and power banks.

You should also consider what you might need during your flight or on the road and add those items on your travel packing list too. Add essential items such as money, credit or debit cards, documents, travel tickets, hotel reservations, medicines, and travel insurance, in your handbag or carry-on bag. If you are traveling by airplane, make sure you do not add any prohibited items in your carry-on bag such as sharp objects, flammable substances and make sure that all the substances you have in your carry-on bag are travel size.

Check the weather of the destination you are going to visit 1-2 days in advance. Once you know approximately what weather is waiting for you, it will be much easier for you to choose your clothes. Choose suitable clothing items, and if rainy weather is announced, put a light cape and waterproof shoes in your luggage. If it’s sunny, don’t forget your sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat (or something to keep you in the shade), and a bathing suit.

Try not to add things to your travel packing list, or your luggage, that you are not likely to use. For example, if you are not an active person (you don’t work out, jog, etc.), do not pack running shoes. If this is the case, there is a low chance you will start working out on your holiday and you will occupy space in your bag with unnecessary things.

tips for travel packing

Choose the right luggage for your trip and according to your travel packing list. If you are planning to go on a 3-4 day city break, all you need is a small troller or a well-organized backpack. If you are going on a business trip, you can opt for a backpack that has a dedicated laptop compartment.

Plan your outfit, for each day of the holiday, depending on the activity. Think about what you would like to do on the trip and choose the most suitable clothing items. If you want to explore the city, pack comfortable shoes and a backpack in which you always have a bottle of water. If you are preparing for the beach, don’t forget your slippers, sunscreen, but also a sweatshirt for evenings on the sand.

Pack complete outfits, not just individual pieces. This way you will be able to decide more easily on the clothes you will take with you. Put versatile items in your luggage that fit in multiple contexts. Thus, even if you do not stick to the initial plan, you can combine the clothes for any occasion that arises. Choose clothes that have compatible color palettes and make sure they fit in several combinations, for more flexibility.

Wrap several thin clothes. Thin clothes are perfect for hot or cold weather. If you will have climate change during your vacation, pack items such as simple t-shirts, a light jacket, a sweatshirt, and a scarf – you can take them off whenever it’s hot and they are good to have on hand when it’s cold.

Arrange all the elements on your travel packing list in the luggage according to the priority of use. Think about the moment you reach your destination. What is the first thing you need? Deodorant or a clean pair of jeans? Keep hygiene products on top in a sealing bag to prevent them from spilling into your luggage. Fragile objects are always packed in the middle of the suitcase. For extra protection, you can wrap them in a T-shirt or sweatshirt.

You can find other useful tips for travel packing and also a complete travel packing list below.

travel packing list

Useful tips for travel packing and your travel packing list

Here are a few useful tips for travel packing to keep in mind when preparing your travel luggage:

  • If you travel by plane or train, wear the thickest clothes: a thick sweater, or a voluminous jacket. This will help you use the space saved in your luggage for other things.
  • Put all cosmetics in a sealing bag to prevent them from leaking into your luggage. For short trips or city breaks, buy shampoo, shower gel, deodorant, toothpaste and moisturizer in the travel size versions. Remember that if you fly, your products can have a maximum of 100ml.
  • Don’t pack any flammable products such as hairspray, hair mousse, or aerosol deodorant. You will have to discard them at the airport security check.
  • There are certain things that you don’t need to add to your travel packing list or your luggage. For example, you don’t need to pack towels. All hotels, hostels, Airbnb locations, or apartments provide clean towels for visitors.
  • You don’t need a hairdryer. Even if you will not find it in all the hotel rooms, you can ask for one at the hotel reception.
  • Try not to overstuff your luggage. Keep some free space for souvenirs or other things you might want to buy from the place you are visiting.
  • If you are traveling by airplane, always check your luggage size limits. If you go over the size or weight limit, you might have to pay an extra fee.
  • Take transparent zip-lock plastic bags with you. They are very useful when you have to separate certain clothes from the rest of the luggage. For example, you can separate dirty or wet clothes from clean ones. You can also store shoes, cosmetics, or souvenirs.
  • Don’t pack too many things. A long travel packing list might seem like a good idea, but it is not. Often times, we tend to add way too many clothes in our luggage. Spend some time on planning and you will most likely reduce the number of clothing items in your luggage.
  • Before packing, research clothes prices for your destination. It is sometimes cheaper and easier to buy certain clothes at your destination than to take them from home.
  • When traveling with carry-on luggage, make sure you spread the weight evenly or try to put the heavier objects on the bottom of the luggage. This way, when you take your hand off it, it won’t topple over.
  • You can ask at the check-in counter for a fragile sticker and place it on your luggage. Most of the time, luggage marked as fragile is taken off the plane first and is usually handled with a lot more care.
  • When choosing a bag, make sure you can recognize it easily. Also, you can tag your bags and add bands on the handles. This way, it is less likely that someone will take your bag by mistake and the bands also protect the bag from accidentally opening.
  • Although it is not always possible, you should try to wear your heaviest and most space taking clothes. This way, you save some space in your luggage and you make sure you don’t go over the luggage weight limit.
  • Think about what you want to pack. Do not pack sports shoes if you are not running or jogging at home. It is most likely that you will not do it on your holiday either.
  • When getting ready for a trip, you should always make a travel packing list. It will save you a lot of time and you won’t forget important things at home. You can check our travel packing checklist below.
  • If you are making a travel packing list, make sure you make it during a couple of days. This way, you can remember things that you might have left out.

Check out Go Experimental’s travel packing video on YouTube

Packing Methods

The next tip on the tips for travel packing is how to pack your luggage according to the items you are packing. We have prepared three methods to pack your clothes, which you can adapt to the volume of your luggage.

Folding clothes

This is the most familiar method of packaging. It is fast and easy, but not very efficient in terms of space use. However, it remains a valid option if you want your clothes not to wrinkle too much.

If you opt for this option, the best solution is to pack ready-to-wear outfits: pants and t-shirt on the first day, pants and blouse on the second day, and so on. In the spaces left free and on the edge of the luggage, put your underwear and socks. It is a good option for you if you will unpack directly when you arrive at your destination.

Layered packaging

The layered packaging method is suitable for clothes that tend to wrinkle. All you have to do is wrap the clothes in each other: fold a shirt, wrap it in a sweater, wrap it in a sweatshirt, and so on. Towards the outside, pack the clothes that are harder to wrinkle. Theoretically, it is a good technique, but it is not suitable in all scenarios. Packing t-shirts or shorts may not be the most effective method. This is a great method in terms of space used, but it can be difficult to find or take out something from the luggage while traveling.

Roll packing

This is by far the most efficient way to use the space if you have clothes that do not wrinkle. Roll up your t-shirts, blouses, and pants and place them next to each other in your luggage. In the open spaces, you will have room for socks and underwear. By rolling, you will compress the clothes a lot and you will remove the excess air, which helps you to pack almost twice as many clothes in the same luggage, compared to the other two techniques.

Travel Packing List: The Complete Checklist

If you enjoyed our tips for travel packing and found our complete travel packing list useful, don’t forget to share them with your friends. Do you pack certain items that are not on the list? Leave your suggestions and ideas in the comments below. They will surely help other fellow travelers pack their bags faster and easier.

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