When it comes to packing for a trip, whether a long-term or a weekend getaway, we love to be prepared. We try not to pack a bunch of unnecessary things, but we like to take into consideration where we will be going, what we will be doing, how long we will be gone, and what we may be missing that’s important.

It can be hard to remember what you may need (or want) to bring when the time comes to pack. I, Catherine, love to make lists, and I always make a list of what we need to pack and mark things off as we pack them.

We have put together an ultimate packing list of everything you may need, want, or have forgotten to put on your packing list!

Why is it Important to Make a List?

It is important to make a packing checklist of travel essentials so that you make sure you have everything you need for a trip.

It is easy to forget something or have it slip your mind, so if it is written down on a list, you will be less likely to forget it.

Making a list of travel essentials, travel accessories, and important documents you need for your trip will allow you to be more organized and less stressed when packing!

What if I Forget Something?

If you forget something, don’t panic! The most important things you need for a trip can usually be bought wherever you are going. We like to have everything we need, but there have been plenty of times we’ve had to find a store to buy something.

The Ultimate Travel Packing List

Make sure you are prepared for your next trip with this ultimate packing list for any vacation.

Pre-Departure Necessities

Having your essential travel documents together and in a safe place is so important! International trips usually mean more important documents than domestic trips, but either way, make sure to have all of these ready to access easily.

It’s also a good idea to make copies of most of these lists to give to someone or have as backups in case you lose one

  • Passport/Visas– you will need this if you travel internationally.

  • Emergency Contact Information & Hotel/Tour Contacts- this information is important to have in case you need to get in touch with someone. You may not always have service on your phone.

  • Copies of Tickets/Passports/Photo IDs- Printed copies of these documents are important in case you lose something while Traveling.

  • Transportation Tickets– Have printed copies of your train or plane tickets just in case.

  • Cash & Credit/Debit Cards– take some cash (make sure it’s the correct currency) in case you encounter somewhere that doesn’t take a card. Always use your credit card when traveling!

  • Personal Identification– this includes your photo ID, passport, Or visa.

  • Guide Books & Maps– these can be useful to explore new cities!

  • Reservations & Itineraries– Make an itinerary with the places you have reservations and other places you want to see. Print out the reservation information to take with you.

  • Travel Insurance Information– Protect your trip in case something goes wrong with travel insurance.


Having the right travel bag will be a lifesaver. We purchased hard-case luggage for our last international trip and we should have done it sooner!

  • Suitcase– Carry-on bags are the best for convenient traveling, but sometimes you need more space than a carry-on allows. Just make sure you have a good suitcase for carry-on luggage and a checked bag.

  • Compression bags– these are a lifesaver if you’re taking a lot of items or thicker clothes like jackets and sweaters. these will help not take up as much space in your suitcase!

  • Packing cubes– Use packing cubes to help keep your suitcase organized while traveling. Putting similar things together will help you find what you’re looking for.

  • Jewelry organizer– I love taking a jewelry organizer to keep my jewelry Safe and tangle-free!

  • Toiletry bag– A toiletry bag will keep all of your toiletry items organized and give you a place to store them in your hotel room.


Even if we are traveling for a few days, we like to carry travel-size toiletries. They take up less space allowing more room for other things, and are easy to find a place for in the bathroom.

Instead of buying travel-size items, buying travel-size refillable containers is great!

  • Shampoo

  • Conditioner

  • Body Wash

  • Toothpaste

  • Toothbrush

  • Deodorant

  • Face Cream

  • Hand Lotion

  • Contact Lens Solution

  • Travel-Size or Sample Size of Make-Up and Skin Care Items

  • Make-up remover wipes

  • Hair Ties/Bobby Pins/Hair Clip

  • Travel-Size Hair Brush

  • Travel-Size Razor/Shaving Cream

  • Hair Styling Products

  • Cotton Swabs (I can’t travel anywhere without these)

  • Sunscreen

  • Cologne/perfume

  • Feminine Hygiene Products

  • Floss

  • Nail File/Clippers

  • Tweezers

These are toiletry items you may want to have in your carry-on bag that you keep with you instead of the luggage space. These are useful during long flights.

  • Hand sanitizer– You never know how clean the plane really is.
  • Rejuvenating face spray– This will help moisturize and freshen up your face after sitting in the dry plane for many hours.
  • Eye drops– In case your eyes get dry. The cabin air and pressure can dry them out.
  • Chapstick– We can’t go anywhere without our ChapStick!
  • Saline Nasal Spray– In case your nose gets dry from the cabin air.

Remember, to get through airport security your carry-on all liquids must be under 3oz. They must also all fit into a quart-size baggie.

Personal Item Carry On

  • iPad/Tablet/E-Reader/Other electronic devices– Make sure the devices that you want to use on the plane are fully charged and easy to grab during security (including your cell phone).

  • Chargers– Don’t forget the chargers!

  • Headphones– They will give you headphones on the plane to listen to music or watch movies, but if you prefer more comfortable ones, then bring your own.

  • Puzzle Books– Crosswords and other puzzle books can be fun to pass the time by.

  • Travel Pillow– A travel pillow is a lifesaver for your neck on the plane and in the car.

  • Travel Blanket– Be sure to stay warm with a lightweight blanket.

  • Eye Mask– If you plan to sleep on the plane or in the car, be sure to bring an eye mask to keep the sun out of your eyes.

  • Ear plugs– Some people can just be noisy…

  • USB Cord- You never know when you might need one.

  • Reusable water bottle with filter– Always bring a water bottle with a filter so it can be filled up anywhere.

  • Compression socks– Compression socks will help your legs not hurt so badly when flying.

  • Gum

  • Mints

  • TSA-Approved SnacksYou can find a list here!

  • Travel-Size Medications– Tylenol, Benadryl, and other important medicines.

  • Travel-Size Tissues

  • Notebook & Pen

  • Book/Magazine– Reading is also a great way to pass the time when traveling.

Everyday Basics

When traveling to hot weather destinations, your list will be much smaller! When we traveled to Jamaica a few years ago, we only packed a few outfits, swimsuits, and sandals! When we traveled to Norway last year, we packed a lot more because we needed cold-weather gear.

The destination will determine what types of clothing and other apparel that you take. This list will have all the options, and you can choose what you will need for your trip.

  • Lightweight clothing for layering

  • Tank Tops

  • T-Shirts

  • Dress Shirts

  • Casual Shirts

  • Sweater/Sweatshirt

  • Pants

  • Belt (check out a plastic belt and a belt to keep your money safe!)

  • Shorts

  • Dresses

  • Skirts

  • Pajamas/Sleepwear

  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Sandals

  • Flip Flops

  • Dress Shoes

  • Hat

  • Gloves

  • Small jacket

  • Shawl or scarf

  • Socks

  • Underwear

  • Swimsuit/Cover Up

  • Rain Jacket

  • Sunglasses

Travel Health

It’s important to bring any medications that you take daily as well as over-the-counter medications you may need. You never know if you may get a headache, minor injury, or upset stomach while you are on vacation. It’s important to be prepared for anything!

  • Pain Reliever

  • Fever Reducer

  • Sinus Medication

  • Cold Medicine

  • Stomach Relief

  • Personal Prescriptions

  • Motion Sickness Medication

  • Vitamins

  • Throat lozenges

  • Antibiotic Ointment

  • Band-Aids

  • Small First Aid Kit

Most of these items can be found in a convenient travel size.


  • Binoculars– These are great to take if you will be traveling somewhere with a lot of scenery.

  • Language Phrase Book– If you travel outside of your home country and don’t know the language, a phrase book can help you get around better.

  • Umbrella– A small one is great in case it rains.

  • Travel Journal– If you love to write about the places you visit, these are fun to take!

  • Travel bag (Anti-Theft)– Having an anti-theft purse will make you feel more secure while traveling.

  • Neck wallet– If you don’t want to use a purse, a neck wallet will keep your personal items safe around your neck and tucked under your clothing.

  • Laundry Kit– This is great to bring on longer trips.

  • Sewing Kit– In case you have a fashion emergency.

  • Headlamp/Flashlight– We like to bring a headlamp when we travel in case we arrive somewhere at night.

  • Extra Quart Size Baggies– Packing a few extra quart-size baggies is great in case you lose or destroy the baggies that you brought your toiletries in (or if you accumulate extra toiletries).

  • Washcloths– Some places don’t offer them

  • Face Mask– Just in case.

  • Insect Repellent

  • Day Pack– If you plan to be doing some hiking on your trip.

  • Shoulder Bag– For buying groceries or other items, so you don’t have to use plastic bags.

  • Camera/Extra Memory Card/Charger

  • Adapters– If you are traveling outside of the US, you will need adapters to be able to plug in your electronic devices.

  • Watch or Travel Clock

What are your favorite items to take with you when traveling? Did we miss anything on this list? We would love to know any of your travel essentials or packing tips!

Until next time,

The Traveling Tylers