Pack your bags – vacation started!

Finally, vacation season is starting!!!

Destinations more or less exotic are waiting and alluring us from TV and computer screens or from the windows of the traveling agencies.

However, picking the right destination and securing your lucky ticket to temporary paradise is only the first step.

Your entire trip experience is very much dependent on your smart packing skills.

Whether this is your first trip or your hundredth trip, it’s always helpful to have a rundown of what items you may want to pack so you have a travel checklist.

And, to save you the trouble of going through tens and hundreds of such lists, we reviewed many of them and wiped together the mother of all lists for you.

Step 1: Collect Important Travel Documents, Cash, and Credit Cards

Think about including the following documents:

  • Passport/visa(s)
  • Personal ID, including a student ID card if you have one
  • Frequent flyer card(s) and other loyalty program cards such as a hotel or hostel
  • Cash (multicurrency also) and credit card(s)
  • Health insurance cards/document(s)
  • Travel insurance info
  • Reservations and itineraries
  • Hotel and/or tour contact information
  • Transportation tickets (plane, train, bus, car, etc.)
  • Emergency contacts and important addresses

It’s always a good idea to double-check your passports and IDs aren’t expired. You’ll also might want to inform your bank if you’re traveling abroad so they don’t assume fraudulent activity and freeze your card.

Useful tip: email yourself a copy of your passport, driver’s license, medical cards and itinerary, so if anything happens to them you’ll be able to access them online.

Trust me: it is all worth the bother. And while are at the safety tips, make sure the place you’ll be staying at has a safety deposit in the room or at the reception and place your valuables in there, including your travel documents and carry with you copies of it plus your driving license. It was THE one thing that saved my otherwise fabulous vacation in Vietnam from ending in a total disaster after my purse was snatched from me by a skilled rider on a motorcycle during a leisurely tour around Ho Chi Min city on the motorbikes with my friends.

Step 2: Prepare Carry-On Bag

The next thing you’ll want to do is prepare your personal item carry-on bag with anything you’ll want with you on the flight. It’s always a good idea to make sure you have an outfit (or two) and a few essential toiletries in your personal item just in case your luggage is lost. If you’ll be travelling with kids remember to take something that will keep them entertained, otherwise the never ending story of “Are we there yet?” will not only keep you entertained, but also all co-passengers.

Step 3: Organize Your Stuff

When you have many different types of activities making sure that you have all you need and at the same time don’t book a shipment container to have enough space for your stuff can be a challenge. Having options doesn’t necessarily mean you need to over-pack. Just pack smart. Include clothing that can be worn on your adventures and then dressed up slightly with a different pair of shoes and a scarf.

Here are items you don’t want to forget:

  • Lightweight clothing that can be layered
  • Shirts
  • Pants and/or shorts
  • Socks
  • Sweaters
  • Jacket
  • T-shirts
  • Belt
  • Sleepwear
  • Underwear
  • Sunglasses
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • A swimsuit or swim trunks

Step 4: Pack Your Toiletry Bag

If you’re carrying on, keep your toiletry bag light and TSA-compliant. The TSA’s rule is easy to remember: liquids, gels, aerosols, creams, and pastes must be 100ml or less per container and they must be in a 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag. Having checked luggage gives you more packing freedom, of course

The Toiletry Bag Basics

  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash
  • Hair brush or comb, hair ties, bobby pins
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Sunscreen
  • Make up
  • Face wash and/or makeup remover wipes Moisturizer
  • Lotion
  • Lip balm
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Extra contacts, solution, and case

Most of wives believes that they are responsible for her husband’s packing  by default. If you are one of them then probably this part of the list will also have the mandatory 2 in 1 shower gel, “his” tooth paste & toothbrush and the deodorant. And, sometimes, a shaving kit.

Step 5: Pack Your Day Bag

A lightweight, versatile day bag can be used in a variety of ways and help you stay comfortable and prepared.

Hallelujah! You are done with your packing! If you want to take it to the next level and pack like a pro, here are some packing hacks you can use.

Last, but not least:

Step 6: Prepare Your Home

  • Arrange care of pets and plants
  • Arrange regular mailbox emptying
  • Pre-pay bills
  • Prearrange school absences for children
  • Empty refrigerator
  • Unplug appliances
  • Turn down water heater
  • Turn off washing machine taps
  • Lock all doors and windows
  • Set up timed light system if possible
  • Store valuables in a safe place
  • Leave house key and trip itinerary with a trusted friend or relative
  • Reconfirm/check-in online with airline


Use our Travel Checklist.

Have a fantastic trip and make loads of memories!