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The Ultimate Packing List for Every Trip

By Serita Braxton | Last updated on

ultimate packing list suitcase

No matter how much you travel, there are times when you still manage to forget your toothbrush. It’s an item that you use every single day but with the stress of trying to remember all of your travel essentials there’s always something left behind.

Not anymore! We have created the ultimate packing list so that you’ll always know what to pack for a trip.

Whether you’re getting ready for an adventure excursion in the mountains, are jet setting to a business meeting or want to have everything you need in your carry on, you’ll be fully stocked with all of the essential items for travel. Read on for the full ultimate packing list, or download the printable packing list here.

But before we get into the details, don’t miss these travel essentials you didn’t even know you needed (but now that you do, you’ll never travel without them):

two sets of hands with clear nail polish
Image by Rashid Khreiss via Unsplash

Clear Nail Polish

Not only can you throw a coat on your nails for a natural gloss but you can also add a dab to your hosiery to stop runs from getting worse or stop your shoelaces from fraying. Is that ring that you picked up at a stand during your trip turning your finger green? No need to toss it, cover the inside of the metal with clear polish to create a barrier against your skin.

dog in large scarf from ultimate packing list
Image by Benjamin Lehman via Pexels

Large Scarf

When you’re traveling to cold weather you may automatically wrap yourself in a scarf, but this should be on your ultimate packing list for every trip. Not only can you use it to bundle up in inclement weather but it’s a must-have on the plane. Cold? Use it as a blanket. Tired? Wrap it around your head rest for support. Backache? Stuff it behind your lower back for more comfort. Spilled your coffee on your shirt during turbulence? Instant cover up. The list goes on, but you get the point.

Once you get off the plane its uses don’t stop, especially when traveling through different climates or countries. For Nabeena Mali, co-founder of Soulscape it’s one her essential items for travel:

“The one thing I don’t travel without is a scarf. In a continent like Asia, it not only provides shade from the sun but warmth during the evening. It’s also extremely useful for covering your shoulders or legs when entering religious spaces and can even be folded in such a way to act as a bag.”

blue building with door stop
Image by Pietro De Grandi via Stocksnap

Door Stop

Before you go, grab a door stop and throw it into your suitcase. While you’re traveling you can wedge it under your door as an added security measure. This ultimate packing list item can give you an extra piece of mind if you’re staying in a shared house or hostel but have rented a private room. You can also use it in your hotel room or at the front door of your rented apartment.

hand plugging cord into power strip
Image by Idyshah via Pixabay

Power Strip and Plug Adaptor

The world is full of so many different things to marvel at, including outlets. The U.S. has very different outlets from Europe and even places within Europe have distinctive plugs. Think about all of the devices you’ll have to charge – your international cell phone, your camera, your tablet, and more. A universal adaptor plug will become an essential part of your ultimate packing list especially if you’re planning to travel to different countries throughout your trip.

Add a multi-plug power strip or USB charging station so that you’ll be fully charged no matter how many devices you have. You can even help out some fellow travelers along the way. BJ Enoch of SocialSEO shares:

“There’s something about airports that switches people into Lord of The Flies mode when it comes to power outlets, but almost anyone is happy to let you plug in a power strip and have them plug into it. Suddenly you’re everyone’s friend.”

packing cubes on ultimate packing list
Image by JDLT Maxson via Pixabay

Packing Cubes

Once it’s time to put your travel essentials to use there’s nothing worse than endlessly digging through your bag to try and find them. Before putting anything in your suitcase get your things sorted and easier to find with packing cubes. Travel blogger Julianna Barnaby of The Discoveries Of uses them to make getting dressed a breeze:

“For short trips, I generally pack a cube with each day’s clothing etc, so I can quickly grab that day’s cube with everything I’ll need for that day. I also pack a separate cube with all my leads and electronic devices so they don’t end up everywhere in my case. They save so much time and the hassle of having to dig through everything in your suitcase to find one item of clothing.”

items from ultimate packing list
Image by Chatree Petjan via Stocksnap

The Ultimate Packing List for Vacation

No matter what the weather might be, what activities you have planned or what destination you’re traveling to, this list is full of all the travel essentials you’ll need!

Carry With You

Passport/ID/visa Bandaids Empty water bottle
Boarding pass(es) Medications (labeled) Phone charger
Itinerary Pain relievers Portable power bank
Guidebook First-aid ointment Earplugs
Hand sanitizer Tissues Sewing kit
Credit cards Insurance cards/documents Cash
Sanitizer wipes/spray Eye mask Neck pillow
Books Pen and paper Lip moisturizer
Food/snacks Valuables House/car keys
Extra outfit Emergency contact list

Personal Items

Toothbrush Toothpaste Floss
Mouthwash Facewash Face lotion
Deodorant Moisturizer Soap
Body wash Shampoo Conditioner
Hair styling products Hairbrush Comb
Cologne/perfume Mini mirror Tweezers
Thermometer Antibacterial/hydrocortisone cream Moleskin
Contact lenses/case/solution Prescription glasses/sunglasses Glasses case
Eye drops Makeup Makeup remover
Razor Shaving cream Vitamins
Birth control Feminine-hygiene products Sunscreen
Clear nail polish Nail clippers/ file Travel towel
Dental emergency kit Travel size liquid containers Clear quart-size bag

Gadgets

Phone Camera Camera bag/accessories
Camera battery Action camera Tablet
Detachable keyboard Laptop Device chargers
Charging station Travel speaker Noise cancelling headphones
Earbuds E-book reader Humidifier
Multi plug power strip Universal adapter plug Unlocked cell phone/SIM card

Clothes & Accessories

Underwear Socks/hosiery Bras
Undershirts Sleepwear T-shirts
Long sleeve shirts Sweaters/sweatshirts Jeans
Shorts Dresses Skirts
Athletic shoes Casual shoes Sandals/flip-flops
House shoes Belts Scarf/bandana
Dress shirt Formalwear Ties
Dress shoes Purses Backpack

Warm Weather Destinations

Sunscreen Tanning oil Lip balm with SPF
Sunburn spray Cooling spray/mist Sunglasses
Hat/visor Insect repellent Beach bag/backpack
Small waterproof bag Portable fan Flip-flops/sandals
Swimwear Cover-up Beach towel

Cold Weather Destinations

Scarf Warm socks Hand and feet warmers
Thermal tops Thermal leggings Neck warmer
Fleece/jumpers Waterproof outerwear Jacket/coat
Non-slip shoes/boots Gloves Hats
Umbrella

Adventure Destinations

Flashlight Dry bag Waterproof outerwear
Medical kit Goggles Anti-fog spray
Face mask Protective gloves Sunglass with UV lenses
Helmet Pads for elbows/knees Waterproof clothing
Padded clothing Hiking boots/shoes Waterproof socks
Water shoes Waterproof bag cover Poncho
Snorkel gear Water purifier Motion sickness medicine
Combination lock Travel safe wallet Snowboard/skis

Packing Aids and More

Luggage scale Packing cubes Stain remover
Laundry bag Laundry detergent Dryer sheets
Clothesline Door stop Resealable bags
Silk sheet/sleeping bag Reusable straws Travel case with document

Carry On Only Ultimate Packing List

Passport/ID/visa Undergarments Lip moisturiser
Boarding pass(es) Sleepwear Deodorant
Cash/credit cards/insurance cards Socks/hosiery Eye mask
Electronic devices Shoes Ear plugs
Device chargers Purses/travel bag Eye mask
Power bank/adapter Travel size liquids (face wash, bodywash, lotion, etc.) Neck pillow
Tops Vitamins/medicines/birth control Books
Bottoms Hair brush/comb Valuables
Jumpers First aid kit Emergency contact list

Wish you had a printable packing list to check off your items? Well, now you can! Download the ultimate packing list pdf here.

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