Vacations can be so much fun. They’re a great way to refresh and escape everyday life’s stressors. But if you aren’t well-prepared, your vacation could quickly become stressful in its own right. Worse yet, an ill-planned or poorly executed trip could lead to ruined vacations, resentment toward travel partners, or even missed flights home due to overpacked suitcases. Luckily, with just a little bit of planning and foresight, you can have the best vacation ever while also keeping overhead low by avoiding excess baggage fees and check-in annoyances. An organized packing list will go a long way toward helping you achieve those goals – here is the ultimate checklist for packing for your next trip:
1. Pre-trip Vacation Checklist
Before you can start packing for your trip, you’ll need to do a few things to prepare. These pre-trip vacation checklist items can be broken down into three distinct areas: advance research, packing, and logistics. Advance research is important to ensure you can reach your destination on time and without incident.
Make sure you check the following items off your pre-trip checklist:
- Flight, train, or bus reservation – If you’re travelling by air or by train, you’ll need to book your transportation ahead of time.
- Lodging reservations – If you’re going on a trip that requires you to stay in hotels or other lodgings, make sure to book them as soon as possible to make sure you can get the best rates.
- Visas, vaccinations, or other travel documents – Be sure to check with the government to ensure you have any travel documents required by the destination.
- Your passport (or other travel documents) – You don’t want to forget your passport if you travel internationally.
- Your travel itinerary and phone numbers of key contacts – Keep all information related to your itinerary and significant phone numbers in a place you won’t forget them.
- Extra batteries for electronic devices – You don’t want to run out of power on vacation.
- Travel insurance – A travel insurance policy is a wise idea if you’re travelling internationally.
2. Vacation Packing List: Essentials You Need
These are the items you should always have on your vacation packing list.
- Packing cubes – Packing cubes are particularly helpful for keeping your clothes organized.
- Comfortable clothing – Most importantly, you’ll want to make sure to pack clothing that is comfortable and that you feel good in.
- Comfortable shoes – You’ll want to make sure to pack some comfortable shoes.
- Travel toiletry bag – You’ll want to make sure to pack a small travel toiletry bag.
- Travel pillow – If you’re someone who likes to use a pillow while you sleep, make sure to pack a travel pillow.
- Water bottle – You’ll want to make sure to pack a water bottle, so you have easy access to water.
- Hand sanitiser – You’ll want to make sure to pack hand sanitiser so you can easily clean your hands when necessary.
- Medications – Make sure to pack any medications you take regularly.
- Laptop and charger – If you have a laptop, make sure to pack it as well as its charger.
3. Choose the right vacation bag for yourself
You have probably seen some ridiculously large backpacks out there, so big that you could fit all your worldly possessions inside. And you may have also seen some tiny bags that would hold absolutely nothing. When you’re choosing the perfect bag, your best bet is to find a happy middle ground. You don’t want to carry around a bag that is so heavy that it makes you tired just looking at it, but you also don’t want to choose a bag that is too small and holds so little that you constantly have to stop to dump out the contents. When choosing your bag, look for the following features:
- Comfortable carrying straps. – The first thing you’ll want to look at is the carrying straps. Your bag should have comfortable straps to carry without hurting your back.
- Large, clear bag pockets. – You’ll want to make sure your bag has large, clear bag pockets so you can see exactly what’s inside.
- Internal and external organization. – Your bag should also have good internal and external organization so you can keep everything in its proper place.
4. How to Organize Your Vacation Bag
The best way to stay organized is to create a packing list with a column for each item you plan to pack. And then, as you pack each item, write it down in the appropriate column in your packing list, so you don’t forget anything. Although there are many ways to pack for a vacation, here are a few general packing tips that will help you stay as organized as possible:
- Pack a toiletry bag for all your toiletries. – Put all your toiletries in a large toiletry bag so that you can access them easily and keep them all together.
- Organize your clothes by type. – Put all your shirts together in one section, your pants in another section, and so on.
- Pack your shoes separately from your clothes. – Put your shoes in a separate bag or shoe bag so they don’t damage your clothes or get them all dusty.
- Pack your dirty clothes in a separate bag. – Put all your dirty clothes in their own bag, so they don’t get your clean clothes dirty.
5. What to Pack for a 5 to 7-Day Vacation?
A vacation of around 5-7 days is the perfect opportunity to relax and re-energize. – so don’t bother bringing lots of excess baggage along with you. Along with the items you read above, follow this packing checklist to stay organized and prepared for your short trip:
- Beach towels
- Beach bags
- Sleeping masks
- Coat / Hat / Gloves / Scarf
- Pen / Pencil
6. What to Pack for Business Vacation?
On the one hand, you want to make sure that you have everything you need for your business trip. On the other hand, you don’t want to look like you’re trying too hard or like you’re trying to ing staff.
- Your plane ticket – If you’re going to fly, you need a plane ticket with an international number and a flight number.
- Your hotel reservations. If you’re going to stay in hotels or another lodging, make sure you book them as soon as possible so that you can get the best rates.
- Your bottled water and other drinks. You don’t want to forget your bottled water if there is a problem with your water supply or the bottled water doesn’t taste good!
- Towels and bedding for your bedding (if it will be sleeping in bed!). – Make sure that all of your bedding is clean before you head out on your trip so that it doesn’t get dirty when you step onto the plane!
- Travel blankets, pillows, etc. – Make sure that your bedding is made of good quality material that won’t wick up a sweat while travelling. Keep this important information in
What is the most common item forgotten in vacation packing?
These items are the most commonly forgotten items when travelling; bathroom items such as toothbrushes, razors, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, toiletries, soap, and so on.
What is the most useful item for travelling?
You must pack your passport before leaving on a trip. It is the most critical item. Once you have checked off every item on your pre-trip checklist before exiting the door, a final look at your tiny but important book will not be amiss.
Diamond Painting Artist, Bocconi graduate, cat lover, passionate about learning.
Travelled a lot, but found my forever home – Antalya.