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The Ultimate Travel Packing Checklist

Traveling is fun and exciting. But preparing for your travel can be intense, tiring, and quite dull. We often tend to forget something we intend to take on the trip at the last minute hassle. And sometimes the one thing you forgot is so critical that it could ruin your entire trip. Travel checklists come handy to make sure you have taken everything you need on your journey. It can avoid travel mishaps and disasters, and ensure you enjoy the entire time. It is a preventive measure that will help you pack perfect every time.

If you are yet to decide on your travel plans, then use a scratch-off map to look for destinations to travel. Once you have your travel plans in place, the next step is to pack. Packing for your travel happens in multiple steps. The trick is to cover all these components without overdoing. Here is a list of all travel essentials or an ultimate travel checklist that will make sure you pack right every time.

First comes the bags: Your travel bag needs to hold everything you need in the journey. And, depending on the activities you have planned during the trip, you might need more portable or easy to carry luggage. So, explore the market for wheeled cases, duffle bags, high tech backpacks, and more options before you narrow down the right one. The size of baggage you choose should be able to accommodate all your things without having to carry too many additional hand baggage. So, take your time to pick the right one.

iamge 2Next comes your hand baggage: If you are inseparable from your neck pillow or require basic grooming stuff like your hairbrush, moisturizers, lip balm, earplugs your hand luggage is the right place to pack them all. Choose a good bag, preferably a backpack, where you can carry your electronics, travel docs, and these accessories together. Try bags with multiple compartments to ensure you don’t end up searching them for hours to grab your earphones. Travel pillows are incredibly comfortable. You can either add them to your handbag if space permits or hang it on the strap of your bag to keep it accessible anytime during your journey.

 Items to keep:

  • a) Basic makeup and grooming accessories
  • b) Earplugs
  • c) Tissues and Sanitizers
  • d) Travel sickness medications
  • e) Travel pillow
  • f) A small water bottle

Next comes your smart travel accessories: In the modern age traveling without your gadgets is impossible. From laptop to DSLRs, you need to pack everything you need during your travel. Try to keep your devices, preferably in your hand baggage. This type of packing makes the security check easier, and these gadgets are up for grabs any time you like on the journey. Start by listing all the essential accessories you need during your trip. Place them in the table, alongside their adapter cables, to ensure you can charge them during the journey.

Items to keep:

  • a) Smartphone and Power Bank
  • b) Laptop
  • c) Camera
  • d) Noise-cancelling headphones
  • e) Adapter plugs
  • f) Extra wires or cables
  • g) A small portable speaker

Packing your toiletries: It is good to travel with just the essentials, but your toiletry kit should include most of what you need during the journey. Your hotels or hostels might provide you with essentials like toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, and shampoo, but it is good to carry one yourself for backup. If you are planning a long trip, then you can pack them in their original containers. But if it is just for a couple of days, then use simple DIY tricks with plastic bags, straws to pack a small portion. This packing technique will make your bag petite to carry.

image 3Items to Keep:

  • a) Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Dental Floss
  • b) Shampoo and Conditioner
  • c) Feminine hygiene products and Makeup remover
  • d) Sunscreen
  • e) Hairpins, rubber bands, bobby pins
  • f) Tweezers, razor, and trimmer
  • g) Face wash and Travel towel
  • h) Hair gel or spray, mousse and hair styling appliances
  • i) Contact lens solution, hairbrush or comb

Having a small medical kit on your journey can be useful during emergencies. Pack a few essentials such as

  • 1)     Paracetamol
  • 2)     Anti-inflammatory
  • 3)     Cold and flu tablets
  • 4)     Vitamins
  • 5)     Bandages, wire gauze, antiseptic cream
  • 6)     Motion sickness tablets, antacids and antihistamines
  • 7)     Any other prescribed medication

The wardrobe checklist: Depending on the place and purpose of travel, your wardrobe choices for the trip will vary. Make sure you carry at least two extra pairs of clothes as a backup for the journey. Use the capsule packing technique by choosing neutral colors for jackets, footwear, trousers to make sure they pair well to create multiple outfits. Do not forget to pack essentials and sleepwear. If you are packing for a business trip, then ensure you keep your formal after properly cleaning them.

image 4Items to keep:

  • a) A sweater or jacket and a scarf for layering
  • b) T-shirts for casual wear
  • c) A pair of jeans – In neutral color to match with many outfits.
  • d) A pair of dress or skirt
  • e) Formal outfits – dress, blouse, blazers, tie, trousers, skirts
  • f) Yoga pants, joggers or track pants
  • g) Pjamas or sleepwear
  • h) Belt and socks
  • i) Undergarments appropriate for the clothing and activities such as sports bra
  • j) Sunglasses, Hats, Watch and Jewellery
  • k) Bikini or swimwear if necessary

6. And finally, your travel documents: Your travel documents are the most important component of your journey. While technology has enabled smarter traveling with most travel document available in your smartphones, there are still a few documents you need to carry in the paper. Either way, make sure you organize them in one folder to get easy access.

image 5Items to carry:

  • a) Passport and Visa – Original and a copy
  • b) ID – Any ID proof such as student ID, employee or government ID
  • c) Travel insurance
  • d) Hotel reservations, Itinerary
  • e) Boarding pass and Travel tickets
  • f) Emergency contact details

Apart from these, check your wallet or handbag for

  • 1)     Cash – exchange your cash in case you are traveling to a country with a different currency
  • 2)     Credit cards and Debit cards
  • 3)     Frequent flyer cards, if any

Add any other items you might need during your trip to the checklist, such as food items or other clothing necessities based on your needs. Don’t forget to carry a map like the one you can find here on your journey. With a map in hand, one can easily wander around the country without having a fear of getting lost. Check the columns every time you add these items to the bag. Ensure you pack properly to make everything accessible. This checklist will make sure you enjoy a hassle-free journey and enjoy your trip to the fullest.

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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food. 

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