Packing Checklist

Documents

  • Book well in advance for better deals.
  • This should also be done well ahead of time.
  • Check with your doctor for needed shots in some foreign countries.
  • For hotels, car rentals or anything else that you have planned or prepaid that provided an invoice.
  • Carry your driver's license (or other ID).
  • If you plan to use AARP or AAA for discounts, you must show your card at check-in.
  • Just enough cash for small transactions, only one or two credit cards, and Traveler's Checks.
  • When traveling to new locations, familiarize yourself before you leave home and bring a good guidebook and map with you.
  • Have duplicates of all important documents you will be taking.
  • Put these into your cell phone for easy access.

Personal/Hygiene

  • Make sure you get only travel approved portions of body lotion, face wash, eye drops, shaving cream, lip balm, cologne/perfume, cosmetics, deodorant, hand sanitizer, and mouthwash.
  • Includes shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, and any hair care appliances.
  • Shaving kit and nail care kit should be packed in checked luggage.
  • Don't forget dentures/denture adhesive, toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss.
  • If needed, pack maxi pads, tampons or pantiliners.

Clothing/Accessories

  • Pack a pair of underwear for each day plus one extra.
  • Wear comfortable clothing in layers to adjust for temperature changes.
  • Easy to remove, comfortable and adaptable walking shoes will work for every situation except dress wear.
  • Always wear a dependable but not too expensive watch.
  • If you plan to hang out on the beach or by the pool. Also pack sunscreen and other items.
  • Plan for the unexpected, even if you only might need a windbreaker.
  • Pajamas are one of the most forgotten items.
  • For formal occasions pack one good dress or other outfit including belt, shoes and jewelry.
  • Whatever your sport, be sure to pack what you need to do it in order to avoid expensive last minute purchases at your destination.

Medications

  • Even if you have a week's supply in a portioned container, bring proof that the prescriptions are legal.
  • Another oft forgotten item that is a must-have.
  • If you have trouble flying or with high altitudes, these are very important.
  • Kids need different doses than adults, so pack appropriately.
  • If you are going across multiple time zones, you may need help adjusting your sleeping patterns.

Miscellaneous items

  • Including tissues, antibacterial moist towelettes, paper towels and travel toilet paper rolls.
  • Cell phone or blackberry, iPod or mp3 player, and netbook or laptop.
  • An inflatable pillow, earplugs, eye mask, and a travel blanket can make coach more comfortable.

Everyone who travels has, at one time or another, forgotten to pack an important item.  Because of our busy lives, the process of packing often ends up last on our priority list.  When this happens, we have a tendency to either under-pack or over-pack when a perfect balance would make traveling much easier. With pre-planning, and careful consideration of what you really need to pack, you will never leave your toothbrush at home again. The list can be amended depending upon how much luggage you want to take or are allowed.  If traveling by air internationally, the list would add passports, immunization records (if applicable), and any other required documentation.

Tips

Because many hotels now provide hair dryers, if you check ahead and confirm what amenities they offer, you will have fewer items to pack.  Many provide daily shampoo, conditioner and soaps.  Unless you are married to your own brand, you do not need to pack these items.   Even if you intend to stay with family or friends, ask them if they have an extra personal appliance you can borrow during your visit.  Many people accumulate travel sized samples that they pick-up in hotels and save them for their guests to use. Just as annoying as forgetting to pack something you need is over-packing.  The easy fix for this bad habit is to color coordinate what you plan to wear.  Savvy travelers never pack more than two pairs of shoes.  One casual pair for travel and walking and another pair the same color for dress.  A special sports shoe would be the only third pair, if needed.  Packing too many shoes adds weight to your luggage and takes up valuable space for other more important items. Below is a basic packing checklist that will help you get organized whether you travel by air, car, bus or train.