The Ultimate Travel Checklist

Mar 25 , 2016 by HomeEscape

The Ultimate Travel Checklist

Whether this is your 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.

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

Start by collecting all of your important documents in a travel document organizer (most travel organizers hold a passport, ID, numerous credit card slots, coins, documents, boarding pass(es), and a pen! This will help ensure everything you need to get from one place to the next is all in one place.

These documents are indispensable for traveling:

  • Passport/visa(s)
  • Personal ID, including a student ID card if you have one
  • Frequent flyer card(s) or other loyalty memberships (car rental, etc.)
  • Cash and credit card(s)
  • Health insurance cards/document(s)
  • Travel insurance info
  • Hotel and/or tour contact information
  • Transportation tickets
  • Itineraries and Reservations
  • Emergency contacts and important addresses

Double-check your passports and ID’s and make sure they aren’t expired. It’s also a good idea to let your bank know that you will be traveling abroad – that way your account won’t be suspended because of suspicious activity.

Step 2: Prepare Your Personal Item 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 traveling around to multiple destinations, make sure this bag has items to keep you cozy on any train, boat or bus rides. It’s always nice to have a bag that’s easy to access, so you don’t have to get in your main travel bag each time you need your eye mask. Nevertheless, you will be carrying most of this, so don’t make it too heavy.

Here are some good things to pack in your daypack:

  • Mobile device and charger
  • iPad or e-reader and charger
  • Headphones (consider noise-reducing headphones if you’re sensitive to sound
  • Camera and/or a video camera, memory card, and charger
  • Electrical converters and adapters

Travel Comfort, Entertainment, and Information

  • Travel pillow, blanket, eye mask, and ear plugs
  • Travel journal and pen
  • Books and magazines
  • Games
  • Guide books, travel guides, maps, language guides, etc. (if you will need any of these upon arrival at your destination, put it in your carry-on).

Health Items

  • Hand sanitizer or wet wipes
  • Prescriptions in original packaging (you’ll want to make sure you have these in your carry-on bag just in case something were to happen to your checked luggage
  • Glasses and case


Step 3: Choose Your Main Bag

Whatever you’re planning, we recommend luggage that is versatile, lightweight, and large enough to fit all of your essentials. The most important decision you’ll make as far as luggage is finding a piece that’s versatile and can fit lots of gear while also being easy to carry. If you’ll be going through different types of terrain, or switching from airports to cobblestones, having a bag with the option to roll it around or carry it like a backpack or duffel is handy.

Step 4: Organize Your Stuff

When you have many different types of activities and a variety of gear to pack in your suitcase, staying on top of all of it can be challenging. When packing for a long trip, think layers. Layers can be easily divisible into sections which is important when planning a big trip.

Compression Packs are gaining in popularity as they can reduce the volume of your clothes by up to 80%.

Make sure to pack these items:

  • Lightweight clothing that can be layered
  • Shirts
  • Pants and/or shorts
  • Socks
  • Sweaters
  • Jacket
  • T-shirts
  • Belt
  • Pajamas/sleepwear
  • Underwear
  • Sunglasses
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Dress(es)
  • Jewelry
  • A swimsuit or swim trunks

You’ll want to pack lots of clothing options if your trip covers a lot of ground. 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.

Step 5: Pack your Toiletry

If you’re carrying on, keep your toiletry bag light and TSA-compliant. The TSA’s 3-1-1 rule makes it easy to remember: liquids, gels, aerosols, creams, and pastes must be 3.4 ounces (100ml) or less per container and they must be in a 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag.

Step 6: Pack Your Day Bag

A lightweight, versatile day bag can be used in a myriad of ways to ensure comfort and preparation.

Step 7: Consider Travel Security

In most large cities, travelers should always be aware of theft. The best way to keep your belongings safe is to keep them close to you (such as a hidden money-belt, undercover bra stash, holster, or the like.) You may also consider choosing one that has RFID protection.

Step 8: Prepare Your Home

  • Stop Newspaper delivery
  • Set up an email autoresponder
  • Arrange care of pets, lawn, and plants.
  • Have post office hold mail
  • Pre-pay bills
  • Prearrange school absences for children
  • Empty refrigerator
  • Turn off appliances
  • Turn down water heater
  • Lock all doors and windows.

Have a safe and fun trip! :)


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