Travel Packing Tips for Your International Trip

Packing is the best part of the trip…said no one ever.

It’s no secret that packing can be stressful, especially if you’re headed overseas. But similar to what goes into our bags, the key is to keep it simple.

Our quick tips zero in on packing essentials, making sure you’ve got the basics covered for a worry-free experience. On your marks, get set, pack!

Keep Your Documents Close  

Your passport is your golden ticket, so keep it somewhere safe, yet handy.

Depending on your country of origin, you may also need to file for a visitor visa. Keep this document close to your passport, as well as another valid form of ID.

If you’ve reserved hotels, rental cars, or excursions, it’s useful to keep copies of these reservations, as well as copies of your travel documents, to store separately.

You might also want to exchange some currency at your bank in order to have cash handy upon arrival.

Know Your Limits  

With so much going on during packing, you might overlook one important detail: what you’re packing your stuff in.

Airlines are rolling out new bag fees, options, limitations, and exceptions by the minute, so being up to speed on their checked baggage weight and size restrictions puts you one step ahead. If your luggage for international travel is bigger than the allowed size, buy or borrow an alternate bag for your trip, and weigh it at home once it’s packed. This will save you any oversize charges, and a headache.

Bring On the Carry-On  

After flight delays, lost luggage is probably the most unpleasant vacation mishap. And though most people receive their bags problem-free, there’s no harm in being prepared for the unexpected.

Pack a carry-on with enough clothes for 2-3 days (don’t forget a bathing suit), and any essentials including toiletries, chargers, and adapters. This gives you a backup plan in case you need to wait for a delayed bag. It also comes in handy for unexpected delays, layovers, or detours. Just like with checked baggage, make sure you check your airline’s carry-on restrictions, and avoid getting charged to check your bag.

Pack Smart  

Hold out your packing list. Ready? Ok, now cut that in half.

Overpacking happens, so keep yourself in check by taking only half of what you think you’ll need.

Still struggling to downsize? Packing cubes can help you organize your clothes by days, outfits, and occasions. You’d also be surprised with the space you can gain by rolling your clothes instead of folding them. Last, throw a couple of plastic zip-top and grocery bags into your case for wet clothes (pre airport dip, anyone?) or additional toiletries.

Make a List, Check it Twice  

You know when you actually make a groceries list, and walk out with exactly what you needed? That could be you with packing.

It might sound obvious, but taking the time to write an international travel packing list helps you avoid forgetting important things, and over-stuffing your bag (no, a furry pajama onesie isn’t essential). Lists also organize your thoughts and free up your mind, giving you one less thing to stress about during your travels. Make sure to double-check it to be extra safe.

Don’t feel like making a list yourself? Use our nifty travel packing checklist below! You can also create one online at sites like or, or borrow one from your favorite travel blog.


  • Passport/visa
  • Driver’s license and/or photo IDs
  • Boarding pass
  • Confirmation receipts: printed/electronic
  • Emergency documents: health insurance, allergy list, emergency contact
  • Wallet, cash and credit cards
  • Cell phone + charger, keys, glasses

Travel health:

  • Any personal prescriptions
  • Pain and fever relievers
  • Sunscreen
  • First aid kit


  • Laptop
  • Camera
  • All chargers and cables
  • Adapters and converters

Travel comfort:

  • Neck pillow
  • Water bottle
  • Lip balm
  • Eye mask
  • Change of clothes


  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Body wash and soap
  • Lotion
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Hairbrush/comb
  • Extra contacts


  • Casual set (shirt/top + jeans/khakis)
  • Activewear (shorts, t-shirts)
  • Outerwear (jackets, sweaters)
  • Pajamas/loungewear
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Bras
  • Dresses/skirts
  • Tights


  • Tennis shoes
  • Dress shoes/heels

Absolute Essentials, just as a reminder:

  • Sandals, flip flops
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Swimsuit

You have enough things on your mind when it comes to traveling internationally. With our tips and tricks, packing doesn’t have to be one of them. Now the only thing left to do is count down the days until you’re gone.


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