Travel Tips & Vacation Packing Checklist

Vacation Packing Checklist

Below is a collection of travel tips and packing suggestions collected from a team of road-warriors and frequent flyers, reprinted with permission from the original author.

TL;DR? You can also view/print/download a PDF at this page:
Downloadable Travel Tips & Vacation Packing Checklist

Or just be bold and download it now: Printable Packing List


  • Check your passport ~ Is it valid for 6 months AFTER your RETURN date?
  • Take photos with your smartphone – of your Passport, license, vaccination card, and credit cards
  • Let your credit card company know you’re traveling ~ They freak easily these days
  • Check with your cell phone company about international texting/calling ~
    • Load an App for free wifi calling (Such as Skype, WhatsApp, WeChat, Duo, Facebook Messenger, Viber)
  • Take $1 bills for tipping ~ ATM Cash or change won’t be in USD & there are fees
  • Carry meds in your carry-on ~ Don’t pack anything valuable you can’t lose…..
  • Pack light, and then cut that in half
  • Take ‘costume’ jewelry – like these nifty Check Pricesfake wedding rings ~ Leave your real stuff at home
  • Check the TSA website for a current list of banned and allowable items
  • Travel in comfortable shoes that easily slip on and off
  • Carry-on an empty Check Priceswater bottle/container (fill it after you’re thru security)
  • Use a unique luggage tag and/or ribbon to easily identify your luggage
  • Pack lightweight set of non-bluetooth earphones for movies on the plane
  • Bring a Check PricesSarong/Pareo ~ They are incredibly versatile (Work that Jagger look)
  • Get a Check Pricesneck pillow … So your don’t have baby head the whole way home
  • Carry a small/basic Check Pricesfirst aid kit: aspirin, anti-itch cream and band-aids
  • Keep yourself hydrated – or risk missing dinner(s)
  • Order a room service sandwich for your return flight ~ Airport food is pricey & lousy

For Your Carry-On Bag:

  • Airline tickets or e-ticket confirmation
  • Hotel & Transfers reservation confirmations
  • An Check PricesRFID Blocking travel wallet
  • Passport/Visas/Driver’s License
  • Credit Card… Visa or MasterCard are most widely accepted worldwide
  • Photocopies of all of the above, PLUS a photocopy of any prescriptions in the event you need an emergency refill while on vacation
  • Mask(s), antibacterial wipes, and hand sanitizer
  • Phone numbers for your credit card companies (in case your cards are lost or stolen)
  • Prescription medicine (important – keep it in the original bottle)
  • Contraception
  • Check PricesPortable charger/cords for electronics
  • Non-Bluetooth Headset for movies on the plane (seat-back TVs don’t work with bluetooth)
  • Check PricesSarong or Pareo (for the plane, which can get cold)
  • Your swimsuit, sandals and a cover-up, just in case your room is not ready
  • And….don’t bring valuable jewelry. Everyone is the same barefoot :-)

HER things to pack:

  • Khakis (for casual evenings that may be chillier than days)
  • A sundress
  • An evening cocktail dress
  • A lightweight sweater/shawl/blazer (pareos work great & can double as a swimsuit cover-up)
  • 4 casual shirts (T-shirts, tank tops, short-sleeve button-downs, etc.)
  • 2 pairs shorts
  • 2 swimsuits
  • A swimsuit cover-up (again, pareos work great & can double as a shawl in the evenings)
  • Comfortable walking shoes/sandals (you may wind up walking a bit if you go shopping or sightseeing)
  • Evening shoes/sandals
  • Evening purse
  • 1 pair flip flops (for beach or poolside)
  • Extra socks and underwear
  • Bras (don’t forget a strapless one if you’ve packed a top or dress that needs it)
  • Accessories (scarves/jewelry to “stretch” your wardrobe)

HIS things to pack:

  • Consider Polyester. It’s not just for breakfast anymore
  • 1 pair jeans or khakis
  • 1 pair nice slacks
  • Light jacket or pullover (easily tie it around waist or stuff into backpack)
  • 4 casual shirts (T-shirts or short-sleeve button-downs)
  • 2 walking Shorts
  • 2 polo or button-down short-sleeve shirts
  • Sports jacket (for nicer restaurants, some do require them)
  • Swimsuits
  • Comfortable walking shoes or sandals
  • Nice shoes – black sneakers can look good
  • Flip flops
  • Extra socks and underwear

Both hers & his to pack:

  • Check PricesReef Safe Sunscreen and lip balm
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun hat and/or baseball cap
  • Sleepwear
  • Paperback books
  • Tablet or IPad (NOTE: you can get a sunburn from the reflection)
  • A Check Pricescanvas beach bag or lightweight day-pack
  • A small money belt or fanny pack to hold cash, credit cards, etc.
  • Local Guidebook, if you go exploring
  • Disposable camera (good photos & avoids having an expensive camera damaged or stolen)

Basic Toiletries (use travel-sized containers whenever possible & carry-on size is limited to 3.4oz)

  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes & Toothbrush Cover
  • Deodorant
  • Cosmetics
  • Make-up remover
  • Cotton balls and swabs
  • Comb/brush
  • Hair gel/spray
  • Emory/Nail file & nail clippers
  • Shaving cream
  • Razors
  • Contact lens and re-wetting solution, storage case
  • Hair accessories – clips, headbands, etc.
  • Buy or pack a small Check Pricesfirst-aid kit that contains:
    • Band-Aids
    • Aspirin
    • Antacid
    • Anti-inch cream
    • Antihistamine
    • Insect repellent
    • Diarrhea medicine
    • Motion sickness medicine
    • Aloe Vera
    • Tampons/pads (can be difficult to find outside the US)

Optional Items: (the resorts we work with provide these)

  • Shampoo, conditioner, body wash/soap
  • Body lotion
  • Hair dryer
  • Shower cap
  • Alarm clock

Convenient Extras (nice to have, but not necessary):

  • Extra asthma inhaler, pair of glasses/contacts and the like
  • Large Ziploc bags (for wet swimsuits or clothes)
  • Earplugs
  • Sewing kit
  • Shout Wipes or Check PricesTide Stick (instant stain-treatment)
  • Eye Drops (get the red out)
  • 1 pair old sneakers that can get wet or left behind
  • 1 pair workout sneakers and 2-3 workout outfits if you plan on getting your sweat on
  • Compact umbrella or rain poncho

Important – “Know Before You Go”:

Very Important – Email yourself – or take a picture with your phone – Share with family/close friends:

  • Your airline and hotel confirmation and important phone numbers
  • Photocopies of your passport, license, vaccination card, and credit cards (front and back)
  • Insurance-policy numbers and pertinent financial info
  • Remember to keep your personal info locked in your hotel safe & remove your belongings from the safe when you depart!

Get the 4-1-1 on Luggage:

  • Each Airline has their own rules for checked and carry-on luggage – be sure to check your Airline’s policies before you start your packing.
  • Check your carry-on size limitations
  • Most airlines charge checked bag fees, sometimes even for your carry-on
  • Check your weight limit of bags or pay an extra fee, know before you go

What to Expect at Security:

  • Shoes off
  • Electronics out
  • Liquids are limited to 3.4oz.(100ml) each and all must fit in a clear quart-sized ziploc-style bag
  • No water/beverages – an empty water bottle/container is okay
  • Everything out of pockets
  • If metal in pockets or on jeans or shirt, you may get pulled aside for the wand or a pat-down

Download This as a printable PDF: Printable Packing List

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About Trisha Miller - Editor-in-Chief 59 Articles
Trisha is also the Editor-in-Chief at Travel Writers Exchange, a community for travel writers & bloggers. She's also a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, and a former member of the IFWTWA, serving on their Board of Directors from 2009 through 2015. When not traveling the world visiting the many all-inclusive resorts she loves, Trisha spends her time writing, mainly about travel and technology, sometimes both at the same time.
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