the ultimate packing list.jpgUnfortunate packing incidents range from the mild to the extreme. Sometimes you arrive on location only to find that you’ve forgotten to pack a swimsuit, and your hotel has the most heartstoppingly beautiful pool that there is. Other times, you’ll run out of the house, have your heart jump into my throat, and promptly turn your car around because your boarding pass is sitting on the kitchen table. Well, we’re here to make sure that even the smallest packing disasters don’t happen. We’ve compiled a list of everything that you might ever need on vacation so that you can pick and choose what your vacation might call for and scratch the rest. BONUS: Free printable version of this checklist! Just scroll down to the bottom of this page to download it!

Related: Carry-On Essentials

Ultimate Packing List


  • Socks and Stockings
  • Underwear and Long Johns
  • Undershirts and Bras
  • Sleepwear
  • Long Shirts, T-Shirts, and Sleeveless Shirts
  • Sweaters and Cardigans
  • Long Pants, Shorts, and Skirts
  • Dresses
  • Casual Shoes
  • Dress Shoes
  • Flip Flops and Sandals
  • Boots
  • Swimsuits
  • Athletic Shoes
  • Athletic Wear
  • Formal Wear
  • Evening Wear
  • Jackets, Coats, and Parkas
  • Umbrellas, Raincoats, and Rainboots
  • Hats and Sunglasses
  • Gloves
  • Scarves
  • Belts
  • Ties
  • Jewelry
  • Purses, Bags, and Backpacks


  • Passport, Visas, and ID
  • Plane Ticket and Boarding Pass
  • Hotel, Car, Tour, etc. Reservations
  • Itinerary
  • Map and Guidebook
  • Wallet with Cash and Cards
  • Copies of Passport, Credit Cards, and other documents
  • Emergency Contacts
  • Keys

Related: How to fly comfortably


  • Cell Phone
  • Laptop
  • Camera
  • Charger and Adapter
  • Memory Cards and USBs
  • Water Bottle
  • Books
  • Earbuds
  • Pen and Paper
Looking for a bag to put your stuff in? Check out


  • Toothbrush, Toothpaste, and Floss
  • Washcloth and Towels
  • Moisturizer and Lip Balm
  • Makeup and Makeup Remover
  • Razor and Shaving Cream
  • Soap, Body Wash, and Facewash
  • Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Shower Cap
  • Laundry Bag, Resealable Bags, and Plastic Bags
  • Deodorant
  • Brush or Comb
  • Sunscreen
  • Contact Lenses and Solution
  • First Aid
  • Medications and Supplements
  • Tweezers
  • Nail File and Clippers
  • Insect Repellent
  • Tissues
  • Earplugs and Eyemasks
  • Feminine Hygiene Products
  • Birth Control

Related: Score the best plane seats

You made it! Click below to access the printable version of this list. Trust us, it’s a lot prettier than this bare-bones version 🙂

The Ultimate Packing List


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Comments (18)

  1. This is a great and handy list that covers all the essentials! I’m notorious for being the person who forgets their swimsuit when visiting a place with a nice pool. Or getting to my destination and realizing I don’t have shoes. Or pants.

    Yes, I’m a bad packer.

    Though I probably won’t ever bring ALL the items on the ultimate packing list on one of my trips, it is a wonderful reference that can help ensure I don’t forget something important again (like pants).

  2. Whoa! Big list! I brought a fraction of these items to Thailand worried I wouldnt have enough. Turns out I wayyyy overpacked! Is this for an ATW trip? 😅

  3. A very comprehensive list indeed! Naturally, the stuff for the ladies doesn’t apply for me! There are a couple of things I’d add if you’re going to a tropical country, though (sorry!). Hand sanitiser is vital for hygiene and, by extension, health, and to complement insect repellent an after-bite spray/cream/lotion of some sort is useful. But you’ve remembered a lot of things I would have forgotten, definitely, so I’m in admiration that you’ve put this all together – great job 🙂

  4. This list is so long but a good one to reference. I only take a fraction of the items mentioned but could see how a comprehensive list is a great place to start.

  5. You’re so organised, Chelsea. I always forget something when I travel. One time I was in a hurry and left my laptop on the hall stand at home. Actually, it was rather liberating not having it with me for a change.

  6. This is quite a big list, foreseen for every event! 🙂 I’m currently on a world journey, hitchhiking from country to country and have to pack light. The most important things are my documents, the least are my clothing. If I find my back to heavy, that is the first thing that goes 🙂 The same counts for toiletries. Only the essential toiletries like shampoo (I can use it as soap), toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, tampons and insect repellent go in my backpack. This list is a good overview though to make sure you’ve got everything you need with you, depending on the country and type of travel 🙂

  7. Ooh interesting post. This topic is in my drafts for so long, but I haven’t finished and posted it yet. Thank you for making me remember that I should do it. Nice and helpful post!

  8. Wow, that’s quite a list. Can’t think of anything to add! The first thing I looked for was headphones (earbuds).

  9. […] already know to make sure your luggage is correctly labelled with your name, route, and contact details, but you may not know that it is […]

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