Your Ultimate Travel Packing Checklist for International Trips

woman packing stuff

Whether your trip abroad entails a weekend trek or a weeklong beach getaway, it’s imperative that you pack smart. Take only what you need—not only to avoid lugging around hefty baggage, but also to keep from dipping into your travel budget for unnecessary baggage fees. Having a comprehensive packing checklist helps.

Know What You Should and Shouldn’t Pack

Below is a list of the things that should be a part of every international traveler’s packing checklist. Bookmark this article, so you can refer to it before your trip.

  • Lightweight Clothing

Preferably ones that can be layered.  It will help you avoid repeating outfits without over-stuffing your bags. The clothes you bring should at least include:

  • Underwear
  • Pants or shorts
  • Skirts
  • T-shirts
  • Long-sleeved shirts
  • Jackets or sweaters
  • Belt
  • Socks
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Sandals

Be mindful of the place you’re visiting. If it’s a conservative destination, refrain from packing revealing clothes. Consider what you’re doing there as well.  Bring a swimsuit and towel if it’s a beach trip.

  • Electronic Devices and Accessories

You probably never leave home without them, so why leave them behind when you travel abroad? Just don’t bring all your devices. Pack only the ones that are essential for your trip. Consider the following:

  • Mobile phone
  • Earphone
  • Power bank
  • Camera
  • Laptop
  • Tablet
  • Device chargers
  • Electronic adapters or converters


This is a must, especially if you’re taking maintenance medication. Here are some over-the-counter medications that you should add to your carry-on.

  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Antidiarrheal
  • Antihistamine
  • Common cold remedies
  • Mild pain reliever
  • Sleep Aid

Important Documents

Although most of the following are obvious, you’ll be surprised by the number of people who forget to pack most of them.

  • Passport
  • Travel insurance information
  • Debit or credit cards


These are a must, especially if you’re planning to spend a significant amount of time outdoors. Don’t forget the following:

  • Hair care products
  • Dental care products (e.g., toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, etc.)
  • Personal hygiene products (e.g., soap, deodorant, shaving kit, feminine hygiene products, nail cutter, etc.)
  • Makeup essentials and remover
  • Clothing care
  • Facial/toilet paper

Essential Extras

There are some things that you can’t do without when traveling abroad, such as:

  • Eyeglasses
  • Contact lenses
  • Contact lens solution
  • Medication
  • Travel funds

Be prepared for the possibility that something may lead you to lose or misplace them during your trip. Pack extras or alternative solutions.

Now that we’ve established what you should bring, let’s discuss the things that you’re better off leaving at home.

  • Expensive Jewelry

Unless you’re attending a high-function event overseas, it’s best to leave your valuable jewelry at home. If you really want to accent your outfits, take tasteful but inexpensive accessories instead.

  • Items that Have a Mobile App Form

These things include:

  • Language or translation books
  • Destination guidebooks
  • Maps

Relying on the mobile app version of these items will help you keep your travel bags light.

  • Things that You Can Purchase at Your Destination

Don’t pack books and other items that you can buy at your destination.

Pack Light and Smart

Take only what you need. In addition to the items on this list, pack travel essentials specific to your destination. For instance, if you’re going somewhere warm and humid, don’t forget to bring sunscreen and mosquito repellent. Prepare what you need several days before your trip abroad to avoid forgetting anything.