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The Ultimate Packing List: Travel with Confidence

Flat lay of hiking luggage on a map

Packing can be one of the most stressful parts of any trip, but it doesn’t have to be! The first step for deciding what to pack is whether or not you will be bringing checked luggage, or just a carry-on bag. This will dictate how much you can bring, and what you will have to leave behind. The length of your trip and the weather where you are going are major factors when choosing which outfits make the cut and which stay behind. I’ve created the Ultimate Packing List to help you keep everything organized. You’ll never forget a charger or contact lens case again! 

Important reminders:

  • For trips over one week, see if there is a place you can do laundry. Either an in-house washer and dryer, a local laundromat, or using laundry detergent pods or sheets you brought from home. This will drastically reduce the amount of clothing you need to bring.
  • Layering clothing is great for creating multiple styles with the same few pieces of clothing. 
  • Different trips will require different gear. A Caribbean vacation, for example, may need two bathing suits, while an Alpine ski trip will require a large jacket and hiking boots. Some trips may need special gear like hiking sticks, golf clubs, or even cosplay costumes (see my post on San Diego Comic Con). 
  • Use this list as a guide for packing, crossing out the things you don’t need and adding what you do. 
  • For more tips read my 100 Travel Tips here. 
  • Take a look at the 40 the Best Apps for Travel

Important for carry-ons: Don’t pack liquids over 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters)

Never pack full-sized liquid containers if you’re only using a carry on. According to the TSA, you are allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes in your carry-on bag and through the checkpoint. If you have TSA Pre-Check, you don’t have to have these items in their own bag, but it does help speed things up if you do. Note that there are a few exceptions to this rule, including essential medications and food for infants or children.

Check out an additional list for traveling with children here: https://travelmamas.com/packing-lists/

Also see my 100 Tips and Tricks for traveling and The Ultimate List of Travel Essentials for gear and more. 

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