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2022/07/20

The Ultimate Packing List for Vacation: How to Travel Like a Pro

If you’re like many people, your summer vacation is right around the corner. But before you pack your bags and head out on a road trip, it’s important to take a moment to ensure you don’t forget anything important. To help you prepare for your next getaway, we’ve put together a complete travel packing list for your next excursion. Whether you’re going to the beach, a music festival, or exploring the great outdoors, we’ve got you covered.

Complete travel must-haves

We’ve compiled a packing list for vacation adventures that we believe will get you through most excursions enjoyably and comfortably. While some of the items on this list are optional, we’re sure you’ll find many that are crucial. Here’s what to pack for a trip:

Essentials

The big day is finally here! You’ve planned the perfect itinerary, and your travel companions are ready to explore new places, get some fresh air, and relax. Regarding your vacation packing list, you should have a few essentials on hand. 

What’s essential for a trip in 2022, however, will be somewhat different than it was in days past. Now, you must also keep a supply of face masks, wipes, disinfectants, health records, and vaccines on hand. Ensure you know the country’s admission regulations before going on a trip, and pay attention to your airline’s criteria.

If you lose your passport or wallet, it’s good to have copies of vital information and phone numbers on hand.

Here’s the travel checklist for all your essentials:

Passport

As you probably guessed, ensuring you have your passport is number one on our packing list of vacation essentials. After all, if you’re traveling outside your own country, your passport isn’t going to help you if it’s still sitting on your bedside table at home.

Travel requirements

Even though many pandemic measures are lifting, specific locations or airlines may have requirements in place. In these instances, you should travel with your face mask, pre-travel test, vaccination certificate, recovery certificate, hotel confirmation, or Airbnb receipt.

Travel insurance

You never know when a small problem can become a major disaster. Travel insurance is an investment that provides financial protection and ensures that you and your friends or loved ones are covered in an accident or medical emergency.

Driver’s license

Even if other countries don’t recognize your state’s driver’s license, you may still be able to use it to prove your identity when traveling overseas. 

Car rental confirmation

You’ll want to have this document available when you arrive at the rental station. Having a printed copy can help clear up any misunderstandings if they happen to arise.

Itinerary

One of the best things about traveling is exploring new places, but sometimes it can be hard to know where to go and what to do when you’re on vacation. That’s why it’s a good idea to have an itinerary while traveling. Compile a list of the things you want to see and do while you’re away, to help you figure out how best to spend your precious vacation time.

Expert tip: When you’re on the go, having stacks of paper can weigh you down. Evernote Expert Stacey Harmon has tips to go paperless while you travel“Whether it’s from a restaurant, hotel stay, or coffee for your team, if it’s a business trip, you’ll want to keep the receipt for business write-off purposes. While you’re waiting for your smoothie order or your friends to finish their drinks, quickly pull out your phone, open Evernote, scan the receipt, and save it to Evernote on the spot.”

Cash and credit cards

While many of us can do our banking from our phones, you may be surprised by the number of locations still relying on cold, hard cash.

Cash is a universal language that can help you escape a sticky situation or just give you a way to buy water from a kiosk if needed.

List of contacts in case of emergency

When we travel, we all hope everything will go according to plan—and most of the time, it will. However, it is crucial to be prepared in an emergency while traveling abroad. You should research the local numbers for medical emergencies and police services in the event you become ill, your car breaks down, or you’re the victim of a crime and need to obtain help.

Save copies of your travel documents

Before stuffing your suitcase with clothes and tech gear, start your journey by storing copies of your travel documents in Evernote, like passports and driver’s licenses. 

Power tip: Create a notebook in Evernote to host all of your travel information. Download your Evernote travel notebook for offline use in case of emergencies, so you’re never left without the documents you need most. 

Clothes

Before ticking items off your packing list, you need to decide whether you’re checking a suitcase. You can significantly increase the number of outfits you bring by checking a bag; however, there’s always the risk of having your bags lost, stolen, or on another plane headed to another continent!

Generally, if you can avoid checking a bag, you should. Opting for a carry-on-only scenario is also a good idea if you’re on a trip that requires you to have specific items or you can’t risk the off-chance that your bags don’t arrive on time. For instance, jumping on a cruise liner would be a massive headache without your swimsuit packed in your missing luggage.

The next step when deciding on your attire is to narrow down where you’re going and what you’ll be doing. Typically, for most vacations, you’ll want to dress in light, loose clothing on your trip. You’ll also want to remember to travel light and not pack too much. After all, it can be frustrating to lug around a bulky sweater that you thought you might wear in the rare instance that you get chilly in the airport.

Focus on packing layers in more neutral hues if you’re traveling light since they’re more adaptable, and you can mix and match these pieces, saving space.

The beach

When creating a packing checklist for the beach, you only want to bring what’s necessary. You can purchase items like sunblock and inexpensive beach towels on location, so you don’t have to waste valuable suitcase real estate. Be sure these items are on your beach checklist:

  • Bathing suit
  • Rash guard
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sarong
  • Shorts
  • T-shirt or tank top
  • Sandals/flip-flops

City tours

When visiting a new country’s city center, most people want to blend in with the locals. Going incognito typically involves dressing as you would in your hometown in comparable weather. So, instead of hiking boots and ripstop cargo pants, you can generally hang with the locals by throwing on a pair of jeans and walking shoes. Don’t forget to pack the following items for your city tour: 

  • Jeans
  • Button-up shirt
  • Sundress
  • Tights or leggings
  • Comfortable shoes

Outdoor excursions 

For those looking for an adventure, your packing list for vacation into the wilds should include hardy, durable clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty: 

  • Sturdy shoes or boots
  • Water shoes or barefoot shoes
  • Cargo shorts
  • T-shirt or athletic shirt

Evening excursions

Even if you’re planning a resort destination with an eye on fun in the sun, that doesn’t mean you should head to the hotel restaurant in your board shorts and flip-flops. However, if you’re worried about wrinkles, you can find stretch clothing in a business-casual cut that can pack down tightly and smooth out in minutes.

  • Pants/chinos
  • Collared shirt
  • Dress
  • Skirt
  • Blouse
  • Dress shoes
  • Dress socks
  • Belt
  • Heels
  • Stockings

Miscellaneous

Here’s a quick reminder that if you’re going on a 4-days/3-nights vacation, you should pack more than two pairs of underwear. Always include:  

  • Underwear/bras
  • Socks
  • Sleepwear
  • Poncho

Toiletries

Certain things make us feel better when we’re away from home. When you’re on the road, having your personal toiletries kit handy to freshen up and feel better can be the difference between a smooth trip and a miserable one. So, make sure you bring everything you need in a big toiletry bag. While you should try picking up smaller items at your destination, certain skincare products, personal care products, and other amenities might be tough to find while traveling overseas.

Here are some of the toiletries and other things to pack for a trip you should have on your vacation checklist:

Shower products

If you have prescription-strength shampoo, then the stuff that the hotel provides isn’t going to cut it. To ensure you maintain your gorgeous locks, consider packing your own:

  • Shampoo
  • Body wash
  • Conditioner
  • Hair relaxer

Dental hygiene

To protect your expensive toothbrush from being damaged while traveling, consider including an inexpensive toothbrush on your travel list. Packing a cheap travel toothbrush makes sense because it is exposed to many more germs than your home toothbrush. Once the trip is over, you should recycle it and get a new one for your next vacation. 

A toothbrush cap is also a good idea since tossing your toothbrush into your backpack is a surefire way to expose it to unnecessary bacteria. 

Before boarding the plane, consider picking up:

  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Mouthwash
  • Floss

Skincare products

Taking good care of your skin while on the road is essential to your overall well-being. Remember that flying might cause skin dehydration, so be careful to drink a lot of water throughout the flight. If space is at a premium, make sure to pack your:

  • Skin moisturizer
  • Lotion
  • Sunscreen
  • Facial cleanser
  • Facial tissues
  • Makeup
  • Makeup remover

Personal grooming kit

For those traveling, it can be tough to figure out the essential grooming items; you want all of your usual grooming gear at your disposal but don’t want to bring a bathroom full of them.

However, if you have to narrow it down, don’t neglect to include:

  • Deodorant
  • Female hygiene products 
  • Comb
  • Tweezers
  • Nail clippers
  • Emery board
  • Nail polish
  • Nail polish remover
  • Shaving cream
  • Razor
  • Aftershave
  • Perfume
  • Cologne

Hair care products

We all know that hotels will provide certain amenities. However, you can’t always count on reception having everything you need at their disposal. If your hair is unmanageable, you may need to consider packing your own:

  • Hair dryer
  • Straightening iron
  • Curling iron
  • Hairbrush
  • Hair product
  • Hair ties

Medication

Packing your medication is critical. Sometimes pharmacies in other countries aren’t open on a specific day of the week or on the weekends. Additionally, if you need to see a pharmacist, describing your symptoms using hand gestures can be difficult if you don’t speak the language.

Best practices include bringing documentation that all your prescriptions belong to you so that Customs and Immigration won’t get confused when you try to bring them in. To be safe, make sure you check the rules and laws of your destination before you pack any medications! 

Electronics

Anywhere you go, you’re bound to encounter someone—or more than one person—using a cell phone to make calls or send text messages. After all, they’ve permeated nearly every aspect of our lives, and are especially helpful when documenting your trips and keeping in touch with loved ones. Before we break down what to bring, it’s beneficial to research:

Internet access

Without access to the internet or a mobile phone network, your electronic gadgets are useless. Before going on your trip, do some research on how you’ll be able to use your mobile phone, tablet, or laptop.

If you’re thinking of traveling with a laptop, inquire if your hotel or a nearby site has a free internet connection. Alternatively, for a daily charge, guests of several hotels may use the internet; but before utilizing this service, find out exactly how much you’ll be charged.

Purchasing mobile data

There is an alternative to public internet access or hotel networks: wireless hotspots. To utilize a hotspot, you must first buy one and sign up for a monthly data subscription, which may make economic sense for regular travelers. Expect to pay more for international coverage if you carry a hotspot.

With that out of the way, here are some essential tech gadgets you should remember to pack:

Laptop

If you need to get some work done, your mobile phone won’t be powerful enough for the job. So, you’re going to need to pack your laptop.

Conventional laptops are notoriously cumbersome to transport, so using an ultra-lightweight laptop when on the road is a great option. In addition, you may want to consider a cushioned laptop sleeve in your carry-on or backpack if it doesn’t have a laptop compartment.

When packing up your laptop, don’t forget your:

  • Charger
  • Mouse
  • Travel sleeve

Phone

While it’s on this list, we can all probably agree that you won’t be leaving your home without your phone.

However, when you board the plane, switch off data roaming. And watch out when you arrive: Turning off airplane mode in a foreign country puts you at risk of quickly accruing hefty roaming fees.

With your mobile phone, be sure to include your:

  • Waterproof case
  • USB cables
  • Wall charger

Power bank

On long journeys, a power bank is a godsend. If you intend to use your phone or tablet to listen to music or view movies, this gadget can provide you with hours of additional battery life. Take a moment the night before to ensure it’s completely charged.

Multi-charger

Use a multi-charging cable instead of lugging about numerous wires. It will not only save you room, but will also allow you to charge and use all of your gadgets at the same time.

Universal travel adapter

Universal adapters are better than single-purpose adapters in most cases. With a tool like this, you’ll be able to charge in virtually any country.

Mirrorless or DSLR camera

While most smartphones have a decent camera built-in, sometimes you need more optical power to capture the moment. If you decide to bring along a dedicated camera, ensure you include:

  • Additional batteries
  • Memory cards
  • Lens cleaner

Miscellaneous

Here are a few items that don’t fall neatly into the other categories but should definitely be on your checklist. Before you zip up your bags and put those tiny locks on, be sure to have:

A secret cache belt

Over the decades, hidden belts you wear under your clothes to secure cash and personal documents have come a long way. There are many inventive designs to choose from these days.

Spare glasses/contact lenses

When traveling, consider carrying an extra pair of glasses. For those who wear contact lenses, bring a few extra than you think you’ll need throughout your vacation.

Noise-canceling headphones

Sometimes you need a minute to yourself, and all the ambient noise that goes hand-in-hand with traveling can shake you out of your zone. Thankfully, there’s an easy solution to this conundrum: noise-canceling headphones.

Travel blankets

Travel blankets are a fantastic accessory that can keep you warm during a chilly flight and then pack down into a small bag when you’re done.

Streamline your packing list for vacation with Evernote

Hopefully, our complete packing list for vacation excursions can help you avoid many packing blunders ranging from slightly annoying to catastrophic.

If you want to ensure that your vacation goes off without a hitch with the ultimate travel itinerary template, Evernote can help. 

By simplifying and streamlining your packing list, itinerary, reminders, and calendars, Evernote helps you avoid those easily forgettable items, so you can be sure to tick every box!