Packing tips

You should pack certain critical items with you. Other items are less important, and can be packed in checked luggage. Some items are only required if you are traveling to a hot or cold climate.

Don’t pack too many clothes!

Pack with you (in a carry on case, never in checked luggage)

  • tickets (airline, cruise line, train, tour coupons, etc.)
  • wallet/purse
  • cash
  • travellers cheques
  • credit cards
  • identification – government-issued, with photo
  • passport
  • immunization certificate
  • bandaids
  • Aspirin/Tylenol/pain medication
  • deodorant
  • comb/brush
  • toothpaste – small quantity
  • toothbrush
  • decongestant tablets/nasal spray
  • makeup (limited)
  • granola/cereal bars / packaged nutrition snacks
  • small roll of toilet paper (flattened)
  • watch or small travel clock
  • anti-diarrhea medication
  • prescription eyeglasses or contacts
  • spare set of contact lenses or prescription eyeglasses (prescription sun glasses can substitute)
  • liquid solutions for contacts- small quantity
  • spare set of underwear and sock/stockings/panty hose
  • prescription medications
  • a personal cheque (in your wallet)
  • list of contact phone numbers for emergency cancellation of credit cards contact phone numbers and addresses of the nearest national consulates and your bank (or alternates) for your area of travel
  • list of names, addresses, phone numbers of close relatives and friends.
  • copies of all receipts and invoices for high value gear you are taking with you, such as cameras, notebook computers, other small electronics, and watches and other small valuables. I don’t recommend that you travel with too many valuables.

Know What Carry On Items Are NOT Allowed – security requirements prohibit passengers from taking certain items in their carry-on luggage. Check with your airline for current rules.

  • Knives
  • Cutting instruments (metallic or non-metallic), including box cutters and other folding or retractable blades, regardless of length
  • Ice picks
  • Straight razors
  • Elongated scissors
  • Some liquids – check for current list

Carry Photo ID – All travelers 18 and older must show government-issued photo ID (e.g., driver’s license or passport) and airline tickets/boarding passes at security checkpoints and also before boarding.

Pack in checked luggage

  • Sewing kit
  • Aspirin/Tylenol/pain medication
  • shaving kit
  • makeup kit
  • laxative
  • vitamins
  • small quantity of powdered laundry detergent
  • plastic bags and twist ties
  • second set of: contact lists
  • Swiss Army knife

Yes, you should also pack clothes in your checked luggage.

Just remember, you have to lug this stuff around (unless you take a cruise).

Pack light. What does light mean? Mark Verber’s Packing & Traveling Light Recommendations offers some practical advice.

No more than

  • 2 pr of slacks/pants
  • 2 shirts/blouses (4 shirts/blouses if going to colder climates)
  • 4 t-shirts (2 t-shirts if going to colder climates)
  • 2 pr shorts
  • 1 swimsuit
  • 2 pr shoes
  • 1 hat
  • 4 sets underwear
  • 4 pr socks/stockings/panty hose
  • I highly recommend 1 pr of pants be blue jeans or chinos, and 1 pr of shoes be sport shoes of some type. You should wear these when you depart, since they will likely be the heaviest garments you would otherwise pack.

Pack for hot weather destinations

  • wide brim hat
  • sun block (at least SPF 20)
  • insect repellent
  • lip balm
  • soothing skin lotion for sunburn
  • (prescription) sun glasses with UV protection
  • long sleeved shirt/blouse
  • cotton/linen pants/slacks
  • sneakers
  • sandals/beach shoes/reef shoes
  • snorkel and/or mask

Pack for cool/cold weather destinations

  • lined nylon jacket
  • wool sweater
  • gloves
  • scarf
  • lip balm
  • waterproof shoes/boots
  • rain poncho
  • Possibly more serious cold weather gear if you are traveling to areas where you expect snow and ice.

Pack for business trips (wear one of each of the first 4 items)

  • 2 dark business suits
  • 3 ties/scarves
  • 2 pr dress shoes
  • 4 dress shirts/blouses
  • dress watch
  • briefcase
  • umbrella or dark overcoat (for wet and/or cold climates)
  • business papers & materials, including business cards and presentations
  • notebook computer or tablet
  • cellular telephone
  • list of business contacts, consular officials, personal contacts

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