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How to Pack for a Trip

Especially, if you are flying to your destination:

Let's say you are going to a 5-7 day summer vacation - the challenge is what to pack. I have gone over this a few times so making a list really helps. Here is my view on what to pack.

First thing - Find Your Tickets!!!

With your ticket, keep any Travel information like reservation documents, trip-tic, maps, or directions

Now what to pack:

Pack additional plastic bags. For packing souvenirs, dirty clothes or making daily clothing packs.


In a plastic bag place the following items just in case they leak (do not carry them on the plane - place carefully in the checked in baggage):

  • Toothpaste
  • Soap
  • Small amount of Shampoo (if you are not staying in a hotel)
  • Small tube Neosporum
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellant
  • Essential oil of lavender - has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties - and it smells nice
    (It was used in hospitals during WWI to disinfect floors, walls and other surfaces. - Wikipedia)

a few Band-Aids
lip balm for the flight
Aspirin - Tylenol - you never know when you get a headache
Prescriptions - if necessary
makeup and cosmetics - just the basics

Consider shipping your luggage ahead of time or before you return.

7 days of underwear - (you never have enough)
2 pairs of pants - one pair for dinner and blue jeans (you can use them for anything)
3 shorts
1 bathing suit
3 t-shirts (note: you can sleep in your underwear and t-shirts)
3 tops/ polo shirts
1 nice shirt - just for dinner
3 pairs of shoes - shoes for dinner, sneakers, flip flops (whatever you like, but be sure they are comfortable)
5 pairs of socks - 4 white socks for sneakers, 1 pair for the dinner shoes
1 light jacket or sweater (if you are going to any place really fancy or if you get cold easily)

If it's cold where you are going include:
1 Jacket for the weather
1 Sweat Shirt for Sleeping
2 Long sleeve shirts

You can do laundry once after day 3 or 4 - so everything is clean again

Do not over pack the clothes.

Pack dryer sheets like Bounce to keep your suitcase smelling fresh

Other things you might need:

  • ID - Driver's license or passport (if traveling outside the US)
  • Proof of insurance for driving
  • 1-2 Credit cards
  • Cash - at least $100 in smaller bills (20) $1.00 bills, (4) $5.00, (2) $10.00 (2) $20.00
  • A travel alarm clock or digital watch with an alarm
  • Roll up hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Reading glasses
  • A day pack for carrying your important stuff with you


Carry on a change or two of clothing and basic toiletries. If your luggage is lost, you can have something to change into. Bring snacks, bottled water, your meds, and reading material with you on the plane, just in case of the common delays.


  • Camera
  • Movie camera
  • Bring extra film, digital memory cards, batteries, charger and cord
  • Rechargeable batteries with a charger
  • 1 book or magazine - you can always buy one along the way
  • Kids may need their portable video games to pass the time
  • Laptop Computer with extra battery & power cord - You can always play DVD's on it at night

Cross pack your clothing! Pack half of your travel partner's clothing in your suitcase and vice versa. You will both have some clothing in the event your luggage is lost.


  • Most hotels usually have soap, shampoo and conditioner.
  • Remember to leave room in your suit case to bring stuff home.
  • The Roll technique for packing. - Lay two or three items on top of one another, flatten smooth, roll them up like you would a sleeping bag. This will save space and prevent wrinkles.

Buy post cards in the city where you are staying. Bring pre-addressed stick-on labels for the cards to send to your friends and family back home. Don't forget to bring along email addresses if you make it to an internet cafe..

Carry on items that are allowed and not allowed

Due to the security concerns, be prepared to put everything you want to carry-on, into your checked luggage. Only carry on the essentials Camera, laptop, medicine, book - essentials that will not red flag you

Buy bottled water after you passed the Search Areas!

Have a happy and safe trip!



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