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Packing Guide

The Ultimate Packing Guide

If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness and fears. -Cesare Pavese

There’s a lot to consider when determining what to bring: the type and length of your trip, your itinerary, the weather, the size of your luggage, and any weight limits imposed by your mode of transportation. And with so many factors at play, it’s easy to overpack or underpack, especially if you’ve waited until the last minute.

How to Pack for Travel

Planning The Trip

  • Enroll in frequent flyer mileage program
  • Request in-flight meals for special dietary needs
  • Check auto insurance policy to ensure coverage on rental car
  • Check medical insurance policy for coverage of out-of-town needs
  • Decide whether to purchase travel insurance – Click here for info
  • Request smoking/non-smoking accommodations
  • Purchase or arrange to borrow guidebooks and phrase books for destinations
  • Ensure passport or visa is current


  • Arrange for pet sitter
  • Arrange for houseplant and lawn care
  • Arrange for pickup of packages and solicitations left at door
  • Leave emergency contact info and itinerary with relative or friend
  • Get appropriate inoculations for destinations
  • Verify available spending limits on credit cards
  • Purchase local currency
  • Purchase traveler’s checks
  • Pay bills
  • Put hold on newspapers
  • Put hold on mail


  • Shoes (walking/dress/beach/hiking)
  • Swimsuits
  • Exercise clothing
  • Sweaters, coats, hats, gloves
  • Comb/brush
  • Shampoo, hairspray
  • Hair dryer
  • Deodorant
  • Lotions/creams
  • Cosmetics
  • Shaving cream, shaver
  • Nail clippers, emery board
  • Toothbrush/paste/floss
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • First aid kit
  • Mini sewing repair kit
  • Travel plugs/adapters if leaving the country
  • Travel alarm clock
  • Extra luggage space for pucrhases
  • Prescription medications
  • Vitamins and over-the-counter medications (travel sickness, headache, indigestion, diarrhea)
  • Extra pairs of sunglasses, prescription glasses, contact lenses
  • Address book/PDA and PDA charger
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Camera, video camera, film, batteries, binoculars
  • Magazines, books, portable music or DVD player, playing cards
  • Travel maps, guidebook, phrase book
  • Travel neck pillow
  • Snacks and bottled water
  • Lip balm
  • Towelettes
  • Ear plugs
  • Credit cards
  • Health insurance cards
  • Long distance phone card
  • Driver’s license
  • Auto insurance policy number and agent telephone number
  • Passport/visa
  • Recent photos of all travel companions
  • Local currency
  • Traveler’s check
  • Airplane tickets
  • Confirmation numbers for hotels, rental car and other reservations

Day Prior to Departure

  • Set timers for lights in house
  • Water plants
  • Empty trash
  • Update voice mail and e-mail auto-reply message
  • Give or throw away perishables from refrigerator
  • Get seat assignments for flights

Day of Departure

  • Lock all windows and doors
  • Turn down thermostat
  • Disable garage door opener or set to vacation mode
  • Remove unnecessary cards from wallet (library, video rental, punch cards, extra credit cards)
  • Power-off computer and other sensitive electronic equipment
  • Check all luggage; ensure all pieces have current ID tags
  • Set house alarm

Q & A for Travel Packing

How to Pack Shoes for Travel

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