The Complete Travel Packing Checklist & The Best Tips For Packing [Printable]

Travel Packing Checklist for a domestic or international trip can be stressful. Don’t wait to pack. Do you put off researching the items that are needed for specific activities and weather conditions at your destination? Are you easily distracted or have young children that require your attention? It happens to everyone!

Travel Packing Checklist You might not be ready if you pack too much. But if you over-pack, you run the risk of incurring hefty baggage fees or missing out on space to bring home that lovely souvenir. You could miss your trip entirely if you forget a vital travel document. It’s easy to get stressed thinking about it.

Travel Packing Checklist

Upgraded points is offering a pack guide with packing tips and tricks, as well as a printable Travel Packing Checklist and a list app to help you. There are also reminders about things to do around the house before you go.

📋 Click To View Our Printable Travel Packing List >> 

General Packing Tips and Tricks & Travel Packing Checklist


Before taking your bag out of the cupboard:

This seems intuitive, but you’d be surprised how many people are stuck traveling in rainy season without a raincoat.

Take note of how many nights and days you’ll be gone.

This will help you determine the appropriate number of outfits. This will also depend on how often you wear the same clothes.

Notify us of any other special events or activities you might be able to take part in.

Are you traveling for a birthday? It’s hard to forget the thoughtful gift you gave weeks before. Are you going to a wedding You wouldn’t look good if your suit was missing from a wedding. Hiking in Hawaii? Your water-shoes won’t get much use if you leave them behind.

Get a packing list together as soon as possibleIt should be reviewed at least twice. (Yes, twice.

Online, you can find printable vacation packing list templates (like the one we have shown above), or you could make your own. 

If you are looking for something more technologically-oriented, there are many apps that you can use. You can read about several of them below.

This is where timing is crucial. It’s important to note down your ideas or look at the printed list before you go. This gives you an opportunity to reevaluate and reevaluate it with fresh eyes. 

You’ll often remember something that you forgot yesterday because your brain was focused on packing pizza rather than packing.

If you are printing a list not specific to a trip, you should first review it and then immediately cross out items that you don’t require. Why take a winter coat to the beach when you can wear a light jacket?

Get items that you can get at your destination from the list.

This tip is particularly important if you plan to travel only with a carry-on. It will help save space, at least for your outgoing trip. This is.

Most hotels will have shampoo, conditioner, and body wash available for you when you travel. Why waste space on packing them? You might still find a drugstore if you are picky about toiletries, or you don’t stay in a hotel.

If you are planning to bring your own toiletries or containers,

Keep in mind the regulations regarding liquids that you can carry on a plane. If you intend to carry liquids, you will need travel-sized containers.

Even if your checked bag allows you to carry more liquids, how much shampoo do you really need for a weeklong vacation? It will make it easier to store other essentials.

Select the right luggage

Yes, different airlines have different restrictions on sizes for carry-ons and checked bags but stick to some general guidelines and you should be safe.

You can generally carry on carry-ons up to 155cm/45in in length. You can generally carry your checked bag at a maximum length of 158cm/62in. Be sure to verify the airline before packing as they can be very restrictive!

Also, think about the type of bag that you like to travel with: backpack, shoulder bag, roller bag or hard shell. There are many options, so don’t be overwhelmed by all the choices. Your bag should not make it difficult to travel.

Once you’ve finished your preparation and are almost ready to pack,

Essentials first.

First, gather your most important documents. All travel documents, such as passports, driver’s licenses, boarding passes, hotel reservations, and ID/driver’s licences, should be included. 

You can also include any items you will regret not having while on vacation, such as your wallet, credit cards and camera.

There are many apps that can help you manage your itinerary and reduce the amount of printed documents that you need. Check out our list of useful packing apps at end of post.

Pick the right size suitcase

You only need one suitcase. You can always use one suitcase if you have more than one. Most people overpack their bags when they are too big for the trip. 

It doesn’t make sense to have an additional sweater, 2 more tshirts, or another pair of boots just for the sake of having them. Your baggage will be easier to manage if it is smaller and lighter. This will reduce your stress levels.

Lay everything.

You can plan outfits and account your nights by laying out all your items. You can see exactly how many items you have and easily spot any missing items. Shoes, accessories, and toiletries are all included.

It is also beneficial to divide items according to where they will be packed.

Don’t forget to put on your travel day outfit, and pair it with other pieces.

Keep your packing light by choosing simple, mix-and-match pieces.

You should choose simple tops or bottoms that are easy to mix and match to create multiple outfits. Did you know that only 3 bottoms (pants and shorts, skirt, and so on) are required? ), 4 tops (tee, tank, etc. ), and 2 outer layers (sweater or coat, or cardigan). This can create up to 24 different outfits. What is the best way to make a statement?

You might have to bring a special item that you can only wear once depending on your purpose for the trip (suit, bridesmaid gown, etc. 

These items may be necessary, but you should try to limit them to the minimum. If you are tight on space, this is a crucial step.


After you have sorted all your belongings, think about how many days you will be traveling for. You might be able to get rid of some things to make packing easier. You don’t want to have extra clothes or overweight baggage.

Get it packed!

This is the most difficult step of all. There are many packing tips that will help you pack everything in your suitcase. It can seem overwhelming but once you get the hang of it, packing will be easier.

Double-check, triple-check and check your essentials

Each item that you have packed must be marked and kept in your bag. Do not check the box if you aren’t ready to pack an item. This is how you leave your phone at your home next to the charger. But the box was checked! “But the box was checked!” You’ll reply…

This rule applies to all items, not just the essentials!

You might be known for forgetting essentials, so print a second travel checklist and attach it to your front door. You can make a commitment that you won’t leave the house without checking it one more time.

Do you fold, interfold, bundle, roll or bundle?

You’ve likely heard by now that folding old-fashioned isn’t the best way to pack, especially for tight cases. These methods can be used if you have enough space.

Interfolding involves layering clothes on top of each other in a top-to-bottom, bottom-to-top format, then interweaving them as you fold them together. You’ll have a compact bundle that fits in your suitcase if you fold them according to the dimensions of the bag. This folding method will make your clothes virtually wrinkle-free.

Bundle packing can be described as interfolding but involves tightly folding or wrapping clothing around a soft core, such as a dopp kit, stacks of underwear, cloth zippered bag, or other similar items. Bundle packing can also be used to reduce wrinkles, save space, and make it easier to store your clothes.

Many people also recommend rolling when packing your clothes – at least for softer items and jeans. This method can help you save space and decrease creasing.

If none of these methods work and you don’t have a hanging garment bag, then it might be worth learning how to fold finer items like a suit or dress shirt for best results.

Store liquids in sealed bags.

Toiletries that can leak will leak. You can place them in a zippered bag, or any other secure bag you choose. To prevent any further seepage, some travelers recommend using small pieces of plastic wrap to cover the gaps between the bottles and lids.

Make use of your shoe spaceWhen you can.

Shoes can be easily fitted with rolled up socks, belts and gloves. The shoe will stay in its original shape even if you travel. You can also use rolled up belts to keep your shirt collar stiff, if necessary.

Avoid shoes that are dirty from smudging clothes.

To protect your clothes from dirt, pack them separately in a bag or use plastic bags/shower caps. Do you have delicate heels or dress shoes? If possible, pack them in your own bag.

A dryer sheet can be put in your luggageKeep things fresh.

Grab a stain pen and stain wipes while you’re at the store. You’ll be reducing the number of outfits you can wear if you spill on one of your tops and you don’t have laundry facilities.

 Individual detergent packets are available if you know that you will have laundry facilities or you will need to wash your clothes manually.

Bring a change of clothes with you.

By packing a change of clothes and undergarments in your carry on, you’re covered for at least a day if your baggage gets delayed or lost. You might want to bring an extra pair of shoes for emergencies.

Similarly, if you’re heading to a beach locale, pack a swimsuit and sandals. You don’t have to wait for your hotel to check in. Instead, head to the pool and let the concierge take care of your bags!

Keep expensive/irreplaceable items on your person.

You should keep irreplaceable items at your home as a rule of thumb. This includes expensive jewelry and heirlooms. These items must be carried with you when you travel. 

They should not be placed in checked baggage. If your luggage is lost, delayed or stolen, it will not be secure.

If you have to travel with official documents like birth certificates or social insurance cards, make sure that you check to verify that a certified copy is acceptable. 

You could also take a picture with your smartphone to save time. The same applies to irreplaceable documents

Use the TSA 3-1-1 Rule for liquids in carry on baggage

3 – Travelers can carry liquids and aerosols as well as creams, gels, pastes, and gels in containers weighing 3.4oz (100ml), or less.

1 – All items must fit in 1 clear plastic bag, quart-sized.

1 – 1 bag per passenger allowed

This bag should be removed from your carry-on. This is meant to slightly expedite passing through security.

Apps to Packing Assistance

These apps are great for people who prefer to use a mobile device over pen and paper.

Evernote: Although Evernote isn’t specifically designed for travel, it is all about lists and can help you pack! Evernote allows you to sync your packing lists across all of your devices.

This makes it simple to keep track of everything no matter where you may be, even when you’re at the shop buying items from your list.

Evernote allows you to share notes with others. This is particularly useful for group trips. Do you need reminders? You can create alerts in Evernote so you don’t forget anything.

Packing Pro:This app is everything you ever wanted if you’re a list maker, and everything you didn’t know you needed if you’re a constant forgetter! Packing Pro helps travelers get organized via packing lists. 

Packing Pro offers a variety of options, from templates and suggestions to custom designs. You can create unlimited packing lists with an unlimited length and add images, alerts and marks that indicate “need to purchase” items.

You can also share your lists via email or AirDrop, Dropbox and other platforms. Your lists can be exported and edited with Excel, Numbers or Google Docs. You can also send the list directly to a printer if you are the type who needs to physically cross off things.

If you are low-maintenance, the Packing List Assistant is an excellent feature. It will take your parameters (number, destination, weather, etc.). It will automatically create lists for your convenience.

PackPoint: PackPoint is designed to simplify packing. It basically tells you what you should pack based upon how long you are traveling, where you are going, weather conditions when you arrive, and any planned activities (chosen from a list within the app). 

PackPoint Premium allows users to connect with TripIt and share their lists across devices. Users can also add customized packing items/activities.

Travel List: There are fewer bells, whistles in Travel List. Many of the same functions can be done with Packing Pro or PackPoint: Create customizable packing lists, sync across devices, share with others, create alerts/reminders, and create customized packing lists. 

Their calendar view is a nice feature that allows for a different kind of visualization. This one can also be used with Apple Watch, which can prove to be an invaluable organizational perk.

*DUFL is an app that’s great for business travelers who don’t want to take a bag on every trip. DUFL allows you to travel without having to worry about your business clothes.

Your clothes will be cleaned and shipped directly to your destination. DUFL allows you to ship sporting equipment that you don’t want to lug around. 

Another option for businesses allows shipping, retrieval, and storage of items like signage, banners, trade show set-ups, cables, cords, merchandise, etc.

Apps to Itinerary Management

These apps can help you keep all your travel information together. They have everything you need, from flight confirmations to hotel confirmations, event tickets, and dinner reservations. This means you don’t have to carry as many printed travel documents.

Google Trips: In a nutshell, Google Trips seamlessly integrates reservations (flights, hotels, rental cars, etc.) From your Gmail, create a “trip” in Google Trips. 

These trips can be thought of as folders of information that include basic categories such as Reservations, Things To Do, Saved Places and Day Plans, Food & Drinks, Getting Around, and What You Need to Know.

It offers travel inspiration, reviews from travelers, food/drink suggestions, and detailed information about several hundred of the most popular cities and attractions worldwide.

It’s also important to remember that you can download your trip offline if you lose internet or don’t have data.

Kayak Trips: Kayak’s main app also includes Trips, an itinerary management platform that allows you to keep all of your travel information in one place. 

With Trips, you can forward your booking confirmations to, where your itinerary is managed for you in a nice timeline format with maps and important info all on one screen.

Kayak Trips allows you to share your travel plans with others through sharing options. You can also link to your calendar app to ensure consistency in planning and receive SMS or email flight alerts.

TripIt: TripIt is one of the most popular travel organization apps on the market. The app imports all booking confirmations, including hotel and rental car details, as well as flight and hotel bookings (concert tickets purchased from StubHub or OpenTable reservations). From your e-mail. 

If you don’t appreciate the e-mail scan, you can always forward your emails to or manually input all the information into the system.

TripIt creates an itinerary that is easy to read. It includes space for directions between airports and rental car pickup. TripIt allows calendar sync and makes it easy for friends/family to share your travel information via text, Evernote or LinkedIn.

TripIt Pro users can get real-time flight notifications, help finding alternate flights, fare refund notifications and seat tracker. It also integrates with LoungeBuddy. You can track reward points and save money by using VIP benefits.

Before You Leave the House

This section lists some steps that you may forget to take if you are in a rush to get away for vacation.

Keep these things in mind:

  • Download your travel resources (guidebooks, language apps, etc.)
  • Notify credit card companies about upcoming travel (international trip)
  • If necessary, set up an email autoresponder
  • Get rid of the trash
  • Washing machine for wet clothes
  • For dirty dishes, check dishwasher
  • All lights and electronics must be turned off
  • Timers for lighting
  • Water the plants
  • Drip taps are used in cold climates, where pipes can freeze.
  • Close all windows and doors; pull down all curtains
  • Set alarm system

Don’t forget to take the following tips with you on longer trips:

  • Clear out the fridge/pantry of perishable foods
  • Unplug electronics
  • Place a hold on your mail
  • Have a friend come to your home from time-to-time.

The Upgraded Points team always travels somewhere, and even we sometimes have difficulty packing!

The Carry-On is the one thing that we have mastered. Check out our bag! Here are the carry-on products we just can’t do without.

These posts will help you find the “best of the best” products for packing.

 Frequently asked questions

Is it better to fold or roll clothes in a suitcase?

Whether it’s better to fold or roll clothes for your suitcase may depend on a number of things. If you’ve no concern about saving space, folding could be just fine. However, if you’re trying to fit a lot of clothes into a small bag, there’s no shortage of youtube videos out there which prove rolling clothes can help with this task.

Additionally, interfolding and bundling are other techniques that could be helpful space savers. However, to save the most space, vacuum bags will be your best bet – just keep in mind your weight limit when packing a lot of things into one case!

Do packing cubes really save space?

Packing cubes don’t necessarily save space but they definitely help you stay organized when packing.

They can also help by keeping items separated — who wants smelly gym clothes next to their fancy dinner outfits?

How do I maximize space in my luggage?

To maximize space when packing, try using these methods for your contents: roll, bundle, or interfold (explanations above). Each has its own special technique but all can help you save space and fit more into your luggage of choice.

Another quick space-saving tip? Utilize typically unused space. For example, pack socks or belts inside your shoes!

How to I pack clothes without wrinkling them?

Here are a few quick tips to decrease wrinkling when packing your clothes into a suitcase: iron first, use a roll or interfold method, pack wrinkle-prone items in garment bags or utilize tissue paper between folds and layers, and/or choose fabrics that are less likely to wrinkle in the first place (wool, Tencel, knit, cashmere, polyester, nylon, spandex).

How should I pack toiletries in my suitcase?

When packing toiletries, you’ll want to be sure they’re kept separate from your clothes in a special bag or case. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy – a ziplock baggie will do – but this will prevent leaking of liquid onto your clothing items.

Additionally, you can place a small piece of cling-wrap between the bottles and lids of your liquids to prevent leakage.

If you’re bringing them in your carry-on, you’ll want to be sure you’re adhering to the 3-1-1 rule (use 3oz containers max, in 1 quart-sized bag, with one bag per traveler) in order to pass easily through security.

Should I pack valuable items in my suitcase?

Always keep valuable items on your person while traveling. This includes identification cards, passports, visas, money, credit cards, jewelry, important medications, etc.

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