What should I pack?

If you’re getting ready for an international destination, you probably feel like there’s so much to do, but so little time. Your bags need to be packed, and if you leave something behind that is essential to your needs, you may not be able to find it overseas.

So what to pack? The checklist needs to be broad to cover essentials, but detailed to include  things you may forget.Your destination and how long you will be away will play a part in deciding what you need to pack.

Keep a list of items of absolute essentials to pack for every trip (charger, cleanser, swim suit, sunscreen, etc.). It makes last-minute packing a lot less stressful because there’s always a checklist for reference. It’s always good to have an international travel checklist.

***Be aware of different cultures and their requirements for dress. If you are a woman, and wear skinny jeans and a crop top in many Asian countries, you may be hassled .

Essential Packing List

It’s always good to have an international travel checklist.

My Favorite Things

Keep a list of items of essentials to pack for every trip (charger, cleanser, swim suit, sunscreen, etc.).
It makes last-minute packing a lot less stressful because there’s a checklist for reference.

What to Pack in

I love packing cubes, and they have been a life saver for long trips over 30 days, especially if I am moving around a lot. You can divide things into color-coded or sized packing cubes. It’s  super helpful to know exactly where everything is as soon as the suitcase is opened. You can also more them into drawers or a shelf, and instantly be done unpacking and ready to go.

Roll, Don’t Fold!

This has been proven to save space, keep things visible and less wrinkled. I sometimes put dryer sheets in the rolls if I am going to be without laundry services in some locations.

Pack things that coordinate or match, so you can interchange looks easily. There’s nothing worse than trying to stuff everything back into the suitcase at the end of a trip, and see you didn’t wear half the clothes you brought!

That’s why I started packing by color themes, and only pieces that work with each other. I’ll take bottoms if I know I have several tops that work in layers, and shoes that work with most outfits. If I need a pair of dress shoes, I tend to bring nice flats that are good for walking as well as a party. I look at all the activities on itinerary and what I need to wear – hat, shorts, covered top, etc.

Keep a Prepacked Toiletry Kit – Necessaire

As I age, my tolerance of hotel skin-care products has worsened, and I can’t use generic shampoos and soaps without getting allergies or reactions, so I now make sure top repack everything. This also helps if you get a sudden invite to Cabo for a weekend get-away with friends, right?

Who has time to sort through all the bathroom stuff at the last minute? And worse, who wants to pay airport prices for small size toiletries! I have a separate Toiletry kit stocked with extra prescriptions, other toiletries, several mini first aid and emergency kit (sewing, altitude, ace bandage, butterfly bandage, etc.)

If you can, start getting ready to travel early – collect travel-sized items like small toothpaste from the dentist, shampoo and conditioner samples from the hair salon, medication samples fro your doctor, and keep them organized in a plastic baggie in your cabinet, ready to go.

Always Pack Less

Learn  which items from your wardrobe work best for travel: non wrinkle, day or evening, and less space in bag. Are you not sure? Don’t bring it.

Pack everything you want to take, and then remove half from your suitcase. If you still have too much, do it again, so that you are left with just the essentials needed for your trip. You can easily pick something up on your travels, and you will have a souvenir of your time there.

Laundry, my Nemesis

Bring a breathable laundry bag – cotton or mesh, Not plastic, so if something is damp, it won’t get musty. When traveling to your destination, you can use to keep clothes off the floor and for the return trip, it will separate dirty from clean, and makes it easy to  do your wash after a trip.

Pack a disposable plastic bag, or use a shower cap from the hotel to stash wet things on the last day, so you can enjoy hanging out longer before catching late night flights.