Whether you’re heading out on a weekend getaway or are sketching out plans for a future dream vacation, knowing what to pack can be a challenge.
To simplify the process and make sure you don’t forget any essentials, use this handy travel checklist. While you’ll need to pack differently for a winter weekend trip versus a longer summer road trip, this basic packing list will get you started.
To choose the right bag, think about your travel style, where you’re going and how much you plan to bring with you. Your options include:
Rolling suitcase: Breeze along without breaking a sweat.
Duffle bag: Great for tossing into the trunk on a road trip.
Backpack: Cover rough terrain or climb lots of stairs while distributing the load evenly on your back. Some big packs have detachable daypacks.
Think about how long you’ll be going, the activities you’ll be doing, and the weather forecast to help you decide what to bring. If you’re travelling for longer than a week, plan to do laundry rather than bringing fresh outfits for the whole trip.
Water-resistant or waterproof jacket with a hood
Shorts for warm days or workouts
Bras, including a sports bra
Nice shoes or boots
Whatever you bring, consider these packing tips:
Bring items you can layer instead of one super-warm coat. That way, you can add or remove pieces as you warm up or cool off.
Stick to one or two color schemes so everything matches.
Roll up socks and stick them in your shoes to save space.
Take the time to plan your outfits while you pack. That way, you won’t toss in a bunch of extra clothing “just in case” and never wind up wearing it.
Shampoo and conditioner
Soap or body wash
Razor or shaving kit
Glasses or contacts and solution
Hairbrush or comb
Hair elastics or bobby pins
Basic first aid kit with painkillers, allergy medication, moleskin and adhesive bandages
Handy travel extras
Earplugs and eye mask
Book or e-reader
Camera with charger
Laptop or tablet, if you need one
Auxiliary cord, if you’re driving