Every trip starts at home… Just after you book the flights or rent the caravan you will inevitably find yourself standing over a bag or a suitcase (or both) thinking “I wish I had a packing list!”. So we thought it would be nice to share ours with you.
Having a good list isn’t about satisfying your OCD, it’s about taking the stress out of being ready to go anywhere, anytime. Unless you have a photographic memory, everybody will find themselves sitting in a taxi on the way to the airport saying to the person next to them “Hey did you grab the…..!!!”
We have been using and updating this list for years, it’s the first thing we print, make notes on for each trip and keep with our gear until we walk out the door. There is spaces in the printable version below for extras things you might think of and we encourage you to remove things you just dont need on a per trip basis.
The more familiar you become with your list the more confidently you will walk out the door.
I am a big believer that the psychology you start a trip with will affect the quality of your trip. Remind yourself why you are going and the moment you close the door behind you, let it all go, take you passport, wallet and a towel and just go!
As always, many happy travels and remember to get lost once in a while .
Check the expiration date, if it expires at any date during your adventure overseas you wont be allowed to board the plane. This could take 2 or 3 weeks so check it before you book the tickets for that spontaneous trip this weekend.
Most Countries make it relatively easy to obtain a Visa because they want the tourism, and in many cases this means you can grab a short stay Visa at the airport when you land for a reasonable fee.
On the other hand it seems like some Countries would prefer you stayed at home. It’s worth taking a few minutes to check the official website for that County and get it sorted early. Like all government departments they love to take their time.
If you need a Visa in a hurry then there is many websites that offer an express service for a few more dollars. Many are legit and they can fast track the process because they have a contact on the inside. There are a few dodgy sites too so look for authentic reviews.
Another indispensable item that you want to have at least three to five of.
You can use anything from a hessian bag to a proper ultralight one with a drawstring. Grab a few small ones (10 Litres) for your socks and underwear, a few mediums (15/20 Litres) for your shirts and pants and finally a single large sealed stuff sackg for your dirty washing.
They are the easiest and most versatile way to keep your gear organised on the road and well greatly help you avoid digging around the bottom of your bags every day.
Crap power adaptors are…. crap. No really, they can and often will be a complete let down to the point where you will find yourself at 3am in the morning taping the power adaptor to the powerpoint plate so it stays in and charges your devices for the next day.
You will notice as you travel more that Australia actually got it right when we chose our powerpoint format and the rest of the world just kinda did something else.
The Aussie plug design does two things really well. Large contact area pins allows more secure physical and electrical connection and a triangular layout of the three pins actually takes care of the really big issue…. Gravity!
I can’t count how many times I have plugged an adaptor into a Dual Circular Pin socket in Asia just to watch it nose dive onto the floor under its own weight! Arrrgggggg
What’s generally happening here is that the cheapest possible power sockets are used so the pin capture springs are almost useless and don’t clamp the pins on the adaptor properly. Also the really cheap adaptors, not all but most, have shorter and fractionally smaller diametre pins.
There is no easy way to completely solve this but a decent adaptor and a small roll of electrical tape is something we never leave home without.
Also, and very importantly, many counties don’t legally require a safety earth wire or pin on their sockets. This saves a fortune on wiring houses but provides no path for the electricity to go if there is a fault in your device or cables, eg. Your gear gets fried if anything goes wrong, So get an adaptor with surge protection and the same on your powerboard if you get one.
This might seem strange but a good 4 way powerboard with two USB ports can be a god send on any trip. This means you only have to carry one good quality international adapter and can keep everything charged as you move about.
These days it’s almost impossible to leave home without a few charges for various devices and its just better to not get caught out with not enough power points and you have the added benefit of surge protection on most powerboards which i highly recommend.
Also, and this is a big one, just like your home, electricians have this habit of putting your power points either under your bed or just out of reach of your USB lead. Even the most expensive hotels we have stayed in are guilty of this so a powerboard with a one or two meter power lead can be a life saver.
Keep an eye out for the current rating for each of the USB ports as well, I recommend 2.4 Amps per port as this will allow much faster charging of your phone so you can get back to taking pictures on your trip.
It’s not uncommon to leave for a weekend away or a few months overseas with half a dozen leads and chargers, plus spare
Ok, you might be laughing now but that moment when the person at the check in Desk in the airport ask you how you would like to pay your 220 dollar overweight bill should stop most humor.
Even a cheap set of digital hand scales will get you within a few percent of the mark. If you know your going to be buying something for the whole family it may be a good idea to pre-book a few extra Kg baggage allowance for your return flight home.
If you have lots of different types of activities you plan to do, that means you have a fair amount of gear you need to pack into your suitcase. Keeping everything organized can be a challenge. One of the best things you can do when you’re packing for any trip, especially one that requires you to pack lots of layers, is to make sure you use packing organizers.
Keeping your suitcase organized with packing organizers means not only will you know exactly where everything is, but your clothing can be arranged and compressed so you can fit more in your bag. Why spend your time packing and unpacking when you can quickly unpack by sliding your organizers directly into hotel drawers, and pack up quick, getting seamlessly from one place to the next without having to rearrange your entire bag every time?
Keep your clothing organized in compartments based on outfit type or activity type by using packing cubes. These zippered organizers make it easy to keep your bag neat and provide quick access to all the different things you’ll need during your trip. You can use compression sacs or cubes to reduce the volume of your clothes by up to 80%. This is especially convenient for bulky items such as sweaters and jackets. And folders are great for keeping dress clothing nice, neat and folded.
Start with this clothing packing list:
- Lightweight clothing that can be layered
- Long-sleeved shirts
- Sweaters or fleece jacket
- T-shirts and tank tops (be respectful of the culture you are visiting)
- Pants and/or shorts
- Belt – Check out this one for a ingenuitive money protection option
- Socks – wool socks are best for hiking
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Rain jacket, windbreaker or umbrella
- Sunglasses and glasses case
- Dresses and/or skirts
- Jewelry – organize in a mini cube or circlet
- Hat or sun visor
- Scarf or bandana
- Swimsuit or swim trunks – consider a wet/dry organizer
- Cell phone and charger
- Travel speakers
- Travel pillow, eye mask and ear plugs
- Electric converters and adapters
- Travel apps that will help with language, directions, and money conversion
You’ll want to pack smart (not lots of) clothing options if your trip will take you to a variety of places, or transversely if you will be navigating off the beaten path. Having options doesn’t mean you’ll need to over-pack. (And in fact, you shouldn’t.) Just pack smart. Include clothing that can be worn on your daily adventures and then dressed up slightly with a different pair of shoes and a scarf. Maybe a dress that becomes a skirt or comfortable travel pants that can be dressed up for a day at the market. Also consider clothing with SPF or mosquito repellency if you’ll be in environments where that would be beneficial.
Learn more about choosing the right packing organizers to pack the variety of everyday basics you’ll want to pack.
If you’re carrying on, keep your toiletry bag light and TSA-compliant. The TSA’s 3-1-1 rule makes it easy to remember: liquids, gels, aerosols, creams, and pastes must be 3.4 ounces (100ml) or less per container and they must be in a 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag. To make this as easy as possible for you, we have a set that includes four 3-ounce silicone bottles in a quart-sized clear pouch that’s wipeable and has a water resistant zipper. Click here for more info about TSA rules regarding what you can pack.
Don’t forget the following travel essentials for your toiletry case:
The Toiletry Bag Basics
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash
- Hair brush or comb, hair ties, barrettes/bobby pins
- Shampoo and conditioner – Dr. Bronners is a good option all-in-one option for hair care, face wash, laundry and more
- Sunscreen and face lotion with SPF
- Make up packed in a wipeable wristlet
- Face wash and/or makeup remover wipes and q-tips
- Night time Moisturizer/Lotion
- Lip balm with SPF and lipstick or lip gloss
- Personal hygiene items
- Feminine hygiene products
- Extra contacts, solution, and contact case
- Glasses and prescription sunglasses
- Prescription medication with the label/script so that you can refill if needed and not be questioned by TSA.
- Contact lenses/solution
- Shaver + Balm
- Feminine-hygiene products
- Nail file/clippers
- Hand sanitizer
- Disinfectant Cream
- Pain relievers