organized-packed-suitcase

Basic Vacation Essentials Packing Checklist

Even the best-laid vacation plans can be easily dashed by something as simple as forgetting to pack the creature comforts and small necessities that you, well, need. Frustratingly, it always seems to be the obvious, everyday things that you use all the time (your glasses, for example, or your toothbrush—doh!) that get left out of the suitcase, and consequently left behind. But fear not—we’ve come up with this handy list to ensure that exact scenario never happens again, and that you can confidently head off on your next trip sans that nagging “I think I’m forgetting something” feeling. Conveniently broken down into categories that include everything from health and beauty items to “equipment” like batteries and phone chargers, and structured in interactive, checklist form, tick each box as you pack each essential away, and you’ll be prepared for stress-free fun, wherever you’re headed. (We intentionally left out clothing since that varies so widely, but try our Beach Vacation Packing List for a comprehensive review of what you’ll need if you’re heading somewhere warm, or our Ski Trip Packing Checklist if you’re bound for colder climes). Bon voyage!

Accessories

  1. Check

    Contact lenses and/or glasses, if necessary (consider packing extra pairs, too)

Accessories

  1. Check

    Slippers

  2. Check

    Sunglasses

Equipment

  1. Check

    Alarm clock

  2. Check

    Batteries for small electronics and cameras

  3. Check

    Camera (and film, if needed)

  4. Check

    Chargers for your cell phone, camera, video camera, and laptop

  5. Check

    Hair dryer (if your hotel doesn’t supply one)

  6. Check

    Headphones for watching in-flight movies

  7. Check

    iPod and iPod dock

  8. Check

    Tripod

  9. Check

    Video camera

Health and Beauty Items

  1. Check

    Antibacterial wipes

  2. Check

    Body lotion

  3. Check

    Comb and brush

  4. Check

    Contact lens solution (if needed)

  5. Check

    Deodorant

  6. Check

    Face cleanser

  7. Check

    First aid kit, including gas-relief tablets, antacid, antidiarrheal medicine, antihistamine for allergies, bandages, candied ginger for motion sickness, mild laxative, non-aspirin pain reliever, and a thermometer in a hard case

  8. Check

    Floss

  9. Check

    Insect repellent

  10. Check

    Lip balm (choose one with SPF 15)

  11. Check

    Makeup

  12. Check

    Personal-hygiene items

  13. Check

    Prescriptions

  14. Check

    Razors

  15. Check

    Shampoo and conditioner

  16. Check

    Shaving gel

  17. Check

    Sunscreen (pack at least one all-purpose sunscreen with SPF 15)

  18. Check

    Toothbrush

  19. Check

    Toothpaste

  20. Check

    Travel-sized detergent

Miscellaneous

  1. Check

    Addresses of friends and family for postcards

  2. Check

    Healthy snacks, such as chewy granola bars, dried fruit, mini bagels, nuts, and pretzels

  3. Check

    Cash, ATM cards, and traveler’s checks

  4. Check

    Maps and directions, if driving (try randmcnally.com for maps, directions, and traffic information)

  5. Check

    Photograph of luggage contents in case of loss

  6. Check

    Printouts of reservations

  7. Check

    Sealable plastic bags for stowing small liquid containers

  8. Check

    Travel journal

  9. Check

    Travel pillow and blanket