What to pack: the basic travel checklist


Here’s a basic travel checklist to guide you on what to pack, so that you don’t forget anything essential at home.

It’s the same old story every time you are about to leave: packing  your suitcase is always like the first time.

You wander around in search of a detail that makes you remember what you should bring with you.


And in any case you always forget something! 🙈

Here’s the solution: create your checklist, a basic list that doesn’t depend on the destination, the weather and the duration of your journey.

Your checklist will be a list of what you should always pack when traveling.

If you’re heading to a destination where shops and supermarkets are not around the corner, it’s important to bring along what could seem trivial. And because it’s trivial, it’s easy to forget it at home!

How to create the checklist

Make sure you take notes of what you might need, as the departure date approaches. Then, when you pack everything in your suitcase, make a final selection and check your list for any last-minute accessories.


At this point you’ll have a general list with the essentials that you should always bring with you. This is your basic checklist and it will be valid for any trip.

Then you’ll need a more detailed list for your specific destination. This could be useful next time you’ll take the same kind of trip.


This way, your luggage will be lighter and will contain exactly what you need (or could come in useful).

Here’s my basic Checklist (more or less in order of importance):
  • Documents (identity card or passport, driving license, visa, air or train tickets, … check that they’re valid and correct and don’t leave them at home!). If you want to be super accurate, take a digital copy of your documents.
  • Money (credit or debit cards or cash in local currency if you go to places where you won’t be able to withdraw cash easily)
  • Travel adapter
  • Telephone + charger
  • Camera + additional memory cards + battery charger + backup battery (yes, I take lots of photos 😉)
  • Tablet / Laptop + battery charger (if you can do without it, then leave it at home! I personally can’t)
  • Books / e-readers (the digital format is obviously better, as it means less weight and unlimited number of books)
  • Sleeping mask (otherwise you’ll wake up at the crack of dawn…)
  • Medicines (especially if you require a prescription or if you are not sure you can find them at your destination)
  • Blister patches (if you’re planning to walk a loooooot)
  • Bandana (to protect you from dust and sun and to protect your hair, in other words it’s essential)
  • Scarf (to protect you from air conditioning in summer and from drafts in winter)
  • Raincoat (it’s not essential everywhere, but it’s better to bring it with you where it would be too complicated or long to wait for the rain to stop before continuing your tour)
  • Wet and disinfecting wipes
  • Sealed bags for dirty / wet clothes

With regard to clothes and beauty products, I leave the difficult decision to you. The less you carry, the lighter your luggage will be… I suggest to bring only two pairs of shoes (you’ll wear one for the trip).

Shoes for special activities should be on your specific checklist.

If you forget something, you’ll soon discover that you can do without it for the short time you will be away 😉

What are the things you can’t do without when you travel? Tell us in the comments below

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