plan-pack Details

Tips and checklist on what to pack for a vacation.

January 15, 2018

The sun is shining and Galapagos is calling! You instantly take out your smartphone to announce to all and sundry about your airport check-in and wham! That death-ringing tone of low battery reminds you that you forgot to charge your phone or bring your power bank. Even the most methodically-planned vacation can go wrong due to something as trivial as a small accessory that you need.

When I plan our group vacations, I almost always receive a message of what to bring. Now, I understand that what I bring will always depend on the place I am going to. We also want to consider the weather and activities we’re going to do in that location. Therefore, follow the tips and checklist below on what not to forget when packing for a vacation:


1. Make a list
Admittedly, this may sound a little boring and even an oversimplified solution, but a good old list still works. Also, you do not have to remember everything. There are many free to-do apps, some exclusively only for traveling purposes which allow you to make a list, prioritize and set multiple reminders to make sure you do not miss anything. For instance, packing Pro is an incredibly simple IOS app that you can use. Alternatively, you can also maintain a checklist in your phone’s notes app. I personally always refer to this list whenever I travel.

2. Pack a first aid kit
I am not asking you to pack your luggage for the ER, just a compact bag with necessary medicines that you might need. After all, we all try to stay healthy in our ways, but nobody can predict a splitting headache, fever due to climate change, troubling stomach or all three during a holiday. I am providing this advice after learning my lesson the hard way. My husband and I flew to El Nido, Palawan, Philippines and I got struck with fever, stomach flu and cold for the best part of three days. Of course, we were not prepared to get stumped like this and at the 11th hour, we had to find a drug store in the area. I am just glad there was one close to our hotel. It is critical to remember that while it may be relatively easy to pick up remedies for your ailments at home, medicinal drugs in foreign counties may well be limited only to prescription. The same rule goes for asthma and allergy medicines, so carry them as well.

3. Categorize your clothes
Pack clothes in clusters – this means that you should pack shirts with shirts and trousers with trousers. This is an easy way to quickly find what you need without disrupting all the contents of your suitcase. Also, it creates more space.

4. Save space for holiday luggage
For obvious reasons, every time I am back from a trip, my luggage is always bulkier than it was before I left. Whether it is holiday mementos or duty-free goods, it is a given that you will have more luggage with you on your return trip. Therefore, make sure to have enough space for it.

5. Pack backup clothes in your hand luggage
“Pack light” is the go-to advice for my friends and family. However, it is often a wise idea to pack a clean set of underwear, socks and another garments in your carry-on bag as emergency backup clothes. This is because you can never forecast a flight delay, a sudden transit stopover or worse, losing luggage in an airplane mix-up. It is always better to be ready!

Following are four categories that you should peruse before calling that Uber ride to the airport.

• Glasses and contact lenses
• Slippers
• Sunglasses
• Hats
• Gloves, Scarf (winter travels)
• Cellphone
• Laptop
• Batteries and charger for small cameras and electronics
• Camera (DLSR, Digital Cam, Go Pro)
• Charging wires for your cell phone, video camera and laptop
• Power bank
• Headphones for watching in-flight movies
• iPod and iPod dock
• Dry bag or Water resistant bag (if your traveling includes beach, canyoneering or island hopping)
• Bathing suit or swimming trunks
• Flip flops, Sandals
• Belts
• Jewelry
• Purses
• Wallet
• Ties
• Shoes suitable for traveling (snow or rain boots, gym shoes, heels, dress shoes)
• Pocket Wi-Fi (if traveling abroad)
• Laundry bag/Plastic bag
• Umbrella

• Underwear
• Undershirts/Bras
• Socks/Stockings
• Dresses
• Dress shirts
• Jeans
• Shorts
• Pants
• Swim suit/ Bikini/ Cover ups
• Sleepwear
• Winter coat

• Body lotion
• Make up (foundation, eyeliner, face powder, eyeshadow, concealer, BB cream, lipstick etc.)
• Make-up remover
• Hairstyling appliances (Hair blower, curler, straightening iron)
• Sunscreen
• Moisturizer
• Antibacterial wipes
• Hand sanitizer
• Deodorant
• Comb and brush
• Facial cleanser
• Lip balm
• Floss
• Tweezers
• Medicines, vitamins, pain relievers, bandages
• Insect repellant
• Prescriptions
• Razors
• Shampoo and conditioner
• Body wash
• Dry shampoo
• Shaving gel
• Toothbrush
• Toothpaste
• Nail cutter

• Visa
• Passport
• ID
• Copies of passport, Visa, ID and credit cards
• Insurance cards (medical and travel)
• Credit card, bank contacts
• Cash, traveler’s checks and ATM cards.
• Emergency contact
• Address of family and friends for postcards
• Healthy snacks such as dried fruit, chewy granola bars, mini bagels, pretzels and nuts
• Maps and directions, if going on a road trip.
• Photograph of luggage contents in case of loss.
• Travel journal.
• Travel pillow and blanket

5 Comment(s)

5 Comments to Tips and checklist on what to pack for a vacation.

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