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The Ultimate Travel Checklist


July 23rd, 2014Travel, Gap Year
By Jemma Dicks

Travel checklist

Image courtesy of Flickr, Mat Honan

Packing for a big trip can be stressful but it can also be quite exciting. I’m a massive fan of packing on the day of travel but when it comes to trips of a few months or more, planning in advance really will save you from going grey early!

I’ve put together a comprehensive travel checklist to help you plan what documents you need to have, the items you need to buy and the things you need to take. Once you’ve gone through this travel checklist, you may also have a better idea regarding the size of the backpack you’re going to need!

I’ve included electrical items such as tablets and laptops in this list, but again use your judgement to decide whether or not you need or want to take expensive items such as these with you.

Getting the most out of your checklist

You can adjust this checklist to suit your specific trip. For example, if you’re planning on spending your entire time beach hopping in South East Asia, you could most likely forgo the hiking boots and sleeping bag.

On the other hand, if you’re planning a trip around South America, then you’ll need to pack for everything - beaches, mountains, deserts, glaciers and jungles.

If you just want to browse the list then it's displayed in full below. I've broken it down into sections to make it less overwhelming (it is the ‘ultimate’ travel checklist after all).

If you're travelling soon and want a physical checklist that you can tick off as you pack, then you can get a pdf version here that's perfect for printing. If pdfs don’t work for you then get a jpeg version here.

The Ultimate
Travel Checklist

Display all
Preparing to travel
  • Renew/ check passport
  • Obtain relevant visas
  • Ensure you have recommended vaccinations
  • Purchase travel insurance
  • Print off documents
  • Check-in online with airline
  • Check flight times
  • Check baggage weight
  • Personalise luggage
  • Change money
  • Notify your bank that you are travelling to avoid having cards declined
  • Make a note of numbers to call to cancel cards
  • Check local weather/news in destination
  • Email a copy of all documents to yourself in case of theft
  • Passport
  • Extra passport photos
  • Vaccination certificates
  • Driver’s license
  • Discount cards
  • Hostel/hotel reservations and contact information
  • Travel insurance documents
  • Travel itinerary and reservations
  • Tickets (flight/boat/bus)
  • Photocopies of documents/ID/tickets
  • Emergency contact infos
  • Sterling (for use in the airport)
  • Foreign currency
  • Emergency cash (US$100)
  • Credit card
  • Debit card
  • Pre-paid currency card
  • Wallet
  • Money belt (that can be concealed beneath clothes)
  • Main, large rucksack or suitcase
  • Carry-on bag (small day pack)
  • Waterproof cover for rucksack
  • Jumper/fleece
  • Jeans/trousers
  • Shorts
  • Skirts/dresses
  • Shirts (strappy/polo/t-shirts/casual/smart)
  • Raincoat
  • Bras
  • Underwear
  • Socks (thin and thermal)
  • Pyjamas
  • Thermal underwear
  • Swimming shorts/swimsuit/bikini
  • Sarong
  • Flip flops/sandals
  • Trainers
  • Walking boots
  • Smart shoes
  • Sunglasses/case/strap
  • Watch
  • Belt
  • Scarf
  • Gloves
  • Hat
  • Travel towel
  • Small umbrella
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Toiletry bag
  • Skin care/lotion
  • Make-up
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Tissues
  • Feminine hygiene items
  • Deodorant
  • Hair brush/comb
  • Shampoo/conditioner
  • Soap/cleansers
  • Cotton buds
  • Tweezers
  • Baby wipes
  • Shaving gel/foam
  • Razor/electric shaver
  • Nail clippers/file
  • Wash cloth
  • Dental floss
  • Perfume/aftershave
  • Make-up remover
  • Painkillers
  • Prescription medication
  • First aid kit
  • Sterile needle kit
  • Diarrhoea medicine
  • Rehydration sachets (e.g. Dioralyte)
  • Anti-malarial medication
  • Contraception (pill/condoms)
  • Lip balm
  • Sun cream
  • After-sun
  • Cold/flu medicine
  • Vitamins
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Insect repellent
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Plasters
  • Water purifier (e.g. Iodine)
Electronics and gadgets
  • Travel adaptors
  • Mobile phone and charger
  • Camera and charger
  • SD cards
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Laptop/tablet and charger
  • External battery charger
  • USB cables
  • iPod
  • Travel alarm
  • Head torch
  • Torch
  • Extra batteries
  • Binoculars
  • Travel hairdryer
  • E-reader
  • Waterproof stuff sacks (for holding gadgets and small items)
  • Packing cubes
  • Knife/fork/spork
  • Portable door lock
  • Extra backpack fasteners
  • Sewing kit
  • Plastic bags/black sacks
  • Ear plugs
  • Pocket knife/multi-tool
  • Pens
  • Pack of cards
  • Travel games
  • Travel sweets
  • Chewing gum
  • Books
  • Phrase books
  • Guide books
  • Water bottle/platypus
  • Universal travel sink plugs
  • Bungee rope (to act as clothes line or to attach things to backpack)
  • Travel pillow
  • Padlocks (combination rather than key)
  • Journal
  • Compass
  • Duct tape
  • Energy bars
  • Travel wash

Share the checklist on your site

Have we missed anything off this travel checklist? Do you have any tips regarding the best way to pack for a big trip? Do you fold or roll? Let us know below!

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