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Whether you’re a first-time traveler or a major cosmopolitan, it’s always helpful to have a detailed understanding of what you need before heading to the airport. And, depending on the destination, you may need to make some changes. Packing for a trip to Alaska, for example, is different from packing for a trip to Thailand. However, luckily for you, they follow the same basic pattern. And that is why we came up with a general guide to help you pack and plan your next trip like a pro.

Choose Your Luggage Wisely

This one’s a major point. Wherever you’re headed, having a durable, lightweight and flexible suitcase is essential. The most important feature to look for when making this decision is that the luggage has a warranty.

Think about traveling with a broken wheel, or a damaged handle…not fun! Brands that cover their products with warranties are a great way to help narrow down your choices. There are a few types of luggage you can opt for:

    • Rolling Luggage: Luggage with wheels is obviously great to prevent any possible back injuries. It’s also convenient and easy to use. If you’re traveling in a city with sidewalks, this is your go to.
    • Duffel Bag: You look pretty stylish with a duffle bag slung over your shoulder. There are many simple and light duffle bags that offer a lot of space and durability for your belongings.
    • Travel Backpack: You’re going to want a backpack for your more rustic traveling. Known as the classic choice of backpackers the world over, backpacks offer durability, mobility, and convenience.
  • Carry-On: Unless you have to pay extra for it, taking a carry-on with you can get you far. Your main luggage may not be enough, especially when going on trips longer than two weeks. Having a carry-on offers more space for last-minute things, items that don’t fit in your luggage, and can be used for extra storage in case your main suitcase is overweight. If you’re wondering what would qualify as a carry-on with your airline, check out our list of TSA approved carry-ons!

Pack and Organize Your Stuff

If you’re planning on specific activities like hiking or swimming, make sure that you pack and organize with these in mind. Keeping your suitcase neat is critical in ensuring you can fit everything in with no issues. If you find that you don’t have space for everything, try compressing your clothes. With compression, you can reduce the volume of your clothes (by eighty percent!), and keep them neatly folded.

Start with a general packing list:

    • Long-sleeved shirts (possibly sun-protective if you’re spending time outdoors)
    • Short-sleeved shirts
    • Sweater/fleece jackets
    • T-shirts or tank tops
    • Pants
    • Shorts
    • Belt(s)
    • Socks
    • Rain jacket/windbreaker (depending on season or weather)
    • Pajamas/sleepwear
    • Underwear
    • Dresses
    • Hat
    • Sunglasses
    • Jewelry
    • Swimsuit
    • Phone & charger
    • Travel speakers
    • Travel pillow, eye mask, and ear plugs
  • Electric converters and adapters

Remember, pack smart and not too much. You can always wear the same outfit twice (it’s really not a big deal, we promise). Depending on your destination, sunscreen and mosquito repellant may be useful.

Pack Your Toiletry Bag

If you’re not checking in your carry-on or keeping your toiletries with you, make sure they are TSA-approved, and light. You don’t want to be carrying a large bottle of mouthwash when you could use that space and weight for other essentials.

Here are some items you should bring:

    • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash
    • Hairbrush or comb, hair ties, and bobby pins
    • Deodorant
    • Perfume
    • Shampoo and conditioner
    • Makeup remover
    • Face wash
    • Personal hygiene items
    • Extra contacts, solution, and case
    • Glasses
    • Shaving cream and razor
  • Nail clippers and tweezers

Health Items

Make sure you’re fully equipped in case you have a headache or a random stomach ache on your trip.

Such health items include the following:

    • First aid kit (band-aids, adhesives, and gauze)
    • Thermometer
    • Cold medicines and cough drops
    • Vitamins
    • Personal prescriptions
    • Eye drops
    • Hand sanitizer
  • Sleeping medicine

Important Travel Documents

Make sure that you start collecting absolutely every legal or governmental document you may need for your trip. Whether for a flight, to rent a car, or sign up for an attraction, you will need certain documents:

    • Visas (you may need travel visa)
    • Personal ID/student ID
    • Driver’s license
    • Credit cards
    • Cash
    • Hotel documents
    • Emergency contacts
    • Travel documents – reservations or confirmations
    • Guide books or maps
  • Copies of important documents in case you lose them.

There you have it! The essentials for your adventure. Traveling can be super exciting, but losing your passport or forgetting it at home will ruin your trip. Make sure to take extra precautions before leaving to the airport to confirm that you have taken everything you need.

Don’t forget to browse our extensive array of travel insurance for every type of traveler. Whether you’re going on an adventure or taking a relaxing jaunt, we have you covered.

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