The Ultimate Travel Checklist: What to Pack for Your Next Trip

Published: April 26, 2019 | Updated: January 17, 2020 | Posted by: Venus Zoleta | Lifestyle

Travel Essentials Checklist | Moneymax

All your bags are packed; you’re ready to go. You thought you’ve brought everything you need for your trip, only to find out later that you forgot to bring something really important. It could be your medicines, passport, or worse, your wallet! Don’t just toss stuff into your bag. You’ll tend to leave out stuff that way. Packing for a trip shouldn’t be just an after-thought—it’s a critical part of your travel planning. But what if you’re too busy to pack, let alone plan all your travel essentials? Keep this travel packing checklist handy for when you prepare for your next vacation.

Bags for Holding Your Travel Essentials

Travel Essentials Checklist

Start with making sure you have all the travel bags you’ll need for your trip. Whatever type of bags you’ll use, they should be lightweight so that they’re easy to carry yet durable so that they won’t get damaged easily. Your bags must also have enough space to contain all your travel essentials. Your travel bags may include all or some of the following, depending on where you’ll go:

  • Luggage – Get one with four wheels that can be moved in all directions to lessen the pressure on your wrist and arms.
  • Travel backpack – If carrying a suitcase isn’t your thing or you’ll go hiking or camping, then a backpack is the more practical bag to use.
  • Duffel bag – It’s convenient to bring an extra bag that can be easily folded and used for souvenirs and pasalubong when you return home. It’s a great carry-on bag, too.
  • Money belt/Anti-theft messenger bag – Yes, you need that small bag to keep your cash, credit cards, cellphone, passport, and other valuables secure.
  • Packing cubes/Compression bags – These small bags keep things organized and compact in your luggage. All undergarments are in one bag, dirty laundry in another, and chargers and headphones in another. You can easily access an item with these bags rather than having to rummage through all your stuff.
  • Toiletry bag – Get a hanging, waterproof bag for toiletries, so you can easily use it in shared bathrooms.
  • Medication bag – Whether you’re taking meds and supplements or bringing them for an emergency, you need a small bag to hold all those items.
  • Dry bag – A must-have when traveling to the beach. A dry bag protects gadgets and other things that shouldn’t get wet while you’re on a water adventure.

Travel Documents

Forgetting a single travel document on your trip can cause so much hassle. So before you leave, make sure to print, photocopy, and keep a digital copy of these documents:

  • Passport – If you’ll travel abroad, make sure it’s valid for six months on your departure date. An expiring passport should be renewed at least four to six months before your trip (Read more: Easy Steps to Philippine Passport Application and Renewal).
  • Valid ID – This is useful not just for identification purposes but also to get discounts, especially for senior citizens and PWDs.
  • Enough cash and credit cards – Compute how much you’ll spend on your trip, and bring just the right amount, especially if you’ll travel to remote areas where ATMs are scarce and only cash payment is accepted. As for credit cards, call your bank to inform it about your travel so that your cards won’t get blocked when you use them (Read more: 5 Perks of Using Credit Cards for Travel).
  • Travel itinerary – Maximize your trip by planning ahead your activities per day and bringing a print copy of your itinerary.
  • Boarding pass – While you can get it at the airport, printing it in advance will speed up your check-in process.
  • Hotel and tour reservations – You need to present them to the hotel or tour provider (along with your passport when traveling abroad). A confirmed hotel booking is also required when entering Boracay.

Travel Wardrobe

Packing clothes for a trip can be a chore. But it doesn’t have to be if you just stick to the basics and prioritize comfort over style. Here are the travel clothing essentials for men and women, based on the climate of the place you’re traveling to.

Travel Clothing for Women

Travel Essentials Checklist

What to Pack for Hot Climates

  • Sleeveless tops or tank tops
  • Shorts
  • Leggings or light cotton pants
  • Dresses or long skirts made of light fabric (for visiting temples, churches, and other sites that require modest clothing)
  • Swimsuit/bikini
  • Pajamas/sleepwear
  • Underwear
  • Thin socks
  • Running shoes
  • Aqua shoes (for beach activities)
  • Sandals/flip-flops/sneakers
  • Hat/cap/bandana
  • Sunglasses

What to Pack for Cold Climates

  • Long-sleeved shirts for layering
  • Thermal shirts and pants
  • Jeans or thick pants
  • Leggings
  • Sweaters or fleece jacket
  • Rain jacket or windbreaker
  • Heavy coat (for extremely cold climate)
  • Pajamas/sleepwear
  • Thick socks
  • Running shoes or boots
  • Scarf
  • Gloves
  • Bonnet

Travel Clothing for Men

Travel Essentials Checklist

What to Pack for Hot Climates

  • Cotton T-shirts, preferably quick-drying ones
  • Collared, short-sleeved button-up shirts
  • Loose, comfy pants
  • Board shorts
  • Regular shorts
  • Thin socks
  • Underwear
  • Sandals/flip-flops/sneakers
  • Aqua shoes (for beach activities)
  • Cap
  • Sunglasses

What to Pack for Cold Climates

  • Long-sleeved shirts for layering
  • Thermal shirt and pants
  • Windproof jacket
  • Thick socks
  • Underwear
  • Hiking shoes

Want to pack light? If you’ll travel to places where clothing is cheap, like in Thailand, Vietnam, and India, you don’t need to bring a complete wardrobe and just buy a few clothes on your vacation.

Travel Tech Must-Haves

Travel Essentials Checklist

Of course, any travel isn’t complete without electronic devices that keep it interesting and more convenient, from capturing memories to killing time while waiting for your flight. Be sure to bring all the gadgets you need for your trip:

  • Smartphone – Before your trip, download travel apps that will help you with directions, foreign currency conversion, and language translation. For overseas trips, it’s best to order a portable Wi-Fi or travel SIM card in advance.
  • Digital camera – Because your smartphone camera isn’t enough. If you want DSLR-quality pictures but don’t want to carry a bulky camera, bring a compact one like a mirrorless camera or action camera. Don’t forget to pack a spare memory card (and an extra battery, if you’re bringing a GoPro).
  • Noise-canceling headphones – Very useful during long travels when you just want to block out noise or listen to your favorite tunes in peace.
  • Travel adapter – Power adapters vary across the globe, and so you want to be prepared. Get one with USB ports, so you can charge multiple devices simultaneously.
  • Chargers and power bank – Because you don’t want to run out of juice just when you’re snapping an awesome pic.


So that you won’t forget any personal hygiene item, keep a separate stash of toiletries for your trips. Put your toiletry bag in your carry-on bag as well. Here are the travel essentials to store in your toiletry bag. While some of these items can be bought cheap in the place you’ll visit or are available in the hotel, it’s better to prepare everything and prevent allergies and other unwanted side effects.

  • Refillable bottles (100mL or less)
  • Bath soap/body wash
  • Facial wash
  • Feminine wash
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Comb/hairbrush and hair ties
  • Toothpaste, toothbrush, and mouthwash
  • Deodorant
  • Sunscreen
  • Facial moisturizer
  • Makeup and makeup remover
  • Wet wipes/hand sanitizer
  • Lip balm
  • Shaving kit and extra razors
  • Sanitary pads/tampons/menstrual cups
  • Extra contact lenses, contact case, and solution

Medical Supplies

Especially if you’ll spend a holiday abroad, it can be difficult to get medicines to treat an illness or injury. So make sure to have your medicine bag on hand, or assign someone (if you’re traveling as a group) to gather the following medicines and supplies before your trip:

  • First-aid kit (including gauze, band-aids, adhesives, antiseptic, alcohol, etc.)
  • Personal prescriptions
  • Cold and flu medicines and lozenges
  • Loperamide (for treatment of diarrhea or upset stomach)
  • Paracetamol (for fever and pain relief)
  • Ibuprofen (for treatment of muscle or joint pain, cramps, toothaches, etc.)
  • Antihistamines (for allergy relief)
  • Motion sickness tablets/anti-vertigo medicines
  • Insect repellent
  • Multivitamins
  • Eye drops

Travel Essentials for Comfort

Make your travels as comfortable as possible by packing these items in your bag:

  • Water bottle – A must-have, especially if you’ll spend your vacation in a place where safe drinking water is scarce and/or expensive.
  • Travel pillow – Perfect for long-haul flights and overnight train rides. Get one that’s soft yet sturdy with ample neck support.
  • Eye mask and ear plugs – It’s easier to drift to sleep when you’re able to block out the light and sound.

Practical Travel Essentials

Travel Essentials Checklist

There are items that are so useful when traveling but people tend to forget when packing for a trip. These travel essentials won’t take up much space in your luggage, and you’ll be glad that you have them on hand!

  • Pen – Always have a pen for filling out forms, so you won’t have to borrow and wait.
  • Sarong/Scarf – Very useful for when you want to catch a nap or keep yourself a bit warm when the aircon is too cold. You can also use it to easily cover up when you’re at the beach or before entering a temple.
  • Travel towel – Although most hotels provide towels, you’d want to bring your own compact, quick-dry microfiber towel that you can bring to the beach or waterfalls.
  • Books – Traveling is the perfect opportunity to catch up on your reading list!

Final Thoughts

When packing for a trip, it’s better to be over-prepared than under-prepared. You don’t want to stress over a missing piece of clothing when you should be relaxing and having a great time on your vacation. Now that you have this travel packing checklist, start packing your travel essentials! Enjoy!

Read more:

  1. 15 Brilliant Travel Hacks Every Pinoy Must Know
  2. Stepping Out of Comfort Zones: #WhyTravel with Blogger Colz Vidal
  3. 7 Productive Things You Can Do on a Long Weekend