Double-Check Your Suitcase for These Must-Have Items
Amy's Top 25...an international travel packing list
International Travel Packing 101
Are you an over-packer? A minimalist? An indecisive packer, fearful of needing just one more pair of shoes? Well, this one is for you.
I’m sure you’ve seen the lists and reels all over the internet that tell us how to pack for an international adventure when the truth is that there isn’t just one way. So much depends upon location and weather, personality or how much you plan to move around from place to place. That being said, there are some things that I just can’t travel without no matter the season or final destination, and that’s what I feel like sharing today.
I am a super light packer for many reasons, and you can read more about that HERE. I seriously pack NOTHING that isn’t completely necessary (to me), and over the years I have curated the exact items that make their way into my carry-on and backpack with a bit of obsessive precision.
When I’m “double-checking” one final time before my luggage is zipped, below is what I can’t forget. (btw-I’m intentionally not including clothing or toiletries in this list. I’ll save that for another day. Just know, I only take enough to fit into a carryon and backpack)
Hopefully this list will give you some helpful ideas for your next adventure.
Amy’s Top 25
My number ONE forever! We’ve all got our weird little quirks, right? Well, If I forget my sleeping bag I might as well turn around and go home. My mind-boggling allergy to random and unknown synthetic materials makes hotel sheets and blankets my greatest nemesis, but my bestie silk sleeping bag saves the day every time. Honestly, it’s great for comfort whether you have allergies or not, and folds up in its own tiny little bag for easy packing.
AirPods AND Corded Earbuds
I use AirPods for listening to podcasts and downloads from my phone and for listening to free, recorded walking tours in various cities, but I always keep a pair of corded earbuds that fit comfortably for all those mid-air movies.
I’m always prepared whether on the plane or in an unexpectedly loud hotel room, hostel, or AirBnB.
NOT at Grandma!!! I used to travel to and from Hanoi annually. I was young and independent, and my legs still killed me on those 10+ hour long-haul flights. Then I got smart. The day I went on Amazon and purchased cute compression socks will live on as one of the smartest days of my life. No more pain! No more uneasy flights of not being able to sit still. I’m in love!
The Perfect Blue Jean Jacket
Jean jackets are my staple piece of clothing whether I’m traveling or not. They go on top of basically everything, wrinkle-free, and add a comfortable layer to just basically any outfit or a handy second layer under a big puffy coat.
Ziploc Bags and One Reusable Shopping Bag
Quart and gallon size Ziplocs save me every time. From airport security to protecting my passport in the rain to dirty clothes bags, I never leave home without them. Also, a good reusable shopping bag is essential for European travel, especially. Most markets and groceries don’t offer bags and they are always perfect for carrying baguettes, cheese, and wine for an impromptu sunset picnic.
I keep a wrap in my backpack for chilly airplanes and restaurants, as an additional scarf for cold weather, and extra comfort for nighttime sleeping.
Whether staying in an AirBnb with a washer or doing laundry in the bathtub, detergent pods transport easily and come in quite handy.
After experiencing an Austrian Christmas market on a Monday when all banks were closed and no one wanted to take my credit card, I will never travel again without my Charles Schwab debit card. It works at every ATM worldwide and there are ZERO transaction fees, which are generally killer on most other debit cards available.
Passport/Immunization Card, 2 Credit Cards and a Backup Card in My Apple Wallet, Driver’s License, $40-$100USD, Health Insurance Card, and Travel Insurance Info
Copies of My Passport, Immunization Card, Health Insurance Card, Travel Insurance Info and Flight Info Both on Phone AND on Paper
Journal, Good Pens and Pencils, and a Glue Stick
The glue stick is for all the tickets, receipts, and cards I want to keep in my journal or any other treasure I want to afix for sentimental memories…otherwise, they get lost before I get home.
Handy in so many ways!
For me, Benadryl is always necessary for allergies or the occasional solid night’s sleep, and difficult to find internationally.
Small Travel Candle and Matches
Traveling with one eye on the world and the other eye on Jesus is an act of worship and so necessary for me. I love to take my practice of journaling alongside a burning candle that reminds me of Jesus’ presence even when I travel…plus, some rooms are stinky!
Sometimes when I have the time and space afforded by travel, I get inspired to pursue the ancient practice of write letters to those I love.
Why? Read this!
Phone and MAYBE My Laptop (with Chargers)
Sometimes I add an additional phone cord and block.
Wind Resistant Umbrella/Rain Jacket
I pack an umbrella for every season. It works just as great for snowy street walking as it does for rainy days.
I travel with two pairs of shoes. One is seasonal and the other is always my Adidas leather sneakers. They are comfortable for miles and miles of city walking. They match almost everything and are perfect protection from the unexpected puddle or downpour.
Just make sure it’s water resistant and large enough to hold a phone, credit cards, room key, and passport. I never leave my passport behind.
All of this PLUS clothes and toiletries in a carry-on and backpack ONLY?
Packing cubes, Ziploc bags, and a little bit of good ol’ fashioned determination save my life and make international travel so, so easy.
Save this list for your next adventure.
And…what would you add?
Happy Travels and Happy Packing!
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