International Travel Packing List

International Travel Packing List




Plane or train tickets and passes

Health insurance card and contact number

Requisite travel visas

Extra photos for visas along the way

Money (having local currency in small denominations is important when initally arrive.  You can exchange more later)

Other forms of payment (credit cards, debit cards, prepaid credit cards, or travelers checks)

International vaccination certificate (if required)


Map or map app on a cell phone (a tablet or iPad may not have wifi connectivity)

International driver's license, in addition to  your regular driver's license (often required if you're planning on renting a car abroad)

Emergency phone numbers, including embassy contacts in each country, next of kin contacts, and the number of your hotel in case you get lost

A list of local contacts, tourist offices, friends, and anyone else you might need to contact

Copies of all important papers (and keep them in a separate location in case your primary paperwork gets lost or stolen) via email, printed copy or saved on a device

Travel journal or notebook (I also bring a glue stick to add post cards or mementos during my trip)


All pants, shorts, skirts, blouses, and shirts should be machine washable.  Try to stay away from 100% cotton clothing because they will hold onto moisture and will foster the microbes that cause odor (and nobody wants that).  Try to pick a color pallet that will allow different tops and bottoms to be mixed and matched.  I like to go with various greys and purples for my pants because they go with so many different colored tops!

2 bras (comfortable sports bras are a good option because they are very breathable)

4 pairs of underwear (quick-drying are preferred)

3 pairs of moisture wicking socks (not cotton socks! Once cotton socks get wet, they take forever to dry)

A combination of 4 of the following pants, etc.:

wrinkle-free pants (I like ones that are roll-able or have zippers that let them convert into shorts)

Yoga or studio pants (they are just comfortable and can be dressed up or down)

Shorts; depending on the climate of the country you’re visiting (or if you can’t stand the pants that zip into shorts)

Wrinkle-free skirt (longer is better because of flexibility)

2 wrinkle-free blouses

2 tank-tops or t-shirts

long-sleeve athletic top

wind-resistant fleece jacket

Cold weather jacket (if you are heading where it really gets cold)

Bathing suit

1 pair hiking shoes

1 pair hiking sandals

1 pair cheap flip flops as shower shoes if staying at a hostel (trust me on this one!)

Thermal bottom if going to a colder climate (I recommend synthetic fabrics because they wick moisture while keeping you warm)

A waterproof plastic poncho (they are inexpensive, work well, and are not cumbersome like and umbrella)

Rain jacket or outer shell if you can make room in your pack/bag (I usually carry plastic ponchos instead to save weight if I’m not expecting much rain)

Hat(s) (a sun/rain hat or a beanie or stocking hat for fall/winter)

Shawl or scarf

Compression bags, packing cubes or Gobi gear rolls are a great way to organize and compress your garments to maximize space (I have also been known to use one gallon zip-lock bags in a pinch or when camping.  They work great and cost almost nothing.)

Toiletries and Personal Items

Toiletry bag (I like the hanging ones because you can hang them from pretty much anything!)

Prescription medication for length of your trip (plus a couple days)

Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, Naproxen (i.e. Tylenol, Motrin, or Aleve) I keep them in small zip lock style bags.

Travel size shampoo, conditioner, face soap, and body wash (these items are easy to find almost anywhere, so refilling/replacing is easy!)

Birth control for the length of your trip (if you take it)

Tampons or hygienic pads (While these are easy to find almost anywhere, specific types or brands might be harder to come by in rural areas)

Small can of insect spray with DEET (I take mosquitos and the Zica virus very seriously, especially if traveling to a tropical climate!)

Travel sized toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss (I bring my Sonicare, but smaller is usually better)

Travel sized comb or hairbrush

Silicone ear plugs (These are great if you are traveling on a plain or train, or if you end up in a noisy hotel room or hostel. Also, use kids size if you have smaller ears)


Travel pack of cotton swabs

Razor and refills

Nail clippers or small file

Facial sunscreen

Travel pack of antiseptic wet wipes

Oil-based face wash (removes sunscreen without irritating my skin)

Lip balm with SPF

Travel sized sunscreen

Extra contacts, lens solution or eyeglass repair kit (if needed)

Headband and hair elastics

1 or 2 palettes of eye shadow

1 light powder foundation and bronzer

2 or 3 application brushes



tinted lip balm

*Makeup, like most personal items can be found almost anywhere, so there is no need to over-pack when it comes to makeup.