Globe-Trotter's Guide: The Ultimate Travel Packing Checklist for Every Destination

With your itinerary meticulously planned, flights booked, and backed by the coverage of AXA’s Travel Protection, you're primed for adventure. Yet there lurks the daunting task of packing! You want to pack enough to be prepared but not so much that your bag bursts at the seams. So, what's the savvy traveler to do?  

AXA's travel agents are experts in the art of exploring the world safely and smoothly, and we're here to help you navigate your journey with ease. Our travel items checklist zeroes in on the essentials — non-negotiable items that help you have a smoother, more delightful journey.  

Whether you're bundled up for a Parisian winter wonderland or soaking up the sun on Bali's pristine beaches, our guide helps you be prepared for any adventure, climate, or curveball thrown your way.  

Consider our travel essentials list your secret weapon for packing like a pro, tailored for nearly every destination on your map. With AXA by your side, you can travel with confidence!  


Packing Tips and Tricks 

Before diving into our holiday packing list, consider these tips on how to pack like a pro. 

  • Start with a List: Before you pack, create a local or international travel checklist. Let this guide serve as your foundation. This helps you remember all essentials and avoid overpacking. 

  • Roll, Don’t Fold: Rolling your clothes instead of folding them can save space and reduce wrinkles. This technique is especially useful for maximizing suitcase space. 

  • Use Packing Cubes: Packing cubes help organize your luggage and can compress your clothes to fit more into your bag. 

  • Wear Your Bulkiest Items: To save space in your luggage and reduce the likelihood of overweight baggage, wear your heaviest shoes and bulkiest jacket during travel. 

  • Pack Multi-Use Items: Choose clothing and accessories that can be mixed and matched or used for different purposes. This reduces the number of items needed. 

  • Limit Shoes: Shoes can take up a lot of space. Pack versatile shoes that can be used for multiple occasions or activities. 

  • Miniaturize Toiletries: Use travel-sized toiletries or transfer liquids into small containers. Remember the TSA’s 3-1-1 rule for carry-on luggage. 

  • Leave Room for Souvenirs: If you plan to bring back gifts or souvenirs, make sure to leave space in your luggage or pack an extra foldable bag. 

Travel Documents 

Travel documents form the backbone of any well-prepared journey, serving as the key to your international crossings and access to services abroad. Regardless of your destination, be sure you have the following.  

  • Passport/Visa: Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned return date. Carry any necessary visas for your destination 
    Create multiple photocopies of important documents in case originals are lost 

  • Personal Identification: Besides your passport, bring another form of identification, such as a driver's license or ID card. 

  • Travel Insurance Information: Carry your travel insurance policy details and emergency contact numbers. 

  • Itinerary and Accommodation Details: Have a copy of your flight, train, or bus tickets and hotel or rental booking confirmations. 

  • Emergency Contacts and Important Addresses: List of emergency contacts, including family and the local embassy or consulate. 

  • Health Documentation: Vaccination certificates or medical notes, especially for destinations requiring proof of certain vaccinations. 

PRO TIP: Invest in a waterproof document holder to protect your documents from rain or accidental spills. You can also use color-coded folders or organizers to categorize different types of documents for easy retrieval. 

Money Matters 

Know the essentials of managing your finances abroad. Ensuring you have access to funds and are prepared for various payment scenarios can significantly enhance your travel convenience and security.  

  • Credit and Debit Cards: Bring cards known for international travel acceptance. Inform your bank of your travel plans to avoid fraud alerts and service interruptions. 

  • Cash in Local Currency: Have a small amount of local currency for immediate expenses upon arrival, like transportation from the airport. Secure it in a wallet or a safe compartment in your bag for easy access. Consider leaving some money in your hotel room safe for emergencies or unexpected expenses. 

  • Emergency Cash: Consider carrying a minimum of $100 in emergency cash at all times. Reserve this money strictly for genuine emergencies and refrain from spending it otherwise. 

  • Currency Conversion App: Install a reliable currency conversion app on your smartphone to manage and compare exchange rates easily. 

  • Money Belt or Hidden Wallet: Use a money belt or hidden wallet to keep your money safe from pickpockets. 

  • Bank Contact Information: Carry the contact details of your bank to quickly report lost or stolen cards. Utilize banking apps for instant support during travel emergencies. 

  • Budget Plan: Have a rough daily budget to keep your spending in check and avoid running out of money. 

PRO TIP: Travel experts suggest budgeting between $50 and $100 per day on average for expenses such as food, drinks, accommodation, and transportation. However, this amount may vary depending on the destination and your personal travel preferences. 

Tech Gear 

Even on a tech-free getaway, your gadgets remain essential for capturing memories and staying connected. Here's a trip checklist of must-have tech gear for your trip. 

  • Smartphone: As simple as it sounds, don’t forget your phone! This is your lifeline to communication, navigation, translation, and photography abroad. 

  • Chargers and Cables: Bring chargers for all your devices, plus spare cables. If you are traveling internationally, bring a universal travel adapter to ensure your devices can be charged anywhere in the world.  

  • Power Bank: A portable charger for keeping your devices powered on the go. 

  • Headphones or Earbuds: For personal entertainment during long flights or train rides. 

  • Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot or SIM Card: For consistent internet access, especially in areas without free Wi-Fi. 

  • Waterproof Phone Case: Protects your phone from water damage during beach visits or unexpected rain. 

  • Camera: For higher-quality photos if your smartphone isn't enough. 

  • Memory Cards: Pack extra memory cards for your compact camera or DSLR to ensure you never run out of storage space.  

PRO TIP: Use Velcro strips to neatly wrap cords and cables, preventing tangles and saving space. Once your cords are wrapped and labeled (if desired), place them in a designated pouch or compartment in your bag. This keeps them separate from other items and prevents them from getting tangled with each other or other belongings. 

Clothing Basics 

Choosing the right clothes is essential for your travel packing list. Look for versatile pieces you can easily mix and match to prevent overpacking. Our experts often say, "If I need something, I can buy it" (depending on the destination, of course). Check the weather forecast for your destination before packing, and pack versatile layers that can be easily added or removed to adapt to changing conditions. 

  • Layering Pieces: Lightweight and versatile tops that can be layered for varying climates. 

  • Comfortable Walking Shoes: Durable and comfortable for long days of exploration. 

  • Weather-Appropriate Jacket: A waterproof jacket for rain or a warm coat for colder destinations. 

  • Pants and Shorts: A mix of both, adaptable to different activities and weather conditions. 

  • Undergarments: Enough for the trip or plan to do laundry. 

  • Socks: Cushioned options for walking, plus warmer ones if heading to cooler climates. 

  • Swimwear: Even if you're not planning a beach trip, it's useful for hotel pools or spontaneous swims. 

  • Sleepwear: Comfortable clothing for a good night's sleep. 

  • Accessories: Hats, scarves, or gloves depending on the destination. 

  • A Versatile Dress or Shirt: Something that can be dressed up or down for evenings out. 

PRO TIP: If you're wondering how much clothing to bring, consider the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Packing Method. It simplifies packing by breaking it down into 5 sets of tops, 4 sets of bottoms, 3 sets of accessories, 2 pairs of shoes, and 1 swimsuit, hat, watch, and sunglasses. It helps ensure you have enough outfits for your trip without overpacking!  


Here are the essential hygiene and personal care products that should find a spot in your travel items checklist. 

  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste: Consider using a toothbrush cover or case to keep it clean and prevent it from getting squished 

  • Deodorant: Choose a solid or roll-on deodorant to minimize the risk of spills or leaks. If using a spray deodorant, ensure it's within the airline's liquid restrictions and place it in a sealable plastic bag. 

  • Shampoo and Conditioner: Invest in travel-sized bottles of shampoo and conditioner or transfer your favorite products into leak-proof containers. Consider using solid shampoo and conditioner bars as an eco-friendly and space-saving alternative. 

  • Body Wash or Soap: Choose a travel-sized body wash or solid soap to minimize bulk in your luggage. 

  • Sunscreen: Purchase sunscreen in a size compliant with airline regulations. Place it in an easily accessible pocket of your bag for reapplication during the day. 

  • Insect Repellent: Especially important for tropical or wooded destinations. 

  • Moisturizer: Consider using moisturizer sticks or solid balms to avoid liquid spillage in your luggage. 

  • First-Aid Kit: Pack essential first-aid items such as band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and personal medications in a compact, waterproof container. 

PRO TIP: Wrap the openings of toiletry bottles with plastic wrap before screwing on the lids to prevent leaks during air pressure changes. Additionally, you can wrap fragile toiletry items such as perfume bottles or glass containers in socks or bubble wrap to cushion them against impact. 

Accessories and Extras 

Elevate your vacation packing checklist with more than just the basics. Consider these extras that bring the comforts of home to your adventures abroad. Take a look at our list to make sure you haven't missed anything important! 

  • Sunglasses: Protect your eyes and enhance your travel outfits. 

  • Hats: A wide-brimmed hat for sun protection or a warm beanie for colder climates. 

  • Travel Pillow: For comfort during long flights or road trips. 

  • Ear Plugs and Eye Mask: Essential for light sleepers or when adjusting to new time zones. 

  • Books or E-Reader: For entertainment during downtime. 

  • Reusable Water Bottle: Stay hydrated and reduce plastic use. 

  • Snacks: Healthy, non-perishable snacks for long travel days or when exploring. 

  • Daypack or Foldable Backpack: For day trips and carrying essentials while out exploring. 

PRO TIP: Use packing cubes to separate and organize accessories like belts, scarves, and hats, making them easy to find and preventing them from getting lost in your luggage. 

Final Thoughts 

The secret to a smooth and worry-free trip is all about being prepared and organized. Choose your essentials wisely, pack smart, and you'll be ready for any adventure. And with AXA Travel Protection by your side, you can travel confidently, knowing you're covered in any unexpected events. So, travel safely and enjoy your adventure! 

Disclaimer Welcome to the AXA Assistance USA Travel Resources by AXA Assistance USA Travel Insurance! The Globe-Trotter's Guide: The Ultimate Travel Packing Checklist for Every Destination Blog is intended to provide you with entertaining and educational information of a general nature. The articles are for editorial purposes only and are not intended to replace the advice of a qualified professional. Please contact AXA Assistance USA if you have any questions. AXA Assistance USA, Inc.© 2024 All Rights Reserved.   

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