A list of things to take on a trip is like ingredients for a hearty meal. For a delicious meal, mix the right foods in the right proportions. And for a successful trip, make the best list of things to take on the road.
Ideally, you should pack everything you need without overloading your suitcase. How to do it:
Print out this article.
- Check the boxes for everything you want to take.
- Think about whether you can replace familiar items with lighter counterparts. Read through our tips and best practices.
- If we didn’t include -30℃ at grandma’s house or your passion for scuba diving, add your own tips.
- Eliminate from the list all the things you can do without.
- Gather all the items, put them in your bag and weigh them – and sort through the excess once again.
To make it easier to navigate, we’ve compiled items into thematic tables. In each one, we’ve highlighted the must-have items and those without which many people can easily survive a couple of weeks. If you take only the items on the “definitely need” list, they will fit in your carry-on luggage – and you’ll travel light.
What documents to take on a trip
Gather your documents beforehand and double-check them before leaving home. It is convenient to keep important papers in a special travel purse or in a waterproof case.
Documents and money for the trip
You definitely need it:
|Passport: Internal or Foreign||When traveling within your own country, take your internal passport. Abroad, a passport is sufficient. An internal passport comes in handy if your foreign one is stolen, but even then you can do without it.|
|Bank card||If you are traveling abroad, tell your bank that you plan to use your card outside your home country.|
Usually employees ask for the specific country and dates of the trip, as well as the daily cash withdrawal limit.
Also keep in mind that some airlines at check-in ask to show the card you used to pay for airline tickets.
|Documents for the child: 1) passport, 2) birth certificate, 3) consent to leave home, if the child travels abroad without parents.||If children cross the border with one of their parents, no exit consent is needed.|
|Cash||Take cash in dollars or euros when traveling abroad: unlike rubles, they will be exchanged into the local currency. If you fly into a country with a paid visa on arrival, take the money for the visa without change.|
|May come in handy:|
|Plane, train, bus tickets||You don’t usually need to print out your tickets: most airlines will only check you in with your passport, in other cases a copy on your smartphone will suffice. But sometimes a printout is required. Check with the carrier or just take it with you just in case.|
|Hotel Reservations||Most hotels will check you in without a “paper” reservation: just show it on your smartphone screen or give your last name. But if it makes you feel more comfortable, print it out.|
|Driver’s license||If you are going to drive abroad, check whether the desired country has acceded to the Vienna Convention. If so, you can drive there with a national driver’s license. If the country is a member of the Geneva Convention, take two driving licenses: a national one and an international one. A list of countries under both conventions is convenient to look up on Wikipedia.|
|Passport copy||Just in case, print out a couple of copies of the main page of your passport. Also send scans to yourself by e-mail.|
|Travel insurance policy||Read how to choose good health travel insurance and what to insure, except your health.|
Take the essentials – documents, chargers, gadgets – as carry-on luggage. That way, if your luggage is delayed or lost, you won’t be left with nothing.
What equipment to take on a trip
Techniques and gadgets for the road
You definitely need one:
|Smartphone and charger||A long-lasting smartphone with a battery capacity of 4,000 mAh or more is convenient to use on the road. If your smartphone runs down quickly, take a compact external battery, such as the Hiper XP10500. Take your smartphone charger in your carry-on luggage.|
|Might come in handy:|
|External hard drive||If you do not plan to take a lot of high-quality photos, the excess information can be temporarily recorded on a smartphone, then you do not need a hard drive.|
|Travel iron||Many hotels give out irons or iron things for a fee. If it’s important to keep your iron close at hand, get a compact one like the Philips GC651. You don’t need an iron if you put things in your suitcase in tight rolls and hang them on hangers or the back of a chair at the hotel. It is even more convenient to take non-shrinking things on a trip.|
|Small electric kettle||Some hotels have kettles in the rooms, and there is also a cooler at the reception. If you want to go with your own, take a light and compact – for example, TEFAL KO 1021 weighs half a kilo. Or you can replace it with a good old-fashioned boilermaker.|
|Headphones||For travel, choose headphones with good noise isolation.|
|Laptop and charger||Take your laptop and smartphone charger in your carry-on luggage. Then you’ll recharge your devices at the airport and during the flight, and you won’t be left without equipment if your luggage gets delayed or lost.|
|Adapter for power outlets||Find out which outlets are available in the country you want, and get the right adapter. It is convenient to take a universal adapter on a trip to several countries.|
|Player||To save weight, leave the player at home and download the music to your smartphone.|
|T-branch, extension cord or surge protector||You’ll need multiple outlets if you take a lot of gadgets.|
|Hair dryer||Many hotels have a hair dryer: check before you go. If you don’t have one or want one of your own, consider travel models.|
|Camera, charger, memory cards, camera bag||In addition to basic photographic equipment, photographers can benefit from interchangeable lenses and filters.|
|Tripod, monopod, selfie stick||Some airlines do not allow you to take your tripod and selfie stick in your carry-on luggage.|
|E-book||To avoid taking unnecessary things, install a reader app on your smartphone and download books.|
What to take on a trip for convenience
Simple things turn a hotel room into a branch of the home bedroom and add to the comfort when the sixth hour in the airplane seat is over. In truth, it’s easy to do without most of them. But if at the edge of the world you feel like drinking from your favorite cup, why not?
Household trivia and comfort on the trip
|A purse or city backpack for walking||To take the little things you need for a walk around town or to the beach, a small handbag comes in handy. A 10-liter backpack from Decathlon weighing 50 g or a simple cotton shoulder bag is a compact option.|
|Might come in handy:|
|Notepad and pen||If you don’t plan to draw city sketches or palm trees at sunset, you can replace the usual notebook with an electronic one on your smartphone.|
|Umbrella||Instead of an umbrella it is more convenient to bring a raincoat or waterproof jacket.|
|Fork, spoon, plate, cup||You can buy disposable plates and spoons on the spot, or take a camping set of utensils.|
|Map||Put a program with maps on your smartphone: it will also show you where you are.|
|Book, guidebook, magazine||In order not to overload your luggage, download all the literature into your smartphone. A travel guide – for example, Lonely Planet – can be purchased electronically.|
|Sleep mask, earplugs, inflatable pillow||If you fly longer than four hours, without a mask, earplugs, and a pillow under your neck, it will be tight.|
|Ordinary packages||You can always use these bags to pack for the return trip or to put the garbage away. And it’s also convenient to wash clothes in them during the trip.|
|Towel||Most hotels provide a towel. If you want to bring your own and not overload your suitcase, consider microfiber towels: they are lightweight and quick-drying.|
|Phrasebook||The paper phrasebook can be replaced by Google Translator or any electronic phrasebook. Just make sure that it works without the Internet.|
|Sewing kit||Buy a ready-made sewing kit or make one yourself: assemble needles and thread of different colors. You’ll have something to sew on a button or darn a pocket with when you’re on the road.|
|Swiss Army Knife||Choose a knife with the right set of tools: a corkscrew, can opener, tweezers, pliers, screwdriver, saw, scissors, or awl. To avoid having it taken away at the hand luggage inspection, put it in your luggage.|