Ultimate Template Vacation Packing List PDF: Travel Smart

Are you planning an upcoming travel adventure? We understand that packing for a trip can sometimes be a daunting task, with the worry of forgetting essential items or over-packing with unnecessary ones. To make your travel preparations smoother and more organized, we’ve created a Vacation Packing List Pdf Template of the following article.

Beautiful view on a sunset in Germany

Our packing list covers everything you might need for your journey, from clothing and toiletries to travel essentials and important documents. It’s a handy tool to help you stay organized and ensure you have everything you need for a stress-free and enjoyable vacation.

Pack Light

When it comes to making your vacation packlist, remember this simple rule: pack light. Even if you believe you need a lot, try to bring less. You’ll be lugging your bag around for days, weeks, or even months, and you’ll regret those extra kilos weighing you down.

Some bag makers say your bag should weigh 20% or even 10% of your body weight, but here’s a better tip: your bag should be light enough for you to carry, walk with it for a bit, and pop it into overhead compartments without help.

As for size, aim to stuff everything into one bag that’s small enough to count as a regular carry-on for international flights. Keep it simple!


Pack half of what you think you need… and then cut that down by half.


Old packing saying

Overpacking is one of the most common rookie traveller mistakes. As you become an experienced traveler, you’ll gain a sense for what you truly need and what not.


Clothing Packing Tip

A common traveler’s tactic is to pack old clothes to throw away, as it frees up space for souvenirs during the journey.

Choosing your Suitcase

The Suitcase can be your best or worst friend when embracing your journey. It’s not easy to choose a good one, most of the bags on the market today are more designed to make a profit for the brand as to bring a good quality to the customer.

Lots of Suitcases put together

Quality and Materials

When it comes to purchasing a suitcase, quality and materials should be at the forefront of your considerations. The right suitcase can make all the difference during your travels, ensuring your belongings remain safe, and your luggage doesn’t give in to wear and tear. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve compiled a list of the best materials for suitcases, starting with the top choices and working our way down, along with approximate price references for each material.

1.Polycarbonate/ABS Hardshell

Polycarbonate and ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) are some of the best materials for suitcase exteriors. These hardshell materials provide excellent durability and resistance to impact and scratches. They also tend to be water-resistant and are easy to clean. Prices for polycarbonate or ABS hardshell suitcases can range from $100 to $300 for mid-range options, while premium brands may go higher.

  1. Ballistic Nylon

Ballistic nylon is another superb choice for suitcase exteriors. Known for its strength and resistance to abrasion, it’s a favorite among frequent travelers. Ballistic nylon suitcases usually cost between $150 and $400, depending on size and brand.

  1. Polyester

Polyester is an affordable and lightweight option for soft-sided suitcases. It’s easy to clean but may not withstand rough handling as well as other materials. Polyester suitcases can be found for as little as $30, making them a budget-friendly choice.


Selecting the appropriate size for your suitcase is a pivotal decision in your travel planning process. The right size ensures that you have enough room for your essentials without overpacking or incurring additional baggage fees. This list of suitcase sizes provides you a refrence with which type of suitcase you may need for your trip.

A carry on bag and a large suitcase

  1. Carry-On Suitcases

Carry-on suitcases are the go-to choice for short trips and frequent flyers. They typically measure around 18-22 inches in height, complying with most airlines’ cabin baggage size restrictions. Prices for carry-on suitcases vary widely, ranging from $50 for budget options to $500 or more for premium brands and features.

  1. Large Suitcases

Large suitcases are designed for extended trips or travelers with bulky items to transport. These suitcases are usually 29 inches or larger in height. Prices for large suitcases vary significantly, with budget options starting at around $100 and high-end models reaching up to $800 or more.

  1. Cabin Backpacks

Cabin backpacks, also known as travel backpacks, are a versatile alternative to traditional suitcases. They come in various sizes, with the smaller ones suitable for weekend getaways and the larger ones capable of accommodating longer journeys. Prices for cabin backpacks start at $50 and can go up to $300 or more for high-end options.

  1. Specialized Sizes (e.g., Garment Bags, Duffel Bags)

Specialized suitcase sizes cater to unique travel needs. Garment bags are ideal for business travelers, while duffel bags offer flexibility and style. Prices for these specialized sizes can range from $20 for basic options to $300 for premium versions.

The size of your suitcase should align with the nature and duration of your trip. Prioritize functionality and ease of use while considering size, and opt for a size that meets your specific travel requirements.


A good zipper is essential for security. Ensure it’s robust and smoothly glides without catching. A broken zipper can lead to items falling out or difficulty in accessing your belongings.


Choosing the Best Suitcase Zippers

Zippers seem simple but they are trikky. The best manufacturer is by far the

YKK Group

, they excel at making the best zippers since 1934, marked by their initials. If your zipper is troublesome, it’s likely not YKK, a sign of lower quality. Manufacturers switch from YKK to save costs, but it can mean less quality.

Basic packing list: Essentials for a Vacation

So, you’ve got your backpack all set, and you know you’re supposed to pack light - but what does that really mean? We’ve put together a simple vacation packlist to show you how to keep things light and easy.

You’ll see that, aside from the weather changes, it’s pretty much the same to pack for a large and a short trip.

If you have already packed your must-haves and there’s still some space left in your bag, try not to stuff it full. Your back and shoulders will thank you, and it’s smart to leave some room for souvenirs and whatever else you might come across during your journey.

Checklist with yes and no options

Travel Documents / Money

These are the items that you’ll need to enter and leave the country, and to survive during your vacation. It would be ideal to bring the most important of those (Passport, Cash, Visa) all the time with you. And it’s also a good idea to carry extra copies and keep them secure at the hotel safe.

If traveling to a country with a different currency is important to be aware of the exchange rate to avoid scams. It would be great if you could already change the currency in your base country, but sometime the exchange rate is much better at the destination. If so, be sure to know how to get the money when you get there.

  • Passport
  • Cash (Especially when traveling to a foreign country)
  • Any important papers you might need:
    • travel insurance
    • international driver license
    • vaccination papers
    • visa
  • Necessary medicines (make sure they’re labeled, and check if there are any rules about bringing prescription meds into your destination country)

More on Exchange Currency without paying big fees


raveling is more than just a destination; it’s an adventure waiting to unfold. And the right clothes are crucial for comfort, style, and adaptability on the road. Here we’öö break down the essentials of your travel wardrobe, we’ll help you pack smart, look great, and make the most of your journey.

Minimalist Color Scheme

Opt for a limited color palette by choosing no more than two base colors for your clothing. This approach maximizes your outfit combinations and simplifies packing decisions.

Fabric Selection

Carefully consider your fabric choices. Modern synthetics outperform natural fabrics when it comes to travel. They dry quickly, resist wrinkles, and are lightweight. Avoid cotton and linen, especially for socks.

Wrinkle-Resistant Options

Knitted fabrics are less prone to creasing, and patterns, especially in darker shades, help conceal wrinkles, stains, and dirt. Employ bundle wrapping when packing to minimize creases.

Quick-Drying Clothes

Prioritize clothes that dry rapidly. Test new items by washing, towel drying, and hanging them indoors overnight. Anything still damp in the morning may be problematic on a longer trip.

Cultural Sensitivity

Be aware of and respect the clothing norms in the countries you visit.

For example, In Japan, it’s considered culturally inappropriate to wear shoes indoors, whether you’re a man or a woman. Upon entering a home, traditional ryokan, or even some restaurants, you are expected to remove your shoes and switch to indoor slippers provided by the host or establishment.

Mix and Match

Create diverse looks with a limited wardrobe through smart accessorizing. Even a few basic clothing items can yield numerous outfits, especially for women, as demonstrated in the example from The Chick on the Go.

These essential clothing items should cover the needs of most trips and can be adapted to different climates with additional layering.


Don't stress about packing every little thing

Besides the super important stuff like your passport and wallet, you can often borrow or buy what you need from other travelers or stores respectively.

Just don’t be the person who forgets all their toiletries and relies on others for everything.

Clothes Essentials to bring on your vacation

These essential clothing items should cover the needs of most trips and can be adapted to different climates with additional layering.

Clothes and a Backpack





  • Travel insurance documents
  • International driver license
  • Driver license
  • Passport



  • Kayak
  • Cycling shorts
  • Bike helmet
  • Chalk bag
  • Board shorts
  • Wetsuit
  • Snorkel mask
  • Rash guard
  • Ski goggles
  • Ski pants
  • Thermal shirt
  • Skii Gloves
  • Swimming trunks
  • Swimsuit
  • Surfboard
  • Skis/snowboard

Personal Care / Toiletries for a Trip

Essentials for Travel Toiletries

When it comes to travel, the importance of well-chosen toiletries becomes clear. You don’t want to be stuck These compact yet crucial items ensure your hygiene and comfort are never compromised, no matter where your adventures take you. From cleansing and oral care to grooming and unexpected situations, these travel toiletries are your trusted companions.

Various Toiletries and personal care items

What are the must-haves for your travel toiletries kit?

  • Shampoo (and conditioner): Cleans and nourishes hair.
  • Soap or body wash: Cleanses the body.
  • Toothbrush + toothpaste: Oral hygiene essentials.
  • Deodorant: Controls body odor.
  • Razor: For shaving.
  • Hairbrush and/or comb (+ hair ties for long hair): Grooming tools for hair care.
  • Tissues (also handy as backup toilet paper): Multipurpose tissues.
  • Travel towel or another small towel: Compact towel for personal use.
  • Nail clippers (for longer adventures): For maintaining nails.
  • Band-Aids (+ painkillers, if required): First aid for minor injuries.
  • Menstrual products, if needed: Hygiene items for menstruation.
  • Condoms or B.C. (Birth Control), if needed: For safe sex or contraception.
  • If you’re flying: a transparent plastic bag to store liquids: Compliance with airline regulations for carrying liquids.

Staying Engaged: Beat Boredom on Your Travels

The Art of Staying Entertained

While the journey itself can be exciting, there may be moments during your travels when you find yourself with downtime. If you wonder how you fight boredom, you can pack a few key items that can keep you engaged and make your travel experience even more enjoyable. Here’s a list of travel companions that can help you beat boredom:

E-Reader in a relaxing Place

What to Include in Your Travel Entertainment Kit:

  • Books or E-Reader: A great book or a digital e-reader filled with your favorite reads can transport you to different worlds and pass the time effortlessly.

  • Tablet: Loaded with your favorite movies, TV shows, podcasts, and music playlists, these devices can be a treasure trove of entertainment options.

  • Travel Journal: Capture your thoughts, experiences, or the stunning scenery you encounter on your journey. Drawing or journaling can be a therapeutic and creative way to spend your time.

  • Puzzle Books: Sudoku, crosswords, and brain-teasers can be a fantastic way to challenge yourself and keep your mind engaged.

  • Playing Cards or Travel Board Games: Card games like Uno or classic board games like chess can turn into hours of fun with travel companions or fellow travelers.

  • Headphones: Noise-canceling headphones are a must for immersing yourself in your favorite audio content or simply enjoying some quiet time.

  • Camera: Whether it’s a dedicated camera or just your smartphone, capturing memories through photos and videos can be both enjoyable and fulfilling.

  • Portable Power Bank: Ensure your electronic devices stay charged, so your entertainment options are always at your fingertips.

  • Language Learning Materials: If you’re visiting a foreign country, learning a few basic phrases or brushing up on the local language can be an exciting and educational way to pass the time.

  • Maps and Travel Guides: Plan your next adventure, explore the local area, and discover hidden gems with the help of travel guides and maps.

  • Note: Don’t forget to pack the necessary chargers and adapters for your electronic devices to keep them powered up throughout your journey.

With these items in your travel entertainment kit, you’ll be well-prepared to conquer any moments of boredom during your travels and make the most of every second of your journey.

Must Bring Accessories for Travel

Accessories are both functionality and style to your journeys. There are multiple things that like this that while they maybe aren’t 100% indispensable for your journey, they can help you in a couple of specific situations.

Various accessories

Here there are some of the basic accessories you may bring with you on your next trip,

  • Minimalist Jewelry: Keep jewelry simple and versatile. Select pieces that can complement various outfits, such as neutral-colored studs or a classic watch.

  • Compact Bags: Choose a compact crossbody bag or daypack for carrying essentials during the day. Make sure it has enough pockets to keep items organized.


Even if Expensive, buy quality stuff

If you plan to travel a lot or for a long time and have the cash, think about getting high-quality, light stuff. Do your homework first.

Not all expensive “ultralight” or “travel” items are worth it, but some are, like travel towels, merino wool, quality small bag packs and super-light down jackets.

  • Sunglasses: Invest in quality sunglasses with UV protection. Opt for a timeless style that complements your face shape.

  • Rain Gear: Pack a compact, waterproof jacket in case of unexpected rain. Look for options that can easily fit in your daypack.

  • First Aid Kit: Assemble a small first aid kit with essential items like adhesive bandages, pain relievers, and any necessary medications.

  • Front-pocket wallet: Useful in Cities like Barcelona or Paris, known for pick pockets. These will help you have your most preciated belongings always at your sight.

  • Hat: Consider a packable, wide-brimmed travel hat to protect yourself from the sun Ensure it can be folded without losing its shape.

Items to make your Trip More Enjoyable

These will enhance your travel experience by ensuring better sleep, protection from the elements, and added comfort. They are particularly useful when you’re on the move and might not have access to all the comforts of home.

  1. Earplugs and Eye Mask: These items are essential for ensuring a good night’s sleep while traveling. Earplugs block out noise, whether it’s from nearby traffic, loud neighbors, or a snoring roommate. An eye mask helps you block out unwanted light, allowing you to sleep soundly even in brightly lit rooms. Both are especially valuable when staying in hostels, hotels with thin walls, or on long flights.

  2. Travel Pillow: A comfortable travel pillow can significantly improve your rest during long journeys, especially on planes, buses, or trains. It provides neck and head support, helping you avoid discomfort and stiffness. Look for compact, inflatable, or memory foam options that can easily fit in your carry-on bag.

  3. Compact Umbrella: Weather can be unpredictable, so packing a compact umbrella is a smart choice. It keeps you dry during unexpected rain showers and provides shade on hot, sunny days. Its small size makes it easy to carry in your bag, so you’re prepared for changing weather conditions without adding bulk to your luggage.

  4. Sleep Sack: A sleep sack is a lightweight, portable sleeping bag liner that can add an extra layer of comfort and cleanliness to your accommodations. It’s especially useful in hostels or budget hotels, where you may want an extra barrier between yourself and the bedding. It can also keep you warm in cooler environments or serve as a clean sheet when needed, enhancing your overall comfort during your trip.

Travel Tools that can Save Your Trip

When Traveling, we like the thrilling sensation of adventure, to discover something new, experience life in a different way as in our daily routine. But sometimes, when we embrace to much adventure, things can go astray. Here are some Tools you may or not already bring or your trips.

  1. Sim Tray: A SIM tray is a small component in your smartphone that holds your SIM card. When traveling internationally, you may need to switch out your SIM card to use a local carrier’s network. A SIM tray ejector tool can help you easily remove and replace the SIM card, ensuring you have a reliable mobile connection during your trip.

  2. Flashlight: A flashlight is a handy tool for various travel situations. It can help you navigate in poorly lit areas, find your way to your accommodation in the dark, or even signal for help in emergencies. Whether you’re camping, exploring, or simply walking around at night, a flashlight can enhance your safety and convenience.

  3. Swiss Knife: A Swiss knife, or Swiss Army knife, is a versatile multi-tool that can come in handy in numerous travel scenarios. It typically includes features like a knife, scissors, screwdriver, bottle opener, and more. These tools can be used for tasks such as cutting, opening bottles, or even minor repairs, making it a practical addition to your travel gear.

  4. Door Lock: A portable door lock or travel lock is a small device that adds an extra layer of security to your accommodations when traveling. It can be used to lock a hotel room or Airbnb from the inside, providing peace of mind and added security against unauthorized entry. It’s particularly useful in situations where you’re concerned about the security of your room.

  1. Travel Clothesline: A travel clothesline is a compact and lightweight tool that allows you to hang up your clothes to dry when you’re on the go. It’s especially useful if you’re staying in places without laundry facilities or if you want to wash some clothes by hand during your trip. Hanging your laundry on a travel clothesline helps you save money on laundry services and pack fewer clothes.

Electronics: What to Bring and More

  • Universal Adapter: Bring a universal travel adapter to ensure your electronics can be used worldide. Check the plug types required for your destination.

Forget about bringing a big bath towel

It’s too big and takes up lots of space. Instead, grab a small, quick-drying travel towel. Most places will give you already free towels.

Except if you’re doing a beach vacation, then we’d advise to stay comfy and bring a large towel on the beach. Take a look into Microfiber Towel, this one will dry much faster than the other ones.

Security tips

When you’re preparing your stuff for your vacation, remember these safety guidelines:

  • Smart Pocket Choices:
    Don’t put your passport, phone, or cash in those easy-to-reach outer pockets on your bag, even if they have zippers. Those pockets are like magnets for sneaky folks who want to grab your stuff while you’re in line, on a crowded bus or train, or just briefly distracted.

  • Emergency Cash and Cards:
    It’s a wise move to set aside a bit of emergency cash, either in the local currency or something like US dollars or euros that can be easily exchanged. Also, stash an emergency card somewhere separate from your everyday wallet or cash stash. This way, if your main cash or card gets swiped or lost, you’ve got a backup plan.

  • Keep an Eye on Your Bag:
    Never, ever wander off and leave your bag alone, especially in places known for pickpockets like Paris, Rome, or Barcelona. Hold onto your bag tight or secure it to something, especially in busy spots. Traveling light with one bag lets you keep it close, unlike storing it in those overhead compartments on buses or trains that thieves love to target.

  • Essentials First:
    If you have to stash your bag somewhere you can’t see it (like a crowded bus with a luggage rack), grab your essentials first and keep them with you.

  • Anti-Theft Bags:
    Some bag and backpack companies sell pricy “anti-theft” bags with special features like slash-proof material, lockable zippers, secret pockets, and straps you can clip to railings or seats. It’s your call whether to spend the money, but honestly, common sense and staying aware of your surroundings do more to protect your pack than any fancy anti-theft gizmos you can buy.

More on Security Tips for Tavel


By Mery Smith | Published on September 12, 2023