Pre-flight Checklist

This travel checklist provides useful vacation packing tips and other guidelines that will help ensure a smooth, productive trip.

Inspect tickets and travel documents

Ensure that all personal information has been correctly entered, and that there is ample time before passports and other documents expire. Know your departure and arrival times by heart. 

Research your destination

Know the weather and temperature beforehand, so you can pack accordingly.

Go online to find out about tourist spots and surrounding accommodations, as well as special events that can make your trip more worthwhile. Find out about transportation options. It will also benefit you to learn a few local phrases.

It will be wise to know about local laws and socio-political conditions, as this will help you avoid trouble. 

Determine the itinerary

Have a general idea of what you will be doing, and how much time you need to allocate for each activity. This can maximize time and productivity.

Ensure accommodations beforehand

Be sure that you have a place to stay, and have the means to pay. You may also want to inquire about amenities, such as shops, gyms and Wi-Fi.

Meet with your doctor before your trip

Acquire an extra prescription if necessary, and seek any special instructions regarding traveling in your condition. Be sure to pack enough medication, plus extra dosage for two days. Always carry your prescription papers and medical documents in your carry-on luggage.

Prepare your wallet

Have your travelers’ checks on hand. Have enough cash and change for cab fares, meals, necessary fees and tips - but do not carry more money than needed. Have it changed to the applicable currency beforehand. 

It's important to know the current exchange rates to have a handle on your spending. If you are not quick with conversions, have a small cheat-sheet ready in your wallet for quick reference.

Make a travel packing checklist of things to bring

This will help you pack more efficiently, and it will prevent leaving necessary items. Your list will have 5 general categories: 

- Attire (clothing, footwear and accessories)
- Toiletries and grooming supplies (Shampoo, hair dryer, etc.)
- Electronics (Laptop, camera, chargers, etc.)
- Documents (Passports, identification, prescriptions, etc.)
- Others (Medication, extra eyeglasses, etc.)

This trip checklist can serve as your inventory, so you can easily determine if you lost anything. It will also be helpful when you pack for the ride home.

Acquire items needed for your trip

You may need to purchase certain things, such as weather-appropriate clothes, travel-sized toiletries or new luggage. 

Contact your airline for information on baggage requirements

Airlines differ regarding specific baggage guidelines, so it will be best to inquire. Determine the prescribed sizes and weight limits for carry-on and check-in luggage. Find out their policies on carry-on baggage, particularly prohibited. This will save you from unnecessary trouble before boarding.

Find suitable luggage and locks

Luggage with wheels is an advantage, as these will facilitate your movement. Select luggage that is lightweight and sturdy. It has to be easy for you to transport, but also durable – keep in mind that your checked items may be handled roughly in cargo.

Pack Light

The lighter your luggage, the less difficulty. If you manage to pack everything in your carry-on bag, there won't be any need to check anything in - that means less time wasted and less hassle with customs inspections.

Leave instructions with the people you will leave behind

This is an important part of every vacation checklist that should not be forgotten. Make a written list for your roommate or family members; it could include chores, important dates, instructions regarding pets and other relevant things. Be sure to leave contact information of where you can be reached in case of an emergency, as well as copies of your passport and itinerary.


- Choose clothes in plain fabrics rather than prints, so they can be easily mixed and matched. 

- If you will be doing a lot of sight-seeing or shopping, bring comfortable but durable footwear.

- Consider your activities and events, as well as the weather and climate; this will help you plan your wardrobe. Pack only the clothes you need. 

- Bring travel-sized toiletries. Store all liquids in resealable plastic bags.

- Utilize the space in the shoes you pack. Use it to store socks, toiletries or other small items. 

- Store footwear in fabric shoe bags or old socks, to keep them from soiling your clothes.

- Always keep valuables and travel documents on your person, never in the checked luggage. This should also be the case for necessary items such as keys, extra eyeglasses and prescription drugs.

- Pack cameras, film and laptops in your carry-on luggage; never check them in to avoid unwanted damage.

- If traveling overseas, remember to bring electrical adaptors for your electronics and other devices. 

- Don't forget to bring your chargers or extra batteries.

- Pack a collapsible bag. This will be very useful for carrying extra items on your trip back, such as shopping acquisitions or dirty laundry.

- Do not bring expensive jewelry or any irreplaceable family items. Leave all your extra credit cards, library cards and other things in your wallet that you will not be using. Lock away all valuables in a safe place.