So you’ve booked your tour, you’ve organized your flights, and now you’re just counting down the days until you depart for your first big trip. But before you start packing, you need a travel checklist to help keep this whirlwind preparation stage organized. Lucky for you, we’ve got this essential travel checklist that covers everything from visa and vaccination reminders to itemized packing lists for each stage of your travels. Enjoy!

Pre-departure essentials

Arrange the following items at least 8 weeks before departure, as travel visas, in particular, can take weeks to receive and some vaccinations may take time to become fully effective.

□  Obtain required travel visas

□  Get necessary vaccinations

□  Buy travel insurance to protect yourself (and your stuff)

□  Scan your passport and email it to yourself and a friend

□ Check that your passport has more than 3 free pages and will be valid for up to 6 months prior to your return

□ Visit your doctor and refill prescriptions for any medications you’ll require on the road

□ Let your bank or credit card company know that you will be travelling (however, many banks are changing their policy on this and no longer require you to provide them with this heads-up)

□ Consider registering your trip with your government

Packing list for your carry-on

This is everything you should put in your carry-on luggage and/or personal item (think: purse, messenger bag, small backpack, or satchel).

□ Wallet

□ Passport

□ Mobile phone with headphones and charging cable

□ External charger for electronic devices

□ Book, journal, magazine or another non-digital entertainment

□ Spare pair of underwear (in case checked luggage is lost)

□ Printed boarding pass and tour voucher

□ Toothbrush and travel-size toothpaste

□ Refillable water bottle

□ Lip balm

□ Travel sized hairbrush

□ Travel pillow, eye mask, and ear plugs

Packing list for your checked luggage

This packing list will cover everything you need for a multi-day trip to a destination with a moderate climate. Depending on when and where you’re travelling, you will need to make some adjustments, but the basics are covered in this section of our travel checklist.

□ Underwear

□ Bras and sports bras (if applicable)

□ Sweaters

□ Long-sleeved shirts

□ T-shirts and tank tops

□ Breathable, lightweight clothing ideal for layering

□ Jeans

□ Shorts

□ Sleepwear

□ Formal clothing (if a fancy night out is involved)

□ Formal footwear

□ Comfortable walking shoes

□ Scarf (especially helpful for visiting places of worship)

□ Hat

□ Socks

□ Swimsuit

□ Travel towel (of the quick-dry variety)

□ Reusable plastic bag to keep wet and/or dirty belongings separate from other clothing

□ First-aid kit (include things like antiseptic gel and waterproof band-aids)

Packing list for your toiletries bag

Depending on how long you’re going to be away for, you may want to pack a small portable toiletry bag that can fit inside your carry-on luggage. If that’s the case, it’s likely that not everything in the list below will fit in such a small pack, so simply choose what’s most relevant for you, or take everything and store it in a waterproof/spillproof pack within your checked-luggage. Keep in mind that if your travels will involve staying in primarily mid-level to luxury accommodations, you may wish to forgo packing the shampoo and conditioner, as these will likely be included.

□ Toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss

□ Hairbrush, hair ties, bobby pins

□ Deodorant

□ Shampoo and conditioner (a dry shampoo is also an option)

□ Sunscreen

□ Tampons and pads (if relevant)

□ Face wash and moisturizer

□ Tweezers

□ Prescription medication with any relevant paperwork

□ Contacts and contact solution (if relevant)