Travel Packing List

Notes: Bolded items are most important. This list is written from a man’s perspective. All the items in this travel packing list, depending on the amount of clothes desired, can fit in a carry-on suitcase and a small backpack (30 liters or less). I’ve actually traveled around Israel, Peru, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, and Slovenia on various trips of up to 1.5 weeks each with just a ~28-liter backpack (see image below).

All backpack contents from a trip to Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, and Slovenia in 2017. This is the North Face Borealis 28L backpack, and it’s the only bag I had on this multi-country trip of 10 days.

It is suggested to plan to dress in layers, allowing for various clothes combinations, and quick-dry clothing, especially underwear and socks, is helpful for minimizing your suitcase load. With quick-dry clothing you can wash your clothes in a shower or bath with soap, and then hang to dry, such that access to a washer and/or dryer isn’t required.


  • E-tickets
  • Itinerary printouts (for you and for Customs)
  • Printouts of bank statement and medical travel insurance (for Customs to verify that you have enough money to sustain yourself while in their country and that you will not need to use the country’s public welfare services)
  • Driver’s license
  • Wallet with >= 2 credit cards
  • Cash for destination
  • Passport (if traveling internationally)
  • International Driving Permit (if driving internationally) (


  • Phone (for international travel we suggest using Google’s Fi service)
  • Earbuds
  • Phone charger
  • Watch
  • Laptop and charger
  • Mouse
  • Electric plug adapter (if needed when traveling internationally)
  • Battery backup
  • Backup phone
  • Car charger
  • Chromecast, Roku, and/or any other photo-viewing or video-streaming solution

Reading and Writing

  • Notebook / paper (to record thoughts, take notes, communicate with others, draw, write letters, etc.)
  • Pen
  • Pencil
  • Envelopes (for sending letters to family and friends, or for correspondence with a government entity)
  • Magazine(s)
  • Book(s) (physical or virtual)
  • Crayons or color pencils (for drawing — for yourself or for loved ones)
  • Pencil / crayon sharpener


  • Shirts
  • Pants and/or shorts
  • Quick-dry underwear
  • Quick-dry socks
  • Belts
  • Shorts for bed
  • Exercise outfits (incl socks)
  • Shoes (dress shoes if needed)
  • Cap / hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Undershirts
  • Bathing suit (if needed)
  • Sandals (if needed)
  • Dress clothes (if needed) (ties, undershirts, shoes, etc.)
  • Cold weather hat & gloves (if needed)
  • Jacket/coat (if needed)
  • Rain jacket


  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Dental floss
  • Brush
  • Glasses
  • Contacts
  • Contact solution
  • Shaving cream
  • Razor
  • Deodorant
  • Bandages
  • Antibiotic
  • Lip balm
  • Lotion
  • Sunscreen
  • Soap bar
  • Decongestant
  • Tissues
  • Toilet paper in Ziploc
  • Tweezers
  • Nail clippers
  • Any medications
  • Vitamins
  • Acetaminophen / Ibuprofen
  • Baking soda
  • Muscle rub / Salonpas


  • Snacks
  • Water (if allowed)
  • Empty stainless steel water bottle
  • Facemasks (for COVID)
  • Eye mask
  • Earplugs
  • Rubber bands (for leftover packaged foods, or a variety of other situations)
  • Plastic clips (for leftover packaged foods)
  • Plastic bag (for shoes, dirty clothes, etc.)
  • Small drawstring bag (for carrying a subset of things to a beach, for a picnic, etc.)
  • Headlamp
  • Umbrella
  • Resistance bands (for strengthening and stretching during trips)
  • Tennis ball (for massage)
  • Small quick-dry microfiber towel (to dry off spills or oneself in a pinch)
  • Multi-tool (TSA-allowed credit card size without blade)
  • Duct tape (a “MacGyver”-like solution for many situations)
  • Clear tape (for adhering items together as needed)
  • String (to fasten things together as needed)
  • Nitrile, latex, or vinyl disposable gloves (for jobs where you want to avoid touching something directly)
  • Resealable plastic bags (for leftover food storage, collection of small items, etc.)
  • Deck of cards (for limitless gaming in a small package)
  • Neck pillow (for flights)

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