low angle view of shoes

Packing when traveling can be the most exhausting chore ever. You tend to forget the necessary things to pack and sometimes you don’t know if you should drop the sneakers and take the heels or to take the crop top and drop the sweater.

When it comes to underwear, 45 percent of Americans are on the same page, packing a pair a day plus a spare. While 17 percent are a tad overly cautious, packing double as many pairs as days on the trip, nearly 8 percent wing it and throw caution (and hygiene) to the wind, bringing as many pairs as they happen to throw in their suitcase. (Source)

For people who travel a lot, or people who travel once in a while, the thought of packing can cause anxiety sometimes because it demands a lot of thinking and quick decision-making.

This is why I have written this article. With these essential lists, you will be able to hack the packing system. You will regain your confidence once again when it comes to packing and when you get to your destination you will not scamper to buy the things you forgot to pack or wail that you didn’t pack the most important item and took the least important item.

Before we go into the essential things you must pack, let’s take a look at some of the things to consider when packing for traveling. 

  • Where you are going

It is important to consider where you are going when packing. Are you traveling out of your country? Are you going to a warm country, a country warmer than your resident country, or a cold country? Do they have constant electricity in the country you’re going? Are you going to a city in your local area or a far country? All these should be considered before packing.

  • The duration of your stay

How long do you plan to spend where you’re going. This will determine how much you should pack and also help you to know what you will need in a month, 6 months, or a year.

  • How do you like to travel?

One thing you must also consider is if you like to travel light or not. For many years, I used to travel heavy but recently, I have been making changes to that effect because traveling heavy affects how smooth my journey will be and it makes me really stressed out by the time I get to my destination. There’s also a probability that I would buy more stuff or receive gifts from where I am going, which will mean more load added to my already packed load.

Sometimes I had to pay people to carry my bags or load my bags comfortably in a car or bus for me.

It can be really energy-consuming. So I decided to start traveling light. It’s a lot of work most times but I’m getting used to it.

So by determining what kind of traveler you are, you will know what to pack and what to not pack.

Fun fact for heavy travelers: You will not use most of the extra things you pack in your bag.

There are more than 20 things to pack in your bag while traveling (especially long-distance) but these 20 listed below are the most essential things you should pack when traveling.

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Clothes and Accessories 

supply for traveling for clothes
Clothes and accessories for traveling Pexels.com

The basic and essential first need to pack is your clothes. Ensure you determine (from the above) how many clothes you will be needing for your traveling and pack as much or as little as you want.

Pack clothes and accessories like tops, jeans, skirts, dresses, thick or light jackets (depending on the climate of your destination), socks, gloves, hats, glasses, shoes (flip-flops, slip-on, sneakers, tennis, sandals, etc.), fashion glasses, sunglasses, and scarfs. All these should be packed based on the individual and the factors you have considered.



assorted color string bikini top
Travel underwear Pexels.com

This is important to pack for every traveler. Also, ensure you pack as much as you will need. Pack your singlets, panties, boxers, etc. If you’re a lady, ensure you pack panties that are period-friendly to avoid discomfort.


Skin Care Pack

flat lay of beauty treatment
Skincare products Pexels.com

While traveling, don’t forget that you must still maintain your skincare routine. Don’t forget to pack your body cream, facial cream, facial oil, face wipes, sunscreen, and other stuff in your normal skincare pack.


Phone Charger/Power bank

closed up photography of two iphones
Phone charger on Pexels.com

This is a major thing that is often forgotten. If you are reading this post because you’re about to pack your stuff to travel, leave this article and pack your charger now. 

If you’ve ever traveled with a group of friends, you have probably met people who will borrow phone chargers throughout the trip, or you were probably one yourself.

Don’t forget this time! If you will be taking your laptop/MacBook with you, get the charger too. 


Water Bottle

hands woman drink table
Water bottle for traveling on Pexels.com

Drinking water is important for your body system and your skin. In other to develop the habit of drinking water, ensure you have a water bottle in handy at all times. Another importance of having a water bottle is to be able to drink water if you have to travel to a place with limited water supply or if you have to walk long distances in the course of traveling.


Passport/ID Card

yellow and black calculator on blue background
Passport/Id card for traveling on Pexels.com

While traveling, ensure you have a means of identification with you at all times like your ID card. If you’re traveling within your country or by bus, you might not need a passport but always have a means of identification with you.



a steel basket with toiletries
Toiletries on Pexels.com

Ensure you pack toiletries like body wash, shampoo, tissue paper, deodorant, perfumes, roll-on, towels, moisturizer, toothbrush, toothpaste, suncream, shaving stick, pads/sanitary products, nail clippers, body wash, and detergents.


Camera and Camera Charger

modern video monitor for camera with photo of building roof
Camera and charger on Pexels.com

If you are an adventurous soul then you will also love documenting your adventures. Get a camera and also your camera charger to take amazing pictures of yourself, the places you visit, and the people you meet (if they permit).



gagdets on wooden surface
Gadgets to pack when traveling on Pexels.com

Ensure you pack all the necessary gadgets you will be needing in the course of your journey. Your phone, an extra phone if you like, laptops/a MacBook, tablets, etc.


First Aid Kit/Medicine Pack

first aid kits on white background
First aid kit Pexels.com

Ensure you pack a first aid kit and a medicine pack. It is important to have all these in handy as you travel because of several unforeseen circumstances.



white earphones on black surface
Earpodson Pexels.com

What is an adventure without good music or a great movie? Enjoy your traveling with your earphones on while you listen to music, watch movies, or listen to audiobooks and podcasts.


Travel Guide

assorted map pieces
Travel guide on Pexels.com

Travel guides are important especially when you’re going to a new city or country you have not been to before. It will help you understand the culture of the city, where to go, and all you need to know in the course of traveling.



woman in brown coat sitting on brown wooden dock
Books for traveling Pexels.com

For book lovers and book nerds, ensure you get some of your favorite books and pack them with you on your journey. They will come in handy in the course of the journey


Makeup Kit

set of makeup brushes in box
Makeup kit Pexels.com

Don’t forget your makeup kit as you travel. This is not compulsory for people who do not use makeup. But if you use makeup, this is essential for you.


Covid Pack

light blue one use medical protective masks
Covid essentials on Pexels.com

We are in the pandemic and just because it has eased up doesn’t mean the pandemic is over. Traveling from one destination to another is a faster way to contact the virus. Ensure you always have your covid pack in handy. It should have the essential disposable nose mask, hand sanitizer, and hand wash.


Travel Pillow

a woman in transit looking outside the window
Travel pillow on Pexels.com

Traveling with a travel pillow is essential especially when you’re traveling by air or by road. It will help you rest your neck and your head when you get tired.



cold light road landscape
Torchlight on Pexels.com

Having a torchlight in hand can always come in handy. If you go to a country with no electricity supply or you find yourself in a dark place or the electricity at your lodge goes off suddenly, you can always turn on your torchlight.


Purse or Small Bag

brown leather crossbody bag with white framed sunglasses
Bag or purse Pexels.com

Apart from the suitcase you will put your essential things, ensure to also have a small bag or purse you can carry around with you. In this purse or bag, you can put some money, your credit cards, some mints or gum, notebook, glasses, your ID card, and even your passports. Put things you will like to easily access.



black and blue pens beside red covered notebook
Notebooks on Pexels.com

If you love documenting your adventure or the moments of your journey the conventional way, then you should have a travel notebook to write or journal moments from your journey. You can eventually transform this into articles on your blog or a novel if the story turns out interesting.


Packaged Snacks

tortilla chips on table
Snacks for traveling Pexels.com

What is traveling without the consumption of good food and drinks?! In order to avoid hunger or the disappointment of not getting enough food to eat during your traveling, ensure you pack some packaged snacks that will not easily get spoilt and will last for a long period of time.

Traveling is one of the most exciting avenues to gain adventure. Make traveling simple for yourself by packing the essentials.


  1. vivek says:

    Great and well written article. It will be useful to many people. However in in individual experience, the ultimate freedom is when I travelled with few sets of clothes, 2 pairs of shoes and sandals, laptop, phone, credit card and some cash and chargers , thermometers. I always got the wipes on the flights and purchased masks as needed. If you are business travel you need more, but for personal travel, i felt i had a lot of freedom when i travelled light.

    1. Thank you for sharing, Vivek. Traveling light is always a pleasure.

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I am a Freelance Writer, Blogger, Content Creator, and Productivity Coach.

I am passionate about writing, designing, God, and helping people achieve their goals and be productive.