Erratic engineeress

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The essential packing checklist

The exact packing list I run through in my head every time before leaving the house for a trip.

If you’ve ever looked at any travel blog from afar, you’ve probably noticed they all have at least 3 packing checklists. Let’s be honest here: packing lists are a great way for bloggers to tuck in affiliate links for stuff you mostly likely don’t need and never will, but don’t really do much for most readers. We all have different travelling styles, fashion needs and amounts of redundant “just in case” items we need to feel comfortable leaving the house, so a packing list that would fit everyone just doesn’t exist.

While there are certain tips and tricks when it comes to packing as light as possible, most of us already know what to we need to take with us, but often tend to forget or nervously double-check the essentials. So here is my version of a packing checklist, the very essentials you absolutely must pack to survive any kind of trip without too much stress – I mean, no one enjoys looking for their meds or preferred deodorant (yes, that is a huge thing for me) in a foreign country. Even if you forget everything else except the clothes on your back, you can always buy it when you get there. 🙂

The list

  • Documents (passport/ID card, driving license, discount eligibility cards: student/senior/disability card and a visa if needed)
  • If you’re going abroad: a copy of the above documents in case they get lost or stolen (either printed or on your phone/email)
  • Money: credit cards + cash (you never know when your credit card might get stolen or won’t work)
  • Personal medication, as in chronic condition meds, vitamins, supplements or contraceptive pills
  • First aid kit featuring plasters, pain killers, stomach and allergy meds
  • Glasses or eye lenses + lens fluid and container if you use them
  • Phone + phone charger
  • House keys (and car keys if applicable)
  • A pack of tissues or toilet paper
  • Underwear
  • Toothbrush
  • Deodorant (not sure if this is such a struggle for most people, but it is for me, because my pits don’t like all of them)
  • A sweater/jacket
  • Female bonus items: tampons/pads/menstrual cup, because we never know

Now, this list may seem obvious to you and it is by no means comprehensive (you might have noticed I didn’t include clothes, cosmetics or shoes, because we usually tend to pack too many of those anyway). However, when you’re packing and wondering whether you should bring that extra shirt or book, another pair of shoes and yet another shirt, then trying to fit all of it into your chosen bag, taking stuff in and out, it’s quite common to forget the basics. I’ve done it, you’ve done it, and we all have at least one friend (or are that friend) who’d driven across the border with no ID.

This is the exact packing list I run through in my head every single time before leaving the house for a trip and in truth, it is all you really can’t do without. It could be even shorter, but we all deserve at least some creature comforts from the get go, right?

While you’re at it, come out some of my other packing and travel preparation posts as well:

If you found my essential packing list useful, you can save a more compact version of it below for your next trip. 🙂 Download it, print it or pin it to Pinterest and feel free to share with your friends.

packing list

P.S.: No, this is unfortunately not my cat, but he was my flatmate while I lived in Sweden.

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6 responses to “The essential packing checklist”

  1. Very concise list. With no affiliate marketing fillers.

    1. I mean, it’s what you actually need a list for, all the things that are really important. The rest of it just fluff.

      1. Oh, and I meant to ask if the cat wanted to be put on the list. Every time my daughter would pack to go somewhere the cat would sit in her suitcase and keep getting in it.

      2. Yes, this one loved to do that too!

  2. Very good list. I should have had this list last week before I traveled!!

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