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Things to Pack for a Trip

Things to Pack for a Trip

So you’ve planned out this new, exciting trip, and it’s inching closer and closer. There’s just one thing… 

At this point, you’re starting to worry about what you need to pack.

But, figuring out everything you need and how to pack can be overwhelming. Even if you have a rough idea on what you want to bring, how do you start?

Luckily, this article will tell you everything you need to know about the things to pack for a trip, so you don’t forget about packing the essentials. 

Let's get started!


Things to Pack for a Trip: The Basics

List of Things to Pack for a Trip - Weekend Beach Trip

Knowing how to pack and what to pack for a trip is all about being aware of what kind of trip you’re actually going on. After all, what you need to pack for a camping road trip will be different from what you need when you’re taking a trip to Japan

Here are some common types of trips you might be preparing for:

  • Camping Trip
  • Road Trip
  • Backpacking Trip
  • City Travel
  • Traveling Abroad
  • Cruise Trip
  • Beach Trip

  • Each of these types of trips comes with it’s own benefits and challenges for packing the essentials. Of which we’ll address later on. However, remember that every trip can benefit from making a checklist.

    “What is a checklist?”, you might wonder. Well, a checklist allows you to compile everything you need for your upcoming getaway. With it, you’ll be able to check things off as you go along, so you don’t forget anything.

    There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to things to pack for a trip. But, there are some basics you’ll need, regardless of the trip. Here are our things to pack for a trip essentials:


    Suitcase or Backpack?

    When it comes to packing, having the right gear is everything. Of course, you might assume that having a big suitcase is best, because you can fit more. 

    But, this isn’t necessarily the case. 

    Besides the obvious fact that lugging around a 40 lbs hard suitcase isn’t very fun at an airport, you also need to consider the extra cost associated. To store luggage on a plane you can expect to pay $30 dollars for one bag, and $40 dollars or more for every additional bag. This might not seem like a big deal at first, but if you travel a lot, or have a family, it can really add up. 

    Plus, maybe you’ve found that you didn’t need all the extra clothes and other additions you stuffed in that suitcase anyway. Unless you’re going to Milan and expect to wear a new, fashionable outfit every day, all you did was pay for unnecessary bulk. 

    The solution? Use your carry-ons as your luggage!

    Not only are the backpacks used for carry-on more portable in the city or on a hiking trail, but they also help you prioritize when packing. As mentioned previously, you can use your checklist to streamline your packing process.

    On top of that, most airliners let you bring two carry-ons, with the overhead reaching a maximum size of 45L. Trust us, a 45L bag carries a lot more than you might think.

    In general, while transitioning to this method of packing might seem hard at first, you’ll be shocked by how much breezier your trips become.


    The Sunny 16 Voyager

    Now that we’ve talked your ear off about why using a backpack to pack is ideal, you’ll be happy to know that we have a professional recommendation. 

    For the best possible travel experience, we recommend the Sunny 16 Voyager Backpack. Travel is in this backpack’s name. It’s a 31L camera backpack, making it versatile for any type of trip.

    This backpack packs a serious amount of gear for its size, fitting two DSLR cameras, up to seven lenses, a laptop, a tablet, and other accessories. If you’re not a photographer, you can also easily fit plenty of clothes and other travel gear. 

    It’s made of a weatherproof material, making it perfect for any of your travels, rain or shine. You never have to worry about your things getting wet. 

    For comfort, this backpack features both padded shoulder straps and padding on the back made of light, breathable material. You’ll have comfort during extended periods of time wearing it, and keep cool when it’s hot out.

    You’ll even have quick access during your travels. The Voyager has multiple access points to equipment with both rear access, side access, and a top pocket for your convenience. Having side access as the primary bag opening keeps your equipment safe and close to you. 

    Speaking of safety, you can use the hidden zipper and anti-theft clamshell opening to secure your equipment. 

    And on top of all that, it’s size and weight easily qualify for carry on, regardless of the country or airline company. 

    By far, the Sunny 16 Voyager is the best carry-on backpack.


    Packing the Essentials

    Now that you have tips on the perfect backpack, it’s important to know some of the essential things to pack for a trip. Here’s our list: 

  • Your Wallet: Seems obvious, but it would be a catastrophe to forget. Remember to check for your ID, cash and cards before leaving. 
  • Portable Power Bank: Whether you’re out in the wilderness or dealing with foreign outlets, a portable power bank can be a real lifesaver. With it, you’ll never have to worry about running low on battery. 
  • Electronic or Physical Book: It might sound old fashioned, but nothing beats a book when you’re on a long flight or train ride. At the very least, it’ll give you something to do. 
  • Sweatshirt/Sweater: Even if you’re going to the desert, you should always be prepared for being too cold. Maybe it gets colder at nighttime, the plane ride is chilly, or you’ll be going to an air-conditioned movie theater. 
  • Underwear: You’re going to have a bad time if you forget your undies, socks, bras, etc.
  • Hand Sanitizer: Never more relevant, hand sanitizer is a great way to stay clean on the go.  
  • Medications: This can range from your own prescribed medications, to ever-handy ibuprofen. 
  • Multi-Tool: Even if you’re not camping or backpacking, a multi-tool always has its uses. Plus, many are small enough to fit in your pocket. 
  • First Aid Kit: Being able to take care of cuts and bruises yourself is always a plus, especially when you’re somewhere you’ve never been before. 
  • Itinerary: So you can keep track of the every-day happenings on your trip.
  • Camera: To capture the memories!


  • What Should I Pack for a Trip List?

    Things to Pack for a Road Trip - Suitcase Clothes Packing

    Now that we’ve provided a list of the essentials, let’s dive into things to pack for a trip based on the trip type. That way, you’ll know just what to bring, no matter where you’re headed.


    Camping and Backpacking Checklist

    A camping/Backpacking checklist compiles everything you need for your nature getaway. With it, you’ll be able to check things off as you go along, so you don’t forget anything. Keep in mind that anything on our general list won’t be included here. 

    Of course, there are a lot of things to consider when it comes to camping essentials. But, we’ve got you covered. Plus, if you want a more detailed list, check our article on the best camping checklist.

    Here’s our list:

    ☐ Tent

    ☐ Sleeping bags

    ☐ Blankets/Pillows

    ☐ Headlamps or flashlights

    ☐ Camp chairs

    ☐ Lantern

    Hiking Backpack

    ☐ Lighter or firestarter

    ☐ Utensils/Cooking gear

    ☐ Foldable Knife

    ☐ Mugs and cups

    ☐ Cutting board

    ☐ Cooler w/ice

    ☐ Water bottles

    ☐ Biodegradable soap

    ☐ Pot scrubber and sponges

    ☐ Trash and recycling bags

    ☐ Towels

    ☐ Long-sleeve shirt/Jacket

    ☐ Sneakers

    ☐ Rain boots

    ☐ Rain coat

    ☐ Gloves or mittens

    ☐ Wool socks 

    ☐ Sunglasses

    ☐ Sun hat

    ☐ Toilet paper

    ☐ Toothbrush and toothpaste

    ☐ Toiletry kit

    ☐ Menstrual products

    ☐ Sunscreen

    ☐ Insect/animal repellents


    Road Trip Checklist

    Things to Pack for a Trip - List of Things for a Weekend Trip - Map Navigation

    If you have an upcoming road trip, you can use this list to check off all of the essentials you need. After all, you don’t want to forget anything important! 

    We’ll provide a list here, but if you want to learn more about how to plan a road trip, also be sure to check out our article on just that. 

    Here’s are some things to pack for a trip on the road:

    ☐ Driver’s License

    ☐ Car Registration and Insurance Information

    ☐ Spare tire

    ☐ Quart of Oil

    ☐ Jug of Coolant or Water

    ☐ Wiper Fluid

    ☐ First Aid Kit and Prescriptions

    ☐ Car Charger

    ☐ Garbage Bags

    ☐ Napkins

    ☐ Umbrella

    ☐ Bug Spray

    ☐ Paper Money and Coins (For meters and tolls)

    ☐ Rain Coat

    ☐ Blankets and travel pillow

    ☐ Sunglasses

    ☐ Travel Cup

    ☐ Jugs or bottles of water

    ☐ Towels

    ☐ Toothbrush and Toothpaste

    ☐ Rain Coat

    ☐ Cooler 

    ☐ Tupperware or ziplock bags

    ☐ Utensils


    Beach/Cruise Vacation Checklist

    List of Things to Pack for a Beach Trip

    Who doesn’t love a trip to the beach or joy ride around the ocean? Beach trips and Cruises are great ways to enjoy the summer sun, and all kinds of aquatic activities.

    Of course, spending a lot of time around the ocean will affect your packing checklist. Overall, here are our recommendations for your Beach/Cruise vacation:

    ☐ Sun hat

    ☐ Sandals/Flip Flops

    ☐ Sunglasses

    ☐ Beach Bag

    ☐ Sunscreen

    ☐ Aloe Vera

    ☐ SPF Lip Balm

    ☐ Beach umbrella

    ☐ Snorkel Gear

    ☐ Towels

    ☐ Beach Toys

    ☐ Beach Sport Games

    ☐ Floaties/Life vest

    ☐ Waterproof phone case

    ☐ Toiletries

    ☐ Cash for food/tips


    Vacation Packing Lists Based on Length of Stay

    What you need to pack for your trip will vary based on how long you’re traveling. However, it’s also never a good idea to overpack.

    Remember what we said about the benefits of a backpack over a suitcase? Well, just know that taking your clothes to a laundromat is a lot less expensive than paying for luggage. 


    What do I need to pack for one week trip?

    Things to Pack for a Trip - Traveling Packing List for Road Trip

    If you’re wondering “what should I pack for 7 days?”, we’ve got you covered. We’ve curated this list to include what you can fit in a backpack. 

    ☐ Packing cubes (a must for compression and organization)

    ☐ 1-2 pairs of pants/shorts (rolled)

    ☐ 1 skirt/dress (rolled)

    ☐ Sleeping shirt/pants (rolled)

    ☐ 4-7 Day shirts/tank tops (rolled)

    ☐ Socks and Underwear

    ☐ 1 extra pair of shoes

    ☐ Travel toiletries

     

    What should I pack for a 5 day trip?

    Given that a 5 day trip is a bit shorter, you can get away with not doing any laundry on your trip. Here’s our list of things to pack for a trip that’s 5 days long:

    ☐ 1-3 pairs of pants/shorts (rolled)

    ☐ 1 skirt/dress (rolled)

    ☐ Sleeping shirt/pants (rolled)

    ☐ 4 Day shirts/tank tops (rolled)

    ☐ 4 pairs of socks and underwear

    ☐ 1 hat

    ☐ 1 Jacket

    ☐ 1 extra pair of shoes

    ☐ Travel toiletries


    Up Next: How to Become a Travel Photographer

    Now that you know all the things to pack for a trip, you’re ready to start packing! Let us know in the comments where you plan on trekking next.

    And, if you want to learn more about how to take professional photos on your trip, check out our article on how to become a travel photographer. 


    Up Next: How to Become a Travel Photographer →

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