Get 5% of discount using the code
Buy my eSIM
EUR - €
United States (US) dollar
USD - $
Pound sterling
GBP - £
Australian dollar
AUD - $
Canadian dollar
CAD - $

Packing list for international travel — everything you need to have

An international trip checklist will ensure you are on time for your trip. Discover a list of 10 essentials you must have.

Brenda Beltrán

July 22, 2024

4.6 /5 Trustpilot star
Highly rated Based on +39.000 customer reviews on Trustpilot
Reviews avatar Reviews avatar Reviews avatar +1M
Trusted worldwide Over 1 million travelers across the globe have trusted Holafly
Unlimited data Unlimited data Limitless data plans in more than 170 destinations
Save money

Holafly saves you +30% compared to other roaming fees

Buy my eSIM

Packing your bags can sometimes be the most stressful part of your whole holiday. You don’t want to forget anything important, especially when you’re traveling outside of your country. To help you relieve the stress, we’ve come up with the ultimate travel packing list for your next trip.

Need cellular internet on your next trip?

Use the code MYESIMNOW5 and get a Holafly data eSIM with a 5% discount.

Why do I need a checklist to pack my bags?

Having a checklist isn’t a must. We’ve all packed our bags and traveled without one before. But having one can give you the peace of mind you need on your holiday and save you the time you would otherwise spend wondering if you didn’t forget anything at home.

It can also help you save space and potentially overweight fees on your luggage since you won’t pack as many things you don’t need. 

Of course, your checklist will be different based on your personal needs. Use the information below as a guideline to help you create your own vacation packing list that you can use whenever you travel abroad.

What to take on a trip abroad?

From the basics, such as travel documents, plane tickets, and appropriate clothing, to some apps you might want to get — the list below features everything you should consider before your next adventure.

1. Get your travel documents ready

Documents and passports
Packing your passport. Source: Pexels.

Having the required documents is arguably the most important thing when traveling. After all, you might not be able to get on the plane without proper documentation, let alone enjoy your holiday. Here are the main documents that you should prepare well in advance before your trip.

  • A valid passport;
  • Custody documents if you are traveling with minors;
  • A valid visa if the country you’re traveling to requires you to have one;
  • Create physical or electronic copies of your documents just in case;
  • A driver’s license for renting a car or a secondary form of identification.

2. Have your plane ticket ready

Airplane tickets
Plane ticket on a phone screen. Source: Pixabay

You do not want to forget your plane ticket when leaving for the airport. Sure, most tickets are digital nowadays, but make sure to save the tickets where you can find them quickly

Having a printed-out ticket is also a good idea just in case your phone dies or doesn’t function properly. You can also send the digital copy to whomever you’re traveling with so that they can access the tickets if you can’t.

3. Reserve accommodation

Reserve the accomodation
Submitting a confirmed accommodation reservation is a requisite in some countries. Source: Pexels.

No matter where you’re traveling, booking your accommodation in advance is always a good idea. You’ll usually have a much better selection and will pay far less if you book your stay a month or more in advance.

In addition, some countries require a confirmed accommodation reservation to enter. When you arrive at the migration post at the airport, the authorities may ask you to check where you plan to stay for the entire duration of your visit. Of course, this depends on the local laws of each country and is something you can research in advance. 

Keep in mind that many countries don’t allow people to sleep in their cars or set up tents outside of designated areas. As a result, you can land yourself in a not-so-pleasant situation if you plan on booking accommodation after you arrive and can’t find a suitable option. 

So make sure you have a place to stay before you travel. To make it easy, you can use Skyscanner, Booking, TripAdvisor, Kayak, Hopper, or similar apps to find an accommodation that best suits your needs and budget.

4. Take cash and credit cards with you

Take cash and credit cards
A black credit card in hand. Source: Freepik

You might want to have cash in a local currency as well as your credit or debit card whenever you travel. Many local markets or souvenir shops only take cash, and while you can get away with exchanging your cash when you arrive, you’ll often get a much better exchange rate if you do so before your trip.

When it comes to cards, you need to ensure that you can use your card for payments abroad. To do so, visit your bank and inform them of your travels. Otherwise, all your payments may be blocked because the bank may see your payment activity from the other side of the world as suspicious.

5. Pack suitable clothing and footwear

prepare your travel bag with international trip checklist
Get your luggage ready with the things you need. Source: Freepik

Your entire wardrobe probably won’t fit your carry on bag, and often times, half of the clothing you pack is left untouched, only to be unpacked again when you get back home. Research the usual weather conditions for the time of your arrival and pack accordingly.You probably won’t need your shorts in Prague during the winter time, nor will you need a down jacket when visiting Bali in the summer. But definitely do your research. You can still find yourself knee-deep in snow in the Italian Alps midway through July, and you don’t want to do that hike in a t-shirt and yoga pants.

6. Pack hygiene and health essentials

You never know if you’ll have access to hygiene essentials or medication whenever you’re abroad. Pack your toothbrush, travel-sized packages of toothpaste, shampoo, and body wash. Sure, you may expect these things to be available to your at the hotel, but that’s not always the case.

At the very least, having access to basic hygiene items makes it easier to stay fresh between flights.

More importantly, if you use any kind of prescription medication, don’t forget to take it with you. You may not be able to purchase the same medication abroad, and your prescription may not be valid there. Ideally, pack both the medication and the prescription with you in case the airport security has any questions about it.

7. Take care of your internet connection

Holafly home website.
Holafly home website. Source: Holafly.

Having internet access is a need as basic as bread and water for many travelers nowadays. To avoid being left without a connection or overpaying for a SIM card at a local airport, you can take care of your connectivity in advance.

Holafly offers international eSIM cards with coverage in 200 destinations worldwide. All you have to do is purchase your plan and have an eSIM compatible device. You can purchase plans up to 180 days in advance and activate them whenever you arrive at your destination for instant internet access.

An eSIM doesn’t take up space in your carry-on luggage and can be set up from anywhere in the world. On top of that, it’s often the cheapest way to stay connected, making it a no-brainer for the next time you travel.

8. Get travel and health insurance 

Besides giving you a peace of mind, travel insurance is a requirement in some destinations. Countries like Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Paraguay, Israel, the Netherlands, Hungary, France, Greece, and Spain, among others, require all visitors to have an active health insurance. 

Most insurance companies will be able to offer coverage for your travels, which usually includes policies against inconveniences such as: 

  • Medical assistance
  • Flight delay or cancellation
  • Lost luggage
  • Civil liability
  • Legal assistance
  • Repatriation

Overall, travel health insurance is a substantial investment that can protect you from various financial risks while traveling. It’s a relatively inexpensive way to give yourself peace of mind and ensure you’re covered in an emergency. 

9. Pack hiking essentials

Hiking in Ireland
Hiking in Ireland. Source: Vercel

If you’re planning to do some hiking on your holiday, you’ll probably want to pack accordingly. Conditions on hikes are often very different from those in nearby cities, and this may be one of a few cases where you might want to pack more instead of packing less.

On top of packing appropriate hiking boots and clothing, you may also want to consider taking a waterproof backpack with you. It’ll help to keep your clothes dry and protect all electronics in case of bad weather. 

If you plan to take on some multi-day hikes, pack a lightweight tent and sleeping bag. Long hikes may also take you to places with no cell phone reception, in which case, you should pack a satellite phone. It allows you to call for help in case of an emergency. 

10. Download the information and applications you need

When not packing your bags, you might want to pack your phone with essential apps and information for your trip. It helps you stay organized, avoid roaming charges, and can be crucial if you lose access to the internet.

Some of the primary resources that you can download before you arrive include:

  • Maps and navigation: Download offline maps of your destination without using data. Many apps, such as Google Maps,, and Waze, allow you to download maps and use them without the internet. 
  • Translation apps: If you’re traveling to a country where you don’t speak the language, download a translation app to communicate with locals. Many great apps are available, such as Google Translate, Microsoft Translator, and iTranslate.
  • Accommodation and transportation bookings: If you’ve already booked your accommodation and transportation, download the apps for these services so you can easily access your information and make changes if needed.
  • Currency converters: If you’re traveling to a country with a different currency, download a currency converter app so you can easily access exchange rates. By using such apps you’ll protect yourself by getting fooled by the locals and overpaying for any goods or services.

Conclusion: pack smart for a stress-free holiday

The list above should give you an idea of what you may or may not want to pack the next time you leave the country. Use it to come up with your own ultimate packing checklist that you can use to get ready for your holiday and ensure you have everything you need with you.

When feeling stressed, simply run through the checklist and enjoy a peace of mind instead of worrying about whether or not you have everyhint you need with you.

Frequent questions about packing for international trips

What to take on an international trip?

The first thing you have to get ready are the documents, so you can know whether you meet the requirements or not. It is also important to have your plane tickets, accommodation reservation, and backpack ready.

How can I do a luggage checklist?

To create your checklist, make a list of the things you should take and then read it over again. It will help you note what you need and what you don’t need. When doing so, consider the luggage politics of the airline so you avoid having to pay an extra price at the airport.

What clothes should I take on an international trip?

It is recommended to travel with comfy clothes, but it depends on the time of the year you’re traveling and the weather. If you travel in summer, you will need light clothes, but if you are traveling during winter, you will need comfortable and warm clothes.

What are the must-have things for a trip?

Some of the most important things are your travel documents, travel insurance, airplane tickets, accommodation, luggage, and an international eSIM card to have an internet connection at all times.

Can I have an internet connection in multiple countries?

Yes, one of the most accessible alternatives for tourists is Holafly’s eSIM. You can find data plans for multiple destinations, such as the eSIM for tourists in the UK, Europe, North America, and more!