Things to bring when traveling

Embarking on a journey, whether a weekend getaway or an extended overseas trip, requires meticulous preparation. Among the many considerations, ensuring all the essentials can make the difference between a smooth and unnecessarily challenging journey. This shortlist provides a snapshot of indispensable items that should grace every traveler’s suitcase or backpack. By having these at your fingertips, you’ll be better equipped for any adventure that comes your way. After the shortlist, we have created a more extensive list with more items you may want to bring on your travel.

The shortlist

Here’s a distilled list of the ten most essential items to bring when traveling:

Travel Documents

Passport (with visa if needed), driver’s license, copies of all vital documents, reservations, and itineraries. For a list of countries that do not require a visa you can visit the Wikipedia page about visa requirements for united states citizens.


Local currency, credit/debit cards, and a hidden money pouch or belt.

Personal Medications

With the necessary prescription and any essential over-the-counter meds.

Electronic Devices

Smartphone, charger, universal adapter, and power bank.

Essential Clothing

Weather-appropriate outfits and comfortable walking shoes.


Travel-sized basics like toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, and soap. If you are using an electric toothbrust you might want to consider purchasing one that is best suited for travel. You can find the best electric toothbrushes based on aggregated ratings on

Snacks and Water

A refillable water bottle and some non-perishable snacks.

Safety Items

Luggage locks and personal safety alarm or whistle.


A book, e-reader, or other personal entertainment for long transit times.

Daypack or Tote

A small backpack or bag to carry daily essentials while exploring

The complete list

The items to bring when traveling can vary depending on the type of trip, the destination, the duration of the stay, and personal preferences. However, there’s a general list of important things to consider bringing on most trips:

Travel Documents

Passport (and visa if required)

National ID

Driver’s license (especially if renting a car)

Copies of all necessary documents (keep them separate from the originals)

Travel insurance information

Reservations and itineraries (hotels, flights, tours, etc.)

Emergency contact information


Local currency for immediate expenses upon arrival

Credit/debit cards (inform your bank about your travel plans to prevent them from blocking your card for suspicious activity)

Money belt or hidden pouch for security

Health and Hygiene

Personal medications and prescription

Basic first-aid kit

Hand sanitizer and wet wipes

Insect repellent


Toiletries in travel-size containers


Weather-appropriate clothing

Comfortable walking shoes

Change of clothes in carry-on (in case checked luggage gets delayed or lost)

Lightweight jacket or sweater

Hat and sunglasses

Swimwear (if applicable)


Smartphone and charger

Universal adapter/plug converter

Power bank

Laptop/tablet and charger (if needed)

Camera, memory cards, and charger


Travel Accessories

Snacks and a refillable water bottle

Travel pillow and eye mask for more comfortable rest

Earplugs for noisy environments or flights

Lightweight backpack or daypack for day trips

Books or entertainment for long flights or downtimes


Umbrella or lightweight rain jacket

Reusable shopping bag or tote

Laundry bag

Zip-lock bags (for liquids or snacks)

Pen and notebook

Maps or guidebooks

Language phrasebook or translation app

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