The Ultimate Packing List for Any Occasion

The Essential Packing List

One of the worst things that can happen when you are traveling is to forget a pivotal item. There was one vacation I went on as a teenager where I forgot to pack my entire top drawer! I had no underwear, bras, socks, or swimsuits. Having to run by Target to improvise was not fun for anyone involved. Needless to say, it’s important to double and triple check your packing list before traveling anywhere.

Between your meds, your toiletries, your clothes, and you electronics, it can get pretty overwhelming to try and remember everything you need to bring. So, I put together the ultimate packing list to ensure you don’t forget anything you may need on your trip. I use this religiously when I travel. The odds are that you won’t need everything on here, but I listed it all so you can check off what you don’t need and ensure you have what you do need.

Whenever I start packing, I begin by printing a copy of this list. Then, I immediately cross off what doesn’t apply for me for the trip I’m about to go on. This is especially crucial when I backpack, as I’ll bring maybe 1/3 of the items on this packing list. From there, I’ll check off what I pack as I go to ensure nothing gets left behind.

Please Note: Before traveling, be sure that you acquire a Visa if you need one. Also ensure that you have the necessary vaccines and preventative pills for your trip. Call your physician and tell them where you are traveling to to confirm. And, when in doubt, the Travel.State.Gov website is always a great resource for any destination on your list.


When packing clothing for a trip, keep in mind that layers are the way to go! Anything that can be used and re-used in different layered looks is always a good idea. Aside from that, you’ll likely want to pack a number of these clothing items:

  • Socks
  • Panty Hose (If you wear them)
  • Leggings
  • Underwear
  • Bras (A couple nice, a couple of everyday, a strapless, and sports bras and wireless sleeping bras if necessary)
  • Spaghetti-Strap Tank Tops, Camis, or Wife Beaters
  • Regular T-shirts
  • Casual/Comfy Shirts
  • Sweatshirts
  • Nicer Everyday Shirts & Button-Ups
  • A Formal Shirt and Dress Pants/Skirt or A Formal Dress (If the trip/occasion calls for it)
  • Dresses
  • Skirts
  • Shorts
  • Jeans
  • Pajamas/Sleepwear
  • Sweaters
  • A Jacket or a Coat
  • Swimsuit
  • Swim Coverup
  • Swim Shoes
  • Everyday Walking Shoes (And/or hiking shoes if needed)
  • Dress Shoes
  • Rain Boots and Raincoat (If you’re going to a very rainy area)
  • Snow Boots & Gear (If you’re going to a snowy area)
  • Hats
  • Gloves
  • A Scarf
  • A Bandana (If needed)
  • A Belt
  • A dirty laundry bag
  • An underwear bag
  • A Money Sack that Clips Under Your Clothing (This can be a great idea depending on where you are traveling to.)
  • Jewelry (Always best to keep in your carry on bag)
  • Sunglasses
  • Glasses (If you need them)
  • Headbands and Hair Ties


Please remember any liquid toiletries must be in 3.4 oz bottles or less to carry on the plane with you. And all of your carry-on liquids must fit in 1 quart-sized clear plastic Ziploc bag. This is essential to remember while reviewing this packing list.

  • Toothbrush
  • Tooth Paste
  • Whitening Strips (If using)
  • Listerine/Mouth Wash
  • Floss or Flosser Sticks
  • Face Wash
  • Moisturizer
  • A Face Scrub
  • Any Other Facial Products Used in Your Routine (Toner, Serum, Etc)
  • Your Makeup Packed in a Makeup Bag
  • Soap/Body Wash
  • Deodorant
  • Lotion
  • Hand Cream
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Hair Brush
  • Flat Iron or a Curling Iron (If Needed)
  • Hair Clips (If Needed)
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Spray (With 40% or More Deet if you are traveling to places with the risk of certain diseases such as Malaria or Dengue)
  • Contact Lenses with Solution (If you wear them)
  • Razor & Shaving Cream
  • Epilator (If Needed)
  • Makeup Remover
  • Cotton Balls
  • Lip Balm
  • Tissues
  • Earplugs (If you use them)
  • Pads or Tampons (If needed, though, it’s not a bag idea to bring one or two even if you’re not expecting to start your period)
  • Birth Control
  • Nail Clippers
  • Nail File
  • Tweezers
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Band-aids
  • Any Additional First-Aid Items (Including pain killers)
  • Any Medication (Bring with your labelled bottle if the medication is prescription. I’ve never had anyone stop me, but there is always that risk they will want to see that it is yours.)
  • Blood Sugar Tester for Diabetics (And any other similar medical necessities)

Important Papers

  • Passport
  • Global Entry Card
  • Visa (Check if you need a visa for your destination here: )
  • Flight & Ticket Information
  • Important Contacts and Health Information (Scanned, Copied, and Left with Relatives but ALSO Brought with You)
  • Credit Cards/ATM Cards
  • Cash
  • Copy of Credit Cards and Passports Scanned and Brought with You
  • Any Itinerary of Your Trip with Maps & Directions if Needed

Hobbies & Electronics:

  • Cell Phone
  • Cell Phone Charger
  • Laptop
  • Laptop Charger
  • Tablet
  • Tablet Charger (And keyboard if you have one for your tablet)
  • Outlet Converter & Adaptor (Many of these now come together as a converter and adaptor. Please remember that an adaptor only makes it so your plug can fit into the wall. A converter changes the voltage coming through to your item. US outlets are only 120V but most other countries are 240V, so your items will most likely blow up if you only plug in an adaptor without a converter. So be sure to have a converter- not just an adaptor. That’s important.)
  • Any Special Go-Pros or Other Cameras
  • Additional Camera Chargers
  • Any Specialty Lenses
  • Memory Cards
  • Batteries (Remember, re-chargeable batteries, such as those for most cameras or large electronics, are made with lithium ion and can only be brought as carry-on only.)
  • Journal
  • Books or E-Books
  • iPod, Mp3, or Video Player
  • Drawing Paper/Sketching Pencils or Colored Pencils
  • Paints or Other Art Supplies
  • Any Video Game Consoles, Controllers, and Games
  • Snacks (Non-liquid only if traveling on a plane)
  • Water Bottle (Empty if you’re taking it on a plane)
  • Gum (So your ears don’t pop on the plane)
  • Pen and Paper

Don’t forget when you leave to either bring your house keys with your or leave them with a trusted friend who will pick you up from the airport and bring them upon your arrival.

Happy Travels!

Malorie Mackey

Malorie Mackey is an actress, published author, and adventurer based out of Los Angeles, California. Throughout her experiences, Malorie found a love for travel and adventure, having journeyed to over a dozen countries experiencing unique locations. From the lush jungles of the Sierra Madre mountain range to the Arctic Circle in Finnish Lapland, Malorie began adventuring and writing about her unique travels. These travel excerpts can be found on VIVA GLAM Magazine, in Malorie’s Adventure Blog, in Malorie’s adventure show “Weird World Adventures” and in the works for her full-length travel book. Stay tuned as Malorie travels the world bringing its beauty and wonder to you.

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