The Foolproof Universal Packing List.
Packing Tips

The Foolproof Universal Packing List

Why is it you're always halfway to the airport when you suddenly realize that critical thing you left at home? (Curse you, cell-phone charger!) This handy checklist will spare you the pain and expense of scouting around for those forgotten items once you're on the road. Consult this packing list every time you pull your suitcase together, and you'll always have the items you need.

See recent posts by Maria Teresa Hart

*Keep these items in your carry-on



  • Walking shoes
  • Heels/dress shoes
  • Sandals/flip-flops
  • Sneakers/hiking shoes
  • Boots



  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Dental floss
  • Body wash/soap
  • Deodorant
  • Face wash/makeup remover
  • Makeup
  • Lip balm*
  • Sunscreen*
  • Moisturizer
  • Contact lenses/solution
  • Razor/shaving cream
  • Shampoo/conditioner
  • Brush/comb
  • Earplugs/eye mask*
  • Tissues*
  • Hairdryer/styling tools
  • Hair elastics/hair accessories
  • Tampons/pads*
  • Birth control/condoms*
  • Hand sanitizer*
  • Bandages
  • First-aid ointment
  • Bug spray
  • Medications/vitamins*
  • Pain relievers*
  • Stain remover


  • Phone/charger*
  • Portable battery charger
  • Earbuds/headphones*
  • Laptop/tablet/e-reader*
  • Device chargers*
  • Power adapter (international travel)
  • Camera/video camera*
  • Memory card/film*

Other Essentials 

Helpful Printouts

  • Emergency contacts*
  • Boarding pass/hotel and car rental reservations*
  • Maps/directions*
  • Bank/credit card contact info*
  • Copies of passport/ID*

Related Stories

All products have been hand-picked by our writers and editors. Items purchased through links may earn us a commission.