Heading on an international trip and not sure what to pack? Obviously your packing list will vary by your destination, but there are several travel essentials that you’ll want to bring with you on EVERY international trip, no matter the destination. Here’s my international travel essentials checklist of items to bring — see printable checklist at the end of the post:
14 Essential Things to Bring on EVERY International Trip - International Travel Checklist
1. Passport + Travel Documents
Make sure you have your passport and all travel documents, including:
2. Copy of ALL DOCUMENTS - International Travel Essentials
I ALWAYS make a copy or two of my passport, Driver’s License, and Visa before going on any trip, and take photos of everything on my phone. It’s a good idea to keep one in your carry-on and another in your luggage just in case anything ever got lost. I also always make sure to have my Known Traveler Number (KTN) written down somewhere in case I need it – I wrote it in my passport book.
3. Cash + Credit Cards
It’s always a good idea to travel with some cash and at least two credit or debit cards just in case one gets lost of stolen. I keep one card in my purse and the other back in the room or in a separate bag.
TRAVEL TIP: Make sure you alert your bank that you will be traveling BEFORE you go. It’s a nightmare having your card frozen because your bank sees “suspicious” charges from another county.
4. Copy of Emergency Contact Info
Make copies of your emergency contact’s info and keep it in your luggage and carry-on. It is also a good idea to give copies of your itinerary to your emergency contact, just so they know where you’re supposed to be and when.
5. Phone + Portable Charger
Obviously you’ll want to bring your phone whenever traveling internationally (or literally any other time you leave the house, let’s be honest)! I also bring an extra battery pack too, you’d hate to end up with a dead phone in a foreign place.
TRAVEL TIP: Check out these 24 apps every traveler should have on their phone.
6. Universal Plug Adapter - International Travel Essentials
Save yourself some money in the long run and buy a universal plug adapter that will work in any country. This one is well reviewed and under $20 on Amazon.
7. Hand Sanitizer/Wipes
I think now more than ever people are aware of germs. To help prevent you from getting sick and spreading germs, always keep a bottle of hand sanitizer or wipes with you when traveling.
8. Medications + Basic First Aid
Whenever I travel, In addition to my prescribed medications, I like to bring a small supply of basic medications just in case you need them or they are not readily available wherever you are traveling to (try finding Benadryl in the middle of Croatia). I personally bring:
TRAVEL TIP: Instead of bringing full bottles, use a travel pill organizer to save room in your luggage by bringing only what you need! You can use a sharpie to label what everything is on the cover.
9. TSA Approved Lock
Having a TSA Approved lock not only keeps your stuff safe, it may come in handy more than you realize. For example. It can be used to secure a purse or bag to a chair at a restaurant to prevent theft. If you want to be extra cautious, lock up your suitcase and secure it to something sturdy anytime you leave your hotel room.
10. Lightweight Sweater or Jacket or Blanket
I always have a lightweight sweater or blanket in my carry-on no matter where I’m flying to (even a tropical beach vacation) in case it gets cold on the plane or in the airport!
11. Noise Canceling Headphones - Must-Have International Travel Essentials
I have said this in so many post, and I’ll say it again… Noise Canceling Headphones are SO WORTH IT. Yes, they are expensive, but I swear they make a huge difference and are worth the cost if you travel often.
12. Water Bottle
Water is obviously important! Stay hydrated on your trip and save money by bringing your own water bottle. Vacuum insulated water bottles are great because they doesn’t “sweat” and keep water cold for a long time!
13. Pen + Paper
You may not use a pen often, but you still have to fill out most customs paperwork by hand, so stick a pen or two in your carry-on. I like to bring a small journal with me as well.
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