What to pack for a holiday abroad

Updated July 19, 2017

Packing for travel abroad can be an agonising experience. But with careful planning and a commitment to packing light, you'll be well on your way to a great travel experience.

Make a List

The first step toward packing properly for a trip abroad is to make a list. Your list items should take into account the activities you have planned and the climate you can expect. The best way to start a packing list is to brainstorm items you know will be comfortable and versatile. Once you have your list, narrow it down to the bare essentials and make sure you're limited to one light suitcase and one small backpack or carryall.

The Essentials

Essential items include your passport, tickets, accommodation reservations, copies of your identification, credit cards, travellers' checks and cash. The best way to keep these items safe is to store them in a small money belt to be worn under clothes. Other essentials may include prescription medication, camera, batteries, electronics, travel-sized sewing kit and first aid kit. These other essentials can be kept in a small backpack or carryall, which you will carry with you each day.

Clothing Considerations

Packing light for a trip abroad is always advisable, so be prepared to wear items more than once. Pack lightweight walking clothes and shoes you know will be comfortable to wear over long distances. Be sure to pack clothing you can layer over lightweight items, including one sweater and one waterproof jacket. Pack one semi-formal outfit, including shoes, that will serve you well for a formal event. Choose wrinkle-resistant fabrics and items that are quick drying so you can wash them if you need to.

Packing Tips

Roll clothing to save space and avoid wrinkling. Pack travel-sized toiletry items to save space and store them in durable plastic bags. Invest in a baggage scale and make sure your packed luggage meets weight restrictions before you arrive at the airport. Try to leave a little room in your luggage to accommodate any items you buy when you are abroad.

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About the Author

Chloe Zimmermann has been writing professionally since 2000. She has expertise in the fields of health, parenting, gardening and home improvement. Her work has appeared in various online publications. Zimmermann holds a degree in English and a diploma in public relations.