Packing List for an Overnight Stay

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Items to bring during an overnight stay depend on the type of travel and destination. For instance, packing for a short beach stay, overnight camping, a sleepover at a friend's house or an out-of-town business meeting each requires different items.

Yet whatever the travel purpose, it is best to pack light while still making sure you have the essentials.

Overnight Bag

An ideal overnight bag must be flexible and reliable. Choose a bag with many compartments to more conveniently find things to use at any time. A bag with secur yet easily accessible pockets also makes it convenient for you to get emergency documents and items.

When travelling with certain requirements or restrictions like having to comply with the size limit for airline baggage or a locker or when using the bag while hiking, take into consideration the size and type of bag to bring. Depending on your more specific needs, a good overnight bag can be a duffel bag, small luggage, beach bag, folding bag or backpack.


If travelling internationally, you will need your passport. You can use your cellphone, laptop or another storage device for encrypted (password-protected) copies of your travel documents -- including your passport, e-tickets or paper tickets, passport photos, health insurance, driver's license and other ID -- and a list of "lost card" phone numbers, hotel or host phone numbers and health insurance numbers. E-mailing copies to yourself may also serve as backup copies. You may also prefer having photocopies with you for the most important documents you might need. A physical map of your destination is helpful even if you are bringing a GPS unit, which might possibly get low on battery.

Clothes, Toiletries and Sleeping Items

Clothes, toiletries and sleeping items are essential. Bring more clothes than you typically need overnight in case your clothes are stained or you need an extra shirt to play basketball with old pals.

Bring basic toiletries in small containers. Also bring other personal items such as deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, cosmetics and other personal hygiene products. Consider also bringing your own pillow.

Food, Drinks, Electronics and Emergency Items

Food items like nutrition bars, chips, sandwiches, fruits, cheese and bottled water or canned drinks are handy during travel. Be sure they are portable, properly packed and not easy to spoil.

For your gadgets, always bring your chargers and extra batteries, especially for your cellphone and GPS unit. Bring prescribed medications and over-the-counter medication such as pain relievers or antacids. Have a watch, flashlight, all-purpose knife and first aid kit with you. Extra pairs of glasses, contact lenses and sunglasses may also come in handy.