80 Essential Things to Take On a Trip [Top Travelling Checklist] - What's Danny Doing (2024)

80 Essential Things to Take On a Trip [Top Travelling Checklist] - What's Danny Doing (1)

Travel packing’s always exciting.

You’re finally getting ready for the road!

But that doesn’t make it easy.

It’s taken me years to figure out the key things to take on a trip!

That’s why I’ve put this comprehensive travel checklist together.

This long list of essential things to pack for travelling should help you decide what to take and what to leave.

Sound good?

Here are 80 travel packing list items to take with you on the road.

…FYI, I’ve tried to include all the key things to bring when travelling, regardless of where you’re going or what you’re doing. Pick and choose from the list to suit your personal needs!

[Last updated: April 2023]

Heads up, this post contains affiliate links.

80 Essential Things to Take On a Trip [Top Travelling Checklist] - What's Danny Doing (2)

What to Take On a Trip: 80 Essential Things to Bring When Travelling

The Basics (& What to Pack in Your Carry-On)

Let’s begin with basic things to take travelling. The following items are fundamental to any trip and, in general, are all good things to pack in your carry-on as well!

Check them out:

1. Passport

There’s nothing worse than getting to the airport and realizing you left your passport at home! Check and double-check that you’ve got it in your bag before you leave.

2. Key documentation

Certain key documents will be important to take along as well.

Think about printing your travel itinerary, flight confirmation, visa details, and a copy of your passport (just in case you lose the actual one and need to arrange a replacement while travelling).

3. Mobile phone

Smartphones come in handy at every turn when you’re travelling. From contacting loved ones to navigating around a new place, it’s worth having one in your pocket. Don’t fancy taking your normal phone on the road?

You could buy yourself a cheap alternative to use instead. That way it won’t matter too much if it gets lost, damaged, or stolen.

4. Laptop/tablet

A laptop will be essential for anybody who wants to work online while they travel.

For everyone else, though, I’d think twice about taking one.

Carrying expensive and fragile kit on the road is never fun! You know it could get damaged, lost, or stolen, which makes it harder to relax when you’re on the move.

->> Click here to check out some top travel laptops.

5. Glasses/contact lenses

Travel items don’t get much more essential than glasses and contact lenses! If you need them to see properly, then you need them on the road.

6. Wallet/Purse

Don’t forget your wallet! It’s another key thing to carry on your person at all times.

->> Click here to check out some awesome travel wallets.

7. Bank cards & cash (local currency)

Of course, that wallet should also have the necessary bank cards and cash inside!

My advice? Convert some local currency ahead of time and take it along. You’ll avoid the hassle (and expense) of doing it at the airport upon arrival.

8. Emergency cash

You never know when something’s going to go wrong when you’re travelling by yourself on the other side of the world.

Imagine having your wallet, money, and mobile stolen! Having a little stash of emergency cash pocketed away somewhere in your backpack could get you out of a very sticky situation.

9. Charger(s)

Taking a smartphone, laptop, and any other electronic item’s all well and good. But they won’t last long without their chargers.

Don’t forget to stick them in your backpack to avoid disappointment down the line.

10. Travel adaptor

Those chargers will be useless if you don’t have the right travel adaptor to plug them into first!

Research the power outlets of your chosen destination and bag yourself an appropriate adaptor ahead of time. The ‘universal’ ones are usually best- they come with all the necessary fixtures to function in a wide array of outlets.

->> Click here to view some top universal travel adaptors.

80 Essential Things to Take On a Trip [Top Travelling Checklist] - What's Danny Doing (3)

11. Camera

Your smartphone camera might be good enough for what you need.

However, any budding photographers out there are sure to appreciate having a ‘proper’ camera with which to capture the experience.

12. Spare memory card(s)

I’m always amazed at how many photos I end up taking on a trip. Having a spare memory card or two will make sure you never run out of space.

You can snap away until your heart’s content, recording every aspect of the adventure without having to delete files as you go.

13. Travel pillow

Anybody who struggles to sleep on the plane (or in tents, or on uncomfortable hostel beds) could benefit from a travel pillow.

The inflatable ones are great for providing decent comfort without taking up space in your backpack.

->> Click here to read my guide to the best travel pillows.

14. Headphones

Listening to music is an awesome way to pass the time on long journeys or drown out the noise when you want some peace in busy environments.

Assuming they’re compatible with your mobile, having some headphones also means you can watch Netflix on your phone without disturbing the people around you!

->> Click here to see a selection of top headphones for travel.

15. Books (or Kindle)

I always stick a good book in my backpack too. Like listening to music, it’s great for passing the time and chilling out at the end of (or during) a chaotic day on the road. Want my advice?

Consider getting a Kindle instead! You’ll enjoy unlimited reading opportunities without the space and weight issues that come from ordinary books.

16. Guidebook

A guidebook is sure to come in handy too. It’ll help you plan the trip, learn more about your chosen destination, and figure out your itinerary.

17. Journal and pen(s)

Not everybody keeps a journal on their travels. But I definitely recommend it! Keeping a record of your adventures is the best way I know to truly fix the experience in memory.

You’ll be able to look back on your trip in due course and relive what you did in vivid detail. These travel journal prompts should help you get started.

->> Click here to see a range of top travel journals.

18. Daypack

Most travellers have their main pack on their back and a smaller daypack to take exploring on a day to day basis.

It saves you lugging everything around when you’re sightseeing. Don’t forget it!

19. Sunglasses

With any luck, you’ll have perfect weather and a boat-load of sunshine wherever you go travelling. Save yourself the squinting by remembering to pack your sunglasses!

20. Reusable water bottle

Reusable water bottles come in handy too.

You can refill it wherever you go, stay hydrated, and cut down on the number of plastic bottles you buy in the process.

->> Click here to view a selection of top-rated travel water bottles.

21. Snacks for the journey

Slip some of your favourite snacks into your travel pack as well. They’ll be a lifesaver when you get the munchies mid-way through the flight!

80 Essential Things to Take On a Trip [Top Travelling Checklist] - What's Danny Doing (4)

Essential Things to Pack for Travelling: Clothes

Onto the clothes. Here’s all the clothing you should remember to pack when you go travelling.

Just remember, less is more! Try to limit the amount of clothes you carry in order to save space and cut down on weight.

22. Underwear

First thing’s first: undies. Boxers, briefs, panties, thongs, and bras…Whatever you wear, be sure to pack enough pairs.

23. Socks

Pop some socks in too! Just don’t take too many. You’d be surprised at how much space these tootsie-covers take up. My top sock-related tip?

Ball them up and cram them into the footwear you plan to take. That should help save some space.

24. Clothes to sleep in

Can’t bear the thought of sleeping without your usual pyjamas? Pop those in your backpack too! For everyone else, your undies should suffice.

25. Jeans

Jeans are thick, heavy, and generally quite impractical when you’re travelling. But they’re versatile and look nice too, so I always take some along anyway.

26. Comfy, practical trousers

Take some more practical trousers (or pants, depending on where you’re from) as well, such as hiking trousers or tracksuit bottoms. They’ll be better-suited (and comfier) than jeans to being on the move, on the trail, or exploring when the temperature drops.

27. Shorts

If the weather’s good, then you’ll want some travel shorts to keep you cool. I take one pair of practical shorts (suitable for hiking) and another ‘trendy’ pair for going out in.

28. T-shirts

You’ll need a few of your favourite t-shirts too! There’s no magic number here.

I take around 6 or 7 t-shirts with me and ensure they all match whatever I wear on my bottom half. That way, they all get worn and it doesn’t matter which one I pull out of my backpack each day.

29. Dress shirts

Dress shirts are bigger, heavier, and less practical all-around compared to t-shirts.

That’s why I recommend limiting yourself to just one of them. You’re covered on the odd occasion you need to dress up, without taking up too much space in your pack.

30. Swimsuit

Don’t fancy non-stop skinny dipping? Make sure you pack your swimmers!

80 Essential Things to Take On a Trip [Top Travelling Checklist] - What's Danny Doing (5)

31. Hoodie/sweaters

Even the warmest countries in the world can get a bit nippy sometimes. Have a sweater or hoodie packed away, just in case the temperature drops. Heading to cooler climates? Take a couple!

32. Warmer jacket

A warm jacket will only be essential for people travelling long term and/or heading to colder countries. If you know the temperature can dip to uncomfortable levels, then a warm jacket can definitely be a useful addition to your backpack.

33. Waterproof jacket

I think a good waterproof jacket is 100% essential for any adventure. You never know when the heavens are going to open! Having a waterproof can make a mighty difference.

->> Check out these rain ponchos if you’d prefer one of those instead.

34. Sun hat

Stick a sun hat in your backpack too! It’ll keep the sun off your face and/or neck, stopping sunburn and sunstroke from ruining your trip.

35. Belt

Do you usually wear a belt? Well, don’t forget to take one along on your travels.

It’s also worth pointing out that travel has a habit of changing your eating patterns and boosting your activity levels. In some cases, that could mean you lose some weight. Having that belt could come in handy even if you don’t normally wear one!

36. Walking shoes

Good, solid, comfortable walking shoes are arguably some of the most important items to take travelling.

They stop your feet from getting sore as you explore new places, keep them dry whenever you hit the trail or it starts to rain, and offer valuable support for your ankles.

Need a new pair? You might like this post about the best minimalist hiking shoes and boots.

37. Trainers

The only trouble with walking shoes is that they tend to be bigger and heavier than standard footwear.

If you’re short on space and don’t want to wear walking shoes all the time, then look into taking some trainers/sneakers instead! They versatile things to take for a trip, regardless where you’re going.

38. Sandals/flip flops

A good-quality pair of flip-flops or sandals will always get good use on your travels too. They’re small, lightweight, and versatile- the perfect combination when you’re backpacking.

->> Click here to see some top-rated travel sandals.

39. Jewellery

I’d think twice about taking lots of valuable jewellery on the road. After all, it’s expensive, shiny, and sentimental. In other words, it’s the last thing you’d want to lose, break, or have stolen.

Nevertheless, jewellery’s essential kit for some people, though, who, among other things, wear it to accessorize outfits, feel a sense of connection to home, or as good luck charms.

Love your jewellery and want some good luck on your trip? Click here to discover the best gem stones for travel.

40. Laundry bag

There’s nothing worse than having a backpack full of loose, dirty clothes.

Leave it too long and everything starts to smell. Having a laundry bag stops that happening, keeps your dirty washing in one place, and makes everything feel more organized in general.

41. Travel towel

Travel towels get a tonne of use when you’re on the road! Small, lightweight, and quick-drying, they’re the perfect addition to your backpack.

->> Click here to browse and/or buy some top travel towels.

42. Money belt

Pickpockets run riot in some parts of the world. Wearing a money belt will help stash your cash more securely!

->> Click here to browse and/or buy some money belts for travel.

80 Essential Things to Take On a Trip [Top Travelling Checklist] - What's Danny Doing (6)

Things to Take While Travelling: Toiletries

Onto the toiletries! Here’s everything to consider taking along in your travel wash bag:

43. Medication(s)

One thing you don’t want to forget is any medication you take. Make sure you pack it (and ensure you have enough for your trip).

Of course, painkillers and antihistamines can also come in handy.

44. Toothbrush

It’s never fun when you get to your destination after a long journey and realize you forgot your toothbrush! Be sure to pack a toothbrush.

45. Toothpaste

It’s no good remembering your toothbrush if you forget the toothpaste! Be sure to pack that too.

46. Dental floss

Sling in some dental floss while you’re at it. Remember, you could be travelling for months at a time without seeing a dentist. Flossing your teeth each night should keep your gnashers in good shape.

47. Deodorant

Exploring new places (especially in warm weather) can be hot, sweaty work. Having some deodorant with you should ensure you stay sweet-smelling regardless!

48. Soap

Some people take shower gel with them when they travel. But I prefer soap. It’s one less liquid to worry about exploding in your backpack and it should last longer on the road too.

49. Shampoo (and conditioner?)

You’ll be wanting to wash your hair along the way as well! Now, you can always get some shampoo/conditioner on the road, but you’ll have a much better selection if you buy it beforehand.

Small travel-sized bottles are better if you want the liquid variety.

However, it’s well worth looking into solid shampoos. They’re easier to travel with, have less risk of spilling, and work just as effectively.

50. Hairstyling stuff

Anybody who wants to style their hair should take their favourite hair product(s) too. Wax, gel, clay, or spray- take your pick and put it in your backpack. Just make sure it’s under 100ml if you want to put it in your carry-on.

80 Essential Things to Take On a Trip [Top Travelling Checklist] - What's Danny Doing (7)

51. Hairbrush

Want to stop your hair getting all knotted and gross on the road? Don’t forget your hairbrush!

52. Moisturizer

If you’re used to moisturizing at home every day, then you’ll want to take some on your travels as well. Pour some into a smaller bottle if you’ve got limited space in your backpack.

53. Makeup

I can’t say this is something I need when I go travelling! But anybody who wants to wear makeup while travelling should pack the essential bits and pieces they need.

54. Sunscreen (and aftersun?)

Sunscreen is 100% essential when you’re travelling in hot, sunny places. Sunburn and sunstroke will sap the enjoyment from your day like nothing else. Slap on the factor 50 to keep your skin protected at all times!

This Sun Bum Factor 50 sunscreen would be perfect.

55. Lip balm

Lip balm’s one of those items that’s always good to have available. It’ll stop your lips chapping and cracking and causing you discomfort on your trip.

56. Nail clippers

Nail clippers are another must-have item that’s never fun to forget. Slip them into your travel toiletry bag so you can keep your nails in check on your travels.

57. Razor & Shaving Foam

Unless you want to come back from travelling looking like Chewbacca, make sure you take a razor and shaving foam with you too.

58. Tweezers

You might as well bring some tweezers along too. They’re super small and come in handy whether you’re plucking splinters from your fingers or hairs from your mono-brow!

59. Earplugs

Earplugs are, in my opinion, 100% essential items. You’ll thank your lucky stars you remembered them when you find yourself in a hostel dorm room with a chronic snorer.

You can put them in, drown them out, and, with a bit of luck, get a better night’s sleep.

60. Birth control

Definitely don’t forget your birth control! You want to make sure you’ve covered just in case any travel romances arise on the road.

On that note, you might like these quotes about adventure and love!

80 Essential Things to Take On a Trip [Top Travelling Checklist] - What's Danny Doing (8)

Miscellaneous and Outdoor Items to Take On a Trip

Let’s finish with the outdoor items that’d be ideal for anybody planning on hiking, camping, or venturing into the great outdoors on their travels.

61. Hammock

Okay, so it might not be strictly essential. But I always take a hammock with me anyway when I go travelling! Honestly, nothing compares to finding an epic place to sling it up and sway away.

Sound good? Check out the best mosquito net hammocks for camping.

62. Tent

Travelling with a tent strapped to your backpack is epic! For one thing, camping’s always fun. But having a tent also means you always have somewhere to sleep (assuming you can find somewhere to pitch it!).

Of course, it’s a fundamental bit of kit if you’re going on a camping or hiking trip. Just try to make sure you take one that’s small and lightweight enough to justify carrying. Anything too big or heavy will be a nightmare to lug around if you aren’t using it too much.

63. Backpacking knife

Carrying a backpacking knife is useful for any number of reasons- especially when you’re hiking and camping along the way. Chopping firewood, opening packages, and preparing meals are just a few of the occasions they come in handy.

->> Check out this post if you’re trying to find the best one for your trip.

64. Travel torch/flashlight

Make sure you take a travel torch with you too.

They’re vital for anybody who wants to spend nights out in the great outdoors, explore cave systems, take late night walks, or light up the hostel dorm room (without turning on the main light and waking everybody up)!

65. Padlock

Padlocks are great when you’re staying somewhere that seems at all dodgy. There should be lockers available where you can safely stow your things and keep your belongings safe.

->> Click here to browse and/or buy some top padlocks for travel.

66. Backpack rain cover

Getting caught in a downpour is never fun when you’re backpacking. But it’s even worse when you don’t have anything with which to keep your backpack dry. Everything inside, including your clothes and electronics, will get soaked- and potentially ruined.

Taking a separate backpack rain cover (unless your pack already has one) will help you avoid that kind of outcome!

->> Click here to see a selection of high-quality rain covers.

67. Camping stove (and gas)

Want to cook some grub when you’re hiking, camping, or in need of a warm meal on the road? A small camping stove will be perfect for the job. Just make sure you have some gas with it too.

Oh, and don’t forget something to cook on/eat from! Check out this post with the best mess kits for camping.

68. Lighter

Camp cooking becomes a challenge without a lighter (or matches) at your disposal. Make sure you slip one (with plenty of gas in it) into your backpack.

69. Sleeping bag

Sleeping bags are another staple of any camping, hiking, or backpacking trip. If you can find yourself a small-ish one to take with you, then it’s sure to come in handy.

Make sure you take a sleeping bag that’s well-suited to the weather conditions you’re heading into though. For cold weather, you’ll need bigger, thicker, bags with higher-quality insulation.

->> These sleeping bags under $100 might be of interest.

70. Sleeping bag liner

An alternative to a full-blown sleeping bag is to take a liner instead.

They’re much thinner, smaller and lighter, making them ideal for backpackers. Now, you’d be too cold camping with just a liner on all but the warmest nights. However, their value isn’t restricted to nights spent outside!

Liners are also useful whenever you’re sleeping in beds that seem less than hygienic. They provide a nice barrier from any nasties that might be hiding in the sheets.

->> Click here to see a selection of sleeping bag liners for travel.

71. Sleeping/camping mat

Having something to separate your body from the cold hard earth is all-important when you’re camping. It’ll help you stay warm, dry, and more comfortable, ensuring you get a better night’s sleep in the process.

That’s where having a sleeping mat will come in useful. Anybody planning to camp on their travels will benefit from taking one with them!

72. Trekking poles

Planning on hitting the trail on your trip? Well, trekking poles will make your life ten times easier. Grab yourself some lightweight, foldable ones to take along for the ride.

73. Mini First-aid kit

You never know when something’s going to go wrong when you’re travelling! Minor injuries are relatively common. Having a basic (but well-stocked) first-aid kit in your backpack will help.

->> Click here to see a selection of top travel first-aid kits.

74. Insect repellent

I hate mosquitos (and all bitey insects, for that matter) with a passion! Unfortunately, you find then in huge numbers in some parts of the world.

Having some effective insect repellent can be a serious lifeline.

75. Spork and reusable straw

Strange as it might sound, I’ve started to travel with a Spork and reusable straw in my daypack. I know, they’re far from essential. But they definitely come in handy a lot when I’m on the road.

It cuts down on the amount of plastic cutlery and straws that I’d use otherwise and ensures I always have something with which to eat and drink when I’m travelling.

76. Powerbank

With all the electronics you’re likely to take with you, another of the best things to take on a trip is a power bank.

Put one in your daypack to carry with you wherever you go. That way, you’ll always have a way to recharge your mobile, watch and/or other electronics on the move.

77. Packing Cubes

I never travel without packing cubes! Why?

Because they’re awesome for keeping everything organized in your backpack or suitcase. Simply roll up your clothes, pop them inside, and zip them up!

You can then grab the packing cube you need instead of hunting for individual items, saving time and effort in the process.

78. Travel Clothesline

Travel clotheslines are another of those things to carry while travelling that you don’t know you need until you hit the road!

They’re far from essential, but they make a big difference when you have wet clothes and nowhere else to hang them – a surprisingly common state of affairs when you travel.

79. Travel Umbrella

Super small and lightweight, travel umbrellas are top additions to your daypack.

You’ll be pleased you have one when you’re out sightseeing and the heavens open!

80. Travel Insurance

Last but not least, don’t forget to organize travel insurance in advance.

You only have to read the horror stories to realize how important it is.

I (along with countless other travellers) always use World Nomads. They have a stellar reputation and, for what it’s worth, seem like nice people on the phone, too!

Remember This Travel Checklist of Important Things to Take on a Trip

Packing your bags is one of the most exciting parts of preparing for any trip.

However, it isn’t always a straightforward task! Even seasoned travellers can end up taking more than they need and/or forgetting the essentials.

That’s why I put together this long list of 80 things to take on a trip. I hope it’ll help out as you embark on this packing process.

Keep the travel checklist in mind and, with any luck, you’ll end up taking everything you need (and nothing more!) when you eventually hit the road. Good luck!

Did I miss anything out? Drop a comment below to let me know.

80 Essential Things to Take On a Trip [Top Travelling Checklist] - What's Danny Doing (2024)


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