Ensure a Wonderful Holiday–Make a Travel Checklist

Traveling is something people of all economic and socioeconomic backgrounds enjoy. Sometimes, in the rush of preparation, packing and traveling, you forget something important, changing joy to anxiety. Preparation is essential to having a stress free vacation. Ensure you have the perfect, worry free vacation by doing the following items before you leave to parts unknown.


Clothing – Bring enough clothes to last you the entire trip unless you are positive you have access to a laundromat.

Leaving Port Of Miami
Ensure a Wonderful HolidayJacrews7 / Foter / CC BY

Research the weather and choose your clothes appropriately. Don’t assume just because your vacation destination usually has warm weather that it will when you visit it.


  • feminine products
  • deodorant
  • perfume/cologne
  • toothpaste
  • toothbrush in travel case
  • hairbrush
  • hair accessories
  • soap
  • shampoo
  • conditioner
  • shaving necessities
  • dental floss

Place liquids in a plastic bag or in a water proof zippered tote.

Comfort Items

  • sunscreen
  • bug spray
  • hat
  • sewing kit
  • sunglasses
  • walking sneakers
  • belt
  • backpack
  • earplugs

Keep it light. Many airlines charge for checked baggage over a certain weight.

Leave room for souvenirs.

Secure your luggage with a lock.

Tag your bag. If it gets lost, it can be returned to you.


  • Get your visa as close to the departure date as possible.
  • Renew your passport before you go, if it expires within six months.
  • Obtain passports for any children traveling with you.
  • Secure your passport, driver’s license, or another form of identification. Keep them in your purse or wallet for easy assess.
  • Register with the appropriate government agencies when going abroad. For example, if you are a British citizen, you will register with the Foreign and Commonwealth Service.

Get travel insurance.

Exchange your money before you leave when traveling abroad. It’s easier and often has a better return.

Make dinner reservations, if possible, at restaurants ahead of time.

Bring copies of your reservations, health insurances, hotel reservations and travel plans. Make copies and bring them of any other paperwork related to activities you planned and/or paid for in advance.

Obtain the contact information for your hotel and save it in your phone.


  • Get vaccinated. For instance, doctors will recommend the malaria vaccine to those traveling to parts of Africa.
  • Get travel versions of any medical devices.
  • Determine whether you have a medical condition that requires a doctor’s note to get through security.
  • Obtain the doctor’s note and keep it with your identification.
  • Put your doctor’s phone number into your phone.
  • Gather any medication needed for the trip. Pack it in your suitcase. Put only what you will need into your carry-on.
  • Check with your insurance to see if any injuries from the high risk activities you have planned are covered.
  • Add your vaccination certificate to your stash of paperwork for this trip. You may need it.


Pack your camera. Don’t forget the camera cord.

Charge any electronics you plan to take with you.

Gather the cases and charging cords.

Call your cell phone service provider and determine whether they charge extra fees for roaming or international. If going international, plan on leaving the phone at home or choose one of their international plan options. Otherwise, you will incur a large bill.

Protect your laptop and other electronic devices with a password.

Bring extra batteries.


Contact the airport to find out their rules for liquids on the plane. Typically, airports limit the amount and require you to go through extra security. Liquid medication is included in the restriction. Pack any liquids and medications you don’t need during the flight in your checked luggage.

Pack just the medication you need into your carry-on. The labels on the medication bottles should match the boarding pass; otherwise you may be questioned.

Pack entertainment items, like crosswords, books, portable DVD players, etc.

Bring head phones.

Secure your carry-on with a lock.

Travel Tips

Get to the airport at least two hours before your flight. Leave even earlier if one of your party has a medical condition that requires carrying liquid on the plane. It will take even longer to get through security.

Make boarding reservations for your pets or contact a pet sitter several weeks in advance.

Turn off the heat or air conditioner.

Take out the garbage before you leave, so you don’t smell it when you return.

Arrange for transportation to the airport with transport companies in advance or ask a friend to take you.

Make arraignments for your mail, if you plan to be gone more than a week.

Find out where the nearest embassy is located.

Never leave your luggage, carry-ons or electronics unattended. Airports have a high instance of theft.

Don’t forget your plane tickets! Many airlines let you check-in online.

Call your airport to check for any regulations on what you can take on the plane and leave the restricted items at home.

Now, get packing and planning. You’ll never forget an important item or piece of paperwork again when traveling. There will be no surprises. Whether you’re going for a weekend or a month, travel with the assurance you’ve packed and prepared everything.

Gemma Hobbs is an avid blogger with extensive experience as a travel consultant. She enjoys sharing her tips and insights on various travel blogs. Visit Expedia for more travel information.


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