Packing List Essentials for Carry-on and Checked Bag

Packing for a trip

I used to be an over-packer, but not anymore. I learned my lesson after my solo trip to the UK, Italy, and France. It was tiring, trying to navigate or move quickly with a huge piece of checked luggage as well as a carry-on bag. I traveled for months, but when I got home I realized I didn’t even wear or use a quarter of the things I’d packed. There is no way you can pack for everything, so don’t even try. There are packing list essentials. And you’ll be surprised how little you need to pack to travel well.

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Packing List Essentials for Carry-on and Checked Bag



So what did I pack for a whole month in Italy? I knew I couldn’t pack for every possible scenario so I didn’t even try. They do have stores if you need something you didn’t pack. So, don’t overpack– you may find a treasure or two you want to bring back.



Ask a Few Questions



1. What is the temperature on the ground?
2. Are there any restrictions based on culture?
3. How long is my trip?
4. What pieces can I pack that work well together to create multiple looks?
5. What did I pack on the last trip that I used over and over again?

Once you’ve answered these questions, it should be pretty easy to figure out what to pack for your next trip.



Dress for Known Occasions



But know you can’t pack for everything you might encounter. I know it’s HOT, I plan to walk, hike and climb all over Sicily. I know I’ll rent a car, fly to Venice and may go to Malta and Sardinia too.

Save space as well as your back when packing your checked and carry-on luggage. So I’ve packed pretty light, one checked and one carry-on… that will include just my laptop, purse and camera bag. I plan on bringing back some wine… a lot of wine actually, so I need some space for that.



Carry-on Bag



I spent the day charging my electronics (camera batteries/ battery packs, Kindle, and laptop). I pack all the above in my carry-on bag. In addition, I pack things I’ll use on the airplane and all my documents, passport, and purse.



Lithium Batteries



Spare lithium-ion and lithium metal batteries must be carried in carry-on baggage only. Don’t pack them in your checked bag. Carry your spare batteries in your carry-on luggage. Matter of fact, don’t pack anything that the scanner even thinks is a lithium battery. Your suitcase lock will be broken and your battery will be replaced with a note of confiscation.




The only things I pack beside my makeup are a couple of Essential oils, deodorant, and toothpaste. I use natural products. But I love trying the local lotions, body soaps and lotions. That’s just me.



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Carry-on Bag


Keep it simple. I also packed my compression socks for the plane, an extra pair of regular black socks & underwear. I always wear a large sarong/ pashmina, extra earbuds and memory cards, eye mask, water bottle, reading and sunglasses, and a few snacks.



Don’t Leave Home Without It


Packing list essentials:  passport, US DL/ International DL, medications, printed itineraries/ reservations (JIC), wet wipes (heaven forbid), and travel-related essential oils (stored in zip-locked baggies). I’ll buy a chip for my phone at the airport for under $20.



Checked Bag


A lot of my fellow travelers don’t believe in checked baggage. I love to bring back wine, and in order to do, I have to check a bag. Your airline ticket includes at least one checked bag, so as long as it’s not overweight, it’s not an additional cost.

I love 2764 Packing List Essentials for Carry-on and Checked Bag my bright yellow faux-crock luggage. It’s so beautiful, it even got me upgraded to first-class once SERIOUSLY. I highly suggest buying good quality luggage that’s light, durable, and easy to recognize.



TSA Regulations


Be sure you know your airline’s baggage rules, i.e. how many, weight and size limitations, alcohol, and TSA regulations. Save yourself the aggravation and pack your keys, loose change, and strappy sandals inside your checked bag.



Contents for 2-3 Week Trip


7-10 days with of mix and match outfits, bra/ pantries, socks that include:

2 pairs of jeans (long &cropped)
1 pair of casual slacks
A sweater and or
7 tops
Sneakers, 1 pair of sandals and heels
Hat, hair scarf & sarong
Flip flops & Bathing suit
2 dresses (short and long)
3 yoga pants (to work out in and wear after all the pasta, gelato, and brioche I plan to eat).



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    1. duffelbagspouse

      Especially if you are traveling for a while and taking a lot of pictures. It never fails, the battery in the camera is low when I take that first picture. lol

  1. Jessica T

    I’m a chronic overpacked! I really need these tips especially as a mom of 5 because I always have way too much but I always want to be over prepared. Great tips!

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Yeah even so you probably forget something. So its better to just bring the absolute necessities and worry about the rest later.

  2. Dalene Ekirapa

    Over packing can be very hectic and I’ve also been a victim once so these days, I try my best to actually minimize my luggage since I’d also want to bring back souvenirs. Anyway, these essentials are just ‘must-carries.’

  3. Valerie S

    I always pack like a million stuff since I have 2 little babies, and I always end up looking like Santa Claus is going on vacation!

  4. Ruth I.

    When i am too excited for my trip, I tend to overpack or some things would be forgotten. This is really helpful. Now I can make a list of things/essentials for a travel.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Me too. I’m not big on organizing, but I know its important for me because I tend to try to want to have something for every situation.

  5. Monidipa

    Thanks for sharing this list, I generally pack according to my trips and thus sometimes I end up doing under-packing rather than over-packing.

  6. Hannah Marie

    Thanks for sharing this list. When I go for a trip, I always end over packing. With this list on hand, I would know what to bring for my trip.

  7. Nessy

    Ballet flats, little black dress and shawl can get me anywhere in South East Asia. It’s the trips to Europe that make me crazy packing. But I enjoy the trips nonetheless. 🙂

    1. duffelbagspouse

      That’s such a cute look– I wish I could wear ballet flats, but my feet are uber flat and an hour of trekking any city streets would have me abject pain. I lean toward some linen, oversized pants, a tank (and shawl) and some low wedges in SE Asia. I love palazzo pants or a maxi dress and wedges in Europe.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Yeah, its easy to forget something, but luckily we can usually make do without it or pick it up on our travels.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Thank you, I was a classic over-packer too. But it just makes sense to bring less and buy a few things where you’re going.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Most people do. I’d prefer under packing and buying one or two things on my travels instead. It’s a nice memory.

  8. Adriana Lopez

    Very helpful and also interesting we never consider the culture of the place and what is allowed or not when we are packing to take off. I thing to remember thanks! =)

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Yeah, its important, especially if countries where there are religious customs that need to be adhered to. You always need to cover arms and legs when visiting cathedrals like St. Peters and add headgear when going to the mosque in Turkey.

  9. Kristen Kirk

    Great list of questions to ask yourself before packing. I feel like a lot of people don’t put as much thought as they should into what their destination will be like.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Great point. It’s like a great menu— we order too much because it all looks and sounds so good. Then when it comes we realize we’ve overdone it and it all won’t fit in our stomach.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Thanks, you have to really take your itinerary into consideration when packing. But you can never plan for everything.

  10. Aditya

    I always take what is necessary for the trip. I used your pattern since college trips conducted by themselves and still do the same. But there were times, that even packing less got me in peril, as I needed that item.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Yeah unfortunately, we can never pack for the unknown. Fortunately, most places do have stores. And now you have a keepsake to remember your trip. I always overpack shoes– so I’ve finally had enough. One pair of sandals. one pair of heels and one walking shoe. That’s it.

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