Can you imagine getting to a country after you planned a trip for months, only to realize you’d forgotten something potentially essential? It’s a pain to have to buy something you have at home when you’re traveling, especially when you’re traveling in another country. Don’t even get me started about inflated prices on items at tourist destinations. That’s why everyone needs an international packing list.
FYI: I’m all about traveling in style. And if you couldn’t tell, my style encompasses a lot of pink. I’ve actually searched for (and purchased!!) a “pink ethernet cord” in the past because I’m all about it.
Oh, and ICYMI: I’m about to spend two weeks traveling around France. This means checking into AirBnBs, pulling out the essentials for a couple days, and repacking them for two weeks.
So I have to stay as organized as possible.
Whether or not you’re vibing with me, you’ll love some of the items I found. I’m just the type of gal who loves to be overprepared for every occasion so I’ve tried to think of items for every occasion (including dry shampoo in case I get too lazy to wash and straighten my hair on the daily, you know what I mean?).
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International Packing List Essentials
There are some items I consider essential everywhere I go.
Especially when you travel abroad, you should be prepared for every situation. If you bring a photocopy of your birth certificate and passport, you’ll be prepared to visit your country’s embassy should you lose your passport abroad.
Similarly, bringing printouts of your confirmations (like for accommodations, activities, and rentals) will be helpful in a few different situations. Like, trying to direct a taxi driver to a location or showing a hotel agent your reservation confirmation details.
You should also bring a little bag where you can keep all your chargers or mini electronics in one place. This way you don’t have to be fumbling through your luggage to find your electronic charge adapter when you’re trying to get a little juice on your iPhone.
Recently, I bought my first selfie stick and am in love. Don’t you freaking hate trying to get a selfie at a beautiful location…and you end up just getting a photo of your pretty face? So I bought a selfie stick despite all the bad rep that comes with it. This selfie stick comes with a mirror so you don’t have to use your phone’s selfie camera.
And you know that the quality of your “selfie” camera vs. front-facing camera on your phone is worse quality, right? This selfie stick comes with a mirror so you don’t have to use your phone’s selfie camera. Plus it’s super stylish and quite easy to use! We already made use of it (although we need to practice our angling and actually looking at the camera lens).
I could totally go on and on about what I consider essential. But here’s a lowdown on the essentials you need for your international packing list.
Essentials for International Travel:
- folder with copies of birth certificate, passport, itineraries & confirmation printouts
- macbook air, iphone, kindle, chargers
- hair straightener
- portable chargers
- electronic charge adapter
- usb car charger (if you’re renting/driving a car)
- selfie stick
- extra set of clothes (to carry onto the plane)
- a bag for your chargers
You can’t forget your toiletries! I also keep a little toiletry bag to ensure these items stay together, and are easy to find.
Dry shampoo is kind of a godsend on those days you know you’re just going to be hiking or swimming outdoors anyway. It absorbs the oils in your hair and leaves it smelling fresh!
- toothbrush & toothpaste
- dry shampoo
- razors & refillables
- disinfecting wipes
- contacts & contact solution
If you’re traveling abroad, you’ll definitely need a passport.
When you’re applying for a U.S. passport, make sure you complete and send in your application at minimum 6-8 weeks before you plan to leave the country. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay an additional fee to expedite your passport application.
To learn more about applying for a U.S. passport, go here.
Luggage, Backpack, & Purse
I pack for every anticipated occasion. Going out, hiking, morning jogs, simple day trips, the beach. So I bring a small suitcase, a backpack, and a purse when I travel. I use my Knomo backpack because it has multiple pockets for my Macbook Air, planner, pens, and chargers!
Shop baggage items:
Whether you pack lighter or heavier, investing in a few items to help you organize will be very helpful. Mike and I will be traveling for two weeks in a foreign country, so we definitely needed a bag to separate our dirty clothes items from the clean ones.
Fujifilm Instax Mini
Make the most out of your vacation by capturing polaroid moments.
One of the best ways to do it is with a Fujifilm Instax Mini camera.
I loove my Fujifilm Instax Mini 8+! With the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8+, you get a little selfie mirror. Since the film averages $1 per photo, the selfie mirror is so so essential! I mean, you don’t want to mess up an otherwise perfect shot, would you?
Shop Fujifilm Instax Minis:
If you have a credit card with an RFID chip, you should use an RFID wallet to protect your identity while you travel. Most of the ones advertised are so masculine, but luckily there are some super stylish and cute options on the market!
Shop RFID-blocking wallets:
You might think I’m totally silly for recommending this, but you should definitely bring Emergen-C every time you travel.
There are so many germs lingering in airports, and probably around the tourist attractions you will visit. Fight it by drinking some Emergen-C every day!
These packets are nice and slim which makes them easy to carry around!
Stylish & Comfortable Walking Shoes
Is anyone else desperate to find the balance between comfortable and totally stylish walking shoes?
For our trip to France, I bought this pair of Soludos shoes for the days we will spend walking all day.
And I’m loving this pair of Dr. Scholl’s Svetlana flats for our classier evening adventures (P.S. ladies!! These would look perfect in the office, too!). Questioning whether or not these memory-foam cushioned shoes would be comfortable for extensive walking? I’ve actually worn these stylish Dr. Scholl’s flats during entire days of work where I am on my feet and walking around eight hours straight.
Travel Shoe Sleeves
I’ve struggled with finding a place to store my shoes when I travel. Sometimes it’s easy to end up with a plastic bag to throw them in, but now that many places are taking the step forward to reduce plastic, I need an alternative!
Literature for the Plane
If you’re flying internationally, you’ll probably need some literature to help you get through your flight! I was able to score this Lonely Planet: Paris (Travel Guide) for free on my Kindle Fire as an Amazon Prime member.
Personally, I love having a Kindle Fire in lieu of carrying books around. Not only is it slim and lightweight. But you can also download both books to read and movies/TV shows to watch. As a Prime member, I’ve:
- downloaded entire TV series to watch (for free) during my longer travel days
- downloaded free books from the Amazon Prime Library
I seriously, seriously love my Kindle Fire!
What’s on your list?
More to read before you head on your next trip:
It’s tough to find a balance when you travel, especially when you’re traveling to another country. Even as I wrote and finalized this post, I realized there were items I needed to add to the list!
Still, it’s best to be prepared for most conventional, even unconventional, situations, while still minimizing what you bring. You want to find a way to set yourself up for success.
After all, you don’t want to get to your destination and realize you’d forgotten something (like a phone charger) and pay an overpriced amount for something you already have. Or something you could have ordered at a cheaper rate.
P.S. Want to make sure you don’t forget anything next time you travel abroad? Click the banner below to get access to my custom international packing list and other great printables!
Now, let’s hear from you! What are your packing list essentials?