How to Pack for International Travel {Free Checklist}

International-Travel-Packing-Checklist-header

Packing can keep me sleepless!! I always have anxiety induced insomnia when I have to travel, even thought it’s partly due to my fear of flying the rest is a persistent mind that would not shut off from the fear of forgetting to pack something. I am a checklist and memo kinda gal, I have even made a checklist to make a checklist at times. So, when it came to my first international travel I was amazingly clueless about where and how to start. What does a newbie blogger do??? Head to google…!! I did find some amazing lists but they were not helping me sleep. So I combined them all (with my own previous list) and created this exhaustive checklist. Blissful sleep at last….!!

Raise your hand if you have been an over-packer or an under-packer, so many times I have packed a full backpack of clothing options to only regret the weight on my shoulders which is exponentially increased when I do not end up wearing them. I have also impatiently raided through all the nicely ironed and packed dresses in my bag to find an unfortunate sock and leave a heap of mess all over my hotel room that does not go away till I pack my bag for the return flight, which btw seems impossible because the clothes are now mad at me (for treating them that way) and would not fit back.

If you did find the above description to be somewhat like your packing ordeal then you are welcome in advance because the checklist as well as the tips will surely help you in saving space(and your spine) and avoid last minute rush. I have also included some links to go through and choose what agrees with your travel preferences.

Clothes

I am using Laundry Mesh Bags (after reading on my favorite blog) for categorizing and then packing my clothing types – tops, dresses and lowers. This way I only open a certain bag depending on what I am looking for and rest stays undisturbed making unpacking and repacking quiet easy, I also roll my clothes to save space.

clothes-organizer-international-travel-packing-1

I have used a travel garment bag for my tank tops only, while you can use these for all your clothing instead of mesh bags I would not recommend this as mesh bags are way cheaper than garment bags.

clothes-organizer-international-travel-packing-2

I carry three sets of nightwear in three zipped vegetable bags from KVG (available in most supermarkets under kitchen tools) that I re-purposed as packing accessories to help keep them segregated from the day wear. They are a little small and it makes things tight but it doesn’t matter to me if my nightwear is wrinkled. I also use this portable underwear lingerie storage case (link below) for carrying the necessary sets of lingerie.

clothes-organizer-international-travel-packing2

Another thing you can do is to make a mood board or pinterest board of all your existing wardrobe essentials you want to carry and any desired ones you might need to shop for this trip. Keep the culture and climate in mind and limit your wardrobe with versatile options that can be worn more than once but make a completely different outfit. Also, only pack outfits you know you will wear, do not pack that not-even-once-worn-skirt just because you might wear it on the trip. If you do wear it you might regret the pictures and if you don’t wear it you will regret the space it took in the suitcase (this happened with me…really!!).

wardrobe-options

Shoes

I carry my shoes in this wonderful bag(link below) that can fit up to 6 pairs(in my size) in theory but practically it would not fit a pair of running shoes in one section, they would easily occupy two. So moral of the story wear your bulkiest shoes in flight and carry only comfortable and versatile shoe options with you. When you only need to carry a pair or two a handy trick is to use a shoe bag and secure it with a reversible cable tie or an elastic band.

shoe-organizer-international-travel-packing

shoe-organizer-international-travel-packing-1

Makeup   

I pack my makeup in this travel makeup organizer which is perfect for only the basics that I carry while travelling. It is tiny so I have to be rather frugal with my makeup options but that’s ok as I can sneak it rather easily in my travel tote.

makeup-organizer-international-travel-packing

clothes-organizers-links-international-travel-packing

1.Laundry Mesh Bag
2.Garment Organizer 3.Lingerie Case 4.Makeup Organizer 5.Hanging Shoe Rack
I use this hanging organizer for all my toiletries as it provides various pockets and secure sections, I have hung it on door hooks, shower curtain rods depending on the use.

toiletries-organizer-international-travel-packing

It folds up nicely too.

toiletries-organizer-international-travel-packing1

Avoid carrying your perfume along, the pretty packaging is unreliable and it can cost you, instead invest in an travel size atomizer. Always carry your toiletries in travel size bottles against traditional packaging as they are leak proof and great space savers. I purchased the bottles below from a NewU store and they come with removable stick-on labels which really helped (my husband ;)).

travel-size-bottle-1

travel-size-bottle

If you do have to carry your original body wash or shampoo bottles secure them in a zip lock bag which is also great for storing your accessorizes like rings and earrings as it protects them from tugging and scratches.

toiletries-organizer-international-travel-packing2

toiletries-organizers-links-international-travel-packing

6.Squeeze Travel Bottle 7.Travel Jars 8.Travel tube bottles 9.Mini Perfume Atomizer 10.50 ml Travel bottle (QVS is sold out) 11. 100 ml Travel bottles

Travel Checklist

International-Travel-Packing-Checklist-1

Download Here {International Travel Packing Checklist}

The first two rows of check-boxes are for double checking your intended products and the check boxes at the end are to make sure your bring all the products back so keep this list handy while returning as well. You would find it favors women, I am aware(and proud) of that but it’s mostly because I have based it on my own travel necessities.

Tips

  1. Carry your Shampoo/Body Wash bottles in Poly bags or Zip lock Baggies or alternatively FAA approved travel size bottles. Exercise the same precaution for your Hair serum/Nail paints/ Remover/Lotions etc.
  2. Carry Makeup Brushes in their original packaging(usually air tight) and use a spare hotel glass as a makeup brush holder for your stay.
  3. Note down the luggage combinations (preferably in the above list) or/and carry luggage keys with you in the handbag.
  4. It is always convenient to carry your passport and visa in a passport carrier, so getting one would be a good idea before the start of your trip.
  5. Call and ask beforehand if your hotel provides an iron and board, otherwise invest in a small travel iron it would be way cheaper than your laundry bill.
  6. Always carry a credit card with you (even if you are a debit card and cash person like me) for emergencies, mid flight purchases, customs tax refund*, renting cars** etc.
  7. Travel adapters are a must carry to safely use your electronics. Do make sure to check out what socket type you will be dealing with in advance. Follow the link to understand it better.
  8. Try to carry as many wrinkle free clothes as possible, also pack versatile (dressy to casual) clothing if possible with various team-up options and combinations.
  9. Plastic travel-size sample bottles of your favorite products are a great space savers, collect some on a beauty store trip, also save toothbrush caps whenever possible.
  10. Check airline allowance for baggage weight and accordingly weigh your baggage at home to avoid any last minute expenditures***.
  11. It’s always advisable to keep your cash divided in two places as an emergency option.
  12. Carry a list of medicines(recommended by your family physician) to be taken in case of more severe diseases like food poisoning etc.
  13. Don’t forget gifts for you loved ones.
  14. Be aware of your country’s purchase limit and save sales receipts.
  15. Make travel plans, buy guide maps and book online(if possible) for high traffic tourist places.
  16. Travelling with an airport bought prepaid connection, let us assume Matrix, is a better option than a postpaid connection. Postpaids require credit card information and sometimes unknowingly we do exceed data limits or make a call beyond the allotted minutes or to other countries and then these companies will charge you exorbitantly. Bottom line, do not give them credit card information.****
  17. If you decide to not buy and keep your local sim for the travel, turn off data roaming, then have sufficient balance if you are travelling with a prepaid connection and check call rates for incoming/outgoing beforehand. Some prepaid/post paid connections might require an activation of 100-150 rupees for incoming calls too, on a regional basis, different charges for UAE, Europe etc.
  18. Do not forget to web check-in, if the facility is not available call the airline and request them to save a seat of your preference, also check your flight status before booking an airport taxi.
  19. If you have connecting flights with little time for security checks try to make things faster for yourself by wearing little or no metal in your outfits, skip jackets and jewelry (even bangles get scrutinized) if you can, do not carry any leftover juice boxes or water bottles from the previous flight, carry all the wires like bulky laptop/tablet chargers except phone charger in your check in luggage versus cabin luggage, if you must carry the wires then switch to a small laptop bag with one or two zips it would be faster for the officer to check out if you get pulled, store all your liquids/gels (not greater than 100ml each) in a 1 liter zip top clear plastic bag and take it out in a tray proactively before the screening.
  20. Carry a photocopy of your passport or a picture in your phone when you are off to see tourist places, leaving the original in an electronic hotel safe.
  21. Put perfume sample strips in your luggage to make your clothes feel fragrant and fresh while unpacking.
  22. For Indians, acquiring a foreign currency will require your PAN number, if you do not wish to carry it make sure to memorize or note down the number in case you might need it.

* If you have shopped for 20 Euros or more (for Germany), ask for Tax Refund Forms at the customer care counter of the shopping outlet. Show those to the Global Blue Counters at the airports after a customs check and you will be refunded the tax as per your country. A cash refund will attract extra charges by Global blue whereas possessing a credit card will eliminate these charges.

** Renting a car (again Germany specific) as a tourist, without an international permit, is possible as long as you have a credit card in your name and your local licence. Always check for these policies in advance.

*** Sometimes, partner airlines have different baggage policies, like for me, checking in with Swiss Air at Mumbai, I checked in two items of luggage with them totaling 30 kg (their baggage allowance) and while returning by Lufthansa at Munich they informed me only one item of luggage is allowed, which then entailed repacking at the airport, so checking ahead might save you some trouble.

**** A friend of mine got a Roam1 postpaid sim from work for a business trip but failed to inquire about the free 400 minutes to be for calls made to India only. He was charged 13,000 rupees for a few mins of calls made to UAE (to parents), his company refused to pay in such a situation. A sim card provided by your work can cost you too, just try to be more aware, thorough and inquisitive.

As intimidating and complex as some of these anecdotes or instructions might seem to a rookie, do not ever be wary of travelling solo or otherwise. These experiences, however they might unfold, are what make each and every trip a unique one. What have you got to lose? At least it would be a story to tell…..or write about.

Blog-signature

HEY! DO YOU PINTEREST?

9 thoughts on “How to Pack for International Travel {Free Checklist}

  1. Whether a consumer is acquiring a car for the very first
    time, a house for the very first time, or a set of golf clubs for the first time, it is very important to understand just how much can be paid for!

    Like

  2. Great work krati….very impressive…
    While I was reading it, I remembered ur excel sheets and the wedding preparations.
    All d best….really useful piece of ready-to-use info, for the likes of pretty lazy n disorganized people like me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s