From checklists, resources, and tools to how to use ChatGPT for itinerary creation, here’s how to plan a solo trip in 2024.
Packing for Travel: Lists, Tips and Product Reviews
Travel packing can be a headache, but it needn't be.
With the right luggage or backpack, some good purchasing decisions, a bit of planning based on your trip and a good packing list, you can master the art of travel packing and eliminate extra weight and worry.
Whether you're going for a weekend, a week, or a trip around the world, our travel packing section has all the information you need to plan and pack well.
Table of Contents
What to Pack for Travel: Packing Lists for Every Kind of Travel
Everyone needs a packing list. And, basically, everyone will have about 80% of the same things on their packing list. The majority of this list is of things that we all need.
We all need tops, pants, shoes... What differs is the fabric, colour and design of what we take. Rugged or high fashion, a pair of pants is still a pair of pants. That's why these packing lists are useful for all travelers.
- For all the basics of travel packing plus a packing list read Bare Minimum Packing: Here’s Your Packing List
- If you're going to a fashionable destination How to Plan Your Travel Wardrobe for Comfort and Style
- For a camping trip read First Time Camping Solo: Basic Gear and Packing List
- Planning a winter trip? Read Quebec City Carnival and a Packing List for Cold Weather
- You list for travel gear.Travel Gear: Essentials for Solo Travelers
- Tips for checked baggage. Checked Baggage: Top Planning and Packing Tips
How to Pack a Carry-on in 5 Steps
Traveling with just a carry-on is a bit of an art.
Whether you are a roller or a folder (there are benefits to each method), here are the steps to packing your carry-on for maximum efficiency.
- Your basics. Pack pants, tops, dresses, and shoes first.
- The small things. Pack socks, underwear, belts in the space around the edges of your bag.
- Liquids. Pack your liquids in a quart-size clear plastic bag and place it at the top of your bag where the zippers open so that they can be taken out easily during security.
- Technology and medication. Pack these in your daypack or purse for greater protection.
- Bulky items. Wear bulky items on the plane, even if you have to change while on the plane. I do this with my hiking boots. I wear them on the plane, change into shoes, and tie my books onto my bag before disembarking.
Follow carry-on rules according to your airline and be careful about the weight. Just because you can fit your things into a carry-on suitcase does not mean they will let you on the plane with it.
Finally, be considerate of other passengers and don't hog the overhead space.
Travel Gear: Check These 3 Criteria Before You Buy
There is no end to the travel gear one can buy. Here is the checklist against which all gear should be assessed before it is bought.
- Weight. There are weight restrictions on flights and to the amount you can carry in a backpack. Know how much something weights before you buy.
- Dimensions. How bulky is the item. What might you have to leave behind in order to bring it?
- Functionality. Is it really only good at doing one thing? If a piece of gear is multifunctional, it has more value.
Once you know how the travel gear stacks up in these three categories, you can evaluate whether it's worth its weight, space and usefulness to purchase.
Travel Clothes that Don't Look Like Travel Clothes
I don't buy travel clothes. I buy travel-friendly clothes.
I buy clothes made of fabrics that are lighter, rinse out and dry quickly and wrinkle less. I also believe that less is more. By buying multi-purpose clothes, fewer items result in outfits for a variety of occasions.
When shopping, look for clothes that are versatile. The right undershirt or camisole can dress up an outfit or add a layer of warmth. I choose to buy one that does both.
For details on how to buy clothes that are also great for travel read How to Plan Your Travel Wardrobe for Comfort and Style
Review: Compression Cubes vs Compression Bags for Packing
Both packing cubes and compression bags are great for:
- Organizing the items in your luggage.
- Being more environmentally friendly as they can last a lifetime and help you avoid using disposable plastic bags.
- Helping to provide a layer of protection for your items.
But which is better?
Compression bags may not be as pretty as packing cubes when in your suitcase but they beat their competition in a number of ways. Compression bags:
- allow you to squeeze more into the space in your luggage.
- eliminate wasted space normally taken up by air
- contort into whatever shape you’re looking to fill.
A cube works best as a cube, a bag will become the shape that works best for the space. I don’t always travel with a suitcase, so if I’m using something that isn’t rectangular, it’s nice to have something that can easily maximize the space in any travel bag.
But there are a couple of drawbacks to compression bags that aren’t found in their cubed competition. One, they won’t give you that perfect Instagrammable photo of an organized packing job that would get the approval of Martha Stewart, and two, because you’re now able to compress so much more into a smaller space, you might end up going over your weight limit.
But, if you’re willing to work with those two limitations, you'll find they’re an invaluable packing tool that will change your life!
Below Are All the Posts in our Packing for Travel Category
Travel alone and you travel on your terms. Here’s the ultimate guide with our best tips and advice to help you travel solo and love it.
Whether you regularly check your bag or only do it in special circumstances, here are our best checked baggage tips for when you need them.
Embrace winter solo travel. Enjoy the unique activities that cold weather offers. Here are your winter solo travel tips.
Carry-on packing lists for women and men with tips for packing light and still having everything you need for your trip.
Your first time camping solo may seem complicated. Let’s simplify things. Here’s the basic gear you need plus a handy packing list.
We review two luggage trackers and explain how they work. Now updated with personal experiences from two solo travelers.
King tests out the new Outwalk 1.0 Backpack on a trip to New York City, finding it to be a practical, stylish option for light packers.
What to pack? What travel gear should you take and what should you leave behind? Here’s what your fellow solo travelers have to say.
Quebec City in February. Here’s a taste of the famous Carnival and my best advice for cold weather packing.