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The Complete Packing List: What to Pack for Any Type of Trip

Getting ready to travel but don’t know what to pack? This ultimate packing list has everything you need for stress-free luggage packing.

As an avid travel blogger, I’ve learned how to perfectly pack for any trip through years of trial and error. Forget showing up without a swimsuit for the cruise pool deck or shivering in shorts because you thought Mexico would be warmer. I’ve made all the packing mistakes for you!

In this comprehensive packing guide, I’ll share my hard-earned tips for streamlining luggage, using packing organizers, choosing versatile clothing, getting through airport security quickly, and more. I have also published articles on specific packing lists like a cruise packing list, beach vacation packing list, and hiking checklist.

With this expert advice, you can breeze through packing for your next getaway knowing you have absolutely everything you’ll need. No more unpacking fails upon arrival at your destination!

Let’s dive into the master packing checklist:

# The Ultimate Clothing Packing List

Clothing likely takes up the most space in your luggage. Follow these tips to pack enough outfits while minimizing bulk:

Choose Multi-Purpose Clothing

Look for pieces that can be re-worn in various combinations and serve multiple functions. Some options:

Lightweight dresses – That work for day or night. Bring 2-4.

Neutral button-down shirts – That go with dress pants for nice dinners or jeans for casual days

Black pants or jeans – That pair with tops for day and dressier tops at night.

Versatile sweaters and cardigans – That layer over dresses or tees.

Roll Don’t Fold

Get more in your suitcase by tightly rolling clothes instead of folding. Folding creates empty space between clothing items.

Stick to Lightweight, Wrinkle-Resistant Fabrics

Choose fabrics like moisture-wicking microfiber, merino wool, quick-dry nylon, and wrinkle-resistant cotton blends. They’ll pack smaller and re-wear better.

 Organize Outfits Together

Pack pieces for each outfit together in packing cubes for easy access. For example, pack yoga pants with tops for workout outfits.

Limit Bulky Items

Avoid packing things like jeans, sweatshirts, and bulky shoes. Opt for leggings instead of jeans and multi-purpose athletic shoes over boots.

# Toiletries & Cosmetics: Packing Light

Toiletries take up precious space. Follow these tips to minimize liquids:

Use Travel-Size Containers

Decant large toiletries into reusable 3 oz containers. Leakproof silicone bottles are great. Many brands also sell ready-to-go travel size products.

Look for 2-in-1 and 3-in-1 Products

Consolidate items by using multi-use products like shampoo/conditioner combos.

Pack Disposable Razors

Disposable razors take up less space than full shaving kits. Replace blades upon arrival if needed.

Buy Some Items at Your Destination

Save space by purchasing bulky hygiene and hair products once at your destination if needed.

Pack Cleansing Wipes

Wipes allow you to “wash” hands and face when water isn’t available. They’re also great for pre- or post-flight quick cleanups.

#Essential Electronics & Gadgets

Don’t forget these tech accessories and travel gear essentials:

Travel Adapter and Converter

Confirm the voltage where you’re traveling. If different than home, pack the right converter and outlet adapter.

Portable Charger

A compact power bank allows you to charge devices on-the-go when you can’t plug in. Look for one with at least 10,000 mAh.

Travel Lock

Lock your luggage while in transit and use a hotel safe or portable travel lock for valuables in your room. Combination TSA-approved locks don’t require keys.

Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Eliminate flight and street noise disruptions with over-ear, noise-cancelling headphones. Pack earbuds as a backup.


Load e-readers with books beforehand to save space packing multiple printed books.

# Must-Have Packing Organizers and Accessories

Use these packing items to maximize space:

Packing Cubes

Organize items in your luggage with soft cubes. Use for categories like clothing type, outfits, days, or family members.

Compression Sacks

Vacuum seal clothing with compression sacks. They compact clothes to save a ton of space.

Shoe Organizers

Separate shoes from the rest of your clothes with shoe bags, cubes and pouches to avoid transferring dirt and grime.

TSA-Approved Locks

Deter theft and prevent zippers from opening during transit with TSA-approved locks. Search for “TSA” when buying.

Digital Luggage Scale

Weigh packed luggage ahead of time to avoid overweight bag fees. Look for a scale that can weigh in kilograms if traveling internationally.

# Packing Tips and Hacks

Use these additional packing hacks:

-Roll clothes vertically instead of stacking horizontally to save space.

-Put socks and underwear inside shoes – it fills all the dead space.

-Use packing cubes and organizer inserts to compartmentalize if your luggage doesn’t have built-in organizers.

-Place 3-1-1 liquids bags with potential leaks inside a Ziploc plastic bag in case of spills.


With all the clothing, accessories, electronics, toiletries and trip-specific items on this packing list, you’re guaranteed to show up prepared for any getaway! Use the list as a master packing checklist before future trips.

Let me know if you have any other great packing tips in the comments! And most importantly, enjoy your travels!