ultimate travel packing list

My Ultimate Travel Packing List

So, needless to say, I have absolutely no need of a travel packing list right now.

I do, however, keep one handy at all times, using the ‘Reminders’ app on my iPhone to create a rolling travel packing list that I can consult any time I need to – you know, for those unexpected travel opportunities that crop up all the time?

(This has literally never happened to me: my life is just not that interesting, unfortunately. Still, it’s good to be prepared, isn’t it?)

My travel packing list consists of almost everything I could conceivably need to travel: I don’t list every item of clothing I’m going to take, because I think I can probably trust myself to remember to, you know, pack some damn clothes, but I do list just about everything else, to avoid those awkward moments when you’re sitting on the runway, and suddenly remember that your toothbrush, on the other hand, is still sitting by the bathroom sink, where you left it that morning. Yes, I’ve been there, and it was incidents like that one which made me develop my ultimate travel packing list. And here it is…

My ultimate travel packing list: everything you need for a vacation or other travel adventure


(No, this is not everything I take, it’s just an image: calm down…)



Phone charger

Spare battery pack


Laptop charging cable


Spare lenses

Battery charger for DSLR

Card reader for DSLR

GOPRO and accessories


Kindle charger

Travel hairdryer

Curling Iron

(Yup, all of these electronnics chargers are the absolute bane of my life, seriously: they add so much weight to my suitcase, but I just can’t live without them, unfortunately, other than for a super-short trip..)

Toiletries and Cosmetics

Makeup bag

(I pack this a couple of days before, then use the products from it, rather than from the rest of my stash, just so I can be sure I haven’t forgotten anything essential…)

Cleanser, moisturiser, eye cream

Eye makeup remover

(I once forgot this on a trip to a small island: trying to remove waterproof mascara without soap or water was NOT fun, let me tell you…)

Nail polish remover (travel sized)

Cotton pads

Shampoo & Conditioner (travel sized)

(If I’m going to be travelling for more than a couple of days, I just leave these out of the suitcase and buy full-sized versions when i get to my destination: so much easier than lugging heavy bottles of product around and worrying about it leaking in my suitcase…)


Contact lenses

Razor (for my legs!)

Toothbrush & toothpaste



Painkillers and any other  essential medication


ultimate travel packing listClothes

(Top tip: pack your way through your day: so, start with underwear, then move onto clothes, then outerwear and shoes, before finishing up with nightwear…)

Underwear & bras

Dresses and skirts


(I always take at least one pair of jeans, regardless of where I’m going: you never know what the weather will do!)

t-shirts and tops

sweaters and cardigans


swimwear if required


Outerwear, if not wearing it on the flight

(Quantities of each will depend on climate and length of stay: this is also the reason I haven’t given an exact list of clothing, as it really will differ from trip to trip, but here’s a sample packing list I put together a while back, suitable for a springtime mini break – or it would also work for summer if you’re headed to the UK!)

What to pack for Edinburgh in the Spring: a small capsule wardrobe for travelShoes

At least…

One pair of heels

One pair of wedges

One pair of sneakers

One pair of flats

One pair of flip-flops/sandals

the ultimate packing list: what to pack for every situation


One small clutch bag/cross body bag (large bag carried on flight)

Canvas tote/beach bag

Selection of scarves and necklaces

A couple of belts



SYLA mask

What’s on your ultimate travel packing list?

The ultimate travel packing list: what I pack for every single trip
 The ultimate travel packing list: what I pack for every single trip
The ultimate travel packing list: what I pack for every single trip


Liked this post?? Take a second to support Amber on Patreon!
  • Although I have a packing list, I always forget something! And when I don’t, I don’t use the things I’ve packed… I think I tend to overpack! Still, I guess that’s better than underpack (is that a word?!).


    February 9, 2018
  • Ginger


    This is a really good idea! I travel enough to have a pretty complete set of toiletries in mini size, already in organizers. And things like a hairbrush, which I have definitely forgotten before. But there are always things that need to be added. The electronics in particular is a good list. And I like the idea of packing clothing by going through the day.

    February 9, 2018
  • Packing the toiletries bag first and then using products out of it is BRILLIANT! I always wait ’til the morning of after I’ve used all my lotions and potions, and am usually super stressed out! I never worry about toothbrushes as hotels usually have them…have forgotten several times! I’ll refer back to your shoe list, makes a lot of sense, although unless it’s a business trip, I rarely take heels. Thanks much! Enjoy your weekend with baby time!

    February 9, 2018
  • Trudy


    I was homeschooled as a kid, and travelled once a fortnight to classes with a group of other kids. I started a travel list back then and have used the same list ever since – updated obviously, as I don’t have any need for textbooks and stationery on my travels now! I like to be super specific on my list, so I will itemise out all my makeup (foundation, mascara, blush, the different brushes etc) then check it off to make sure I have absolutely everything before I go. I am a last minute packer but having a list takes a lot of the panic away! I also make a separate clothing list for each trip, and try to plan an outfit for each day, although I always take extra stuff for changes in the weather or plans. And there STILL always seems to be something new which I forget to take, and gets added to the list for next time! One thing I added after my list trip was my Enjo face cloths. They are so good at removing makeup that I decided I will take them with me in future!

    It is funny how the list has changed over the years. Apart from stationery, I no longer need to take a travel clock with me, and I had laser surgery on my eyes so I don’t need to take contact or glasses. But I do need to take a million chargers with me now!

    February 10, 2018
  • Fiona


    This is a good read!

    Can you tell me where these clothes are from please?


    February 10, 2018
  • Alicja


    I stopped stressing, as I follow the idea: take the passport and money, as the rest can be bought/ replaced.

    February 10, 2018
  • Printing this <3 Xoxo, K&E

    February 12, 2018
  • Joselyn Brooksbank


    I travel often enough and always go carry-on only – sometimes even personal-item only (Re: WOW Air) – and I’ve found the best solution for me is to have a separate toiletries/liquids bag that is always packed with travel-size versions of my everyday items. My local pharmacy is great for always having free sample sizes of everything from mascara to micellar water (which is also a great makeup remover!), or great sales when I pick up extra travel-sized contact solution or makeup palettes. Before having a bag always packed (I just top everything up after each trip), I used to ALWAYS forget something (usually my toothbrush and/or razor), or try to over pack it with things I didn’t need! Now I never have that problem. 🙂

    June 6, 2018
  • Lila Athanaselis


    I pack doubles of everything so don’t actually need to pack much in my toiletries bag, mainly my electric toothbrush. The only ‘shoes’ I wear are my trainers so I don’t have to pack any shoes, only 1 or 2 pairs of sandals in the summer.
    Electronics, I only pack my phone charger.
    Clothes I pack in order of wear/colours. So matching shorts and vest tops, eg navy shorts and pale blue vest top, so when it comes to wearing things on the day they are ready to wear. Underwear often goes in carry on case, seems to save space, though I have only ever taken a carry on case twice; seem to only take a main case every time.

    November 12, 2018
  • Lesley Ann Biggart


    Amber’s advice a lifesaver when considering a holiday!

    February 1, 2020