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An Expert Traveler’s Complete International Travel Checklist

The author Douglas Weissman Wearing Bag in Egypt

Not all packing lists are created equal. An international travel checklist is a completely different beast than when traveling domestically. Creating a checklist for your international trip is a great way to rev up your excitement and cover your bases.

No matter if it is a short trip with a pre-booked hotel or you’re changing time zones three times, you can’t forget to book the pet sitter and should never leave home without travel insurance.  I love VisitorsCoverage, but there are a lot of good companies worth looking into.

A travel checklist will make your life easier. I have been to nearly 50 countries, and every time I have planned, I remember the right shoes, wear the right clothes, and bring the right daypack in case I want to hike or take a day trip.

Let’s use the daypack as an example; when planning for scorching Egypt, I chose a saddlebag to keep my items close at all times while keeping my core free of extra weight and pressing surfaces.

The author Douglas Weissman Wearing Bag in Egypt
Douglas Weissman / ViaTravelers

It worked a treat because I didn’t have a backpack sweating up my spine, and all I’d need to do was reach down and grab whatever I needed from my nifty daysack instead of trying to win a wrestling match with my own shoulders getting a rucksack off in the blazing sun to find my keys.

It doesn’t matter if it’s your first time flying abroad or you take an international trip abroad every year; plan in advance as much as you can. The adage “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail” may as well be about travel!

On the other hand, when I don’t plan… During my trip to Ecuador, I left my toothpaste at home and forget to check what currency they use in the country. I arrived, didn’t take any money out at the airport, and considered using leaves in the Amazon basin to clean my teeth because I didn’t have any currency in U.S. dollars lower than a 20-dollar bill.

Traveling internationally is a joy. But without a packing list, it quickly devolves into stress, freaking out, and using leaves for dental care. Planning is everything.

International Traveler’s Checklist

luggage packed inside the trunk of a vehicle
Kim Magaraci / ViaTravelers

No international trip is the same, no destination is the same. This means what you take with you and why will be different than your neighbor, your best friend, or Karen in the office who took a bedazzled eye mask on her flight to Fiji last year. 

Travelers need to keep in mind where they will visit, during what season, and how they…

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