The biggest problem too many boomers typically have when packing for an extended trip is not forgetting to bring something – it’s packing way too much stuff. We here at Swift gathered info from Packsmith, TravelFashionGirl and USAToday to create this checklist for extended travel that outlines what to take and what to leave behind when packing for trips lasting two weeks or more.
Documents and Paperwork
- 2 extra passport pictures
- Visas as needed, check requirements to countries you’re planning to visit
- Local ID or driver’s license
- Boarding passes, plane tickets
- Copy of itinerary, which is required in some countries for entry
- Copies of your passport and all other important documents to keep separate from the originals
Make sure your passport and visa will remain valid for the entire duration of your trip, with your passport preferably valid for six months after your trip. Perform any needed renewals before you go.
Leave behind heavy books, paper maps, translation guides and other printed materials. Apps exist for so many different functions these days, you’re likely to find an app (or informative website) to take care of your navigational, translation and other travel information needs.
Let the weather forecast be your guide for the overall type of clothing you pack, and keep it all as light as possible. You should pack at least one outfit to every occasion. These can include:
- Visiting museums and religious sites
- Going out on the town
- Traveling in or working out
If you’re not sure what your exact itinerary will be, you can go for the short-list of clothing options:
For Winter Weather
- 2 pairs of pants
- 3 long-sleeve tops or sweaters
- 1 winter coat
- Boots if snow expected
For Summer Weather
- 2 pairs of shorts or casual skirts
- 3 short-sleeve tops
- Light pair of walking shoes
Light jacket for cooler weather and covering arms (and head) if culturally required
Leave behind multiple outfits of the same weight and style just in case you’re “in the mood” for wearing red instead of blue. Remember that washing your clothes while traveling is always an option that beats out bringing too many outfits.
- Travel-size containers of shampoo and other essentials
- Toothbrush, toothpaste
- Small first-aid kit
- Medications and list of prescription meds you’re taking
Leave behind big bottles of shampoo and other toiletries; you can always buy more on the road. In fact, you may want to consider buying all your toiletries at your destination so you don’t have to worry about spillage and bulky items.
- Small camera with extra memory stick and cord to upload photos to phone
- Chargers with adapters to fit international plugs if required
Leave behind heavier laptops, tablets, e-readers and the slate of other electronics that could end up lost, broken or stolen throughout the trip.
- Luggage lock
- Small Swiss army knife or other multi-functional tool
- Money belt for credit cards and cash
- Sunglasses and sun hat if sunny weather expected
- Pens and small notepad
- Travel Pillow
- Travel towel
- Water bottle
- Petty cash for emergencies
- Credit cards and debit cards with no foreign transaction or ATM fees, respectively
Leave behind credit and debit cards that carry heavy transaction fees or ATM charges, as they can add up quickly while overseas. Research new credit and debit card options before you go to find one that accommodates your needs.
This checklist for extended travel can take a lot of the headache that comes from hauling around way too many things you don’t need while ensuring you’ve packed the things you do. We’re always happy to answer any other travel questions you may have. Contact Swift today!
Rob Lee is co-founder of Swift Passport and Visa Services. Originally from Michigan, Rob is an avid fisherman and SCUBA diver who enjoys adventure travel.