I make lists. Lots and lots of lists. They help me not rely on my brain (relying on your brain to remember things is stupid; thanks for teaching me that, TomLim). Here’s an ever-changing list of things that I might take with me when traveling. I don’t take everything on this list every time, nor do I necessarily always put the items in the bag where they’re listed - it depends on the circumstances of each trip.

Some of these points are abundantly obvious to anyone, such as “pack clothing sufficient for the duration of your trip” - they’re there as placeholders, where I wind up inserting the number of occasions where I’ll likely need to wear each different type of outfit (business formal, business casual, completely casual, etc). That helps me figure out which articles to actually put in the bag.

To Do

  • ensure that you have sufficient entertainment for your downtime (flight time (no cell, probably no wifi), waiting in airports, time between meetings, etc). ebooks, videos, whatever suits you.
  • ensure that you have all of the work material that you might need to take with you
  • ask someone to routinely check for physical mail/packages
  • charge devices (laptop, phone, tablet, etc)
  • pack
  • print travel passes if needed (plane, train, parking, etc)
  • scan your most important IDs (passport / drivers license, insurance cards), and print a 1-page copy of them, along with your contact information, and include it in every bag, in case you get separated from the bag, or you lose your IDs but have the bag. could also have them available electronically (in addition to the paper, not instead of), such as an email containing PDFs
Carry On-person
  • Wallet
    • identification (drivers license; passport card)
    • money cards (credit/debit)
    • health insurance cards
    • AAA card (for road tripping)
    • cash
    • fare cards (for origin and destination)
  • smartphone
  • stylus/pen
  • travel passes (plane, train, etc; transportation fare cards, if relevant)
Suitcase (or something, regardless of intent to check it as baggage) (when roadtripping, pack modularly so that you only have to take enough clothes and etc inside every night)
  • Clothes - pack clothing sufficient for the duration of your trip, taking the climate of your destinations into consideration, and also required type of dress for functions you’ll be attending
  • Swimsuit - if there is even the most remote chance you’ll be near a pool/hottub/etc, even if you likely won’t use it
  • glasses cleaning solution & silk cloth
  • flashlight
  • Toiletries
    • body wash / scrubber / whatever
    • shampoo
    • hair product
    • tooth brush
    • tooth paste (listerine strips, breath freshener, bathroom mouthrinse cups, etc)
    • deodorant
    • fingernail trimmers
    • beard trimmer
    • condoms / lube
  • Computing accessories, depending on trip
    • network cable
    • network adapter
    • charger for batteries/phone/tablet/etc
Backpack (or something you attempt to always keep with you)
  • identification (passport / drivers license / copies - in case you lose your wallet)
  • laptop
    • and its charger/power
  • headphones
  • medications (prescription and non-prescription; if it’s life-critical then have some in both suitcase and backpack)
  • microSD cards (for taking pics, or loaded with porn/entertainment)
  • camera
  • portable batteries w/ USB ports to keep phone/tablet alive
  • cable(s) for phone/tablet/battery
  • tablet
  • sun glasses
  • ink pens and note paper (i’ve been convinced to always have a pen and a small piece or two of paper, for whatever reason, though i’ve never needed the paper)
Vehicle (for roadtrips)
  • wet wipes
  • freezer bags or etc for garbage bags
  • power inverter
  • emergency urination containment device? (Gatorade bottles are wide-mouth)
  • emergency kit
  • flashlight, flares, blanket
  • paper towels
  • hand sanitizer
  • radar detector
  • phone dock(s) and chargers
  • snacks
  • pocket knife or two
Travel Companion (if any)
  • spare car key