In sharing Why We Travel with Only One Bag each, I also shared that traveling so light seemed utterly impossible to me. And that’s because I’m the type of person who likes being prepared for anything and everything! An organizer and champion list maker, I’d jot down everything imaginable and drag it along. Only to realize that we never even used a lot of it!
Yet I still find that a complete packing list can make both the challenges and benefits of one-bag travel work better. Not only can it make sure we don’t forget things, but it also keep us from over-packing. Which by the way, experts feel is the number one travel mistake.
One thing to keep in mind is that this packing list is a general guide.
Not everything on it has to get packed for every single trip. Take only what you need!
Clothing & Laundry:
I include Laundry Supplies with the clothing because washing things out as you go is the main key to packing light!
This includes the clothing worn in travel. Special note: One of our most important travel items are our bandanas. They are so multi-functional that we always keep on in our purse, book bags, etc. We rarely leave home without them!
|2-4 bottoms||Pants, shorts, or skirts; in neutral colors|
|4-6 tops||In colors that make a capsule wardrobe|
|1 jacket or cardigan||For dressy occasions + 1 neck tie or 1-2 scarves|
|1 coat or jacket||+ travel umbrella ?|
|1 pashmina or shawl||Doubles as lightweight throw or swimsuit cover|
|1 swimsuit||Or thermal underwear (depending on season)|
|2 pair shoes||Choose shoes that double as slippers|
|3 pair socks||1 to wear, 1 to wash, 1 clean + 1 pr. pantyhose|
|3 pair underwear||1 to wear, 1 to wash, 1 clean + bras and slip|
|1-2 sets pajamas||Or use sweatsuits or swimsuit coverups|
|1 belt||Use as emergency tourniquet or suitcase handle|
|Hat, gloves, scarf||For wind, rain, sun, cold, heat|
|2 bandanas||Scarf, headband, hair tie, neck tie, and many uses!|
|2 hankies||Use as washcloth or emergency sanitary pad|
|1 bar of Laundry soap||No liquids to spill or get through customs|
|1 universal sink stopper||Fits any sink|
|1 laundry bag||For keeping dirty clothes separate|
|1 homemade travel clothesline or buy one here.||No clothespins needed; but safety pins double as clothespins|
Tools and Repairs
The advent of smartphones makes this list considerably shorter!!
|Smartphone + charger||GPS, weather, agenda, flashlight, compass, alarm, calculator, notepad, mirror!|
|Door lock||Like this travel door lock; hotels, on trains, etc.|
|Whistle||For calling taxis, self-defense, or emergencies.|
|Suitcase locks||Also lock bags in overhead bins too to prevent pilfering.|
|Caribiner clips||Clip things to bags, keep bags together, or carry things.|
|Sewing kit||Buttons, needles/threader, scissors (less than 4″ from pivot point), thread braid.|
|Eyeglass repair kit||Note: screwdrivers less than 7″ long are allowed.|
|Extra shoe laces||Also use to tie things, as carry cords, or make-shift suitcase handle.|
|Tiny repair kit||Use as zipper pulls, fastening luggage tags, for holding things together, tying pant legs shut for biking or against insects.|
Note: Tiny repair kit should contain: Safety pins, Rubber bands/elastics, Twist ties, Binder clips, Lengths of cord/twine.
|Documents||Passports, visas, IDs, licenses, tickets, reservations, vaccinations, money, bank/credit cards, checks, insurance paperwork. Plus copies/ scans of documents.|
|Security pouch||To hide documents & valuables under your clothes.|
|Tablet or laptop||+ charger and adapter. Always have reading material!|
|SD card||Plus computer key for data storage or transfer.|
|Soap + shampoo||Both in bars (no liquids)|
|Deodorant||Stick or chrystal (no liquids)|
|Toothbrush + powder||no liquids|
|Dental floss + needle||Use as thread, shoe laces, clothesline.|
|Hand/face cream + lip balm||For dry skin on airplane|
|Comb/brush + mirror||Mirror = emergency reflector|
|Nail clipper + file + razor||Use as thread snipper & sweater shaver.|
|1 towel||Peshtemals, compact, lightweight, but huge!|
|Bandanas (from clothing)||Use as wash cloth, shower cap, hair towel.|
|Hair dryer||Travel-size, dual voltage|
|Small handbag or day back for everyday||Small & flat for easy packing|
|Travel blanket||Lightweight viscose|
|Bandana (from clothing)||Use as sleeping mask, sit-upon cloth, or window shade on car/train/bus.|
|Sleep mask + ear buds||Or use bandana as a sleep mask.|
|Reading material||Small, lightweight|
|Mini playing cards||Less than 1 x 2.5 inches (2.5 x 6.35 cm).|
Health and First Aid
|Medical||Prescriptions + medications; For headache, fever, intestinal & tummy problems, nausea, etc.|
|1st aid supplies||Bandaids, Antiseptic wipes, Tweezers, Tissues.|
|Bandana||Use as bandage, ice pack, tourniquet, breathing mask.|
|Woman’s sanitary supplies||Enough for trip; buy more later.|
|3rd worl sanitary supplies||See Onebag.com’s suggestions.|
Note: TSA currently allows foods on board (but not always on overseas flights). Any liquids must follow their 3-1-1 rule.
|From home: granola or candy bars.||Keep well, don’t crumble, and boost energy.|
|Buy at airport: cheese, bagels, fruit, sandwiches.||Keep well out of fridge and are nourishing.|
|Empty water bottle||Fill after airport checkpoints.|
|Bandana (from clothing)||Use as napkin or placemat.|
My packing list may seem unnecessarily long, but trust me, it all fits into one small carry-on bag. And we travel well-prepared for emergencies, and have never yet forgotten anything!!