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Free downloadable travel packing list!

Are you packing for a trip and don’t know where to begin? No worries, I’ve got you.

In this post you can download my free, ultimate travel packing list covering pretty much everything you’ll need for a vacation that ranges from a few days to several weeks!

Better still, it’s printable. You can just click on it and it will (should!) open in a new window for you to print off and check the boxes as you get your items together, or use the little boxes to write in quantities as required and cross out the things you don’t need.

Tips for packing a suitcase

How to pack light!

I pretty much pack the same amount of things whether I’m travelling for two weeks or six weeks.

I figure I’ll do laundry about every five or six days – I also pack a little laundry powder if I’m on the go so I can easily wash smalls in the hotel basin.

And here’s a washing tip: wring your clothes out in the bathtub or basin, then grab a towel (or the bathmat so you can use a dry towel later for your own body!), lay it on the floor and place your clothes on it, roll the sides in a little and then roll the whole thing up into a tight roll and finally, stand on it to wring the last little bit of moisture out of it before unravelling it all.

Then simply hang them in your room and leave the air conditioning on (if you can!) and they’ll be dry within the day – or certainly over night.

My best tip for packing is to take less than you think you need!

From years of over packing I have learned that I usually return with a few items unworn as I will wear everything at least twice and I also forget that I usually buy a couple of new things too!

So I’ve written this travel items list for you to print off and add the quantities of what you’ll take in the little boxes, cross off the things you don’t need, then when it comes to actually packing your bag you can run down the list and simply tick them off.

You might also like my post with 9 excellent tips for how to pack light!

This list below covers all types of vacations, but I also have a specific Cruise Packing List as there are some things you’ll want to have with you on the ship, what type of luggage works best, tips for what to take for formal nights and so on.

Working on my cruise
Working hard on my cruise!

Read more: Air New Zealand has launched direct flights from NYC to Auckland – but it’s 16 hours heading to the US and 17.5 hours to New Zealand! If you plan to take this flight, here are 17 things to do on a 17-hour long haul flight!

Here is your free packing check list:

Keep scrolling for links to my curated selection of great travel accessories and luggage you might want to grab before your next trip.

*If you make a purchase I will earn a commission at no cost to you.

Start with great luggage

Whether you need a weekend bag, or a full set. If you like hard-shell or soft luggage, a great set of luggage will last years. I also like a top opening suitcase for those small hotel rooms or cruise cabins where space is scarce.

Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softsid...Shop on AmazonSteve Madden Designer Lugga...Shop on AmazonJadyn Luna Women's Weekende...Shop on AmazonBen Sherman 20" Travel Vega...Shop on Amazon

Use a RFID travel wallet for your cards and travel documents to keep them safe

Toughergun Womens Rfid Bloc...Shop on AmazonHERO Neck Wallet – RFID B...Shop on Amazon

Grab some packing cubes to keep your things organised and super easy to find

Shacke Pak - 5 Set Packing ...Shop on AmazonBAGAIL 6 Set Packing Cubes,...Shop on Amazon

Use a toiletry bag that holds everything – and more!

BAGSMART Toiletry Bag Trave...Shop on AmazonElviros Toiletry Bag for Me...Shop on Amazon

Essential accessories that I take with me on my travels

Cabeau Evolution S3 Travel ...Shop on AmazonECCOSOPHY Microfiber Beach ...Shop on AmazonEarth Pak Waterproof Dry Ba...Shop on AmazonALEADER Women's Lightweight...Shop on AmazonSun Bum Original SPF 50 Sun...Shop on AmazonLanzom Womens Wide Brim Str...Shop on Amazon

You might like this post next: 19 travel accessories you need for 2021!

If you’re in New Zealand visit my Travel Store to grab what you need for your next trip. Shipping NZ-wide.

You might also like to read my post on the best drone cameras under $200, under $500, under $1000.

Drone over jetty

Underwater cameras

Waterproof Camera Underwate...Shop on AmazonGoPro HERO7 Black + Extra B...Shop on AmazonAKASO EK7000 Pro 4K Action ...Shop on Amazon

Water proof shoes/river shoes

ALEADER Women's Lightweight...Shop on AmazonBody Glove Men's 3T Barefoo...Shop on AmazonPAGE ONE Water Shoes Unisex...Shop on Amazon

Wrist/waist wallets

3 Pieces Wrist Wallet Wrist...Shop on AmazonFitletic Active Lifestyle F...Shop on Amazon

You might also like my post of Clever Travel Hacks which covers all aspects of travel from saving money to just helpful tips to know for a stress-free holiday!

Megan in kissy mask
You need a mask!

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Thursday 8th of August 2019

What is your advice on what to put your toiletries and make up in. I usually have 2 bags one for makeup and one for other toiletries such as deodorant, shampoo, perfume etc. I have tried a zip bag that opens both ways and has a hook to hang but not always space to lie it down or hang it up. Quite bulky also. Any suggestions?


Wednesday 29th of August 2018

Love your travel trips, perfect timing with a trip planned next month. Now to go off topic- where is your lovely blue top from?


Wednesday 29th of August 2018

Hi Chris, so glad that list help. The blue top is from Repertoire. A NZ brand. I love it because it scoops down in the back and has a little hood too! :)

Kerree Vianello

Wednesday 29th of August 2018

Saw you on Tv and have used these types of bags for ages (bought on line) but still manage to over pack so going to print it off. My problem is always skincare, makeup and toiletries. You go for a month/2 and shampoo etc you need a large container not one of those you refill yourself. Dont want to spend my money having to purchase while am away on everyday things or something you do nt like!!!! HELP WITH ANY IDEAS????? mY SUITCASE IS A MEDIUM SIZE BUT MY PARTNER WILL BE HAPPY IF ITS NOT AS that I have down graded from a big one!!!!!!



Wednesday 29th of August 2018

Hi Kerree, yes toiletries are heavy and bulky! I'm with you on the shampoo but I'm more fussy about conditioner so I tend to rely on hotel shampoos to last me at least 3 washes per bottle (a week) and I take my own good conditioner from home. You'll also be surprised how much cheaper toiletries are overseas too so don't be afraid to buy, you'll save in the long run :)

Richard Gillespie

Wednesday 29th of August 2018

Enjoyed your tv segment this morning. Your advice on packing cells is so true. Bought these on advice of travel agent last year. And on your blog I've just learnt a lot more about pix on the iPhone. Thanks very much.


Wednesday 29th of August 2018

Oh fantastic, thanks for the feedback Richard!

Jeanette Paki Paki

Wednesday 29th of August 2018

Saw you on TV1 this morning. Your list is already printed out thanks. I have always wanted to do my own and never got around to it. Ha Ha I love the look of the pillow also.


Wednesday 29th of August 2018

Brilliant :) And yes that pillow is a God send. I promise you'll get some sleep even in Economy!

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Hi, I'm Megan Singleton and I'm the word slinger of this travel blog as well as on radio in NZ every Sunday. Former Travel Editor at Yahoo NZ and current freelance writer for a few newspapers and mags from time to time, I set off on this travel writing journey 20 years ago and I've pretty much always got a suitcase half packed (or half un-packed!) I'd love you to join me on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for my newsletters if you want loads of travel tips, advice and deals!