Traveling for the holidays? Here’s a must-have packing guide

Whether you’re headed for a seashore escape or traveling further north for white snow, we complied the perfect guide for you

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Traveling for the holidays can be both exciting and stressful in terms of packing. It’s one thing to pack for a regular vacation, but to travel for Christmas these days is a different type of feat. Nevertheless, it is doable with much preparation, checklists, and just the reminder that the world is going through it right now. So take a chill pill, breathe, and physically and mentally prepare. 

At this time of year and state of world affairs, you need even more essentials than before, including face masks, hand sanitizer, thermometers, hand wipes, and perhaps even some vitamin C. Not to mention gifts and wrappings. So yes, your holiday checklist may indeed be a little longer than usual — but we got you covered.

Whether you’re ditching your regular conditions for a seashore escape or traveling further north for depths of white snow, we complied a holiday packing guide for you because well, we needed one too. We hope you enjoy your holiday!

(Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)


  • Rolling Luggage— 2-wheels or 4-wheel
  • Carry-on
  • Duffel Bag
  • Backpack— wheeled or carry


  • Jacket, fleece, or sweater
  • Jacket, fleece, or sweater 
  • Rain jacket, windbreaker, or umbrella
  • Lightweight clothing to be layered
  • Long-sleeved shirts
  • T-shirts 
  • Tank tops (be sure to check out country and culture restrictions)
  • Pants 
  • Shorts/skirts
  • Dresses 
  • Swimsuit or swim trunks 
  • Pajamas/sleepwear
  • Underwear
  • Walking shoes
  • Socks 
  • Belt 
  • Eyeglasses, sunglasses, and case
  • Jewelry
  • Hat or sun visor, beach hat
  • Scarf or bandana
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Travel speakers
  • Travel pillow, eye mask, and earplugs
  • Electric converters and adapters
  • Travel apps that will help with language, directions, money conversion, and digital journaling
(Photo: Adobe Stock)


  • Your preferred soap
  • Wash rags
  • Travel Towel
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash
  • Deodorant
  • Body Lotion or oil
  • Sunscreen
  • Face lotion with SPF
  • Face wash, makeup remover wipes 
  • Q-tips, cotton swabs
  • Nighttime moisturizer/lotion
  • Makeup
  • Lip balm with SPF, lipstick, or lip gloss
  • Comb or hairbrush
  • Heated hair tools (Flat iron, curling iron)
  • Hair products like hairspray, hair gel, and beard oil
  • Hair ties, barrettes/bobby pins
  • Personal mini mirror
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Extra contacts, solution, and contact case
  • Prescription medication 
  • Cologne/perfume
  • Clothesline and detergent
  • Shaving kit/extra razors
  • Nail clippers and tweezers 
  • Safety pins 
  • Sewing kit/clothing care kit
  • Stain remover
  • Toilet paper  


  • Face Masks
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Hand wipes/wet wipes
  • Vitamin C
  • Multivitamins
  • Thermometer
  • Pain and fever relievers 
  • Cold medicines and throat lozenges
  • First aid kit —bandages, gauze, adhesives, etc
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Antibacterial ointment
  • Insect repellent/mosquito net/sting reliever
  • Sunscreen (again)
  • Sunburn relief
  • Prescriptions
  • Diarrhea/laxative medicines
  • Eye drops
  • Medicines and vaccinations specific to the region/activity
  • Motion sickness pills or bands
  • Moleskin
  • Allergy medicines
  • Oral rehydration salts
  • Sleeping medicines
A passenger wearing rubber gloves pulls her luggage in the international terminal of Logan Airport. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Travel Info, Entertainment and Technology

  • Cell phone and charger
  • Headphones 
  • Laptop, iPad, or E-reader and charger(s)
  • Camera and GoPro/video camera, memory card, and chargers
  • Electrical converters and adapters
  • Eye mask, and earplugs
  • Travel pillow
  • Blanket
  • Travel journal
  • Pens
  • Books and magazines
  • Chapstick 
  • Water bottle 
  • Travel guides, maps, language guides, etc.
  • Deck of cards and travel games 

Gifting Needs

  • Stocking gifts
  • Gifts from Santa for kids, husband/wife, partner, grandparents, other family members, and friends
  • Gifts from you
  • Hostess gift
  • Extra suitcase to take gifts home
  • Wrapping paper
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Tissue paper

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