The Ultimate Travel Packing List

Happy New Year! I am kicking off 2019 with a trip to Slovakia of all places – to Ski, of all things. Because, well, its Winter, and despite living one state over from Colorado…that’s just too easy. Plus, this trip nets me a new culture to experience and I’ve yet to explore anywhere in Eastern Europe – can’t have that. With miles covering the airfare, and choosing a classy resort in former communist territory rather than something a bit more bougie in, say, Austria or Der Schweiz…I’ll still come out ahead compared to a similar week long trip to an equally extortionist destination in lovely CO.

Even award tickets net 2 free checked bags flying Business on Star Alliance, so that means no renting skis! It also provides a good opportunity to review the packing list I’ve painstakingly curated over the past several years, which I’ll share below.

The Comprehensive Packing List, rev. 1055

Before Leaving

Air Travel Checklist

  • REMOVE knife from KEYS and WALLET
  • No spare batteries in CHECKED baggage (carry on ok)
  • Liquids: Up to 3.4 oz./100.55 ml or less per item, placed in a quart-sized, ziplock bag (otherwise, can be checked).
  • Check Carry-on dimensions for each airline (must valet check carry-on for CR2 or under seat if empty flight)
    • Delta carry on: 22″ x 14″ x 9″
    • United carry on: 45.2″ (=22″ x 14″ x 9″ but not restricted by each dimension; just the total). 40lbs.
    • Southwest carry on: 24 x 16 x 10 inches. 2 free checked bags (<62 inches (L+W+H) and 50 lbs per)
  • Checked-in (have boarding pass) 30min before SCHEDULED departure!
  • Have these items out
    • TSA Screen: Must remove: Shoes + Laptops + bag of liquids + Belts + Light jackets
    • Pre-Check: Nothing has to be taken out / off (except heavy jacket / metal)
    • Jelly: checked only (and disallowed in many countries)
    • Fruits can be checked or carry on
    • Ice pak ok if frozen solid (again USA only in most cases)ood (mostly ok):
  • INTERNATIONAL: arrive 2h early. Print out flight itinerary (showing departing flight from countries, especially for transit visas, eg PVG/PEK).
  • Local Storage for Essential Data – may not have gmail access from Wi-Fi without a connected device or SMS to 2-factor authenticate.
  • Sleeping in terminal secure area: Can’t do if need to exit secure to claim checked bag!

Tier 1 (Essentials)

  • Dobkit
    • Cue-tips
    • Clipper
    • Zip-Lock / <100ml containers
      • Shampoo
      • Soap
      • Mouthwash
      • Laundry detergent x2 loads
    • Lg Deodorant
    • Shaver
    • Caffeine pills
  • Backpack
    • Laptop + charger
    • Power strip + Extension cord
    • Accessories
      • MicroSD reader
      • USB Chargers
      • Cables: 2x Lightning, 1x Micro USB, 1x Mini USB
      • SIM removal tool and case
      • Mousepad, Mouse (fresh batts)
      • USB WiFi Adapter (high gain)
      • External HDD
      • Micro Router (VPN), ethernet cable
      • HDMI Cable, Wireless MHL to HDMI / MiraCast
    • Portable Power Pack
    • Luggage Scale
    • 3.5mm Headphone Extension for iPhone case (or dongle)
    • Pen, paper, envelopes, stamps
    • Plastic and cloth grocery bag(s)
    • Zip-lock with: Additional Zip-lock(s), garbage bag, earplugs, rubber-bands, paper-clip, tape
    • AAA + AA x2 (must be carry-on)
    • Umbrella
  • Car Rental Bag
    • Dash mount (windshield mount ILLEGAL in CA and MN)
    • Fast Charger
    • BT Headset
    • Sunglasses
    • 3.5mm M-M cable
    • Radar Detector – check laws (ALL legal for RD; laser jammers in
      CA,CO,IL,MN,NB,OK,SC,TN,TX,UT,VA,DC). Varies by country.
  • Slippers (skip for intl / warm trip)
  • Jacket
  • Bose QC-25 NC Headphones
  • Sansa + Headphones (IEM +/- BT)
  • Shirts, Pants (short sleeve only if packing light; 2 shorts,1 gym short, 1 jeans, 1 dress pant/shirt, days x t-shirts)
  • Socks, Underwear
  • Special shoes, socks, ties, tie clips, belt
  • Wallet, Credit cards
  • Lounge cards, GCs, Hotel-branded CCs, CCs used in bookings
  • Foreign money bag(s)
  • Priority Pass, Amex Platinum, Lounge cards, Loyalty Cards
  • Snacks + Water bottle (empty) +/- Coffee travel mug or Thermos
  • Passport / ID
  • Lunchbox +/- Cold Pack (MUST be FROZEN – often a TSA hassle)
  • House Key(s)
  • Bag strap x2
  • Travel Belt
  • Caribener
  • Selfie Stick
  • Yi Cam / GoPro and case

Tier 2

  • iPad
  • Maps.me: Save offline maps
  • Download podcasts / Audiobooks
  • Swimsuit + Sandals + Goggles
  • Sweatpants
  • Lg mouthwash
  • Lg Toothpaste
  • Home Toothbrush
  • External HDD with media – LOAD
  • USB utility / install drive

Tier 3

  • Bathrobe
  • Running cloths, shoes
  • DSLR
  • Tripod
  • Shower towel
  • Laundry bag
  • Tupperware container for food
  • Bike + U-Lock
  • Padlock
  • gorilla glue
  • Measuring tape
  • Hiking boots
  • Hammock
  • Car inverter
  • GoPro / YiCam + kit (suction mount, headstrap, adapters, stickers, case)

Interview

  • Suit
  • Dress Shoes + socks*days
  • Undershirt(s)
  • Interview Folder

Hot Climate

  • Sunglasses
  • Mask + Snorkel + Fins
  • Beach towel
  • Yi Cam / GoPro and case
  • Sun shirt
  • Sun Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Watershoes
  • Foot rinse bottle

Cold Climate

  • Warm socks
  • Heavy Jacket / undershirts
  • Boots
  • Gloves
  • Headband
  • Skis + Poles + Goggles + Facemask + Warmers +/- Helmet

Bike

  • U-Lock
  • Cell phone holder
  • Water-shoes instead of sandals
  • Scope out WM rental locations

Rain (heavy precip)

  • Waterproof suit
  • Boots – waterproofed
  • Ball-cap hat for hood

Road Trip

  • Cooler
  • Yeti
  • Blankets

Off the Grid

  • Radios
  • emergency phone (or ensure GSM roaming is working)
  • EPIRB

International

  • Passport
  • Printed boarding passes
  • Printed hotel addresses with local translation
  • Printed Hotel, Car reservations
  • Power Adapter (Switzerland not supported by common multi-adapter)
    • Verify correct voltage (110-220 compatible) for electronics
  • Trip advisor hotel / area reviews
  • No FTF credit card(s), hotel/airline cards
  • Chip+PIN card capable of EMV payments with PIN
  • Notify CC companies of travel plans
    • Amex – doesn’t care
    • Chase (use app): or online
    • Schwab: online (no FTF, ATM Fees Waived)
    • Fidelity: 800-323-5353…card#…0 (1% FTF; ATM fees waived)
  • Local currency plans / needs (Debit ATM vs CC vs cash exchange)
  • Face mask, N95 (china lol)
  • Download offline maps, translate language/OCR packs, currency conversions, LastPass, IDs, etc…
  • Transfer files to phone / HDD
  • VPN / RDP needs, functionality
  • Verify VISA, vaccination, driving requirements:
  • Register with STEP: https://step.state.gov/step/
  • Weigh Luggage
  • Evernote agenda / day plans; convert to travel log after or during trip
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