Vacation Packing List: The Ultimate List of Must Haves For Any Trip

Dec 19, 2023

Vacation Packing List: The Ultimate List of Must-Haves for Any Trip
By Westgate Resorts

Vacation Packing List: 20 Must-Haves for Any Type of Trip

When you’re packing for a vacation, be it a family reunion in Florida or a getaway to NYC, there’s one thing you need for stress-free travel – a good packing list. It will save you so much time, and you’ll never have to worry about panicking when you realize you forgot your ID at the airport or venturing out to find a convenience store because you don’t have your face wash.

To make the packing process a breeze, here is the ultimate list of must-haves for any trip, to check out as you’re gearing up for a getaway!

Packing for Any Trip

Always be sure to take seasons and destinations into account. For example, if you’re headed to Florida but it’s winter, you don’t need a suitcase full of bulky sweaters and chunky boots, but you will need sunscreen.

This list offers basic must-haves that will get you trip-ready in no time. Just be sure to always add on and account for any unique factors for your vacation!

1 | Passports and Travel Documents | Get your passport, ID, and boarding pass (both printed and digital) ready before you even place your clothes in your suitcase. Trust us, you want to have them all accounted for first, so you never need to deal with the horror of realizing they got left behind.

You can also take a photo of your passport and ID on your phone, which may be able to get you on a plane or train if you somehow lose your physical copy.


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2 | Packing Cubes | You can buy these online. They are absolute game-changers. You won’t believe how much space you save and how organized your luggage is when you use them.

They are machine-washable, easy to zip up, and aren’t a hassle to put through security. You can easily separate your day and evening wear, undergarments, toiletries, souvenirs, and more. The best part? Packing cubes also make unpacking so much easier.

Pro tip: Reuse them as your vacation unwinds to easily keep used clothes away from fresh ones. Then, you can easily dump the whole thing into the washer when you get back.

3 | Medications | If you take any prescription medications, it’s best to keep them in their prescription bottles, then place them into pill cases at your destination. This can prevent any hold-ups at security since requirements for medication storage vary by state.

4 | Toiletries | Buy yourself a travel toothbrush kit, mouthwash, and mini shampoo & conditioner before you go. Yes, most hotels offer them, but you may find that your skin or scalp doesn’t tolerate them well. It’s best to stick with what you love (or know works for you).

You can also pack shampoo, conditioner, and body wash into TSA-approved travel bottles. Just make sure to bring some unopened, backup minis in case yours are thrown out for some reason. When bringing your own filled bottles, be sure to keep them in a plastic baggie so your clothes aren’t ruined in case they leak.

5 | Chargers and Power Bank | Phone, check. Laptop, check. iPad, check. Camera, check. Make sure you have the appropriate charger for each electronic device you plan to bring with you on your trip. If you’re flying internationally, make sure to bring an adapter.

Generally, portable chargers are okay, but they have to be in carry-ons. They’re great for traveling because they offer hours of extra energy when an outlet isn’t available.

6 | Travel-sized (and TSA-approved) Laundry Detergent + Dryer Sheets | You may need to give your clothes a quick rinse at the hotel. Save yourself money on dry cleaning and bring your own supplies. A laundry bag is also a good idea.

7 | Travel Pillow | Whether your flight is 1 hour or 10, your neck will thank you. Travel pillows can also help offer extra cushioning for your back and bum on those thin airplane seats.

8 | Eye Mask | Even if you don’t sleep with one at home, an eye mask can help you tune out the world and fall asleep on a plane. If your flight gets delayed or you want to snooze on a road trip, you’ll appreciate the easy way to block out sunlight.

Plus, eye masks are a great way to get some privacy if you happen to be seated next to a passenger who’s just a little too chatty.

9 | Refillable Water Bottle | It can be costly to stay hydrated on vacation. Bring a refillable bottle (empty before security check) so you can get all your H20 on the go!

10 | Travel-sized Rain Coat | A sudden storm can put a real damper on your trip. Instead of being bummed about the weather, just pop on a plastic poncho or raincoat and adventure on!

11 | Sunscreen | Even in the winter, sunscreen keeps your skin safe. Look for a travel-size bottle with an SPF of 15 or 30. And don’t forget kids’ sunscreen for the little ones!

12 | Reusable Shopping Bags | You’ll likely do some shopping on your trip, and it’s easy to carry all your must-haves in a tote bag or two. Just make sure you don’t keep anything really valuable inside while you explore. It’s always best to keep your wallet and phone on you.

13 | Towels | You absolutely don’t want to get ready to hit the beach only to realize you’re towelless. The same goes for a water park! Bring at least two beach towels for everyone if you’re going to a sunny location. And if you’re visiting a city, it won’t hurt to include an extra towel in your bag.

14 | Entertainment | Make your travel playlist, queue up some podcasts, download a game, pack your books, and anything else that will keep you entertained as you travel. It can also be a good idea to bring along a pack of cards to play in the hotel room after you’ve returned from a day of adventure.

If you’re traveling with kids, pack some memory game cards, a puzzle, and a few books they can enjoy in your room. It beats having to watch cartoons on TV the entire time.

15 | Extra Undergarments | Another travel essential you may not need, but you’ll be so grateful to have if you do. Just a few extra pairs will give you peace of mind in case you find yourself without anything clean to wear. This goes double when packing for vacation with kids.

16 | Comfortable Footwear | Sandals and heels are not the best to bring for a full vacation. Sure, they can make an outfit, but they can also be really difficult to stay comfortable in when you’re out all day long.

Always bring a pair of sneakers with you, and maybe a pair of flats. You should also account for location-based needs, like hiking boots or water shoes.

17 | Pajamas | You’d be surprised at how caught up people get planning their vacation outfits. So much, in fact, that they realize at the end of their first day they have nothing to sleep in!

Make sure to pack your cozy PJs so you can slip into them after a relaxing shower. Then, it’s off to dreamland in that ultra-soft hotel bed!

18 | Noise-canceling Headphones and Earplugs | Traveling can get noisy; give yourself some reprieve with headphones that block out anything you don’t want to hear.

19 | Earplugs | So it turns out the family you’re staying with likes to stay up talking into the night. Or your hotel happens to be in a busy district with a noisy street that keeps you awake. If you’re visiting a place like NYC from the country, even the faint sound of cars on the road could disrupt your shuteye.

Earplugs are the answer! They can be great for preventing ears from popping on planes, too.

20 | Personal Comfort Items | Whether it’s a travel blanket, teddy bear, or something else, bring along little things that make you feel more relaxed. For kids, avoid bringing their most beloved stuffed animals. Instead, buy a new, inexpensive travel companion that isn’t irreplaceable.


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Get Ready, Get Set, Travel!

No matter where your adventure calls you, you’ll be ready for anything with this ultimate packing list. But don’t forget to expect the unexpected, and always remember to consider extra factors, like kids, weather, or events you plan on attending. And don’t forget the best packing tip of all – don’t wait until the last minute! For more travel tips and tricks, visit the Westgate Resorts Travel Blog!


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At Westgate Resorts, when you Check-In, there’s a LOT to Check-Out! Your vacation awaits! Start planning your next vacation today or talk with a vacation planner at 888-852-2959 or 407-355-2690.

*Westgate Resorts is in no way affiliated with the attractions featured in this article. Items or places listed are current as of the publishing date of this article. Please call or visit the respective website for the most up-to-date offerings and details.

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