Whether you are setting out on a weeklong tropical vacation – or satisfying a travel craving with a six-month backpacking trip – packing essentials for any type of getaway can be daunting. Seasoned travellers will agree that the general goal is to take only the necessities and nothing more, but this can become tricky when your itinerary is laden with a variety of stops and activities.
To assist with the tough packing decisions that come with pre-trip preparation, we’ve compiled an ‘Essentials’ list that outlines the must-have items for the most organized and efficient of travellers. Read on to discover our top picks:
- Credit card(s)
- Debit card
- Cash (USD and local currency)
- Valid passport (with at least six months remaining after your return date to Canada)
- Visa(s)(for border entry requirements)
- Federal COVID-19 proof of vaccination card
- Can be accessed via Health Gateway
- Download record to mobile device and print paper copy as a backup
- COVID-19 test results (if required)
- Yellow fever certificate (dependent on itinerary)
- Travel health insurance details
- Student card (helpful for reduced rates)
- Emergency contacts and important addresses
- ArriveCAN – a mandatory app for entering Canada to provide travel information on your trip and after your entry into Canada.
- Health Gateway – download the BC Services Card app to access Health Gateway to view your health information on your mobile device, including the Federal COVID-19 vaccine card.
- Travel Smart – This is a useful tool to access current advisories and key information, and to find emergency contact information for embassies and consulates while travelling.
Tickets and Reservations
- Accommodation reservations
- Tour reservations and contact details
- Tickets for pre-arranged transportation(flights, buses, etc.)
- Car rental information
Medical and Toiletry Kit
- Anti-diarrheal medication (Imodium)
- Bismuth Subsalicylate (Pepto Bismol)
- Oral rehydration solution (powder or tablets)
- Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen (children’s if applicable)
- Anti-nausea medication (Gravol)
- Anti-histamine (Claritin)
- Sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher)
- Lip balm with SPF
- Basic first aid supplies for minor injuries (gauze pads, bandages, Polysporin, moleskin)
- Thermometer (children’s if applicable)
- Insect repellent with at least 20% Icaridin or 30% DEET (10% DEET for children aged 2-12)
- Ziploc bags
- Hand sanitizer
- Mosquito net
- Water purification bottle and tablets or UV light device (SteriPen)
- Travel pillow
- Ear plugs
- Feminine hygiene products
- Contacts, solution, and contact case
- Sewing kit
- Travel-size shampoo and conditioner, body wash, lotion, etc.
- Travel-size toothbrush and toothpaste
- Baby wipes
- Laundry detergent, travel size
Before departing, ensure you have enough of your prescription medications available to cover you for the length of your trip. It’s better to purchase prescription medications in Canada ahead of time to guarantee reliable sourcing. Record the drug name, trade name, dose and frequency of each of your medications, and store the list separately from your medications. Carry your medications in your carry-on baggage in case your checked bag is lost or stolen.
Scan your important documents (passport, visa, yellow fever certificate, COVID-19 immunization card, travel insurance, etc.) and save them to your mobile device or email them to yourself in the event that they are needed. Paper copies should be kept in a separate place than the originals, in case they are lost or stolen while travelling.
- Voltage convertor and adapter for the country or countries that you will be visiting
- Chargers for smartphone, iPad, laptop, camera, etc.
- Universal power bank external battery charger for cellphone, tablet, etc.
- Waterproof cases for electronics
Clothing and Accessories
- Zip-up bag or fanny pack for carrying cash, cellphone, etc.
- Polarized sunglasses and case
- Eyeglasses and case
- Thin and breathable sleeveless tops along with warm thermal shirts that can easily mix and match with different bottoms
- Bottoms of varying lengths and materials (avoid denim in humid countries)
- Comfortable, compact pairs of underwear and socks
- Pair of hiking or running shoes
- Waterproof jacket and warm sweater(s)
- Flip-flops and/or sturdy walking sandals, e.g. Birkenstocks
- A hat to cover your face from the sun and/or toque to stay warm
The type and number of items that you choose to pack will vary depending on your destination(s) and the specific weather conditions. As a final piece of advice, it helps to pull out the suitcase you will be using a few days before you depart – whenever you remember important items to bring, place them in the bag to ensure they won’t be forgotten.
If you have any questions regarding preparing for your upcoming trip, don’t hesitate to contact TravelSafe for a private consultation with one of our experts