Packing for a week-long vacation or a six-month backpacking trip can be daunting. Most travellers will agree the goal is to take what you will need and nothing more. This can become tricky when planning for an itinerary with many types of activities.
Rather than list clothing items, and numbers of pairs of shoes to pack, we decided to create an ‘Essentials‘ list. These are the essential items that, if you only had the clothes on your back, you would manage.
- credit card
- cash (US$ or local currency)
- Valid Passport (with at least six months remaining after your return date to Canada)
- Visa(s) – for border entry requirements
- yellow fever certificate (dependent on itinerary)
- Travel health insurance details
- Student card (helpful for reduced rates)
Have available on your mobile device and/or paper copies for back up
- reservations for accommodation
- tour reservations and contact details
- tickets for pre-arranged transportation, flights, buses, cruise, etc.
- car rental information
Medical Kit and other key items
- Anti-diarrheal (Imodium)
- Bismuth Subsalicylate (Pepto Bismol tabs)
- Oral rehydration solution (powder)
- Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen (Children’s)
- Anti-nausea medication (Gravol)
- basic first aid kit for minor injuries: gauze pads, bandages, Polysporin, moleskin for blisters
- thermometer (children)
- insect repellent with 20% Icaridin or 30% DEET, 10% DEET for children 2-12 years old
- zip lock bags
- small hand sanitizer
- mosquito net (for specific destinations)
- water purification bottle and tablets (depending on your itinerary)
- travel pillow
- ear plugs
- feminine hygiene products
- Sewing kit
- Emergency contacts and important addresses
- Eyeglasses and Case
Ensure you have enough of your prescription to cover your trip. It is recommended prescription medications are purchased in Canada to ensure reliable sourcing. Record the drug name, trade name, dose and frequency of each of your medications, and store the list separately from your medication. Carry your medication in your hand baggage in case your checked bag is lost or stolen.
Back up documents
Scan your important documents (passport, Visa, yellow fever certificate, travel insurance) and save them to your mobile device or email them to yourself in the event they are needed. Paper copies should be kept in a separate place than the originals, in case they are lost or stolen while travelling.
Download the Travel Smart app for Canadians travelling overseas. This is a useful tool to access current advisories, key information and to find emergency contact information for embassies and consulates while travelling.
- Voltage convertor and adapter for the country where you will be visiting
- chargers for smart phones, ipad, laptop, etc.
- Universal power bank external battery charger for cell phone/tablet
It helps to pull out the bag or suitcase you will be using a few days before you depart. When you remember important items you must take, place them in the bag ready for packing so you know they won’t be forgotten.