Having forgotten to pack everything from razors to wristwatches over the years I had relied solely on my memory when it came time to pack for a big international trip until more recently when I was gifted a packing check list and it has been a useful aid so thought I’d highlight it and a few other resources available to travellers.

While wardrobe will vary by depending upon a few factors such as destination climate or whether it’s a work or pleasure trip I pack much the same essentials each time and take a moment to walk through the
pre-printed Pack This! check list.


The pad of 60 is only $6.99 and may be ordered online but I’ve spotted them in local luggage retailers. Alternatively Rick Steves has a free printable packing checklist here.

While I prefer the hardcopy checklist there are several interactive websites which allow you to enter your criteria and create a personalized packing list such as the The Universal Packing List, the Travelers’ Checklist or the Independent Traveler.

The value of a checklist is magnified for those like me who travel with only a carry-on so for the record here is my packing list:


Innate Lavartio ModularToiletries Kit
Folding travel toothbrush
Small travel size toothpaste
Shampoo bar from LUSH
Schick Hydro 5 razor
Body Shop Maca Root Shave Cream in a small 5 gram empty clear plastic jar
Hair brush
Hair spray in small pump bottle
Cologne in a tester size
Sunscreen (some destinations)
AfterBurn aloe vera sunburn aid (some destinations)
Emery board
Band-Aid bandages
Facial cream
Prescription allergy nasal inhaler
Small packet facial tissues
Woolite travel laundry soap packets
Travel size emergency sewing kit & thread
Nytol sleeping aid


Two pairs khaki slacks
Two T-shirts, no logo
One pair walking shorts (some destinations)
Long sleeve polo shirt
Short sleeve polo shirt
Cotton short sleeve casual shirt
Three pair socks
Three pair underwear
Pajama bottoms
Lightweight jacket
Toque & gloves (some destinations)
Swim trunks
ECCO walking shoes
Sport sandals (some destinations)

Identification/Credit cards:

Passport + photocopy stored separately
Drivers licence
One MasterCard, one Visa credit card
Credit card company emergency contact information
ATM card
Small bills in local currency + small U.S. bills
Copy of airline e-ticket and itinerary
Hotel confirmations/vouchers
Hotel or airline loyalty program card(s)
Business cards


Cell phone (for photos)
Canon Rebel T3 DSLR
Camera shoulder bag
Camera battery charger
Kobo e-reader (some destinations)
Sleep mask
Travel pillow
Guidebook & destination map
Phrasebook (some destinations)
LL Bean Travel alarm clock
Reading material (paperback)
Digital watch


Home & car keys
Ziploc extra large freezer bags; used as space-saving bags to hold shirts, undies and socks with air forced out to save space, doubling as sealable laundry bag or for wet swimwear/clothes
Small leather pocket hotel or metro card holder
Eagle Creek Hidden Pocket; far more useful and unobtrusive than neck pouches that chafe in warmer climates
Spare prescription glasses
Sunglasses and holder
Hat or baseball cap (some destinations)
Small nylon drawstring day bag; good for pools or day trips without the bulky camera bag
Vapur water bottle
Small Canadian maple leaf flag lapel pins; good for small souvenirs from a proud Canadian

With some careful packing all the items fit inside the two Briggs & Riley bags I wouldn’t leave home without: the Expandable Cabin Bag and the slightly larger two-wheeled roll-aboard called the Domestic Carry-on Expandable Upright:






And yes, my luggage really is black but travelling with a carry-on means I’m able to bypass the baggage carousel with its sea of travellers searching a sea of black bags for theirs and make a quick getaway.