10 Best Packing Tips for International Travel

International traveling can become more joyful by following some best packing tips for international travel. It is stressful to sit in a place for hours without comfortable movements in long-run flights, ships, or cars. Some stay worried thinking about passing their time, whereas, some are worried about their kids, and medical conditions. International traveling can make you anxious, worried, excited, or tense depending on your moods and personal reasons.

But have you ever thought that all your problems can be sorted to an extent level by caring for some major points? All these points are basic packing tips, which most first-time travelers or teenagers do not know about. Instead of getting depressed by wrinkled clothes, broken valuables, forgotten items, or improper medications after traveling, you must start thinking about all these basic and important international traveling tips now. This article is about the top ten best packing tips for international travel that will guide you about efficient packing. There are several things you should never forget while traveling. They are:

  • Sweaters or loose jackets
  • Warm socks
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Healthy snacks
  • Medications and prescriptions
  • Sanitizing wipes
  • Extra Masks and sanitizers
  • Essential Toiletries
  • Adapters, data cables, chargers, and headphones
  • Identity Proofs, Banking cards, and Passport

Best Packing Tips for International Travel

All your belongings, luggage, and identity check are compulsory while traveling to international destinations. So, all these tips are mentioned after keeping TSA guidelines on priority. You can follow all the tips given below, to ensure the best packing:

1. Choose the correct luggage bags

Choosing the correct luggage bag of sufficient size will help you save a lot. It is the base for beginning all packing for any journey. Analyze what size and weight of luggage you are looking to carry with you. Depending on your airline’s luggage guidelines, choose the best size for every bag you take. Different airlines follow different rules and regulations for luggage bags. Try to find out your flight’s limitations and pack accordingly.

If you are going on a solo trip, choose a single luggage bag with lots of external pockets. If you are planning a family trip, then try to choose two equal-sized big bags. This will help you pass the TSA security check and will ensure a stress-free journey. Remember to buy luggage bags with equipped wheels and sturdy material, so that anyone can carry them smoothly. You can buy these carry-on bags from top trustable brands like Lean Travel and Amazon Basics.

2. Carry your personal items separately

There is a special allowance for carrying personal, small, and necessary items in handbags or pocket cubes while checking in. But remember that your bag should completely fit under your seat. You can carry your valuable things like cash, phones, headphones, data cables, power banks, cards, tissues, medicines, napkins, diapers, breast milk, passport, baby food, and toiletries. You should carry these things in a compatible and strong bag like laptop bags, messenger bags, smaller packing cubes, and handbags. Do not make it too heavy, as you must take it with you every time you go somewhere. Most of the time, ladies carry small purses, which is a big mistake for them. It does not carry much more than your phone and a few makeup products. You can carry these makeup products in extra smaller pouches, and then keep them in handbags of sufficient size.

3. Pack clothes wisely

Pack clothes according to the number of days, you are going to stay there. Pack around 4 sets of tops and bottoms with essential garments for a one-week trip. A set of two tops and bottoms will work enough for a single-day visit. And, if you are planning to stay for a month or more, then pack clothes according to the current weather conditions. Choosing fancy clothes over essential sweaters and jackets can save your space and money, but it will cost you even more in harsh weather conditions.

Always carry clothes according to the basic climate condition of your destination. You must never forget to keep a laundry bag with you. This will help you keep your dirty and clean clothes separate. If you are going on a business trip, pack extra sets of formal wear. Because it might possible that they get stained, wrinkled, or wet at the time you needed them. So do not take a risk here, and pack wisely.

4. Bring layered clothes

Try packing those clothes which are light in weight and compact in size. Also, you can carry wrinkle-free clothes, so they can be compressed easily without any stress. Taking light clothes with you, t will help to layer them easily and get packed in a small space. This will save a lot of space for you, and you can carry something from your destination on the return trip. Always remember that you may buy some things from your destination, and that need space too. So, if your clothes will be baggy, they are not going to adjust anyhow. Try keeping warmer clothes in light material. If you are going on a holiday trip, then you must keep your clothes according to the destination you are willing to enjoy. Do not forget to take your swimsuits, caps, and scarves, when going to an island.

5. Keep toiletries according to the TSA limitations

Best packing tips for international travel are incomplete without introducing TSA limitations. You cannot simply carry any toiletry with you. All the things you are carrying must pass the 3-1-1 rule made by TSA for toiletries and liquids. They restrict such things because of security purposes. Some high quantity liquids can be used as a toxic or poison for others. Therefore, all liquid lotions, creams, shampoos, shaving creams, hair gel, body spray, thinners, conditioners, oils, and sanitizers you are carrying must be less than 3.5 ounces.

Remember that liquid containing butane or propane is prohibited. If you want to carry them, they must be of solid-state like soaps, detergents, sticks, and sunblocks. Also, if you are going to a well-rated hotel, you must check whether the toiletries are available there or not. If they are available, then you do not need to carry any shampoo, lotions, toothpaste, or soap with you. Instead of them, you can carry your other essential items.

6. Choose an appropriate footwear

After clothes, the most considerable thing is footwear. You need to wear different footwear for various occasions. You cannot wear your flats abroad during office meetings. Also, you cannot wear office shoes or boots on a beach with lots of sand. So, selecting all-over footwear is important. The first thing you should keep in mind is the reason, why you are traveling. Next, consider your comfort a second priority. You can always rely on a combo of flats and office shoes, as it will help you in office meetings as well as on outings. And those flats will be helpful in your house or for beach destinations. Never pack bulkier snickers or sandals until they are important, as they add extra weight to the luggage including more space.

7. Compression bags vs. Packing cubes

Buying a compression bag or a packing bag completely depends on your needs. If you want to store more stuff in a single bag, then compression cubes will serve you the best. But, if you do not want to take a risk of wrinkles and rigid creases in your clothes, then definitely go for best packing cubes. You can simply squeeze heavy clothes into compression bags, by still saving a lot of space. They are the best to carry in winter conditions, where you need heavy sweaters and jackets. But the problem is, there is a substantial risk of getting wrinkles in your clothes.

Organized Luggage with packing cube

If you are packing some formal shirts or tops, then never use compression bags. Instead of compressing store them in layered format inside packing cubes. The packing cube will adjust at most 8 to 10 shirts into it, without making any rigid crease on them. You can select many sizes of packing cubes, to store things accordingly. Like larger packing cubes will be good for more clothes, medium packing cubes will serve better for undergarments, socks, ties, belts, caps, etc. And the smallest one will be good for keeping specs, lenses, makeup products, and other small items.

8. Try out bundle packing

Bundle packing simple means making things in bundles. You can roll your towels, shirts, pants, socks, and belts in a systematic way, to save much space for other things. This technique is especially useful for the people who mostly go on adventurous trips. It helps them to keep everything in a single bag of compact size. They even use these bundles for their pillows and neck rests. But, if you are carrying ethnic wear, traditional dresses, heavy sweaters, or formal dresses, then you cannot use this method of packing. Using bundle packing for these valuable clothes will completely spoil them. Surprisingly, rolling other clothes like shirts, and pants, do not leave wrinkles on them. Most people stay confused, about whether to roll their formal shirts or not. So yes, you can roll your shirts and other garments without any worries. A normal ironing or slight compression will retain its original form with no rigid crease marks.

9. What to wear during check-in?

It is one of the best packing tips for international travel. You may be surprised after listening that, people completely load themselves with heavy, warm clothes, even in the summer season. According to TSA, you can wear anything in any amount. Your weight or the types of clothes you wear, will not bother them. Therefore, people wear all those clothes, which they do not want to get counted in luggage to save extra luggage charges. So, you should always try this hack, and wear every stuff that you can. You also do not need to worry about the heat conditions until and unless you are at the airport or on a flight, because they are fully air-conditioned.

10. Not to carry items on International Trips

You should know what is restricted on international flights, and what can only be carried in handbags. Power banks are always kept in handbags because of their lithium batteries. Any mechanical tool, sharp objects, lighters, matchboxes, toy weapons, sporting goods, paper sprays, radioactive materials, and flammable liquids are strictly banned on international flights. You can try carrying them on other international trips by car or ship if their security policies allow you. You can carry completely packed lighters if you want. Also, some medicines that can be toxic or can act as poison for others need a verified legal prescription, to pass at the security check-in.


1. Are packing cubes helpful? Which packing cubes are the best?

Packing cubes are helpful to organize everything systematically. It saves a lot of time, space, and money as well. Even TSA officers guide you to carry your luggage in packing cubes, as this will help in fast security checking. Compressible and waterproof packing cubes made of nylon are the best options to buy.

2. What is the Bundle method? Why it should be used?

Packing your clothes by rolling them in compact cylindrical shapes is known as the bundle method. Wrapping clothes one over another by starting from smaller clothes to larger clothes will save sufficient space for other accessories and clothes.

This method should be used for compact and well-managed packing and easy unpacking.

3. What should never be packed in your luggage bags or packing cubes while international traveling?

There are a few items that are completely restricted like butane, propane, firecrackers, gas torches, liquid bleach, spray paints, gun lighters, gun powder, and flammable liquids. But some other things are allowed with some specifications like powders above 12 ounces, liquids above 3.4 ounces, and everything else that does not follow the 3-1-1 rule are not allowed to carry on international trips.


All these best packing tips for international travel can be moderated or customized in specific situations like pregnancy, medical conditions, solo trips, family trips, traveling with kids, or infants, physical disabilities, destination trips, and many others. But all these tips will be going to help you in every circumstance. Remember to collect and gather all necessary items, one week prior to your journey. Collecting everything at the last moment may spoil all your systematic packing. Always carry your stuff and luggage strategically, with a clear mindset.