Preparing for an international trip can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve never traveled overseas before. There’s nothing worse than that looming feeling you’ve forgotten something behind only to remember it when boarding your flight to another country. Some things can’t be bought or found on international shores, so packing for a trip can be, well, anxiety-inducing. 

Travel experts from all over the world have varying opinions on what should and should not be brought along when traveling abroad. Whereas some items like perfumes, entertainment materials, and travel comforts like neck pillows are luxuries, other things are essentials and should never be left behind. 

Now, this doesn’t mean you should stuff your luggage with every item you think you might need. Instead, it’s important to stick to a tight list of must-have travel items that will make your trip more efficient and stress-free. Still torn on what you might need for your international getaway? Here’s the Travel Noire International Travel Checklist to help you pack the necessities.


international travel checklist
Photo Credit: Porapak Apichodilok

Passport & Driver’s License

You cannot leave the country without your passport. This is the most important document to have when traveling internationally. Although there are a few places like Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands that allow travel without a passport, those options are limited. You’ll also need your passport to re-enter the U.S. upon return. 

While most airports will allow you to use your passport as a form of identification, you may need your driver’s license for other things when traveling. Be sure to have this handy as well when on an international trip. You may need to rent a vehicle or provide two forms of ID while abroad.

Travel Insurance 

International trips are an incredible experience. However, like all travel, it does come with some risks. Travel insurance comes in handy to protect travelers when they’re visiting foreign lands. According to CNBC, travel insurance covers things like trip cancellations, travel delays, medical expenses, baggage loss, and even emergency evacuation benefits. 

Like any insurance, your coverage depends on the type of package you purchase. Travelers can get insurance through sites like, CoverTrip, or Squaremouth. Many countries like Belize, Argentina, and Indonesia require proof of travel insurance before entering the country, so research your destination to see if it’s needed.


If you plan on staying in some countries for an extended period of time, you probably are going to need a visa. It’s important to know if the place you want to visit has a visa policy before planning an international trip. According to the Passport Index, there are many different types of visas depending on your reason for visiting the country. Do ample research to see if a visa should be a part of your international travel checklist. 


As a safety precaution, never go on an international trip without a little bit of cash in your pocket. For one, depending on where you’re traveling, ATMs may not be readily available. Also, some businesses might not accept credit card payments, especially in more rural areas. To ensure you have money available at all times, take some cash with you before leaving the States. Some countries may accept U.S. dollars. If they don’t, you can visit a currency exchange to convert your dollars into the local currency. 

Tech Gear

international travel checklist
Photo Credit: ready made

Portable Charger

When you’re on an international trip, you’re definitely going to sightsee and explore the city. This could lead to long days wandering around your destination snapping photos and sharing moments on social media. To ensure you don’t miss capturing any memories, add a portable phone charger to your international travel checklist. You never know when your battery might hit a low, and you don’t want to be lost in an unknown location without a phone. So for safety, and to avoid frustration, keep a portable charger on deck.

Universal Wall Plug

Some countries have completely different electrical setups than the U.S. This includes wall outlets, so some devices may not be compatible with the outlet in the country you’re visiting. There’s nothing worse than arriving overseas from a long flight only to find out you can’t charge your devices. You can find a universal wall plug like this one on Amazon so you’ll never be unable to charge your electronics. 


international travel checklist
Photo Credit: Vlada Karpovich

Walking Shoes

Walking shoes are an international travel checklist essential. Not only are they important for long treks on excursions and adventures, but they’re a way more comfortable option for waiting in long customs and baggage claim lines. Keep your sandals, boots, and heels in your suitcase for when you arrive at your destination. If you’ve planned nature hiking or outdoor excursions that require a lot of walking, you might also want to pack some hiking boots. 

Light Weight Jacket

The temperature is going to fluctuate no matter where you travel in the world. You should bring a lightweight jacket along just in case you get cold while traveling. This could happen while exploring internationally or when traveling back and forth between sights. You never know when you might find yourself in a chilly Uber or drafty hotel room, so it’s always a good idea to have a jacket with you. For extra precaution, check the weather forecast where you’re headed for insight into other appropriate clothes to pack. 

Small Backpack or Fanny Pack

There will be a variety of items you’ll want to keep on you at all times when traveling internationally. This includes your identification, hotel room key, money, and a plethora of other necessities. You can keep all of these items handy by carrying a backpack or fanny pack when heading out for sightseeing. These bags are great for international travel because they are hands-free, unlike most purses. You can switch between bags depending on how many items you are carrying while out and about. 


international travel checklist
Photo Credit: Ray Piedra

Face Mask

Covid-19 changed the world, especially the travel industry. While most countries have lowered or removed their Covid travel restrictions, it’s important to still keep a face mask in your suitcase. Some restaurants, hotels, and businesses across the world still require a face mask, so it can be a good idea to bring one just in case. 

Medicine and Sunscreen

Medicine availability varies from country to country, so be sure to include any prescribed or over-the-counter medications on your international travel checklist. According to the CDC, due to countries having different drug and prescription regulations, some medicine found in the U.S. may be considered a controlled substance or unlicensed. 

If you’re headed to a tropical location with lots of sun, pack sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful sun rays. A nasty sunburn can put a damper on a vacation, so it’s better to use sunscreen to avoid finding yourself with a sunburn.

Bug Repellant

Different countries have different bugs, so bug repellant may be your best friend depending on where you’re traveling. If a visit to a tropical country is in your future, don’t even think about hopping on the plane without insect repellent. Being itchy from being bitten by sand flies or mosquitoes isn’t ideal, and bug repellant will keep you fly and fabulous without being eaten alive while abroad. 

Toiletries and Grooming Tools

Like medicine, specialty toiletries and grooming products may not always be available in some countries. Grab travel sizes of your favorite products so you won’t waste time on your trip trying to find them in stores. If you can’t find travel-size toiletries, check out your local drugstore or pharmacy for empty travel bottles you can fill with your favorite products.