what to pack for your vacation

What To Pack

You will hear it over again and again, but it’s true.  The lighter that you pack, the more you will enjoy your travels. This is especially true if you travel like I do and wander from place to place, rather than staying in just one place on your trip.

Since I visit a lot of islands that are only accessible by boat, I find it easiest to have a backpack.  It makes things lighter and it’s easier to get on and off boats with.

I use The Truist Touring Pack made by Eagle Creek. The one I have is made specifically for women, but they also have a men’s version as well. I love it because there is a central lock point so that you can secure all the compartments with just one lock. It also comes with a rain cover, and I love that you can open it like a duffel bag instead of stuffing everything in from the top.

Check out this article for more advice on choosing a backpack.

The other product that I love are the Kelty Compression sacks. That little green pack you see in the picture besides my pack contains all of my clothes for eleven weeks of traveling.  What is great is that it condenses your clothing and allows you to fit a few more things in, but also it keeps your bag very organized as you are traveling.

And then for all of my cosmetics, I absolutely love the Davidsbeenhere hanging toiletry bag.  This is the best hanging bag that I have found.  The design is genius.  Now, I will say, I do like my toiletries, and usually in hanging bags, once I get everything in, I am left with a big bulky bag that takes up a lot of room in my pack.  It is amazing at how much stuff you can fit in here, and yet it doesn’t take up tons of room.

For safety, I also love the Doberman Traveler Defense Alarm.  You can carry this with you for safety.  It also has a flashlight on it.  But, the best part is that it will loop around the doorknob of your room, and if someone breaks in your room, it will let off a piercing alarm. Being a woman who travels alone a lot, I was thrilled to find this product. However, it’s not just for women.

I got the idea to get this when I met a man while traveling who had people break in his room while he was sleeping. They took off with his passport and all of his cash.  So, this is a product that is a worthwhile investment for anyone.

And, then of course, you will need a daypack or purse.  I love the bag above, as I can carry it as a purse or retie the straps, and it becomes a backpack.

I highly recommend using a packing list to make sure you don’t forget anything on your travels. Ok, as for other items I pack:


1. Google Chromebook Laptop

2.  Kindle

3. Canon PowerShot camera and the FujiFilm waterproof camera (yes, the picture of the fish on my home page was taken with this camera)

4. Moneybelt

5. Lock for backpack or bag

6. These suggestions over at Travel Scamming


1. 2 pairs of shoes (usually Chacos sandals for every day and 1 pair of running shoes)The website www.runnerclick.com has great reviews on running shoes.

2. Hiking convertible pants that zip off to become shorts/rayon pants

3. 1 skirt/ 1 dress

4. 3 tank tops

5. 2 nicer short sleeve shirts for nice dinners

6. long sleeve T-shirt

7. white linen long sleeve shirt to wear over tank tops in evenings

8. warm socks for the plane

9. microfleece sweatshirt

10. two bathing suits

11. one sarong (can be used as both cover up and beach blanket)

12. pajamas


1. Brush/ hair product/ shampoo

2. Toothbrush/ paste/ floss

3. Deodorant

4. Castile soap

5. Razor/shaving gel

6. Nail clippers

7. Makeup/Lip balm

8. Band-Aids/antibiotic cream

9. Sunscreen/Sunglasses

10. Mosquito Spray

11. Ibuprofen

12. An antibiotic like Cipro in original prescription bottle

13. Aloe Vera

14. Tweezers

15. Eyedrops

Other Items:

1. Flashlight/ Headlamp

2. Passport/Visa/Vaccination Card

3. Cash/ Credit Cards

4. Copies of E-tickets and Hotel Confirmations

5. Chargers for cameras/phone and other electronics

6. Converters

7. Alarm Clock

8.  Journal/pens

9.  Snacks for the plane (my favorite is beef jerky)/tea

10. An empty water bottle