First and foremost have the right bags to pack your shit in. Depending on the length and type of trip you're going on you'll need different bags. If i'm staying in one place for a long period of time, or renting a car I will check a large suitcase and take a day pack with me. If i'm moving around a lot i'll bring my Osprey backpack Fairpoint 55 and a duffel bag (on some airlines the backpack can get away with being a carry-on, others not so much. it depends on the weight as well) Other than my Osprey bag, I get all of my luggage at TJMaxx (it's cheap and I get compliments on my bags all the time) over packing- tag different bags
Whether you're going to buy a personalized tag or an expensive ass luggage tag, or a piece of string, TAG YOUR LUGGAGE. I say this because I can't tell you how many times I have started to push through all the damn people standing right next to the carousel to get to my bag only to find out it wasn't my bag. There are an average of 8 million people who travel a day, you're bound to have a bag that's similar to someone else's.
Passport (& copies)
Good luck getting anywhere without this. Some countries will not allow you into the country if your passport is within 6 months of expiring, so check on that. Thanks to the Real ID Act, in the U.S. you will eventually have to have a passport to travel anywhere domestic. When booking your flight make sure your passport name is identical to the name you put on your reservation.
Visa Requirements for U.S. citizens
This is just good to have as a second form of ID. Otherwise it's pretty pointless. Unless you add your middle initial on your flight reservation and don't have your full name on your passport (don't ask me why) and you get stopped and question. Follow the rule above, it will save you 30 minutes.
International Drivers Permit
There are about 150 countries you need a permit in.
Credit Card/ Debit Card/ Cash
Printing these off before hand will save you some time, if you're archaic and still have a printer.
I print these off, but you can easily put them in an email folder labeled the country you're headed to so you can pull them up quickly.
i've kinda hit a point where I don't care what shoes I wear on a trip, as long as they are comfortable. I basically wear my tennis shoes/walking shoes through the cobble stone streets, on the beach, in the club, swimming in the ocean- you name it I have them on. I've made the mistake of trying to look cute and have paid dearly. And I mean LITERALLY paid.
Story time: I bought a box of bandaids before I went to Paris. Instead of taking the entire box with me I took our 5 measly, floppy bandaids. Why you may ask. I don't f+cking know. It was the most costly mistake I could've made. I ended up paying $50 for bandaids total in Paris. They were THE best bandaids I have ever used in my life, but the f+ck....I could've spent that money somewhere else.
Before i went to Iceland I spent a couple months trying to find the perfect hiking boots. I bought and returned 5 pair, until I read some reviews on Amazon about a pair you don't have to break in so I was immediately sold. When I tell you these are the best hiking boots, let alone any pair of shoes I have ever purchased I'm not kidding. hiking boots
lol moving on.
wrap each pair of shoes in plastic bags
GOING OUT DRESS
BRAS/ SPORTS BRA
BAG FOR DIRTY CLOTHES
THAI PHRASE BOOK
EMPTY WATER BOTTLE
LITTLE BIT OF TOILET PAPER