Travel Checklist : How To Pack For A Last Minute Trip

Since 2016, I’ve been on various exciting journeys, including numerous last-minute trips between 2016 and 2019. While these spontaneous adventures were thrilling, I must advise against booking last-minute flights because the prices tend to be more expensive. About three months ago, I took a spontaneous trip to Krabi, Thailand. I bought the flight ticket on the same day, in the morning, and my departure was at 2:00 PM. Normally, the flight ticket to Krabi costs less than RM500.00, but this time I ended up paying twice as much.

When it comes to packing, I’ve become a light packer. I can fit all my stuff into a backpack that can last me at least two weeks. I use a Karrimor 45L+10 rucksack. When I first started traveling, I used to pack everything I wanted to bring, and at that time, my backpack wasn’t big enough to fit everything. After several travel experiences, I learned how to pack light and bring only the essential things.

So, if you’re planning a last-minute trip, here are some tips on how to pack your stuff:

Make a checklist.

Making a checklist is simple and convenient. You don’t even need to write it on paper. I use the Packpoint app which is incredibly user-friendly. Just enter the country you’re visiting, the duration of your trip, and the type of travel. The app will generate a customized checklist for you.

Here’s an example of my manual checklist (I created it using the Colornote app):

Note : 

  • Besides your passport and itinerary, a pen is a must-have item to bring when you travel. Keep it in your handbag for easy access when you need to fill out forms during your flight or at the airport. It can also be used for safety reasons. Whenever I walk alone, I like to hold a pen as a potential weapon to protect myself.
  • A printed itinerary is very important. You can download your itinerary on your phone, but if possible, it’s best to have a printed copy. There have been cases where people were detained by immigration authorities because they didn’t have a printed itinerary. So, to be safe, just print it out.
  • I highly recommend bringing a copy of your passport when you travel. If anything happens to your original passport, at least you have a copy as a backup. I usually bring only a copy with me and leave the original passport in my hotel room.
  • Make sure your power bank is not more than 20,000mAh, and do not charge it using the airplane’s power supply. Also, make sure to keep the power bank in an easily accessible location. If you need to take it out during security checks, it’s better to have it in a place where you can easily retrieve it without having to unpack your entire bag.
  • Put all your toiletries in a transparent bag and place it at the top of your backpack. This makes it easy to retrieve for security checks.
  • You don’t need to bring all your makeup, just the basics will do.
  • I prefer makeup remover wipes because they are easy to bring along.
  • When I go to the airport, I like to wear clothes that can save space in my bag. For example, jeans or sweatpants take up more space in the bag, so instead of packing them, I wear them. The same goes for jackets or shoes. So, be smart with your outfit choices to save space in your bag.
  • Don’t forget to exchange your currencies. If it’s a last-minute decision, your last option would be to exchange your currencies at the airport. Don’t exchange all of your currencies at once. Wait until you arrive at your destination before exchanging more. Also, don’t forget to activate your bank card for international transactions.

How to pack.

Here’s a simple guide for packing:

  1. Make a list of everything you need to bring.
  2. Roll your clothes instead of folding them to save space.
  3. Use packing cubes or compression bags to organize your clothes and maximize space.
  4. Put heavy items at the bottom of your bag to distribute weight evenly.
  5. Utilize the space inside your shoes to pack smaller items like socks or underwear.
  6. Keep toiletries in a separate bag for easy access, placed on the top of your backpack or in a side pocket.
  7. Store electronics and chargers in a separate bag to keep them organized.
  8. Bring a reusable water bottle to save money and reduce waste.
  9. Pack a light rain jacket or umbrella for unexpected weather.
  10. Wear your heaviest and bulkiest items, like jackets and boots, to the airport to save space in your bag.

Remember to pack only what you need and avoid overpacking for a more enjoyable and stress-free trip.

I highly recommend using travel organizer bags to save space. Start by placing the towel at the bottom of your backpack. Then, use the organizer bags to keep things neat. I find it convenient to put the small blue bag in the shoe compartment. Anything suitable for the shoe bag, like a travel adapter or plastic bags, can be stored there, except for clothes. Roll up your clothes and stack them in the backpack. Finally, place the power bank and toiletries bag on top.

Here are some tips: Remember to hide some money in your backpack, in a spot you can easily remember. This way, you reduce the risk of losing all your money or having it stolen.

In your handbag, keep essential items like your passport, wallet, wet wipes/tissues, a pen, earphones, USB cable, mobile phone, printed itinerary, and boarding pass.

Enjoy your trip!


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