The Ultimate Packing List

Hello, CKE Readers!  Rosalyn Cooper here, Founder and Lead Travel Consultant at

Social Butterfly Express. As we face the new Travel Norms, packing for your vacation might include some extra items. This ultimate packing list will help you plan and pack ahead to avoid any unwelcome snags in your big trip, whether you’re sipping cocktails while enjoying an ocean breeze, adventuring in the tropics, or hitting a different city for your vacation!

Plan to Pack Like a Pro!

Making a list is an underrated, yet super helpful, step when starting your packing process.  Start by listing each day of your trip, and then fill in the days with the individual items you’ll need.  You already know you’ll need essentials for each day such as undergarments and basic clothing, but by listing the days out first, you can also consider any pre-planned activities or excursions on certain days which will help you remember any special considerations for packing appropriate clothing or accessories.

If you’re going for a low-key trip without any extracurriculars, or are going to

figure it out spontaneously while you’re there, keep that in mind when packing as well.  For example, if you’re headed to Cancun and you know you have an ATV adventure day planned, you’ll need appropriate footwear and comfortable yet sensible clothing for that excursion.  

After initially filling in the list with what you know you’ll need, you can then go back through and add supplemental items in consideration of additional planned spontaneous activities.  Once you have your list ready, you can go through and check items off as they are packed.  This makes for a much easier packing experience and prevents that frazzled state of mind when you have 10 outfits laid out on your bed but no real direction!

Pro Tip: Call your bank before you leave and let them know you’ll be traveling.  This is especially common for international destinations, but oftentimes, fraud departments will view non-local charges as potentially fraudulent, and you don’t want to get caught in an unfamiliar destination without access to your money while you deal with the bank.  Bring at least some cash with you, just in case you do run into any fraud issues, but be mindful of your cash’s location making sure it’s both easily accessible to you, yet safe as well.

Prevent Airport Hassle!

Pre-planning your packing will also help avoid running into any issues at the airport.  If you’re flying to your destination, you’ll want to be considerate of what items are and aren’t allowed in your carry-on luggage. Additionally, use Ziploc bags or plastic containers for transporting liquids or toiletries.  There is nothing worse than unpacking at your destination but finding that all your clothes are soaked with foundation or shampoo!

You can check with your airline or reference TSA’s website for current airport regulations.  TSA currently allows fluids under 3.3 oz in your carry-on bag.  Anything over can go in your checked luggage, but you should consider packing travel or sample sizes anyway as they will take up less space and weight than full-size bottles.  You can also toss sample sizes at the end of your trip which leaves more room in your suitcase for souvenirs or memorabilia from your trip!

Each airline has different regulations for bag size and weight, so do your research beforehand learning what your chosen airline allows and avoid being that couple frantically rearranging their luggage in the baggage line.  Dress appropriately for airport security lines by wearing shoes you can easily slip out of, and keeping your ID and other travel documents easily accessible.

Every step you take to ensure a pain-free experience at the airport just gets you to your destination faster - and in a better mood!

Carry-On Bags

In addition to any carry-on baggage you’ll put in the overhead plane compartments, many airlines allow passengers to bring a personal item for free, such as a purse or backpack.  

Pro Tip: