Packing checklist for your U.S. vacation

Liste de voyage et aide-mémoire pour les États-Unis Here is a checklist to help you make sure you don't forget to do or pack anything before leaving for your American vacation.

To print this checklist, just click on "print this checklist" at the bottom of the page.


Before you go...

Check your passport expiry dates
Check the validity and limit on your credit card (for example, to pay the deposit for your car rental)
Notify your bank that you are going to the United States (to prevent your card from being blocked)
Confirm your flight times 24 to 48 hours prior to departure on the airline's website (schedules can change without notice)
Purchase travel insurance (medical, cancellation, luggage and civil liability)
Ask someone to visit your house once a week (to water the plants, etc.)
Make arrangements for your pets
Have your mail held
Empty the fridge
Unplug electrical appliances
Lock all windows and doors
Shut the water main
Turn down the heat in every room
Make a photocopy of official documents (passports, driver's license, etc.)
Fully charge the batteries of your phone, camera, video camera, tablet etc. 


Your Passport
Your ESTA authorization
Proof of insurance (medical + luggage + civil liability)
Valid driver's license and international license
Credit/debit cards
Cash (American dollars)
Exchange vouchers and booking reservations (where applicable)
Plane tickets (round-trip)
Phone numbers and addresses of friends/loved ones (for postcards)
Health booklet (or vaccination booklet)
Person to contact in case of emergency (contact info)
Travel guide / Book to read


Soap and shampoo
Deodorant / Antiperspirant
Tampons / Sanitary napkins
Razor + shaving cream (or electric razor)
Hairbrush / Comb
Nail file / Nail clipper
Moisturizing body lotion
Makeup kit
Hair elastics / barrettes
Hand mirror
Glasses / Contact lenses
Facial tissue
Insect repellent (DEET-based)
Aspirin (or other painkillers)
Contraceptive pills / Condoms
Personal medicines
Lip balm
Hand sanitizer


Cool clothing (shorts, t-shirts, tank tops, dresses, etc.)
Warm clothing (jeans, pants, sweatshirts, etc.)
Shoes / Sandals
Warm sweater (polar fleece or wool)
Raincoat / Windcheater
Sun hat / Tuque
Swimsuit / Towels

- For more tips on how to dress, read the article "What clothes should I bring?"



Suitcase with wheels
Backpack (for day trips)
Water bottle
Converter / Adapter (electric)
Camera + charger
Video camera + charger
Tripod / Selfie stick
Memory card
Mobile phone + charger
Ziploc bags (to protect electronics)
Garbage bags (dirty clothing)
Music / Playlist
Travel pillow and ear plugs (airplane)
Child's car seat
Diaper bag for infants (diapers, changing mat, wipes, cream, bottles, toys, etc.)

First aid kit

Moleskin for blisters
Adhesive bandages
Motion sickness medication
Anti-Diarrheal medication
Aloe gel or afterburn for sunburn

In your carry-on

Pack the following items in your backpack and bring it on board:

ESTA travel authorization
Wallet (driver's license, debit/credit cards, American dollars, etc.)
Proof of travel insurance
Exchange vouchers (where applicable)
Plane ticket
Travel guide / Book to read
Snacks / Water bottle
Toothbrush / Toothpaste
Tampons / Sanitary napkins
Facial tissues
Aspirin (or other pain medication)
Personal medications
Sweater (polar fleece or wool)
Camera / Video camera
Mobile phone

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