The items I carry on a trip has changed quite a bit over the years. There are many websites offering packing lists, but hopefully, this one will help bring it all together for you to make your travels lighter.

The main piece of advice I have to offer on what to pack is to pack as little as possible. It doesn’t matter if you are traveling as a single or as an entire family, I find it best to pack only the essentials. In most places around the world, if you really need something, you can simply purchase it. For instance, if it starts raining during my travels, I simply purchase an inexpensive raincoat then leave it behind if I don’t have room to add it to my suitcase when I leave.

My goal is to fit everything I need into one backpack when I travel. If you are traveling with your family, have one backpack for each person. Of course, some family members may need more or less than others, depending on their age and current needs (for example, an infant will need more than a preschooler with formula, diapers, etc). In such a case, use some space from one person’s backpack to help carry what another person needs.

There are a few things I always carry in my backpack. These include a dress shirt, jeans, shorts, bathing suit, several t-shirts, socks, shoes, underclothes, toiletries, a small medical kit, ZiplocĀ bags, and whatever else I feel I need based on my destination.

One great tip is to buy a backpack that is small so you will not be tempted to pack too much.

Granted, there is no one way to pack perfectly, but this list is a great starting point to help you pack smart. Just remember, you don’t need to carry a lot with you when you travel. In almost every location, there will be stores available if you find you need something particular.