The Ultimate Travel Packing List for Expats and Nomads

Posted by SWE Inc on 20th Jun 2019

Moving outside of your home country can be very exciting. New opportunities, different surroundings, it all sounds very thrilling. However, there's one thing that most people don't really enjoy doing and that's packing. Especially if it's not only for a short trip but for an indefinite period of time. You would have to bring with you all of the things that are either more expensive or harder to find in your new country. For that reason, check out the ultimate travel packing list for expats and nomads.

Important Documents

This is probably the most important item on your travel packing list. Or items, since you won't be needing just a passport, once you leave your home country. There are other important documents in this group as well that you don't want to forget. If you do forget them, as a consequence, you'll either have to pay for it or even be detained.

  • Passport and another form of ID with a photo (make sure these documents are going to be valid in the next couple of months)
  • Visa
  • Medical records and pet health records
  • Vaccination records - if it was needed in order for you to enter the country
  • Bank cards - preferably a card without foreign transaction fees
  • Border pass - preferably both printed out and a mobile version
  • Proof on onward travel - it might be necessary for you to enter the country
  • Travel insurance
  • Copies of these and other necessary documents

Don't forget your passport and keep it as close to you as possible.

Tip: Keep your documents as close to you as possible. When flying, take them with you. Also, make a copy of all the documents and keep them separated from the originals. If the copy or the original gets lost, you'll have a back-up.

Medicines, medications and aid kits

You don't need to worry much about bringing commonly used drugs like contraception pills, first aid items like pain killers or anti-diarrhea medications because those are usually very likely to be found abroad in almost every pharmacy, and they are the following:

  • Allergy medicine
  • Band-Aids
  • First aid kit
  • Ibuprofen
  • Iodine tablets
  • Motion sickness pills
  • Mosquito spray
  • Your pets need their Love2Pet Products for their health and well-being

Prescribed Medication Pills

Don't forget your prescribed medications.

If there is any medication pill that is prescribed to you as therapy or any medicine that you are used to taking over the counter, make sure to stock up with the largest supply as possible as moving abroad is not a good time to test your health. Also if any of the medications you rely on needs a doctor's prescription, make sure you do your research in advance. You will need to check if the medicine is available to find at the local pharmacies. Also finding a doctor who can prescribe you your meds can be more difficult than expected, and in many instances more expensive than purchasing these medications in your home country.


This list is yours to make. Some expats or nomads need these for their job. Reliable moving companies offer different services for your upcoming relocation, including preparing fragile items, such as electronics, for transportation. Here's a list of electronics that people usually carry with themselves:

  • Phone: Understandably so, most people would put their smartphone as a number 1 item on their travel packing list
  • Laptop: Unless you want to have a technology rehab, you might want to bring your laptop with you
  • Charger plugs and other cables: Surprisingly, this is what most people forget
  • Adapters: Buy a local power adapter (or a universal one) before you leave, or pick one up at the airport once you arrive
  • Headphones: Other than enabling you to listen to music, they are very practical as well
  • Small pocket flashlight: Your phone can be used as a flashlight, but nothing beats the real flashlight since the battery lasts longer

Your Toiletries

It might be complicated finding toiletry in your new country, especially in the beginning, so you should consider bringing:

Put Clothes on Your Travel Packing List

It's a real problem for someone, deciding what kind of clothes to bring, deciding whether to bring that jacket or not. Eventually, upon deciding to bring all of it, you might need to let professionals pack your belongings. But is there a way to decide what clothes make it on the travel packing list? There's one rule: wear clothes that you would normally wear, meaning that you don't have to buy new clothes. You need to feel comfortable wearing them.

  • A light jacket for colder days or evenings spent outside
  • A packable raincoat that allows you to leave a bulky umbrella at home and doubles up as a windbreaker
  • Tops and bottoms, shirts and jeans
  • Underwear and socks
  • Swimsuit
  • Sunglasses

Tip: You might want to choose clothes with colors in the same color palette, so you don't have to think about what goes together at a given moment.


Footwear can take up space, so only pack the most important:

  • Trainers can come in useful
  • Shoes preferably resistant to water, appropriate for work, strong
  • Shoe cushions are something people usually think of only after walking for a longer time

Resistant, yet comfortable shoes are more than desirable.

Bring Your Positive Attitude

This one might be the most important, it might actually be the only thing that's necessary. Even if you forget an item from your list, with your positive attitude it won't really matter. Even planning what to put on a travel packing list for expats and nomads is an experience that not many people have. So, put a smile on your face and face the road that's awaiting you.