Packing For Your Trip

Time to pack!


Extremely Important Items (check this list twice, before you leave home!)

• driver’s license (or acceptable form of ID),
• passport,
• legal resident card (if necessary),
• cash; credit cards; and ATM card (if using),
• plane tickets; lodging confirmations; other travel confirmations,
• trip itinerary (noting emergency contact information, as well as fellow travelers),
• medications (prescriptions must be labeled),
• insurance (medical card and trip insurance, if opted),
• cell phone and a charging device (especially if your confirmations are stored here),
• clear bag (for your 2 ounces or fewer liquids).


• jewelry; hand sanitizer; Kleenex; snacks; and earplugs (if sleeping),
• camera; camera batteries, and memory card,
• electronic reader
• laptop and earbuds (if you use).

Tip:  There are regulations regarding the number of camera batteries you can carry on the plane with yourself.  Check with your airline’s website for details.


Tag your luggage and also put your personal information on a piece of paper, inside your luggage, in case the tags break off. Also, you may want to lock your luggage. Look into a TSA approved lock to help prevent your lock from damage if an agent needs to access your luggage.  Some locks also have indicators on them to let you know if your luggage has been opened.

Creatively tag your luggage or use a unique ID tag so your luggage can stand out and be easily identified and help prevent mix-ups.


• waterproof jacket,
• umbrella (unless you plan to use the hood on your jacket),
• sensible (water-resistant) footwear,
• clothing and accessories (see our section WEATHER AND WHAT TO WEAR for tips),
• sunglasses,
• water-resistant purse or travel bag,
• toiletries,
• electronic devices and appliances (with necessary cords),
• UK compatible adapter (to operate your electronic devices).


• emergency rain ponchos,
• travel purse (water-resistant and portable for touring),
• shopping bag (light-weight, compact and water-resistant),
• family research papers and journal book (if it’s your thing).

Tip:  Ziploc baggies are great to bring along to keep your documents dry. You never know when you might get saturated.  🙂  They are also great for storing and protecting postcards and receipts.

Trying to keep your checked luggage in one bag and under 50 pounds – the struggle is real!

I was able to check one bag, under 50 pounds (weighed in at 49 lbs. – phew!), and avoided the extra cost. I didn’t take a carry-on bag, I chose to take an oversized hobo bag as a travel purse so I just had one bag to keep track of while I traveled. I knew I would be bringing back souvenirs (upping the pounds on my checked luggage), so I purchased a lightweight, collapsible travel duffel. I packed it in my checked luggage going to Scotland, and used it as my carry on bag for my return flight, avoiding any extra luggage fees.

Halfway through our trip, we did accumulate a lot of shopping purchases already, so we each shipped a box back home to lighten the load. We found shipping services in both Edinburgh and Inverness. We just took our shopping bags in, and they were packed and shipped for us. Of course, price to ship varies by weight, size and carrier service, but we found a large box around 16-20 pounds in weight cost a little over a hundred pounds, at the time we traveled (just to give a rough approximate – things can change!). It’s quite close to the extra cost of taking a second piece of checked luggage on your flight, so I thought it would be nice to check only one bag and use the money to ship a box of Scotland goodies back home.

Since freight from Scotland is flown to the US, it arrives rather quickly, so be sure someone is there to receive your package. My box required a signature. You wouldn’t want a snag, resulting in your box being returned. You also might be able to request delayed shipping from the shipping service if there’s a chance you won’t be home when your package arrives.

TAKE A PICTURE OF YOUR LUGGAGE BEFORE LEAVING HOME – important if you need to identify missing luggage or if you need to file a claim with your travel insurance company.

Our tips and recommendations are based on regulations at the time we traveled. To ensure accuracy at the time you travel, you will need to verify the current regulations and your airline’s policies.