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Struggling with what to pack for an extended trip? Here are the essentials

It’s time to unplug and head off on a trip filled with relaxation and adventure. Studies show that vacationing can reduce stress, improve sleep and increase creativity, among other benefits, as the Harvard Business Review describes. With all the positive impacts of taking time off from work and travelling, you may consider extending your holiday for as long as possible.

Instead of cramming many activities and attractions into a weekend, take your time seeing the highlights, getting lost and enjoying some downtime on a more extended trip.   

So, you’re convinced it’s time to go on a vacation, and you have some holiday spots in mind, but now it’s time to pack. Where do you even start? We spoke with Travel Consultants at CAA, and here is what the experts advise to bring when packing for a lengthier getaway.   


If you haven’t packed a travel health kit yet, it is time to add one. Ensure you have essential medications, prescriptions, and a basic first-aid kit. In addition to personal routine prescriptions, you should consider packing medications for typical travel illnesses, such as nausea, headaches, or even cuts. Here are a few essentials our expert CAA Travel Consultants recommend you bring

Travel documents

Ensure your passport, visas, and any required travel permits are up-to-date and handy. Additionally, keep copies of these documents both digitally and in hard copy. What are some other items that you should bring when travelling? On top of your identification and potential visas, things you may need to have with you include medical and travel insurance information, proof of funds, accommodation details, and transportation boarding passes.

The must-haves, not the nice-to-haves

woman packing suitcase at home. Preparing for summer holidays abroad.
Daniel de la Hoz | iStock

If you’re going on a long vacation or far-away trip, you can quickly end up over-packing just because ‘more stuff’ feels comforting or safe. The ‘what-ifs’ end up overpowering what you really need to bring with you.

Instead, focus on packing staples, toiletries that you cannot go a day without and clothes that are easily layered, for example. If you’re looking for more packing tips, follow CAA’s tips for packing light.

Home comforts

A long-stay vacation accommodation often feels more like a home away from home. Bring personal items that help you feel comfortable, such as a pillow or blanket, a small Bluetooth speaker, a cozy sweater, or playing cards. 

Travel insurance

Remember to get CAA Travel Insurance to protect against the unexpected, like trip cancellations and medical emergencies. The last thing you need while on holiday is added stress or financial strains due to an unforeseen illness. Keep the insurance details on you so you know exactly which number to call for assistance if needed.

Local currency

Research your destination’s preferred payment methods and currency. Carry some local money, your credit cards, and a backup source of funds to ensure you have payment options. Depending on where you visit, everything from markets to taxi cabs may not accept card payments as they do at home, so having some cash is a good idea

Questions about planning your next trip or getting travel insurance?

Our CAA Travel Consultants are happy to help you with all the details of your upcoming vacation. You can book an appointment online. They’ll answer all your questions about travel insurance and help you get the best coverage for your budget. 

CAA Travel Insurance is underwritten by Orion Travel Insurance Company, a CAA Company. Certain exclusions, limitations and restrictions apply. Subject to change without notice. A Medical Questionnaire is required if you are 60 years of age and older. Quotes are valid for 30 days.   

®CAA trademarks are owned by, and use is authorized by, the Canadian Automobile Association. 

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