what to bring

Pack light! You'll be toting your own luggage around at airports and hotels, so bring only what you need—ideally in one small suitcase and one additional carry-on bag.

Clothing and Accessories

  • Comfortable walking shoes and one pair of nicer shoes
  • Shirts (short and long sleeved)
  • Socks and underwear
  • Watch
  • Pants/shorts/jeans
  • Pajamas
  • Bathing suit (if applicable)
  • Dressier outfit (reserved for a special night out)
  • Raincoat and/or umbrella 
  • Lightweight nylon jacket or fleece (rather than bulky sweatshirts)


  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo/conditioner
  • Soap
  • Deodorant
  • Hairbrush/comb
  • Sunscreen
  • Any medications (in addition to a copy of any prescription)
  • Spare set of contact lenses/glasses (if applicable)


  • ATM card (Call your bank prior to departure to alert them of the trip; foreign purchases sometimes result in a hold on bank accounts.)
  • Personal credit card
  • At least $50 converted to the currency of the first county that you’re visiting
  • Pouch for storing money and passport under clothing


  • An alarm clock (Many hotel rooms won't have one.)
  • An adaptor/converter 
  • Camera with extra batteries or charger


  • Passport—required on all EF Educational Tours (Remember to leave one copy of it at home and bring a couple more copies on tour, in case your passport gets lost.)
  • Visas (if applicable)
  • A copy of the tour itinerary
  • A list of important phone numbers 
  • Addresses to send postcards home
  • Copy of any prescriptions (Customs officials may want to verify that a container's contents match its label, so all medication should be carried in its original container.)

Carry-on bag

The EF backpack that every traveler receives is a perfect carry-on bag. Here’s a short list of things travelers might need on the first day of the trip. These should be packed in your carry-on in case your checked luggage is delayed:

  • Passport
  • Money
  • Airline boarding pass
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste (Check tsa.gov for current security requirements.)
  • Hairbrush
  • Contact lens case/glasses (to sleep comfortably on the plane)
  • A change of clothes (in case luggage is delayed)
  • Medication
  • Any valuables

If you're traveling on a Service Learning Tour, we've created a detailed packing list of things to bring and keep in mind while working in and visiting local communities.

Know Before You Go

We’ve helped students and adults explore the world for 50 years. Here are some of the most common topics our travelers and parents ask about.