Who writes airplane checklists

The ultimate checklist to prepare for your air travel

editorial staff
Last updated on 01/20/2021

If you want to go on vacation by plane, precise preparation is necessary. Especially when it comes to luggage, there is often a lack of clarity: What is allowed in hand luggage? What has to be in the suitcase? With our ultimate checklist to prepare for your next flight You won't miss a thing!

Here you can find our free checklist (including packing list) in PDF format.

To the PDF checklist for air travel

Before departure - obtain information: (approx. 8 - 1 week before departure)

Before it even starts, you have to some organizational things be done. Nothing is more annoying than standing at the check-in at the airport and realizing that important documents are missing or the luggage is too heavy. Do not forget…

the validity of your passport To check: Do this as early as possible, but no later than 8 weeks before departure. So you still have enough time to apply for a new passport. Be careful when booking your own flight on online platforms: To avoid problems, give your name exactly as it is on your passport. Otherwise, if there are discrepancies in the spelling, there could be problems entering the country of destination.

Check your vaccination status: Depending on where you want to go, you will need one or the other vaccination. Check the vaccination records of all fellow travelers with your family doctor.

The most important travel vaccinations are:

  • Hepatitis, A.
  • Hepatitis B.
  • rabies
  • Yellow fever
  • Japanese encephalitis
  • Early Summer Meningoencephalitis (TBE)
  • Polio (poliomyelitis)
  • Meningococci
  • typhus
  • Flu (influenza)
  • Possibly corona vaccination

Some of them need to be vaccinated early enough!

Is there a compulsory corona vaccination when traveling by air?
The Australian airline Quantas is currently planning a mandatory vaccination. According to research by ARD (As of: January 19, 2021) the airlines in Germany are pursuing a different strategy: mass tests instead of mandatory vaccinations.

to note the permitted weight of suitcase + hand luggage: Excess baggage is not allowed at all on some flights, and it is subject to additional costs on others.

apply for a visa: In some countries a visa is required, often this depends on your citizenship. So be sure to find out about the entry requirements in the destination country.

check-in as early as possible & choose your seat: For most airlines, it is now possible to check in online, often around 24-48 hours before departure. With many airlines you also have the option of choosing your own seats at check-in. The rule here is: the earlier it is your turn, the sooner you will get your desired seat.

Fun fact: In most European countries, it is the seat by the window that is by far the most popular seat. Only the Dutch prefer an aisle seat equally.

Are you three traveling with your baby? Because your little one up to the age of 2 years can be held on your lap, book one seat in the aisle and one at the window for you and your partner. This increases the likelihood that the space in the middle will remain free and will suit you more space available. If the middle seat is booked by someone, you can still swap.

We recommend mothers who travel alone with babies: choose a window seat! Here you have more privacy when breastfeeding.

More to-do's before departure:

  • Collect important addresses and telephone numbers in the destination country (accommodation, hospitals, embassy) and save them on your mobile phone.
  • Reserve a parking space at the airport: If you are traveling to the airport by car, you should book a parking space in advance. Our tip: The parking spaces directly at the airport are usually a bit more expensive, so it is better to compare parking offers.
  • Good to have: get a travel guide!
  • Pack the checklist: you won't forget anything!

A baby or toddler is coming with you? Our tips for a pleasant flight

Are you traveling with a baby or toddler? Then you should also pay attention to the following 4 tips.

  1. Choose flight times and waiting times between flights wisely: Ideally, you will fly when your child is normally asleep. If you book multiple flights, make sure that the waiting time between flights is not too long.
  2. Seat - yes or no? It depends on the age of the child and the country in question. Babies and toddlers are usually allowed to fly on the lap up to their 2nd birthday. We recommend that you check-in in good time so that you can freely choose your seats.
  3. stroller: Find out in advance whether you can take the stroller with you on the plane as hand luggage or whether it has to be checked in at the baggage drop-off point.
  4. More documents: take all important documents with you. Depending on the age of the child, this is the passport, identity card, mother-child passport, or the like.

Packing up - our checklists for hand luggage & suitcases

The big questions when traveling by air are always: What is actually allowed in hand luggage, what needs to be in the suitcase and what can you leave at home in order to save weight? Your goal should be to take only what you really need with you.

We make packing easier for you with our free packing list for your flight!

To the PDF checklist for your luggage

You have to put it in your hand luggage: everything that is important to you!

Important and valuable objects and papers must be carried in hand luggage. So you always have them to hand and you can be sure that they will not be lost.

Don't forget that at home:

  • Mouth and nose protection
  • Passport and possibly visa
  • ID, insurance card, driver's license
  • Cash (ideally in the local currency of the destination country) and credit card
  • Boarding pass (be sure to print it out when checking in online!)
  • Travel documents, tickets for transfer and other booking confirmations
  • transparent bag for liquids
  • Apartment key
  • if necessary, directions to the (first) accommodation
  • glasses

Practical for the flight:

  • Ear plugs and / or headphones
  • Neck roll or small pillow for longer flights
  • Jacket or scarf: The air conditioning and ventilation on the plane can quickly lead to colds and a stiff neck - even in summer!
  • Chewing gum for nausea
  • possibly thrombosis stockings

Good to know - this is not allowed in hand luggage: Pointed and dangerous objects such as nail files, nail scissors, stick combs or penknives.

Excursus: babies and toddlers on board? This must also be carried in hand luggage

  • dummy
  • Diaper bag with all hygiene items and changing mat (observe the liquid limit and take transparent, resealable bags with you!)
  • small toy / cuddly toy
  • Change of clothes and cloth diaper
  • Baby food, milk powder, other equipment for eating and drinking
  • Baby blanket
  • possibly a child seat or special seat belt (agree in advance with the airline)
  • Nasal spray for problems with pressure equalization

Cosmetics & hygiene

Whether you put your cosmetic and hygiene items in your hand luggage or pack them in your suitcase depends primarily on the amount of liquids. The general rule is: Per container not more than 100 ml - all liquids must be in one Resealable and transparent 1 liter sack be stowed away.

The best thing to do is check your airline's guidelines. If you have to carry important medication in liquid form and thereby exceed the 100 ml limit, get it a medical attestt (ideally in the correct language). So you have no problems at the security point.

First aid kit & medicine

As already mentioned, taking medication with you is always a very individual matter. We recommend at least the following things for the first-aid kit:

  • Fever meter
  • Plaster and first aid kit
  • Medicines (pain relievers, for colds and fevers)
  • Ointments
  • Disinfectants

By the way, it is most common in the first-aid kit the good old band-aid: 60% of all travelers have one with them. Headache pills and pain relievers for back and dental problems come in second place on the list of medication to take with you when traveling. Only 18% of all travelers do not take any medication with them:

You should take important medication absolutely within reach in hand luggage to have. In the worst case, the suitcase is lost, which is why at least a basic set of hygiene items and medication is also useful in hand luggage.


Depending on whether you are traveling in summer or winter, you will need more or less clothes. In winter, clothes unfortunately take up more space and are often heavier. For general guidance

  • Shirts and tops
  • Shirt / blouse
  • Pants
  • Pajamas
  • Headgear and sunglasses
  • Underwear and socks
  • belt
  • Shoes
  • jacket

tip: Check the weather! This allows you to better assess which items of clothing are really needed and thus save space and weight. Experience has shown that people take too much clothing with them, especially in summer.

This must also be done with im

  • shorts
  • Dresses / skirts
  • Swimwear: swimming trunks / swimsuit, sandals / flip-flops, beach clothes, beach mat / beach towel
  • Sun hat
  • ski suit
  • Ski underwear
  • warm hat, scarf, gloves
  • Winter jacket / coat
  • warm shoes

tip: Make a one-off investment in a luggage trolley! These little helpers are handy and have space in every suitcase. So you know exactly whether you have exceeded the weight limit or whether something can still be packed.


If there is space left, you can of course take more with you in the case. Here, too, you should consider whether it might not be safer to store it in hand luggage. Some ideas:

  • Card games
  • Cell phone and charger, headphones
  • Camera and charger
  • Power bank
  • Adapter for sockets
  • possibly tablet / laptop

By the way: 73% of all Germans cannot do without their smartphone on the beach either. You can see which digital devices also end up in the suitcase here:

If you are all of our Tips for preparation and proper packing have read, then you are now prepared for a trip without worries! You can leave our checklist in your suitcase so that you have it to hand on your next flight and don't forget anything important. Good flight!

In this guide, our authors continuously publish interesting and informative articles on the topics of air travel, parking and much more!

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