Ultimate International Travel Packing List

Here’s my ultimate international travel packing list based on what I learned from our recent trip to Italy.

Everyone said I way over-packed for our family vacation to Italy this month (Read about it here), but I’d have to say this list was clutch! The only thing I didn’t really need was the nine pairs of heels I packed which I’ve since taken off this list lol

Leading up to our Italy trip here’s the list of things I did, what to pack and why it can make your trip so much better. Hope it helps make yours amazing too!

  • Call your cell phone company and set-up an international calling and data plan for when you are away. -I did this but didn’t realize that it still will not work much of the time. Be sure to have your “roaming” turned on when your there or it won’t work at all. WiFi tended to be our best option, but you still want one of these plans as your bill will terrify you when you get home if you don’t have it set up prior to leaving.
  • Set up a “travel alert” for all your bank accounts and credit cards. -This one is a must as your bank will likely decline all transactions if you don’t have this alert on your account BEFORE you leave. Setting it up while abroad can be much harder. Just call the number on the back of your card and give them the dates for your trip, be sure to include any layover locations as well so your card will work in those airports.
  • Buy A FEW international plug-in adaptors. -I almost missed this one totally, and in a panic grabbed ONE off Amazon the day before our trip. That wound up being the biggest pain in the ass because there are four people in our family and we had ONE plug! I assumed that buying one would not be an issue once we got to Italy, but the only place we found them was at the end of our trip in Rome. So stock up before you go! Here’s the one you need for Italy. 
  • Ultimate International Packing ListDon’t forget your passports! This is obvious I know, but I made the mistake of thinking it would be a no-brainer to get ours and wound up fighting in court with my ex about getting the kids theirs. So plan ahead. It took only two weeks to get our rushed passports back, but you never know so do it ASAP.
  • Email copies of your passports to your own email and also one or two family members or other trusted friend. Also include copies of your and your children’s birth certificates, and your itinerary and flight info, you can never be too prepared.
  • Stop your mail. You can do this online here in the US. Just enter the dates you’ll be gone so that your mail won’t pile up in your absence.
  • Turn on your email auto-reply. You can do this in your “settings” sections of your email account. It’s an automatic reply saying your on vacation with limited access to email, do this especially for business.
  • Buy compression socks for the long flight. This will prevent your legs from swelling up like watermelons on the flight. This is what they look like
  • Bring an extra charger. Pack extra charging cords and portable charger and don’t forget a car charger!
  • Ultimate International Travel Packing ListPrint your e-tickets. -This is the #1 thing that came in most handy on our trip. For anything that needed a ticket I made sure to print them all and put them in their own individually market envelope before we left. You never know if your phone might be dead that day, or lost or you might not have connection to access your e-ticket, so be prepared. We also loved having the hard copy in hand and easy to grab. Having it in it’s own envelope meant on the day of train travel, or tour or whatever we just grabbed the envelope containing all the info and didn’t have to worry about finding it on our phones. Plus I could give it to my son and make him do the navigating!
  • Ladies get a light-weight secure closing side purse. To avoid pick-pockets and for light ease of use ditch the big designer bags and opt for a cheep side purse with a secure close. I got several on Amazon for under $15 each before I left so I’d have one to match my outfits! They are light and easy to pack and look great! This was my favorite (though the strap is long).
  • Get a great travel journal. I’m a writer yes, but I insisted that my kids also had their own personalized travel journal for our trip, and we each wrote in them every night. A good one will last you a lifetime, and it’s treasures and memories are priceless. I gave my kids the challenge of each day looking for something they could glue into their book that would remind them of the day; a train ticket, a leaf a postcard… whatever. They loved keeping an eye open for those things and writing their day and memories in it. This is where I got mine and it’s awesome.
  • Grab a pair of slippers. -So glad we all got slippers before we left for those cold stone floors of our villa in Tuscany, or the cold wood ones in Rome! They are easy to pack and sooooo great to have.
  • Starbuck Via Travel Packing ListStarbucks coffee singles. -I’m a bit of a coffee addict so this was a life saver! If you’ve never tried these they are amazing! It’s instant coffee that taste like a brewed espresso. So clutch for the first cup or two before you can make it to the local shop for a cappuccino! My only regret is that I only took one pack and ran out the first week of our 16 day trip!
  • Take a good Probiotic with you. You might want to test these out a week or two before your trip to make sure they have had time to adjust to your system. I use one for digestive health for myself and the kids, and it helps your body actively process food and the changes to environment that can make travel uncomfortable. I was so glad we had these!
  • Good Eye drops. Take some quality eye drops with you for the long flights and put them in a few times while your in the air. Airplane air is really dehydrating to all parts of your body and your eyes (even if you normally don’t have dry eyes) are no exception. But DO NOT get a synthetic drop like Clear Eyes, they burn and are super damaging to your eyes (learned this the hard way after having to visit the eye doctor). Instead get one with NO preservatives.
  • Ultimate International Travel Packing ListApply moisturizer and rehydrating serum in the air. This trick I learned from a flight attendant years ago and have used it on every flight since and I truly believe it’s helped to keep my skin looking younger with all the flying I do. Put it on in the air several times. I make my kids do this too even my teenage son. Don’t let your skin dry out when you fly! That’s how you get wrinkles!
  • Get a good sleep aid! I am not a good sleeper when I’m not at home, so I asked my doctor for a light sleeping pill and I pack Melatonin for my kids. This is especially helpful on the flight and when you’re adjusting to the timezone changes.
  • If you hate to fly (like me) get help! I spent way too many years nearly having a panic attack when I flew before I realized there’s this little amazing innovation called Xanex that your doctor can prescribe just for flying! And can I just say…life changing! Why suffer when you don’t have to? Especially when flying with your kids and they look to you when the plane goes through shaky air and don’t want to read panic on your face!

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Hustle.Believe.Receive. Single Mom Life Travel Vision Boards

How I Manifested My Dream Vacation to Italy!

This is the formula with which I manifested my dream vacation to Italy, the same one I’ve used for years to manifest an entirely new life for myself and my family. #HBRMethod 

How I Manifested My Dream Vacation to Italy!
Live your dream, Izzy in Rome Italy

If you’re a regular reader of my blog you know that I’ve had a burning desire to go to Italy since I was a teenager (#DreamIT).  I’ve talked about going for twenty years (#SayIT), I’ve had it on my #FutureBoard (vision board) for the past ten years (#SeeIT), I’d tried unsuccessfully several times in my life to plan a trip (#WriteIT), even going so far as to map out my exact route and pick a date (#ThinkIT), but I’d always lacked the balls to buy my ticket. (lacking #DoIT and #BelieveIT)

Well, this June I had a thought…. Even if I could go to Italy alone (as I’d always imagined I would) it would not be as meaningful if I couldn’t share it with my kids. I envisioned coming home all excited to tell them every detail, but them not wanting to hear about all the fun I’d had without them. Then I imagined that one day I would take them, and we’d travel the same route I’d done alone, and I’d point out all the things I loved; but by then they would be teenagers rolling their eyes with sighs under their breath of, “Oh mom!”

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Hustle.Believe.Receive. Your Life Coach

Change Your Life in 8 Weeks!

Over the past year I’ve watched the #HBRMethod change lives. It sounds kinda crazy I know, even I am blown away!

change your life in 8 weeks!About 18 months ago I ran my first #HBRbootcamp comprised of 15 total strangers, and people I did not previously know. They were all willing, determined and ready to change their life, so we got to work! I had them read my book #HustleBelieveReceive and do the homework from the book, learning each step over an 8 week virtual course.

Their results have been ASTONISHING! The participants who took it seriously have put in the work and continued to apply the method this past year. Those clients have dramatically different lives then one year ago. It’s been such an amazing honor to watch this transformation, and know that the method really does change lives.

Just a few client success examples… read more »

Single Mom Life Travel

Why My Kids Are Planning Our Italy Adventure

5 Reasons why my three young kids are planning our Italy adventure this fall. 

Why My kids are planning our Italian Adventure

Going to Italy is not just a vacation for me, it’s the realization of a life-long dream, and what some might call a near obsession. Since my teens the allure of discovering Venice; driving the winding roads of Tuscany, and eating pasta in Rome, has pulled at the very core of me. It’s almost a spiritual, attraction I feel, as if it’s the one place I’ll feel most at home in the world.

For this reason I didn’t want to just take my kids to Italy, I wanted them to understand it’s magical spell and help me discover it for the first time; together as a family. But how can I make two nine-year-old’s and a thirteen-year-old, really get it?

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Hustle.Believe.Receive. Your Life Coach

Courage Over Fear

What does it take to have courage over fear? I said in Hustle Believe Receive that; “fear is the enemy of success.” I believe that to be true because of the incredible power most people give it, whether they recognize it or not. But I think fear also holds one important role in our lives, and that is to make us question our decisions. It forces us to vet all the possibilities before rushing into a potentially life changing choice.

courage over fear

The key is to make sure fear knows its place in your world. Don’t give it more power or more credit than it deserves and definitely don’t allow it to be your guiding force behind making decisions. It is simply a tool in our box that can help us make decisions where we’ve looked at all possible repercussions of that decision.

It takes courage to live the life you really dream of living. It takes immense courage to follow your dream and find success. Courage comes into play every time fear threatens our dreams. Fear is the devil on our shoulder making us look at all those nasty worst case scenarios; so look at them! Stare them down. Could you still live with yourself if one of those “worst case” hypothetical situations happened? Then there’s your answer, fear did its job and now its time to turn the wheel back over to courage.

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My Stories Single Mom Life Travel

Single Mom Globe Trotter

Venice Italy #SingleMomGlobeTrotter

I’ve had a life long dream to travel the globe. But more specifically… to go to Italy.

If you’re a longtime reader of this blog, or a personal friend of mine, then you already know this. It’s been my obsession since I was eighteen years old. That’s when I fell in love with it for the very first time, in the film Only You with Robert Downey Jr. I’d just graduated high school and when the footage of Venice came on the big screen I was transfixed. The footage of Tuscany left me with lifelong fantasies of getting lost in a tiny janky car roaming around the Tuscan villages, drinking wine from a bottle. And the scenes of the Amalfi Coast… we’ll… I have no words to do them the justice they deserve.


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My Stories

41 Is NOT The New 21

5 reason’s why I’d rather be 41 than 21!

Today I turned 41. Kinda hard to believe actually. I’m not exactly sure where the time has gone. Sometimes I feel like I woke up one day and my twenties and thirties where over, without any warning. I remember being in my twenties thinking that women in their forties where soooooooo old. Like end of life old! I thought they looked ancient and acted even older.

Yet here I am.41 is NOT the new 21

On most days I don’t feel “old.” Or not as old as I thought those women seemed anyway. So it got me thinking; is our perception of age really changing? People say that your forties are the new twenties and I’d have to disagree. Maybe they are the new thirties, but my God! Am I happy I’m not still in my twenties!


So I thought I’d share five major lessons that my twenties, thirties and forties have taught me.


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Single Mom Life Travel

Single Mom Road Trip Survival Guide

I grew up going on long road trips, when my family would drive from Oregon to California to visit relatives or friends several times a year. Back then we’d all pile into an old beat-up station wagon, pack some sandwiches and pray we wouldn’t end-up broken down on the side of the freeway (which we almost always did).

So when I became a parent it seemed logical that driving would be the way to go if I needed to take my family less than a thousand miles. I made a few such trips back when I was married with one child, but when I became a single mom with three kids… that’s when it became interesting!

Travel matters to me, a lot. I think as parents, one of the most important things we can do for our kids is show them the world, even if it’s just a few hundred miles from home. And so I committed to sharing this experience with my children from the very start of this single parent journey. Over the past eight years we’ve made an annual road trip as part of our summer vacation, and I’ve learned a few tips that might help you make traveling with your kids a little less scary and hopefully fun!


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