American ExpressAmerican ExpressAmerican ExpressAmerican ExpressAmerican Express
United StatesChange Country

American Express Travel

Essential Travel & Vacation Checklist


Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway, or a month-long escape near or far, don't leave home without the essentials. From vacation packing lists, to area-specific travel info, to COVID-19 updates – this American Express Travel checklist will help you get ready for your trip.

Prep for COVID-19


First and foremost, with COVID-19 still looming large, staying safe and prepared during your trip is more important than ever. Before leaving the house, learn more about COVID-19 travel safety, as well as COVID-19 travel resources and get up to-the-minute information about situations in your particular travel destination. You can use the COVID-19 real-time map, plus see the latest updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Two men sitting outside with a tablet device

Check the latest travel advisories


Chances are you already know about all the great attractions, hotels, dining and other highlights of your upcoming trip. However, before booking or traveling, be sure to check out any last-minute warnings or advisories from your particular state of travel, as well as other important information you need to know as part of your travel checklist. Some states within the U.S., as well as international destinations are requiring that you meet certain requirements before or after you arrive, including:


  • Proof of a qualifying negative COVID-19 test
  • Self-quarantining upon arrival for a certain period of time
  • If traveling for business, following the work plan that your employer filed with the state/country.

Again, not all locations require this. But before you book your trip, it's critical that you know the rules in order to make the most of your getaway. You can check your particular state's COVID-19 travel rules here, as well as country-specific requirements outside the U.S.



Know your airline's COVID-19 requirements


Aside from being aware of the usual air travel rules like specific luggage weight limitations, prohibited items by the TSA, and any pregnancy restrictions – traveling in the COVID-19 era requires you have a little more knowledge before booking a flight. You can check your airline's COVID-19 policies by choosing from a dropdown menu here. And be sure to contact your particular airline about any changes in travel rules, including:


  • Current mask policies for kids and adults (throughout check-in, boarding and the flight itself)
  • Traveling with infants on your lap
  • Changes in meal service
  • Updated seat spacing, and more 



Check your hotel's policy before you go


Make sure there are plenty of contactless options available at your hotel before you book. From online reservations and check-in, to mobile room keys, to contactless payments – most hotels are taking those steps and more to keep you safe, including: 


  • Mandatory staff/guest mask requirements  
  • Plexiglass barriers at check-in counters 
  • Signs reminding of physical distancing throughout the hotel 
  • Updated cleaning and disinfecting policies for surfaces and items (such as pens, room keys, tables, phones, doorknobs, light switches, elevator buttons, remote controls, etc). 
  • Changes in food and meal services 
A woman sitting in an airport wearing a face mask and checking her phone.

No matter what the rules, it's important that you practice good hygiene as you travel. Here are guidelines from the CDC.


Traveling can seem somewhat challenging these days, but by staying informed and taking a few extra precautions, you can feel safer and more relaxed during your upcoming trip. If you've already booked through Amex Travel or have any additional questions about preparing for your getaway, feel free to visit us online.

The Essential Travel Packing List 


While forgetting something like pants or socks can be annoying, they're generally easy to replace. So, aside from the obvious packing necessities like clothes, underwear, toothbrushes and other items, there are some essential items to keep in mind that aren't so easily replaceable— especially if you're faced with an unexpected delay or change of plans due to COVID-19. Make sure you add these to your vacation packing list and, before you travel, do a last-minute check to make sure all of them are present and accounted for. In addition, if flying, consider putting them in a carry-on bag in case your luggage is lost:

  • Mobile Device(s)
  • Device Charger(s)
  • Travel Adapters (if traveling internationally)
  • Eye Glasses/Contact Lenses & Solution
  • Extra Masks/Hand Sanitizer (COVID-19)
  • Wallet/Purse (with emergency cash, credit cards)
  • Essential Medications (consider taking extra in case of any delays due to COVID-19 quarantine, etc.)
  • Necessary vaccinations (if traveling internationally)
  • Order currency online (if traveling internationally)
  • Travel Documents (driver's license/ID, visa, passport, boarding passes, tickets)
  • House/Car Keys (for your return home)
  • Umbrella