Ah packing! Just the last bit of tedious or exciting activity before you head out to visit a new place or country. Whilst you are exploring the sights & sounds the world has on offer, it would be wise to make sure you have the right things at the right time instead of scrambling to the shops at odd hours. A checklist for packing essentials is pretty useful in such situations and there are some cool tips given below as well. I might not have gotten packing down to a fine art but in my experience I think I am pretty close! Here are some of the things that I feel are essential for any journey:
– Passport – Preferably kept in a purse or neck wallet for convenience and safety.
– Debit/ Credit cards – Another item for ideally suited for a travel wallet
– Keys – Your luggage locks & your house keys (Remember to take those!)
– Drivers license or supplementary ID – Great for handing over at places that like to retain copies or your ID itself. Plus if you are looking to drive you definitely need this.
– Contact info – A photograph or copy tucked away in your luggage in case it needs identifying.
– Hotel Booking info – A copy of your hotel reservation
– Airline ticket copy – These last two in case your phone dies.
– Business documents – If your trip is for business-related reasons.
1. Packing cubes or travel organizers – The importance of packing cubes for travelers cannot be down played. Even being one of land of the traveler’s most popular travel items, they are extremely handy in keeping everything in your suitcase very organized. You can easily find your clothes, accessories, electronics & beauty items in a jiffy.
2. Pillows – Pretty much anything that can give you great neck support will come in handy. There are plenty of travel pillows out there that can serve you well.
3. Plastic bags for storing liquids.
4. Sleep mask – Again, great for long flights or ones where you have a person next to you on the plane who will not put the window shade down.
5. Selfie sticks – Not essential but handy to have if you are into taking a lot of selfies especially by large monuments like the leaning tower of Pisa
6. Sun glasses
7. Books – Traveling can be uncertain at times, you never know what you will encounter especially when you travel alone. A good book is great to have in this case.
Beauty & health:
1. Deodorant – An absolute essential if you are heading to countries with higher humidity. You can always buy them when you arrive but they do add to the space if you like to pack up to the absolute weight limit.
3. Make-up, lip stick, Nail polish, Eyeliner
4. Medicines – Pack some for headaches, fevers, a cold, and stomach issues. Vaccinations are necessary for some countries but take some extra meds along just in case, as these are practically weightless and save you the extra trouble.
5. Sunscreen – A good one at that SPF 30 would be a very safe bet for most sunny locations like Australia.
6. Shampoo, face cleanser
7. Cold cream/ lip balm – if you are heading to cold places for the first time
8. Shaving kit (razor & gels)
9. Toothbrush, Tooth paste & Dental floss – Dental floss is a pretty versatile item great for tying stuff up or hanging light clothing out to dry.
10. Anti-bacterial tissues/ wipes.
11. Footwear – Always wear your shoes on your flights and pack your slippers you can reduce the weight of your suitcase & open up some room.
12. (Insert location specific item here) Mosquito repellents for Asia, Prescriptions for antibiotics if traveling to Australia etc.
1. Phones, & Tablets – Try to skip the laptop as much as possible as your tablet can do most things these days.
2. Camera – A pretty essential item if you love nature or like new places. Remember to copy existing data onto your laptop & free up space on your memory card ( It’s crazy the amount of people who forget this )
3. Earphones – These are great for killing times on flights and do better at keeping the noise out when compared to headsets. (cheap ones at least) If you do love a headset then opt for a fold able headset if you can as it has less chance of breaking.
4. Portable Chargers – Get rid of them wires & get yourself a nice external to help with all your charging needs instead of carrying multiple chargers in your carry on. If you are heading out into the back country there are some cool new solar options available to you too.
Tips for Travelers
These are some generic tips not necessarily packing related that you can really take into consideration to have a much smoother ride.
#1 – Go green! There are literally tons of sustainable alternatives for most of the things we mentioned on the list. Everything from solar chargers for your phones to washing bags that can be used instead of a washing machine maybe utilized. Try to figure out which elements of your everyday items are sustainable and which are not degradable. You will be surprised at the amount that is not!
#2 – If you have a larger suitcase, chances are you will go overweight if you pack it completely with stuff. Opt for a 25 inch option this will serve you well in keeping you under the weight limit. Alternatively get yourself a luggage scale to weigh your suitcase before heading to the airport. You can avert some large over weight fees from airlines.
#3 – The type of clothes you take with you can save you weight as well. Try to make use of layers instead of taking 1 large jacket to keep you warm. This will lessen the weight a lot. This applies especially if you are traveling to places like Australia from England or Canada. The winter is cold but certainly not unmanageable. Another tip is to take a couple of jeans and keep it at that if you are heading somewhere for a week. These don’t need to be washed and can get you into bars & clubs just fine and they go along with just about any t-shirt or top.
#4 – Double up on things you can use as a substitute. Things like coconut oil, sarongs can double up for a variety of different uses. Versatile items can really help reduce weight. Additional items that don’t take too long to dry out like board shorts, some bikinis & socks as well can be kept to a minimum. Since they can be worn again after a matter of minutes in the sun.
When you are traveling as a family try to take things that everyone can use without having to carry multiple items. The chargers we mentioned earlier can be minimized. If you are backpacking as a group a stove & water filter can come in handy over carrying multiple packets of food.
#5 – If you are heading into the back country make sure you have all the essential items like hiking boots, hiking socks, thick clothes (higher altitudes), flashlights, tents & a repair kit. Most people forget the repair kit even though it barely weights anything and can save you a lot of discomfort.
#6 – Always keep your passport with you at all times. Yes you can show a drivers license and get into hotels & clubs but it’s better to be safe than sorry when you are traveling to an unknown land. Keeping a copy of your ID in your suitcase is pretty handy in the event your carry-on is stolen.
#7 – Do your research. You can be well prepared for just about any trip with a little bit of research. There are things that can be quirky or specific to a country. This applies to what customs will allow you to carry. For instance, it’s hard to take your pets or spices into Australia and you have to get your baggage scanned multiple times, be able to take apart all your electronics when you travel to beautiful yet slightly risky places like Srinagar in India. Pack accordingly, so that you have easy access to things and are not carrying many items that will get quarantined at customs. This will probably take you 15 mins tops thanks to google.
#8 – Budget airlines seem to be the way to go. Unless you are a frequent business traveler, the prices that budget airlines are offering across the world is quite tempting. With rates lower than ever you should probably consider taking advantage and flying with them than saving up miles with larger airlines like British Airways, American, and Singapore etc. The prices have gotten extremely competitive so make use of sites like Sky scanner and find the right balance of comfort and value for you.
To sum up, keep your key items close to you at all times, go easy on the clothing but remember to take all the essentials items with you. Explore and enjoy everything that our planet has to offer and try to preserve what you see to your greatest extent.
Shree is a travel writer and editor of Landownership.com, a site dedicated to providing travel gear reviews, destination guides & inspiration. Shree has been traveling for the past decade and has visited numerous countries worldwide. As an avid adventure sport enthusiast he likes Skiing, Sky diving and many other things. He is also very passionate about the environment and its preservation. He aims to also promote Eco-friendly alternatives based on firsthand experience. You can say hello on Twitter.