We all know by now that traveling is good for our health and life. It gives us good energy and helps us become better persons.
Apart from the financial aspect (we never seem to have the right budget for it), traveling comes with another challenge: what do we pack when traveling? Sometimes we get carried away and wrap the entire house, whereas other times we end up buying all kinds of things in our travel destination.
Even though we came up with a guide for you, you should still take it with a grain of salt. The specifics of your travel should always count when making the final list. Keep reading for finding out about the travel essentials.
Start with selecting your main luggage
Unless you’re going hiking (in which case a backpack is your main luggage), you need to choose the right luggage for your travel. It has to be versatile and lightweight, but spacious enough for fitting your essentials.
Don’t get cheap with your luggage and buy for the long run. The last thing you want on a trip is to have to deal with some broken wheels or weak zippers. Go with a brand that gives warranty for its products.
Here are some of the main types of luggage that you can select from:
- Rolling luggage- We all love wheels, for the reason that anyone can understand. No need to struggle with a backpack when you travel to a big city with paved roads and beautiful sidewalks.
- Duffel bag- It’s lightweight and straightforward, but durable. You may carry it on your shoulder or look for a wheeled model.
- 4-wheels- It’s better that you look for four-wheel luggage when you pack almost the entire house.
- Travel backpack- If you want to move friendly and comfortable at all time, get a bag. It’s highly versatile and leaves your hands free at all time.
- Wheeled backpack- Look for this kind of pack when you may switch from airports a lot.
- Carry-on- It should be your no.1 choice when traveling by plane. Its benefits in the airport are numerous, and it’s easy to carry too.
Organize your things!
One key to having a nice trip is to organize your things, especially if you plan to do all sorts of activities. We all know that organizing doesn’t come easy, which is why you should keep scrolling down.
When your trip involves a lot of different activities, you should get the packing organizers. Having your luggage organized with packing organizers helps you know where is anything all the time, but you may also compress and arrange your things a lot more efficiently.
It’s a good idea to organize your clothing in compartments according to the outfit type or activity type, and the packing cubes are a great solution. They are zippered organizers that give you fast access to various things while maintaining your luggage neat. Cubes and compression sacs are also going to reduce the volume of your clothes by up to 80%. It’s a significant number, especially if you plan to have a jacket or a couple of sweaters.
The basics you need when traveling!
Keep in mind that this is a general listing, and you should adjust it to your specific needs when traveling. Here’s what one needs when going, nine times out of ten:
- Lightweight clothing that you may layer
- T-shirts and tank tops (make sure you can wear them at your destination)
- Pants and shorts (add the belts too)
- Long-sleeved shirts
- Socks (if you’re planning to hike, always go with wool socks)
- Underwear and pajamas
- Good shoes (comfort is the main criteria for selecting your travel shoes. When hiking, you need at least two pair of good hiking shoes)
- Dresses and skirts
- Sunglasses, glasses case, hat
- Swimsuit or swim trunk (you should also get a wet/dry organizer)
- Eye mask, earplugs, and travel pillow
- Cell phone and charger
- Adapters and electric converters (when traveling abroad).
- Umbrella, windbreakers, and a rain jacket
As we said, you always need to adjust the list to your trip. It’s good to have options, but you don’t want to travel over-packed. Packing smart is the right way to do it. Combine your clothing so that you don’t get bored when traveling.
What’s in the toiletry bag?
When you’re traveling by plane, the toiletry bag has to be TSA-compliant. It’s the 3-1-1 rule for gels, liquids, creams, and aerosols. They must be 3.4 ounces (100ml) or less in every container and have to be in one quart-sized, plastic&zip-top bags.
Here’s what your toiletry bag should include:
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, and floss
- Shampoo, conditioner
- Anything you include in your skincare routine (daily lotion, moisturizer, etc.)
- Sunscreen and face lotion with SPF
- Personal hygiene items
- Extra contacts, contact case, solution
- Prescription medication (get the script too in case the TSA asks you).
Some like pampering, so the toiletry extras shouldn’t be left out of sight:
- Mini mirrors
- Various hair products
- Shaving kit
- Travel towel
- Scissors, tweezers, nail clippers (always pack them in the checked luggage)
Should you get something for your health?
Should you travel abroad, you need to take a look at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website for complete guidance on medicines, travel vaccines, and any other advice information. Don’t do it the day before you leave, but a couple of months before!
Here are some of the everyday essentials you need to pack when traveling:
- First aid kid (gauze, bandages, adhesive, etc.)
- Pain and fever relievers
- Diarrhea/laxative medicines
- Cold medicines and throat medicines
- Motion sickness pills/bands
- Eye drops
- Antibacterial ointment/hydrocortisone cream
- Allergy medicines
- Vaccinations/drugs according to the country you’re traveling too
- Wet wipes and hand sanitizer
What about the technology you take?
Even though some of you are tech frenzy, many are still only using some electronic devices:
- Mobile device and charger
- An e-reader, laptop, iPad, and chargers
- Adapters and electrical converters
- Camera, memory card, and chargers
What do you need for your comfort?
Some have a favorite pillow, whereas others cannot leave the house without their eye mask. To each their own, so here’s our general list:
- Travel pillow/blanket, earplugs, and eye mask
- Books and magazines
- Travel games, a deck of cards
- Water bottle
- Travel journal and pens
Don’t forget about the travel documents, credit cards& cash!
It’s a great idea to use a document organizer and to prepare the essential documents. You should have everything you need in just one place:
- Passport (make sure you get your visa if you need it)
- Personal ID card
- Cash &credit cards
- Travel insurance information& health insurance cards
- Hotel/tour contact information
- Emergency contacts
- Guide books and maps (you never know when your smartphone loses the battery)
- Some copies of the documents in the case
Did you take care of the security of your luggage?
Pickpockets are always something to consider, especially when you travel to large cities. Keeping the valuables close to you and away from other eyes is the best way to do it.
Even though it’s a bit extreme, you can keep your valuables underneath the clothing. You may also lock the bags closed, but check the following solutions too:
- Neck wallet
- Leg wallet
- Hidden pocket or a money belt
- Luggage travel lock
- Reflective clothing and luggage accessories
- A mini flashlight or a headlamp
Some rules to always remember when packing!
Apart from the essentials you need to pack, it’s also essential that you even know how to pack efficiently.
Buy a compact luggage
The bigger the suitcase, the more you’re going to be tempted to pack. Get a hard-sides bag that isn’t taller than 22inches and a structured shell.
- Layout what you think you’re going to need for your trip
You should always think twice about everything you plan to pack. No matter how tempting it is, you should always put the “just in case I need it” aside. Should you ever come to the situation you need something, you may very well buy it from your travel destination.
Have you ever played Tetris?
Many suggest that rolling the clothes for winning space and reduce the wrinkles is the way to do it. You can always use the packing cubes or master the bundle technique- whatever floats your boat! Anything that works for you, as long as it helps you pack efficiently!
Run the clothing countdown once more
Do you need a mantra for streamlining your wardrobe? If so, keep in mind the “5,4,3,2,1” rule when going away for a week. It means you shouldn’t pack more than five sets of socks, &underwear, four tops, three bottoms, two pairs of shoes, and just one hat. You may adjust the list according to your needs (swimsuit when you go to the beach).
You shouldn’t unpack the Dopp kit
Keeping a separate toiletry kit for traveling is a good idea. It saves you time, and you always have it prepared for the road. When you have a second set of bathroom products, the chances for you forgetting about a toothbrush or your contact lens are rather slim. You shouldn’t overstuff though, which is why it’s a good idea to get the all-in-one options (BB creams are one example as they combine moisturizers, foundation, and sunblock too). Don’t forget to double up the plastic bag so that you prevent leakage as well.
Have easy access to the liquids
Remember always to place the toiletries on top in a clear bag so that you present it to the T.S.A. In some countries, toiletries are going to be checked thoroughly almost all the time. It’s better that you save your time and everyone else’s time by packing them in an easy-to-reach place, separated from the other items.
Do you have kids? Can they handle less gear while traveling?
Traveling with kids is another story, but the rule of thumb is that the more gear you may leave behind (cribs, car seats, etc.), the better is going to be for everyone. You may still buy formula when you get to your destinations. Diapers are an exception, and you should never leave home without having a stack.
Throw some clothes for the kids and yourself when traveling, in case of anything gets spilled. Load up the phone/tablet with their favorite games and movies. Are you up for it?