You see a lot of travel tips all over the web and it can get pretty overwhelming. Not all tips will be right for you! If you are a traveler like WeTravel’s writer, Natalie, then you’ll definitely want to give this post a shot. She’s been Korea and Japan, unafraid of standing out, and aims to get as much out of the culture as she possibly can! The further you are planning on traveling, the harder it is to decide how to pack. Here are Natalie’s packing tips for traveling abroad.
Airfare paid for? Check. Hostel reserved? Check. Budget balanced? Check. Itinerary made? Check. Congratulations! You’re almost ready to take on the world.
There’s just one thing left to do… packing. But don’t panic! As much as we all hate packing, it is the last step we can take to ensure that our travels will be smooth sailing. And to help lessen the burden, I have compiled a list of top 5 packing tips!
1. Let’s Talk Suitcases
Depending on your airline, you are allowed a certain number of carry-on and/or checked-in baggage. For trips in which you anticipate to buy tons of souvenirs, the 1+1 formula is perfect (1 carry-on, 1 personal). Pack a larger suitcase to the maximum with your thickest clothing and leave the smaller suitcase relatively empty for all the stuff you pick up on your travels.
Does your airline allow you to check-in up to 2 pieces of baggage? Even better! Try to keep in mind that each airline has a different weight maximum though, which brings me to the next tip.
2. Luggage Scale, Luggage Scale, Luggage Scale
One of the first things that can happen when checking-in on your return flight home is someone telling you that your suitcase is overweight. Sometimes you receive a big, fat penalty fee. Other times you’re forced to drag your suitcase and your dignity to the nearest trash can to toss out your precious travel keepsakes.
In case you couldn’t tell by the heading for this section, I am a huge advocate for a luggage scale. You can buy little portable ones that can measure up to 900 lbs. I myself got one from my local REI and it has helped reinforce responsible shopping habits on my recent trip to Japan. Save yourself the sweat and tears and get yourself a luggage scale.
3. Ditch the Hair Products (Unless You Have Needs)
Everyone knows about travel sized containers, but, speaking as someone with big hair, they simply don’t last long enough. If your products belong to popular and international corporations, you are more than likely to find your favorite shampoo at the nearest market. By leaving this stuff behind, you save up a significant amount of space that can be used for souvenirs.
If, however, you’re going to a country with a mostly homogenous population and you don’t possess similar physical traits, that is a different story. When I studied abroad in South Korea, I had to ask my parents to ship me my favorite conditioner for my thick, frizzy, curly hair. There are some people in Korea who have hair like mine, but you can never find suitable product for a reasonable price.
My recommendation? Consider how long you will be traveling and how diverse the population is.
4. Functional Fashion
Think about the weather of the place you’re going and what you need to wear. Especially on your feet.
Going somewhere that’s known for rain? Get yourself some rain boots. Planning on doing a lot of hiking? Running shoes. Spending a lot of time on the beach? You get the picture—plan out your fashion in according to what you’e actually doing to do on your trip.
Minimalism is key when it comes to traveling too. Try and pack together clothes that you can mix and match to create multiple outfits. Bonus tip! Bring a little bag for your dirty clothes.
5. Write Down Errthing
We don’t always want to think about the bad things that could happen when you travel, but it doesn’t hurt to be too careful.
Get yourself a pocket journal and write down all of your emergency numbers, passport number, airline information, and hotel/hostel contact. Go the extra mile and write down your bank’s international contact information and write down some useful phrases in your destination’s main language.
You might opt to keep all this info on your phone, but it doesn’t hurt to have an offline backup.
So now you know how to pack your suitcase, but do you need somewhere to go? Let one of our trip organizers help you out with more planning. All the messy documents, research, and reservations you need to handle when visiting someplace abroad can take a lot of the fun out. Visit our upcoming trips to see what exotic place you can visit next!