Packing Tips

At a minimum, pack twice:

  1. Pack what’s vitally essential to your trip in order of importance only. Put away the rest.
  2. Take it all out. Pack the same important items (which you now know fit with room to spare) and pack the least important of these first. That way you have the easiest access to the most important things, and ample space to retrieve it.

  • Never underestimate the importance of the mini bag & zippered pockets on your person.
  • Bring a black Sharpie (so that you can label your food…)
  • Ziplock bags (not many, just enough. They’re a pain to buy, and have traveled to some locations which do not sell them).
  • Compartmentalize your pack.
    • Extra plastic bags for dirty/wet gear clothes.
    • Collect shower caps to wrap shoes in for suitcase.
    • Keep a collapsible duffle/packing cubes should you acquire anything

  • Don’t skimp on the quality of your toiletries, but don’t bring much.
  • You can cut corners for the sake of traveling light on a lot of fronts, but you will enjoy you time so much more if you don’t shortcut hygiene. (You also won’t get sick as much.) Still only pack essentials, but pack what works.
    • Make-up comes in travel sizes as well
    • clear nail polish, helps you ‘clean up’ without chipping as your trip continues
  • Soap options
    • Dr. Bronner’s castille/ Backpacker’s go to
    • Liquid, stores easily in travel container
    • Tin Container Bar Soap
  • PJ’s on top w/tooth brush& towel.
    • This will save you so much angst, especially when you arrive at some ungodly hour in a foreign hostel. Nothing worse than having to dump the entire contents of your perfectly stuffed pack all over the bed on a rail-less bunk just to find that your sleeping clothes are at the bottom.

(Specific to cold weather travel)

  • Bring a thermos
    • plus a few packets of your own tea
    • instant coffee

  • Mini travel folder for important docs AND copies of all important documents. (Keep a scanned version of all the below listed documents on each of your devices as well)
    • Passport Page
    • Visa
    • Residence/ Work Permit
    • Flight Information
    • Trip Itinerary
    • Insurance Information
    • Acceptance Letter, (If you are a student studying abroad.)
      • You’d be surprised how much access you can gain to all variety of places by having this on you. Especially, if you are attending a good university.
    • Confirmation E-mails, if applicable
    • Written address of where you are trying to go &/or Business card

Note: For extended travel (1 month +)  you don’t need to pack for the entire trip. In fact, its often better not to spend money in advance purchasing items which may ‘save you’ money later. Unless you have a very specific goal, task, sport you’re preparing for it may be far more convenient to purchase something there that serves the exact purpose and climate it was designed for. Instead, pack to maintain yourself at a base level for the first 50% of the trip. The rest will fall into place. (*highly dependent upon whether you’ll be doing urban or outdoors traveling- Do NOT hop into the wilderness without everything you need*).

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