Are you new to adventures and not sure where to start? Here’s a helpful guide to what to pack for vacation!
Are you planning a long-term trip or going on a volunteering adventure? Are you having trouble deciding what to pack for vacation? Every year, more than 1 billion people pack their bags and head off to explore the world.
If you’re wondering what to pack for international travel, this article is for you. We’ll cover the basics that every traveler should take, and give you a few pro tips about staying safe abroad.
The Right Luggage
No matter where you’re going or how long you’re planning to stay, having the right luggage is key. If you over-pack, you’re going to be chained to your luggage. But if you under-pack, you might not have everything you need.
Most hotels and hostels have safes that you can use for valuables, but you should also get a lock for your luggage or backpack. If you can, bring a small backpack that you can carry with you during your day trips.
When you’re packing, try to keep all of your tickets and ID in one pocket of your luggage. You don’t want to have to search your entire backpack for your student ID card or passport.
You don’t have to invest in expensive luggage, either. Most thrift and consignment stores have name-brand luggage at discount prices.
One of the most important things to pack for vacation is comfortable clothing. You’ll probably be sitting for a few hours waiting for your plane, and then several hours on the plane. By the time you reach your destination, you don’t want to be a wrinkled mess.
Pack lightweight clothing that you can layer. For a few weeks before you go on vacation, check out their weather online. You might be surprised to find that you need to bring a jacket for colder nighttime weather.
If you’re going hiking, make sure that you have at least one woolen or silk layer. Experienced hikers know that the weather can change in an instant, so be careful before planning any extended trips outdoors.
Pro tip: get a money belt or neck wallet to keep your funds safe. You don’t want to pull out all of your traveling cash just to make a small purchase.
Unless you’re planning on renting a car, you’re probably going to do a lot of walking on vacation. You don’t have to bring your entire shoe collection, but try to bring at least one tried-and-true pair of walking shoes.
On a long trip, you should bring a few more pairs of shoes. Figure for three pairs of shoes per week. Go ahead and invest in some individual shoe bags: they’ll keep your shoes and clothing well separated.
Again, take a look at the weather for your destination. Will you need summer footwear? What if it rains? Nobody wants to drag their rain boots around, but it’s nice to have a Plan B if you get caught in the rain.
Also, make sure you have enough socks. If you’re planning on hiking, make sure that you’ve broken in your boots before your trip.
We’re at the point where none of us can survive without our phones and tablets, but do you want to bring them on vacation? Having a phone handy could be a lifesaver, but you might want to leave the laptops and tablets at home.
If you’re going to a foreign country, you might need to buy an electrical converter. Europe uses a much higher voltage than the United States, and you don’t want to ruin your personal technology.
If you do decide to bring your laptop or tablet, make sure you pack it in your carry-on luggage. Tourists abroad can be targets for theft, so store your devices in your hotel room.
When you’re deciding which things to pack for vacation, try to print out any maps that you might need. Hikers might not have access to an internet signal for their GPS, and your wireless network might be patchy in another country.
Everyone who’s traveling needs to pack their photo ID and passport, but what else should you bring on vacation?
It’s a good idea to print out your itinerary and flight confirmations, and to keep them with you at all times. You should also bring your credit or debit cards, a copy of your photo ID and passport, and any necessary visas.
When you travel, you should always leave a copy of your flight schedule and hotel reservations with someone back home. If you can, include a local contact number and the phone number to your hotel.
Also, bring your health insurance card and travel insurance paperwork. You probably won’t need them, but it’s best to be prepared.
You might want to get a checkup at a walk-in medical clinic before you leave. They tend to have low wait times and more affordable prices. You can get more info on walk-in clinics here.
More Tips on What to Pack for Vacation
Other things to pack for vacation travel include a first aid kit, a travel blanket, and a travel pillow. If you’re the kind of person who travels light, you can get a small first aid kit that doesn’t take up too much room.
If you’re going to be traveling with kids, make sure that they bring a few toys or stuffed animals. They might have some trouble sleeping at first, so make room in your schedule for a nap or two.
Figuring out what to pack for vacation depends upon your personal traveling style: some people go for outdoor adventures, while others are happiest in museums. Some people pack in under an hour, while others take days to decide. You’ll find out what works best for you as you go along.
Whether you’re taking a “volunteer vacation” or just going to see the sights, make sure that you’re safe and aware of your surroundings. You can send me an email if you have any questions, or take a tour of our travel blog! Looking forward to hearing from you, and safe travels!