Traveling isn’t an easy business, particularly when you’re staring down at your enormous backpack and wondering what exactly you should put in it. Here are some tips to help you decide what and what not to take…
First of all, remember that you won’t need as many clothes as you think you do, particularly if you’re aiming to be away for a while so you’re going to travel around and wash your clothes as you go. Remember to take plenty of lightweight clothing – you don’t need many jeans, they’re heavy and they don’t dry quickly. Leggings and tunics are a much better choice. Take shoes that are comfortable to walk in, like a pair of walking boots along with some comfortable sandals, and make sure that you take plenty of layers so you can cover up easily or take off layers depending on what the weather’s like. Remember to go along with the cultural norms of whatever cities you’re planning to visit – you may want to cover up if you visit any temples so make sure you take a scarf with you and that your legs & shoulders are covered out of respect.
Remember that you can buy toiletries like shampoo and shower gel in other countries! A lightweight towel that dries quickly will serve you well, along with packs of baby wipes and dry shampoo if you don’t have much time to shower. Sun protection is really important so make sure you take sunscreen with a high SPF, along with a hat to cover your head and sunglasses. You should also make sure that you stay covered up in the midday and early afternoon heat, particularly if you’re pale skinned. Take medication like painkillers and anything to help with a sensitive stomach with you, along with plenty of bug spray and antihistamines in case you’re allergic to anything. Of course, make sure you don’t forget the essentials like toothbrush, toothpaste and tooth floss, makeup remover wipes, and personal hygiene products. A roll of toilet paper probably won’t go amiss either, along with a spare pair of eyeglasses if you need them.
Make sure that you keep your passport with you and that you have the numbers that you need to call if it gets lost or stolen. Visas are incredibly important so make sure you get that sorted out before your trip, along with plenty of cash and travel insurance. Save as much money as you can in case you need to get home quickly and change your flight.
Finally, remember any electronics that you want to take with you, like a kindle to get you through long journeys, a laptop, a camera, and of course any equipment that you may need to charge them. Make sure that you email all your photos to yourself so they’re all backed up if you happen to lose your electronics – the expense is bad enough but losing your memories would be even worse! Take some good quality headphones with you along with earplugs for hostels you may stay in, and a travel pillow so you can sleep in comfort.