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What To Pack When Traveling

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Packing for travelling is a big deal – or so everyone makes out. Some guides will urge you to arm yourself for every given scenario and emergency. Realistically, you don’t want to be packing a hundred items including the kitchen sink. If you’re really hardcore you can just jump on a plane with a wallet and a passport. Unless you’re going somewhere particularly extreme, you’ll most likely find everything you need at your destination. That said, most casual travellers will probably feel more at ease bringing some essentials along. Here is a brief guide of the things that really matter when packing.

Bag

Before you can even begin packing you need a suitable bag. Consider your accommodation and the method in which you plan to travel. If you think you’re going to be staying in hotels and hostels where you can drop off your stuff during the day, it may be worth bringing a travel backpack and a daypack. Find a top one shoulder backpack – this should make a comfortable and excellent bag for day excursions. Don’t bring a suitcase unless you’re travelling by car or have a permanent residence – otherwise lugging it around won’t be fun.

Clothing

Pack light whilst travelling – you can clean your clothes en route. Leave all your cool and flashy clothes behind and pack for comfort (especially if you’re going to a poorer country where such clothing might advertise you to thieves). Even if you’re going to a hot country, pack some clothing for cooler climates (it might be cold at night) plus a thin waterproof jacket. Pack one pair of sandals and one pair of trainers (that’s all you need for all terrains). Respect cultures and dress modestly where appropriate.

Money

Are there going to be cashpoints and card machines along the way? Putting some money on a special travel card might be the most secure option. If ATMs and card machines aren’t likely, you’ll have to carry cash. Put it in a secure place in your bag that isn’t easily accessible.  

Other essentials

There are all kinds of gadgets and life-hacks that seasoned travelers will recommend. Sticking to the basics, all you really need are a first aid kit (very important), a wash bag, a towel, a water bottle, sun cream, wet wipes (for those times you can’t wash your hands) and of course tampons/sanitary towels for female hygiene. A swiss army knife can be very useful but research the laws of the country first (some countries such as Mexico can prosecute you for carrying one).

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Money

Are there going to be cashpoints and card machines along the way? Putting some money on a special travel card might be the most secure option. If ATMs and card machines aren’t likely, you’ll have to carry cash. Put it in a secure place in your bag that isn’t easily accessible.  

Other essentials

There are all kinds of gadgets and lifehacks that seasoned travellers will recommend. Sticking to the basics, all you really need are a first aid kit (very important), a washbag, a towel, a water bottle, sun cream, wet wipes (for those times you can’t wash your hands) and of course tampons/sanitary towels for female hygiene. A swiss army knife can be very useful but research the laws of the country first (some countries such as Mexico can prosecute you for carrying one).

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Electronics

A smartphone is really the only electronic gadget you need – easily portable and with all the essential functions including a camera and internet access. More and more travellers are bringing laptops – great for blogging and uploading photos and watching movies, but heavy and more easily damageable. Consider whether it’s something you really need to take (as with cameras and mp3 players). Remember to bring all necessary chargers (plus a portable charger if you’ve got one – this will be a great help when can’t find anywhere to charge up). Plug sockets may be different to the ones you have back home so research whether you need an adaptor plug.

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