Traveling to new destinations widens our horizons and boosts us with confidence. But packing for the trips is a different thing altogether. For some, it is a must for them to have everything in the bag that they can so they feel at home in any country. For others though, traveling light is the mantra to easy traveling. The former lot is the touristy type while the latter one is a traveler type.
So - as a traveler - how do you pack the right way? Here we share the 10 lesser-known tips travelers can use to pack right and make their travel experiences as comfortable as they can get. Read on:
#1 Have a Travel Packing List
You may require a special set of gear (like binoculars & headlamp etc.) while on an adventure but that may prove to be futile if you are headed to a beach for a peaceful time with your beloved. For a travel junkie, the first thing is to create a list and have it saved on their computer or on their Smartphone.
You can create one section of Basics that remain the same throughout any trip you take: certain clothing items, toiletries, and electronic gear; other section of packing list should be inspired by the place and purpose of visit. If it would be cold and you have a hiking trip planned for a particular place, instead of carrying one bulky jacket you should be packing up in layers. This way, you have plenty to keep away from the chilly winds but as you hike up and the body starts to warm up, you can easily take layers off the body and rejoice.
As you travel more, you will learn what you actually need and what you can easily leave at home - having a travel checklist is as essential as having the tickets to the place.
#2 Choose the Right Bag
A big backpack that can contain all the essentials is the perfect fit for a week of a hiking tour. But when you are visiting a place for like, say a month at a stretch and have plans to do all sort of adventurous and non-adventurous activities the place has to offer, it is vital that you carry with you an expandable bag with lots of space because you’d require different things for different activities.
Keep in mind your source of traveling from one point to another. Read airplane baggage policies if your transfers include airplanes. Learn more about the transportation of the place you are going to visit. Being cramped with a huge hard shell bag that wouldn’t budge in a mini-truck with 10 other heads is a sight you don’t want to see yourself in, or?
#3 Pick Dual-purpose Garments
Are you tired of everyone plainly telling you to pack light but not exactly helping you with the tips to pack light? Here, we got you. Pick garments that solve various purposes. A pair of pants that can be converted into a pair of shorts in a jiffy? Reversible jackets? Jackets that can be folded to make a travel-pillow? Stoles that can become a head-gear during hiking trips and a nice accessory that you can wear with a dress during a romantic dinner?
You get the gist, right?
#4 Roll, Don't Fold
Ask any travel expert, and they will tell you this: rolling the clothes instead of folding them while packing saves a lot of space, and time. This way, you can pack a month-worth of clothes in a small bag that is easy to travel with.
This brings us to our next step…
#5 Maintain Wrinkle-free Clothing
You can roll your casual clothes and stack them atop each other to save space. This trick does not apply to business suits and formal clothes you may wish to pack, just in case.
For such clothes, you ought to use plastic packing cubes, or just wrap them in dry cleaner plastic wrap to save money on packing cubes. Plastic covering prevents wrinkles from forming on formal clothing, thus saving you from embarrassment.
#6 Cut Down on the Footwear
While you may be able to sort enough by creating a Traveler Packing List, there are basics you need to carry when it comes to footwear. Pack one athletic pair, one casual pair, one dress pair, and a pair of chappals (also known as sandals, jandals, slip-on etc.).
Wear the heaviest pair if you are traveling via plane or a casual pair if you would be required to walk a lot for the major part of your journey.
#7 Packing the Toiletries
The most dreaded moment in a traveler’s life is having their clothes and the bag spoiled because of a leak in the shampoo bottle. Pack only the essentials when it comes to toiletries. Almost all places - including backpacker hostels and dorms - provide the basics like soap, hand wash, and body wash.
If you still feel the urge to pack ‘em all, go small. Buy adequately-sized travel-friendly spill-proof toiletry bottles that do not take up much space in your bag. To still be safe, always, we repeat, always get cling wraps (that you can put at the top of the bottle before putting the cap on) to secure the bottles before putting them in a space alienated from the rest of the bag.
#8 Laundry on the Go
Since you would be traveling light with less number of clothes, you may feel the need to have them washed. Laundry doesn’t come cheap at the majority of places. Always carry detergent (in dry form) and a sink-seal with you. Travel-friendly lines are also a must so you can dry the clothes overnight in the room itself.
This way, you don’t have to worry about traveling with a bag full of clothes or having to wear dirty clothes for days at end, or even worse, having to cater to bags full of dirty linen soon after you are back home from the trip.
#10 Don't Forget the Extension Cord & Extra Charging Cable
You never know where all you are going to stay under what all conditions (Not to instill fear in you but you could be staying in a dorm with not-so-excellent amenities). A long multiple-outlet extension cord comes in handy if you have a lot of devices to plug in. This way you can relax in your bed after a tiring day at the trek and still be able to work comfortably on your laptop instead of having to wait for that one socket next to the dining area get free.
Charging cables often go bad after an extended period of use. To be on the safe side, it is advised that you always have an extra charging cable on you.
#9 Pack Spare Sturdy Plastic Bags
Imagine having to pack clothes that couldn’t dry themselves through the night along with clean clothes? Or having to pack dirty clothes in the same bag as the clean clothes? Having extra plastic bags can help segregate the wet/ dirty/ soiled clothes from the clean ones.
If you find it hard to not shop, having spares sturdy plastic bags can help expand the baggage.