Travelling is one of the most exhilarating, life-changing experiences you can ever have. It’s an intoxicating way to connect with the world around you, to challenge your limits, see what you’re made of, and explore the most magnificent wonders this world has to offer.
But traveling isn’t without its challenges.
Learning to pack smart is a science – it involves trial and error, precise deductions and practical decision-making. Take it from someone who’s spent an entire afternoon wandering the streets of Amsterdam in high-heeled boots with a backpack strapped to her back and a large suitcase following close behind: packing smart will save you a world of hurt.
So before you make your courageous leap into the unknown, take a quick gander at the list below. Whether this is your first trip abroad or your fiftieth, these packing hacks will help make your journey exponentially easier – some more surprisingly so than others.
Make copies of your passport, ID, itinerary, and visas. Email one copy to yourself, print one to keep with you, and another to leave with someone at home. Always cover your bases.
Always have the local currency for the place you are visiting. Even in the 21st-everything-is-plastic-century, not everyone will take a credit card. Markets, buses, tolls, and vendors are just a few places you’ll need some dough.
Trail mix, protein bars, nuts; the more filling while taking less space, the better.
4. Mini first aid kit
Picking up travel-sized Advil, Band-aids and the like will definitely save you a headache or five.
5. Charger adapter
Countries have different sized outlets and voltages. If you want to use any of your electronics, you’ve got to be able to charge them, so be sure to pick these up.
6. Portable charger
How annoying is it when your phone dies while you’re out and about during the day? Multiply that by a thousand when you’re in an unfamiliar city with no idea where you’re going. It’s undoubtedly the best investment you’ll make.
7. Unlocked cell phone
Call up your provider and unlock your cell phone. It costs roughly 20$ and allows you to buy cheap SIM cards to use in another country to make calls, texts and use data when wifi isn’t an option.
8. I’d app that
Language apps, transit apps, hotel apps, all the apps. Do your research, visit the app store and download anything and everything that could possibly make your journey a little less trying.
9. Black sneakers
They’re comfortable, go with everything and are appropriate for nearly all occasions.
Sitting on a bus or plane for hours on end is excruciating when you’re dressed to the nines. A few pairs of tights and jeans can be easily packed in a carry-on, while making your outfit cute, comfortable and practical.
11. Infinity scarf
A multi-purpose godsend. You can use this as a blanket, put it over your face to take a nap, or catch the eye of the cute Irishman at the bus stop. All signs lead to yes.
12. Glasses case
Use this to store your cords and chargers. It saves you having to dig through all of your belongings and makes less of a tangled mess.
13. Pill container
You can use this to sort and store your jewelry (and even plan what days to wear which studs).
14. Contact cases
This allows you to store small amounts of foundation, lotion, etc., rather than taking the entire bottle with you, saving you space and a potentially huge mess.
15. Small tote
Don’t stroll down the red-light district looking how I looked. Bring a small tote or purse with you so you can bring the essentials along without breaking the camel’s back.
16. Bounty sheets
Traveling is synonymous with wretched stank. You can choose to embrace it, or try and nip it in the bud by throwing a few bounty sheets in your suitcase to keep your clothes smelling fresher, longer.
17. Pot holder
Wasn’t planning on baking a pie in Paris? How about curling your hair for a night out on the town? You can use a pot holder as a make-shift case so you can pack your curlers and straighteners even when they’re warm.
Have any traveling hacks of your own? Leave them in the comments field below – sharing is caring after all!
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