Trip preparation and packing may sound like hard work, but it’s part of the lead-up, the excitement of travelling to far away destinations, and it’s definitely worth the effort when you get there.
Remember, that whatever you pack, you have to lug across the world, so if you are unsure about something, chances are you probably don’t need it, and you may be able to purchase items en-route anyway.
There are certain things, however, that you will need to decide on before you leave. Here are some pointers to help you remember the important things.
Wheely bag, backpack, duffle bag? Not the easiest of decisions, but usually made simpler by considering the type of terrain you will be crossing.
The lighter the better when it comes to choosing your luggage. Also, you don’t want it to be oversized as you will have to carry or drag your luggage over cobblestones, up hills or on a dirt path.
Don’t travel with anything valuable that you don’t want to lose! Leave precious jewellery or items with a sentimental value in a safe place at home. If you’ve got an older model phone at home not in use, you might want to bring that one instead of your latest model. That way if the worst happens and it gets stolen, it won’t be as valuable.
A Travel pack is a good option for hands-free and wheeled carrying. Photo: Deuter.
Pack lightweight travel clothes that are non-creasing, versatile and quick to wash and dry. Layering is the key, and be prepared for all the climates you will be travelling to. A scarf can keep your neck warm but also use as a shawl for going out, or over your bare knees if entering a church.
Wear comfortable travel shoes that have been worn in properly. Feet may swell on the plane, and climate is likely to be different which can cause feet to sweat so keep that mind when packing your footwear. Look for versatile shoes that have an excellent sole and support. You’re better off being comfortable, so prioritise that factor over looks.
Blisters can spoil a holiday. Avoid cotton socks, these cause rubbing, and take a long time to dry. Look for travel or hiking socks made from Wool/Merino, Synthetic or a blend of these two fabrics.
Pack clothes that are easy to wash and don’t crease easily. Photo: Sea to Summit
Decant your toiletries into mini bottles to take with you. If you have sensitive skin or allergies, then it’s not ideal to rely on the shampoo and soap provided at hotels, so make sure you bring your own.
Take any required medication, as well as your prescription just in case you need to produce it at customs. You’ll need a travel size hand sanitising gel for when you’re out and about for your day pack.
It’s also a great idea to carry tissues, wet wipes, sunscreen, insect repellant, and band-aids with you in case you need them.
A few extra handy points
- Remember – no aerosols on planes and have liquids accessible in 1 x zip lock plastic bag for checking by airport security, each container even if partially filled must be no more than 100ml.
- Tie some coloured ribbons around the handles of your suitcase to make it easier to identify. Avoid any loops, they may get caught on something.
- Have a luggage label with your destination, next hotel, and contact number/s.
This post was updated for 2017.
What are your packing tips for travelling overseas?
About the writer...
As a keen traveller, bushwalker and birder I have a passion for the Australian bush, particularly the outback.