With baggage fees and all that bulls@#$, travelers are incentivized to try pack light and pack smart. In my second installment of packing like a pro…yes, you guessed it…MORE packing tips! Here are a few things to keep in mind when deciding what to take with you on your next big trip.
-Pack a flashlight (I’m obsessed with my headlamp). You never know when there might be a power outage, or a scary campfire story that needs some mood lighting.
-Hotel laundry service can be very expensive. During longer trips, it’s often easiest to wash your own clothes. Bring a retractable clothesline to hang up in your bathroom and dry freshly washed socks and underwear from the comfort of your own room while you’re out exploring.
-Follow in the footsteps of MacGyver. Duct tape is the traveler’s cure-all. From fixing rips in your backpack and bandaging blisters, to taping your passport to the bottom of the bed for safekeeping. Duct tape is a must-pack item for those far-flung, more adventurous destinations.
-Don’t forget plug adapters (to charge up your electronics in foreign lands), a quick-dry towel (if you’re hostelling) and a battery-operated alarm clock (if you don’t have your iPhone with you) for those early morning flights. (Never trust hotel wake-up calls or drunk friends who promise to get you up in the morning).
-Pack a small collapsible duffel bag in your suitcase in case your luggage is overweight when you first check in with the airline. You can then put the heavy items in the extra bag and check them both or take it as a carry-on.
-Sanitizing wipes are an easy and compact means to cleaning your face and hands when traveling in dusty hills or along smoggy city streets. Arm yourself against germs that love to live on public bathroom handles.
-If you’re backpacking, especially for an extended around–the-world trip, choose a pack with “panel loading.” The unit opens like a suitcase, and your belongings are more accessible than they are with a hiking backpack.
-Give back and spread the love. Consider packing an extra suitcase full of hand-me-down clothes, children’s books and toys. There are so many developing countries around the world that don’t have access to the wealth of resources we have in North America. Contact a grassroots organization and bring what they need (shoes, glasses, coloring books, school supplies, toys). After you donate all your items, you can then use that empty suitcase to fill with souvenirs to take home.
-Avoid confusion at the baggage claim. Tie a bright-colored ribbon around the handle of your suitcase so you can easily recognize which bag belongs to you.
**Photo credit: Tom Simpson
For more tips like these please check out my book Travel Junkie: A Badass Guide to Travel is an insider’s look at how to travel smart and beat the system. In this book, I aim to inspire and empower future travel junkies to travel further, play harder, say “yes” to new experiences and channel their inner badass. I share tried-and-true travel tips and advice for the next generation of adventurers. With chapters on scoring cheap flights, maximizing air miles, using the best travel apps, surviving solo travel and staying safe on the road. Here’s the Amazon link: http://amzn.com/B00SGACEZK