Monthly Archives: January 2017

Let’s Learn About Packing Tips for World Travelers

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If you are going on a backpacking trip where you will be lugging your bag around constantly, you will want to keep your bag as light as possible. We like to keep our bag weight below 30 pounds, so it’s important to find a backpack that is light to begin with. This pack is great Teton Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack.

You don’t want to be stuck with a bag that weighs 7-10 pounds by itself. Check out our post on choosing the best travel backpack to find out more about bags that we suggest. If you can’t manage to keep your bag under 30 pounds, shoot for under 40 pounds. If you keep it under 40, you won’t have to pay baggage fees on most airlines.

This packing list will vary depending on where you will be traveling and what the weather will be like. If you will be traveling to both warm and cold regions you are better off not lugging around the heavy warm clothes for the entire trip. You can either ship the warm clothes home once you reach warmer climates or buy the warm clothes along your trip if the cold destinations are at the end of your travels.

I won’t leave home without these items:

* Charcoal Pills Activated Charcoal Tablets, 250 mg, 125 tablets – These work wonders for traveler’s diarrhea! Instead of just keeping you from pooping (which is what Imodium does) the charcoal absorbs the bacteria in your body so you can get rid of it on your next bowel movement. They use a stronger dose of this for people who overdose on medication and I’ve also been told it can work for people who are allergic to certain things. If you take it, it helps with the allergic reaction.

* Antibiotics for Traveler’s Diarrhea – A back up for bacteria that is beyond the help of charcoal pills. (Cypro or something similar) I’m personally allergic to Cypro but this is what is commonly prescribed for traveler’s diarrhea.

* Hand Sanitizer – Travel Size

* First Aid Kit

* Bug Repellent

* Poncho or Travel Umbrella

* Vitamin C

* Coco Luxe Moisturizing Coconut Oil (Travel size!)

* 1 or 2 Combo Locks – eBags TSA Accepted Lock 4-Dial Combo (2pk) (Blossom)
You can use this for lockers and while sleeping on trains or buses. I always use one to lock my valuables in a section of my bag and the other to lock my bag to something secure.

* Camera – This camera is great for traveling and takes amazing pictures! Canon Powershot G10 14.7MP Digital Camera with 5x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom

* Camera Battery Charger & Extra Batteries

* Camera Memory Cards

* Voltage Converter SIMRAN 200 WATTS DELUXE STEP DOWN VOLTAGE CONVERTER MODEL SMF-200 FOR FOREIGN TRAVEL.

* Small External Portable Hard Drive – Toshiba 640 GB USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Dive HDDR640E04XR (Rocket Red)
We use this for backing up photos. Some people bring DVD s and have a camera store transfer their files to the DVD. However, we have not had much luck finding competent places to do this in many 3rd world countries.

* Hidden Travel Wallet – Rick Steves Silk Money Belt, Natural
Keep your passport, money, and travelers checks in your money belt at all times. I wrap them in a Ziploc when I’m in humid areas otherwise my passport gets soaked with sweat.

* Pacsafe: Pacsafe PacSafe C25L Camera Bag Protector This is a much safer route than locking your bag with just a combo lock since somebody can easily cut the canvas.

* Earplugs – This will save you many hours of sleep!

* Ziploc bags – These can be used for many things and it’s really nice to have a few on hand.

* Headlamp – I can’t tell you how many times we were thankful that we brought one of these Petzl E41 PBY Tikkina 2-LED Headlamp, Black and Yellow

Toiletries – Small shampoo, conditioner, razor, soap, deodorant, brush, nail-clippers, half or less roll of toilet paper, sunblock, toothbrush/paste

Misc Items – Ipod touch & charger, earphones, lighter, notebook, small roll of duct tape, 2-3 pens, 1 book which gets swapped while on the road, guidebook if needed, waterproof watch

So now that I have filled my bag with all the necessities I usually set out my clothing on the floor. This is where most people tend to over pack and I have been guilty of it many times in my life. Once I have decided what clothes I want to take, I put half of it back in my closet. Trust me you will not need it. You can get by with just once change of clothes if you really want to. You will not regret your decision to take less clothes, but your back WILL regret taking too many!

I usually separate my clothes into a couple of small vacuum bags. Travel Space Bags – No Vacuum Needed!

They keep my bag organized so I’m not constantly digging through the entire bag when I need something. I like to bring an extra small bag for dirty clothes. They also compress your clothing to create more space.

Here is what the rest of our packing list looks like:

Ladies Wardrobe

Hiking/Trail shoes and a pair of sandals
5 Shirts – including 2 tanks, 2 t-shirts and one long sleeve (You can get away with less if you are prepared to wash your clothes in the sink)
7 Pairs of undies – These don’t take up a lot of space.
2 Pairs of socks – 4 if I’m going somewhere that I will be wearing them every day
1 Sundress – Good for beach days and to throw over a swimsuit
1 Pair of shorts
1 Pair of pants only if I’ll be going somewhere cold
Swimsuit
Hat
Towel

Men’s Wardrobe

Everything the same as the ladies minus the sundress and add an extra pair of shorts.

Know More About Checklist for Overseas Travel

Before traveling to another country, I always consult my travel checklist. Here are 8 essential things to do before traveling abroad.

Overseas Travel Checklist:

1. Get Visa Information: Do you need a pre-visa for the particular country you are visiting? We just recently went on a trip to South East Asia. We did not need a visa for the length of time we were staying in Thailand, and we planned on getting our Laos visa at the border of Thailand and Laos. Luckily, I stumbled upon the information that Vietnam’s requirements are a little different. They require a pre-entry visa, which you can get in Thailand or Laos, but only if you are staying in one place for about 5 days. We didn’t want to take any chances, so we rushed an application to the Vietnam Embassy in D.C. and got our Vietnam visa shortly before we left on our 6-week trip.
2. Register with the nearest Embassy: Before you leave, it is wise to register with the Embassy of each country that you will be visiting. It helps the Embassy to better assist you in case of an emergency, such as a lost or stolen passport. It will also be easier for the Embassy to help you in the case of a natural disaster.
3. Travel Medical Insurance: I always purchase a travel medical insurance policy before I travel to another country. This will cover important things like emergency medical evacuation, trip cancellation, and baggage delay. We use and trust World Nomads for our travel insurance policies.
4. Required Travel Vaccinations: Check with your local travel clinic about any vaccinations that are required and suggested for that particular area.

5. Copies of Important Documents: Make a copy of your passport, any credit cards you will be bringing, drivers license and travelers checks receipts. I usually keep a copy with me and also scan a copy to send to my email. Also, bring extra passport photos of yourself for visas.
6. It’s a good idea to join airline mileage programs to earn miles for all the flights you take. We have a couple favorites such as Continental and American that we use whenever we can. If I am taking a flight and they are not partnered with either of my main airline mileage programs, I always create an account with that airline. You never know when you will be taking that particular carrier again and it doesn’t hurt to get credit for those miles. In order to be sure you get all of your mileage points, keep a copy of your boarding pass!! The mileage program will ask for a copy when you call them to find out why they have not credited your miles.
7. Print out some currency conversion charts for the currency of the places you will be visiting. If you are bringing an ipod, download the conversion rate and you can use this instead of carrying around a bunch of paper.
8. Print out common phrases for the language of the country I am visiting. If you have a guidebook, they usually have this information in them. But I don’t always want to carry around my guidebook and knowing how to say, “thank you,” “hello,” “I’m sorry” and a few other phrases are a necessity whenever I’m visiting a country.

Stay Stylish While Traveling

Packing clothes for a trip can be an incredible hassle. With many airlines charging growing fees for checked baggage, packing light has become not just an issue of space but of economics, too. In my twenties, the only thing I cared about was how much my bag weighed. Now, in my thirties, I carefully consider what goes into my suitcase — so I can save luggage space and still remain stylish.

Travel Style: How to Look Stylish While Traveling

Pack Mostly Basics & a Few Statement Pieces

About 70% of the clothes you pack should be basics, not statement pieces. Dark blue jeans, a black skirt, a cute sundress, shorts or a warm coat, depending on the local climate, and a few dressy-casual blouses can all be mixed and matched to fit any occasion. By stocking the majority of your suitcase with basics, you remove the need to pack a different set of clothes for each activity.

For example, wearing a plain black or white tank top with some dark jeans or shorts can be perfect for physical activities like hiking, biking, or just exploring a city by foot. That same tank top, when tucked into a black skirt and covered with a cardigan and a scarf, becomes a cute and flirty outfit for a dinner in town.

Dresses

While most of my clothes are solid colors while traveling, I do have one or two colorful dresses and pairs of shoes to brighten up my outfits. For instance, this dress goes with me almost everywhere.

From the vineyards of Emilia Romagna to the beaches in Mexico, this cotton dress pairs perfectly with a cardigan (I love this cardigan) or long-sleeved solid top — and it doesn’t wrinkle in my suitcase.

Shoes

Another way to spice up an outfit is by packing a colorful pair of shoes to go with solid colors. These are my favorite travel shoes and I get compliments every single time I wear them — even from men! They go with jeans, shorts, dresses — basically any  solid-colored outfit — and they have an extremely cushioned insole with amazing arch support. I found them at a surf shop in San Diego, but they sell them cheaper on Amazon!

Boots are another great item to liven up an outfit. Not all boots pack well, but I found a cute pair of knee-high boots that don’t take up too much space in my luggage. I normally end up wearing them on the plane, anyway, because they are so comfortable.

These ankle boots are a good option if it’s too hot for knee-high boots and you prefer more of a heel.

Scarves

I’m slightly addicted to buying cute scarves and have a drawer full of them at home. It can be tough to pick just one scarf to bring on a trip, so if I’m traveling somewhere cold, I might sneak two or three into my bag.

Work with Layers

Layering is the key to dressing your outfits up or down. A little black dress for that night on the town, for example, becomes a lot more appropriate for day wear when it’s topped with a shrug or sweater and worn over dark stockings. Similarly, dark jeans with a plain blouse can quickly become dressed up with a well-fitted colorful jacket or long scarf used as a shawl.

Dress Up Your Outfits with Accessories

Like with your clothing, keeping your accessories fairly simple means they will fit more easily with any outfit. Small gold or silver studs, a nice pendant, and your favorite charm bracelet or watch should cover most of your needs, whether you’re going dressy or casual. You would be surprised how easy it is to do a lot with just a few accessories!

I have a few cuff bracelets that always stay packed in my toiletries bag — so I never forget them when packing for a trip. Turquoise and silver bracelets go great with solid-colored clothing.

 

If you need something flashier or realize you have forgotten something at home, there’s always the opportunity to shop for souvenirs at your destination. Whether it’s a necklace, sunglasses, or a new scarf, chances are that the place you’re going has its own unique style. Purchasing your accessories at your destination can be a fun way of incorporating that local style into your wardrobe, as well as getting a nice memento to bring home with you.

Consider Your Destination

Obviously if you’re going to Yakutsk, Russia, you don’t want to pack shorts and a swimsuit. Similarly, a trip to Mauritius is not the place for heavy winter coats and turtlenecks. I always joke that it’s easy for me to pack for a tropical destination — I just throw in a few sundresses and five bikinis.

It’s much more difficult to pack light for a cold weather destination, so this is where layering really comes in handy. Don’t forget scarves, gloves, a beanie, and warm socks. This slouchy knit oversized beanie keeps me warm and — depending on what color you choose — it can brighten up an outfit.

 

Considering your destination while packing involves more than just packing for the geographical climate — it also means being aware of the cultural and political climate of your destination, too.

If you’re visiting Istanbul or another location whose culture sports a more conservative style, be respectful and wear longer shirts, skirts, or pants. While it will matter less in more cosmopolitan areas, in rural areas your different style of dress might be considered rude or inappropriate. Research your location before you pack to get an idea of what other travelers have found works best.