No matter if it’s your first time abroad or your 100th, packing for a trip or to move out permanently is never much fun. What will I need out there? What’s the weather going to be like? What will I miss? Have I even worn these shoes in the past year..? These are the types of questions that plague and stress even the most practiced of travellers. This guide will help you to organise yourself, your mind and your suitcase.
Rule Number 1: Make a list
This is the first rule in being organised, making sure you don’t over-pack, and making sure you have everything. Once you’ve done your research and been realistic with what you want and can take with you, write your list and stick to it. Once you’ve packed, you can always double check you have everything, and can always add things to it as you go along.
Rule Number 2: Pack, then re-pack
You’re likely to want to pack everything you own. After all, they’re your possessions, each with its own purpose. But… Do you really need that much stuff? More often than not, out of your comfort zone when travelling or moving abroad, the little things won’t matter to you much anymore. At home, it may be the biggest tragedy when your favourite t-shirt is stuck in the wash and not ready for you to wear in the morning. But when you’re surrounded by fellow travellers or expats, you’ll get into the travel feel and suddenly you’ll regret bringing 20 t-shirts with you and having to carry them around. Instead of lots of clothes, make sure to bring some washing powder with you that you can use once a week or so to clean your clothes on the move.
Rule Number 3: 2-Week Essentials
Make a list of the things you use during a 2 week period. Most of these things you’ll use in the first day or two; these are your essentials, and other bits you might come across and need every so often. It’s a good idea to pack all of these since chances are, you’ll need them. These are usually things like toiletries, underwear, accessories etc. Others to follow that you may use during the two weed period could be misc. such as plasters, face masks etc. Of course, you don’t have to swear by this. Use it as a guide to see what you really do and don’t need.
Rule Number 4: Research
Check online for weather & conditions of where you’re going to be, but don’t go overboard. It’s important to know what kind of climate you need to be packing for, and also if there is anything you need out there that you don’t need in your home country. If this happens, you tend to panic and go over-board. Just one can of insect repellent will usually be fine, for example, since if you’re going to a country where you need it; chances are you can get it out of there. Same goes for everything such as sun cream, travel tablets etc.
Rule Number 5: First-aid Kit
No matter where you’re going, or for how long, it’s important to grab together at least a few essentials for a medical emergency. It’s up to you how comprehensive you’d like it to be, but make sure not to miss out on everyday medicine such as paracetamol and ibuprofen. Plasters are also usually very useful to take with you, as well as some antihistamines and bandages. If there is any other medication you need to take, make sure this is on the top of the list!
You should also have researched what kind of jabs or tablets you may need to take abroad. It’s essential to remember to pack these, as they may not be available where you’re going!
Rule Number 6: Comforts are essentials too
It’s important to pack lightly, especially if you’re contending with airline weight limits. However, if you’re away for a long period of time, you’ll regret not packing those digestive biscuits or favourite chocolate bar. Don’t skimp out on the occasional comfort, as you never know when you’ll need them or just how essential they’ll be. You’ll thank yourself a few months down the line when you’re homesick and craving your favourite snack. You can be wise about this by choosing things that don’t take up much room, or weight, depending on what you’re running out of.
Follow these guidelines or come up with your own as you become a more experienced traveller and find out what works for you.