Our Dream Travel Job Team Europe duo Ryan and Asha didn’t have much time to prepare for 60 days of travel. Haven’t we all been there? Can you recall a time when you were laden with the last minute panic of stressing out over the details and trying to figure out how to make your luggage 10 kilograms lighter? How to fit just one more pair of socks into your suitcase without it exploding?
We asked our Facebook fans to offer up their best packing tips to give the team a hand; and in case you ever find yourself in that situation again, we decided to share the best responses here!
1. “Lay out all of your clothes and all of your money. Pack half the clothes and twice the money.”
(tip from Phil Knight)
This might be the biggest mistake most travelers make: over-packing. You will undoubtedly find yourself with too many possessions and no need for them – possessions that will become more of a burden as time goes on. Pack only what you really need.
Unsure about what you really need? Pack with climate and weather in mind, and the sort of activities you’ll be doing while you’re away. If you’re volunteering in a third-world country, chances are you won’t need too many fancy dresses.
As Phil suggests, on the other extreme end of the spectrum, you’ll find that you probably under-estimated your budget and may end up in a tight situation where more money is needed FAST. Always make sure you carry a little extra for emergencies.
2. “Roll all the clothes. They take up less space that way.”
(tip from Karol Duran)
“Rolling clothes” was a popular response when we quizzed our Facebook fans, and for good reason: it works! You’ll be impressed by how much room you save in your suitcase or backpack if you choose to roll all your articles of clothing. Give it a shot!
3. “Pack clothing for all sorts of weather. Leave out unnecessary gadgets that will weigh you down.”
(tip from James Khoo)
“A 3000 cubic inch backpack, 1 pair of comfortable shoes, a nice pair of flip flops, wool socks, clothing composed of synthetic material, no jeans (or maybe just 1 pair).” – Gabriel Trousdale
“Pack clothes that coordinate well so you can have several outfits from just a few pieces. Light layers are best and easiest for washing and drying if needed. Make sure you have one warm outfit and one dress one (just in case), and two pairs of shoes (one for walking, and one dressy). Roll everything tightly…means more room and less ironing!” – Patricia Murphy
What are the clothing essentials? The verdict is in!
– One pair of comfortable walking shoes
– Flip flops, or classier sandals in case of a special occasion
– Wool socks
– Clothing made from synthetic material (insect resistant, heat-sensitive, low moisture absorbency)
– At least one dressy outfit
– Waterproof gear in case of sudden storms (e.g., a poncho)
– No more than one pair of jeans
Ladies, if you’re looking for a more viable and lighter option than jeans, opt for the leggings (and yes, even the dreaded “jeggings”). Grab a colourful scarf or two to spice up an outfit, and accessorize lightly.
Gentlemen, pack at least one business-casual type shirt. You never know who you’ll want to impress on the road.
Finally, as James suggests, lighten up on the gadgets. One camera is sufficient (okay, TWO if necessary), and you certainly don’t need to bring your entire home office on the road.
Read more: 10 Must-Packs for a Winter Trip to Europe
4. “Wear your heaviest boots and jackets, and buy stuff when you get there.”
(tip from Kerry Forrest)
Planning on doing some heavy duty hiking or camping? Wear your heavy boots on the plane! It might not be the most comfortable option, but at least you’re saving yourself a couple of kilograms in luggage weight.
The same goes for outerwear – don your heaviest jacket as you board the plane. It’ll make a great pillow, at least.
Kerry makes another great point: you can buy the essentials when you arrive, and in most places (especially airports), you’ll find everything you need. Why add the extra weight in hygiene products when you can pick up your shampoo or body wash at a local pharmacy?
Word of caution: Not ALL hygiene products are available overseas, however. Make sure you do a little research beforehand.
5. “The only things you have should have too much of are toilet paper and underclothes.”
(tip from Jonathan Lee)
Toilet paper is a good example of one of those hygienic luxuries that are NOT available everywhere you go. Do yourself a favour, and pack a roll or two just in case. Even if you’re in a more tourist-friendly spot, you might be surprised by how often you’ll find your restroom is toilet-paper free.
As for underwear, well, we’ll leave that one up to your imagination.
6. “One very long piece of durable string. It will come in handy for absolutely everything, and aside from that, you will always have your own laundry line.”
(tip from Rachel Alexandra Elizabeth Robinson)
We leave you with one of the best pieces of packing advice that very few travelers know about – STRING! Not only is good for saving a few extra bucks on laundry fees, but take it with you when you’re backpacking or camping so you can dry out all your dirtied clothes. You’d be surprised how much you can do with string.
Read more: Packing: 10 Things NOT to Forget
– Candice Walsh