Tips on Packing for Travel

Posted by on in Travel

Some people like to pack no more than the bare necessities when they travel. Others like to leave nothing to chance, bringing everything they can carry in case they need it. The best option is somewhere in the middle. When packing for travel, it is important to consider the destination, what it has to offer and then decide what amount of gear is optimal.

Here are some things to consider before dragging out the suitcase.

Going minimalist

One downside of minimalist packing is that it often requires the purchase of things that the traveler already has at home. At journey’s end, the medicine cabinet is stocked with duplicate items, a few extra pairs of socks don’t fit in the drawer, there is double the amount of shampoo, or, just as irksome, a large, already opened bottle sits beside a smaller, travel-sized replica that needs to be used up.


Taking too much is the other extreme. An extensive first aid kit may go unused. While it may give peace of mind, it takes up a lot of suitcase space. The same is true with packing outfits for every contingency. Being prepared for rain is a valid concern if a person is traveling to Seattle. It may be unreasonable to pack a raincoat when traveling to Phoenix. A light sweater takes up little space and may come in handy in air-conditioned buildings. Are you packing a coat in summer? You might want to rethink that.

Braving the wild

Travel to remote destinations means more preparation. Backpackers, of course, bring everything they can think of, most of it in miniature. Since they are carrying it over mountains and while fording streams, they have to think wisely about what to bring and what to leave behind. For adventure travelers, considerations of weight and utility matter more than style. For these travelers, having a first aid kit on hand is not overpacking, but it is investing in necessities when they are out in the wild.

Urban excursion

Travel to a city leaves more leeway in picking and choosing what to bring. This does not mean that necessities should be neglected. Arriving underprepared offers an opportunity to waste money that can be better spent enjoying the destination. Bringing money to buy clothes is one thing, needing money to buy clothes is another. Bringing a few suitable outfits can enable a traveler to enjoy more meals and tours.


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